We want to take our technology to the next stage, we want to market our invention, which is why we are looking for it.
Partners that contribute capital to shell the product.
A company that wants to continue with our development, as a friend commented, «You have developed the bulk of the work»
Then I leave you an «outline» of the marketing plan.
⦁ Challenge and Solutions
Miniature-based game manufacturers, such as Games Workshop (UK) or Fantasy Flight Games (USA), have built their business model for many years in the production and sale of figurines, with a final stage of personalization (paint, stickers, etc.) that fed a secondary market of services and accessories. To this business, threats grow year after year: videogames, generational change… Board games industry focuses its main challenges on two aspects:
⦁ Attract new Young Players (15-30 years old), accustomed to the computerized sensory experience (sound, graphics, animation, …) and who find the traditional game mechanics difficult to learn and to adapt (measuring distances, reading extensive rules manuals, …).
⦁ Maintain the loyalty of Veteran Players (30-50 years old), fed up with travelling to specialized events or to spend time preparing the game (updating rules, material, etc.).
Board gaming companies have tried to adapt their most successful games to videogames, with alliances with other companies, licenses or creating new digital studios in their organizations (i.e. Warhammer Digital or Fantasy Flight Interactive). However, this experience is not the same for veteran players (the most affluent) and there is a lot of new digital board games for young users.
With DAW project, Janecosystems proposes to energize the whole industry and catapult to this type of board games that has millions of followers all over the world, with an interconnected game system that places the games of miniatures in the digital age. DOB will bring a revolution to the concept of digital board gaming like MMORPG (Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game)
A great development with high potential for traditional toys and games is the rise of cross-over toys and games, which allow traditional games played on electronic platforms, with interaction between physical toys and games and applications on tablets and smartphones. Several examples show that EU producers of games and toys are entering these new platforms, often in collaboration with digital entertainment industry. To keep up with the cross-over market and optimize its potential for traditional toys and games, EU toy suppliers will have to keep up with US and Asian competitors in this fast-developing field.
The main features of Daw are automatization, easy-to-use and easy-to-play, massive gameplay, improved networking with other players, and customization.
DAW joins two concepts far apart, computer games with traditional board games or miniatures, and introduce a new element in a sector in which the figures are booming, another step in the development of board games and bridge between both systems, a competitive, affordable and adaptable product to countless games.
The concept is simple: to add minidrones at the miniatures bases. A communications system controls these robots, allowing millimetric positioning and giving orders through mobile apps or desktop applications synchronized with Janecosystems servers.
The design of the system allows many people to play the same game simultaneously, so the game becomes global through a platform that synchronizes all the games in an MMOG (Massively Multiplayer Online Game). So, all board games from chess to battle games can be played with DAW system.
The DAW solution combines different hardware and software elements. These are its main components:
⦁ Minidrones. They are small, disk-shaped robots with enough diameter and stability to hold the miniatures of most board games. They have wheels and motors to move with the figures on flat surfaces and include Lightnings and Sound. Their charging system is based on lithium polymer batteries, due to its large storage capacity, and loaded with magnetic induction, avoiding the dependency on an unscalable connection system. All hardware uses standard elements, implemented with SMD technology to reduce the size of robots.
⦁ Local Positioning System, a patented high precision design of Janecosystems based in ultrasound reception integrated in the minidrones and triangulation using 4 beacons positioned around the board.
⦁ Connectivity. Each of the minidrones has a built-in wireless communication component to synchronize position with a game board controller connected online to the central server, with the support of the beacons. The communication also includes receiving orders to move, make light, sounds, etc.
⦁ Control Software. DAW implements it in two parts: in the central server that manages the online games and in the game board controller, a local device that sends the orders of the server to the minidrones through Wi-Fi
⦁ User Interface. Players use an app installed on their Internet-connected devices from which they send their commands to the central server to move the miniatures or other game action.
According to ResearchAndMarkets, the growing popularity of strategy and war games and educational games is primarily driving the growth of the Europe board games market, at a compound annual growth rate of around 6% by 2017-2023, and market size expected to reach revenues of $4 bilion by 2023.
On the other hand, robots have long been in the toy market, but most are simple automatons with limited communication between them. The exceptions are like SONY AIBOs, refined substitutes for pets, or robotic arms that move figures, such as Raspberry Turk, a complex installation for the standard player. From the research there are very interesting advances like those that are shown every year in competitions like the Robocup, but limited to a few robots and only two teams. The DOB system has capacity for thousands of games of two to hundreds of players each, and each player can control hundreds of figures in each game turn.
The control of the game is as intuitive as a classical videogame, through a tablet, mobile or PC, allowing any player a quick learning of its use and focus only on enjoying the game.
Janecosystems has focused on the gaming sector for being the most innovative, but security, control or other applications are on the table.
DAW unites the most attractive features of video games (digital interface, usability, remote control of the miniatures, multiplayer, multigame and online) with those of the classic board games (figure collecting, modelling, full space movement to play, without forcing the eyesight or nullify the player’s senses).
The technology of minidrones and communications DOB gives the system the necessary precision (1mm) to follow the rules of all board games.
To play, users must prepare their boards (a board in every physical location of the players. E.g. a board for a player located at Barcelona and another for other two players that would play at a single physical room of Paris). The players put the miniatures on the game boards, each one on top of their minidron. Each minidron communicates with a game board controller device, identifying itself and recording position with the support of beacons arranged around the corresponding board. The controller device transmits this position to the central server of Janecosystems, which has activated the program corresponding to the board game.
Each player manages a device (tablet or mobile, see Figure 3) where he visualizes a synchronized virtual copy of the game board, and, turn by turn, he indicates with the software interface which movements of his miniatures he wants to make. The central server receives these commands, validating them with the game rules and the registered positions of the minidrones. If they are correct, the server transmits them to the game board controller of every room. This device sends the player orders to the corresponding minidrones and they will do the desired actions: move the miniatures, emit lights or sounds simulating shots, etc.
The controller of the game board also checks the state of the battery of each minidron, which lasts just over one hour of continuous operation. When a minidron has little power left, the system orders it to move to a loader device attached to its physical game board. When the robot recovers its optimal load level, the next order of the system will be the return to its exact position of the game synchronized by the server.
As the recharge technology is by induction, the robots can connect wirelessly approaching the recharging device, without relying on physical connections.
⦁ Entering the market
DAW main target, miniature wargaming manufacturing companies, is «digitalizing» its products, wanting to expand and making bets to take its products to world of videogames and similar. Janecosystems offers them a technological solution that does not make them lose the core of their business, the miniatures, that they can continue to sell without altering production or distribution and can project their sector to the digital age. In fact, these companies are already betting on the digital age with video games based on their miniatures.. And although they do well with video games, the miniatures and their system of playing is their main CORE
Another target, traditional toy companies are also interested because their original focus, children up to 14 years, play less and less with traditional toys (dolls, cars …) and they prefer video games, drones, and toys with a very high digital level. The global toy industry is a billion-dollar industry dominated by five main players: Mattel, Namco Bandai, Lego, Hasbro and Jakks Pacific. Janecosystems has visited some of these companies, like IMC Toys and Giochi Preciozi, and has shown them product demonstrations, maintaining a relationship with which letters of interest have been generated in the purchase of DOB results.
The global board games market is highly fragmented and competitive due to the presence of many global vendors (E.g. Asmodée Editions, Goliath B.V., Hasbro and Ravensburger) along with local vendors. Some of the challenges faced by these vendors in the market include intense competition, enhanced gameplay, and frequent changes in consumer preferences. Also, vendors must distinguish their product and service offerings through clear and unique value proposition to survive and succeed in this competitive environment. Furthermore, vendors are increasingly offering a variety of benefits such as flexible return policies, low cost, and easy availability to remain competitive in the market. The companies in the gaming market are highly focusing on adopting advanced technologies to introduce smartphone-enabled board games, in turn, intensifying the level of competition.
A review of these technologies will help to detect the direct and indirect competitors of DOB. With the company’s experience, its team has detected the following:
⦁ Virtual reality (VR) that combines physical environments with digital environments, although it does not implement tactile experience yet, and interactivity with other users is immersed in technological capabilities even in the development of virtual reality. ⦁ Videogames is the ⦁ initial⦁ channel of expansion of the ⦁ VR, with a growing current offer and a greater number of devices. By 2025, the market expects to move 12 trillion dollars and to have 216 million users.
⦁ In recent years, there has been a resurgence of videogames that implement physical figures (Amiibo from Nintendo, Disney Infinity, Skylanders) versus traditional videogames with spectacular sales of more than 1000 million in less than three years. Miniatures with chips that add new characters and phases to specified games, but they still are static in the physical world.
Of all the above, waiting to deepen with the feasibility study, the barriers to entry of DOB are: High segmentation and variability of game boards and miniatures, High initial investment, Legal Barriers (USA, Canada…) and Customers of difficult access (multinationals).
Janecosystems will overcome these barriers with a well selected and oriented commercial team with the results of the SME Instrument Phase I, that will also allow a good adaptation of the product to the Market (regulations, legal …) and a strategical identification of partners and countries.
Theses barriers are also an opportunity, the segmentation increase the opportunities to reach agreements with different market actors, sharing the risk. So we would look for local partners with experience in the sector to address these big companiesWith constancy and a novel product with great potential to generate profits agreements with multinationals are feasible and could bring important incomes.
Thus, the current identification of Stakeholders for DAW is this list:
⦁ R&D partners: ⦁ IMB-⦁ CNM-CSIC
⦁ Manufacturers: ⦁ Toy Industries of Europe (TIE), Miniature games (⦁ Games Workshop, ⦁ Fantasy Flight Games) and Traditional Toys: LEGO, Playmobil, MATTEL, HASBRO, FEBER, IMC Toys (letter of support), …
⦁ Distributors: Board Games specialized (Dispersa SL), Self-distributors (IMC Toys and Famosa) and Traditional and electronic toy (⦁ Alco distributions and ⦁ Asler⦁ Partners⦁ SL)
⦁ Retailers: ⦁ Juguettos (+62 stores only in Spain), ⦁ Drim, ⦁ Toy Planet, ⦁ El Corte ⦁ Inglés, …
⦁ End-users – Gamers. Miniature wargame organizations such as the ⦁ Society of Fantasy and Science Fiction Wargamers (SFSFW), or the ⦁ International Wargames Federation (IWF), and social networking platforms that support find players for board games: ⦁ GameFindr, ⦁ Miniwars, …