- Mobile App Languages
- Compatible Devices
- Identification and Authentication
- Game Creation and Registration
- Simple Point-Earning and Point-Decreasing Actions
- Conversion Examples
- Game Statistics
- Game Endings
- How Does It All Works?
Mobile App Languages
The first time the Conversion App is launched, it asks to pick a language from English, French or German. This setting is saved on the device and may be modified every time the app is re-launched. Players within the same game may use different languages for the app running on their personal device.
The graphical user interface (GUI) is optimized for smartphones, elongated portrait orientation. A device with NFC tag reading capability allows its user to take full advantage of the app functionality to play Conversion. The app uses NFC tags to authenticate, join a game and trigger game actions that aren’t handled by the game physical component.
Most current Android smartphones should have this capability. IPhone 7 and up have this capability. Other types of phones are not supported (e.g. Windows, Blackberry).
The NFC communication is very short range. The location of the NFC communication chip matters to make this feature work. A Huawei P20 pro chip is approximately 1/3 from the top, looking backward. A Samsung S5 Neo chip is in the middle, facing backward. The chip in a LG5 phone is at the very top. An IPhone 8 plus chip is 1/3 from the top, front facing. As you can see, it varies greatly and you may need a few attempt to find where it is located on your device. Thankfully, nothing bad happens if you have it wrong. Just keep hovering your device on top of the tag until it vibrates, indicating the tag is read.
IPhones work differently from Android devices. They require to activate the NFC reading capability prior to using it. Hence, the app shows a NFC button in place of a NFC indicator. On the other hand, the IPhone seems to be much more sensitive to reading the NFC tags than the Android devices tested with.
Identification and Authentication
In order to play Conversion with Internet connection, players refer to each other with a username. This information is required the first time the app is used and saved on the device for future use. Players who provided only this identification information are referred to as “Demo players”.
Authentication is what differentiates demo players from the others. Since the profile of demo players is not protected, they can be impersonated. Hence their name : it can be OK to have an unprotected profile for a demonstration of the game, however it is not recommended for playing more than once. A demo player profile can be converted to a fully-authenticated profile any time the app is started.
The Conversion Game App provides two ways to authenticate:
• By a password and/or,
• By scanning a NFC tag on the game board.
In order to start a Conversion game using an Internet connection, at least one player must configure a password. This is required to access the web page to start the game and optionally to control the game flow by pausing it or extending it.
Scanning a NFC tag is however quicker and avoids the risk of losing a password.
Upon identification and optionally authentication, the credentials of the player are saved on the device and the app is linked to the profile. Unless the app is re-installed, there is no further need to identify or authenticate on the same device.
Game Creation and Registration
This easiest way to start playing Conversion is as follows:
• An authenticated player creates the game by scanning any of the NFC tags on the game board. The app presents a text field to the user creating the game with a suggested game name. The format of the suggestion is [username]-[nb of created games]. For example, the fifth game created by Eric would be named “Eric-5”. The name can be modified prior to scanning the tag.
• Immediately after the game is created, the registration is open. Players can join either by scanning a tag from the same board game or by entering the game name on their device or on a web form. The usernames of the players who have registered for the game show up automatically on the app. At any point during the registration phase, as well as during the play, players can check their characters on their device.
• Once all players have joined the game, it can be started. To do this, a player simply needs to provide a username and a game name here. The actions web page opens up. It serves for players that do not use a NFC-capable device to play.
Simple Point-Earning and Point-Decreasing Actions
The game board is equipped with NFC tags that you can scan in order to play the following actions:
• Reading a crystal ball
• Finding the crypt
• Finding the Tomb of the Great Demon
• Destroying the Great Demon
For those, the player needs to hover a NFC-capable device and will be granted the benefits of the action. The crystal ball tag allows the player to ask one of the 5 questions and get an answer on the app.
One tag, with the red NFC logo on the board, is present to decrease the current points of the player in the game. It has to be scanned when a player is wrong about the location of a Rune or a passageway.
As per the game rules, conversions are allowed within players in the same room. When there are conversions between players in different rooms for the same round, conversions are to be done separately. Conversions are either done with surprise, from forces of Evil characters exiting a secret place, or normal. Hence the two buttons that are visible in the game controls.
To initiate a conversion attempt, a player does the following:
• Presses the button corresponding to his action,
• Chooses the target from a list of usernames from players playing with the app running on their personal device,
• Scans any of the NFC tags on the game board to confirm the action. The confirmation part is necessary to avoid players cheating and secretly initiating a conversion attempt on their device.
Shortly after the confirmation scan, the target player is notified on his app about the conversion attempt. The target player has three choices, represented each by a button:
• A player would choose to defend against the conversion attempt when the chosen action for the round is different from converting the player who launched the attempt.
• A player would press the convert back button when its chosen action for the current round is to convert the player who launched the attempt.
• A player can press the Reject Conversion button when there is a mistake done from the player who launched the attempt. If it’s a genuine attempt, there is no other choice but to defend or to convert back.
When the target player pressed on the “Defend” button, a choice is given between submitting the conversion action or allowing for more conversions to be registered in the same room, same round. This would happen only when there are more than two players in the same room. If there are more conversions to be expected, they can be entered in the app and dealt with as per the method described above.
Once all conversion attempts in the same room, same round are registered, the last player who defended against a conversion attempt presses the submit button and shortly thereafter all players involved in the conversion receive the result on their device.
Let’s take an example to demystify this process. Say Joe converts Jane and so does Bob in the same round. All three use a device to play. This is how it will be played:
• Joe chooses Jane as a target and scans a tag to confirm,
• Jane receives a message on her device that Joe wants to convert her. Her action was to leave the room, but she must defend against the conversion attempt instead. She presses on the Defend button.
• Unless Bob hasn’t yet lauched the conversion attempt, she presses on the Plus button to indicate that there are more conversions to be resolved in the same room, same round.
• Bob chooses Jane as target and scans a tag to confirm.
• Jane receives the message that Bob attempts to convert her. Once again, she presses on the Defend button.
• Following this, Jane presses on the Submit button to resolve all conversion attempts.
• Joe, Jane and Bob each receive a message on their device about the result of the conversion resolution.
Alternatively, Joe and Bob launch their conversion attempt pretty much simultaneously on Jane. Jane sees both attempts on her device and can deal with them in sequence.
Now a slight variation: Joe converts Janes who converts Bob. Bob also converts Jane. The process starts the same way as before: Joe launches the attempt against Jane. Then Bob does the same and Jane converts back Bob. Finally, Bob presses the submit button on his device and all players receive their result on their device.
It could happen that a player presses the Plus button by mistake or misunderstanding. Once done, if there are no other conversion attempts expected in the same room, same round, the app offers a button to submit conversions anyways, without waiting for another player to launch a conversion attempt.
The order of conversion attempts in the same room, same round doesn’t matter. Irrespective of who launched the first conversion attempt, once the Submit button is pressed the conversion attempts will be treated just the same.
When a player involved in a conversion is not using a personal device to play, the conversion attempts have to be entered on the game Actions web page. The results will be displayed both on the web page, as well as on the app of the players involved who are using a personal device to play.
Players can follow their current points and rank at the top of the app display on their personal device. This information can be displayed or hidden, depending on the need for privacy of the players. It is kept current throughout the game.
The minutes remaining until sundown are displayed on top of a sunset image at the top right.
A Conversion Game ends in one of these three ways:
• Time runs out,
• All characters are with the Forces of Evil, or
• The Great Demon is destroyed.
Either way, each players using a personal device will get notified when it happens with the reason, the points and ranking of all players in the game.
A button next to each player ranking opens up a list of point-earning or decreasing actions throughout the game, as well as the number of conversions won and lost.
The Actions web page opened during the game displays the same information upon the game ending. The Actions web page need to be opened and running at the time of the game end, otherwise the players won’t get the points and statistics.
How Does It All Works?
Understanding this section is not mandatory to use the Conversion Game Companion App.
At the core of the system, there is a database with all player and game information. Players using a personal device such as a smartphone can make actions that changes the information stored in the database. For example, a player who wants to convert another player presses buttons to select a target and scans a NFC tag to confirm the action. This fires a HTTP post that triggers a software on a server to treat this information. With a conversion, the software creates a record in the database to indicate that a player has launched a conversion attempt against another one.
Each two seconds, every device asks another piece of software to check if the database has some updates relevant to the player using the device. In the case of the conversion attempt, the target player device will receive an update that can be displayed on the app : the player is subject to a conversion attempt. The target will answer this conversion attempt and the originator will get the answer at the next 2-second heartbeat.
The Game Actions web page is connected to the same database with game information. The only reason this web page needs to send heartbeat requests is to check if a game ending condition has been written to the database. When it happens, the GUI automatically navigates to the scoring web page. Other than that, the Actions web page displays results only after an action is entered and resolved.