UWaterloo English PhD candidate Adam Bradley was kind enough to provide this guest post about Rival Books of Aster, a game recently developed through the English Department’s Games Institute by Bradley and others. The reason for the game’s existence might surprise you. Read on to find out more–how could you not be curious about the chicken tower?–JLH
Rival Books of Aster developed within the English Department at UWaterloo
One of the main problems when studying games is the lack of proprietary data available to game scholars. Player data is very valuable and companies are not willing to share it with researchers. Nearly three years ago, at the Canada 2.0 conference, Dr. Neil Randall, Director of the Games Institute, challenged me to come up with a
solution to this problem. The obvious answer was that we needed to develop a commercial game within the department to generate useful data to study. And, for the last two and a half years, that is what I’ve been working on. Backed by the Games Institute, Evan Jones (founder and owner of Stitch Media) and I partnered to build Rival Books of Aster, a collectible card game heavily influenced by literary and art history. Early on in this process we applied for and received two development grants, one from the Ontario Media Development Corporation, and the second from the Canada Media Fund. These grants meant we could hire a team to help us build our project. Throughout the two-year development cycle Rival Book of Aster has employed twenty-two people. As of this week we have launched on iPads in the iTunes app store in Canada, and over the next year we will be expanding to other hardware platforms and releasing our project in larger markets.
Find out more at www.rivalbooksofaster.com or find us on the iTunes
store by searching Rival Books of Aster.