Monday, May 4, 2015

News: Bushiroad Develops "Fight Table G" Electronic Light Display for Standing Fight Tables

Original image and video taken by Keikan & Ruin (軽缶&ルイン)
At this year's Great Vanguard Festival during the Tokyo Big Sight event from May 24th through the 26th, Bushiroad of Japan displayed an under-development version of the standing fight table popularized by the Cardfight!! Vanguard anime series. While holographic projection of the card game's characters is still a long ways off, the Fight Table G seeks to functionally recognize the faces of licensed Cardfight!! Vanguard trading cards in real time and display their base power, shield value, critical and other key statistics to aid in cardfighting. The system also indicates boost, increases from triggers and attack targets. Previously standing fight tables were wholly decorative electronically-lit playmats, and exclusive to Bushiroad's partner shop Card Kingdom.

Although several companies have produced toys in the likeness of similar systems from other card game franchises like Yu-Gi-Oh!'s Duel Disks, none have ever seriously attempted a professional projection system on this scale before. The G prototype has potential as a semi-portable system for avoiding human error in power and damage calculation, as well as other areas. It could one day be standardized for top 16 at major tournaments, just as the GIAS system is in the world of Cardfight!! Vanguard G. Three videos of the system in demo mode can be viewed below.

Original image by @Ranifuuyuki
Trial decks were used for the demo displays at the Big Sight event, which attending fans could go through a trial run with under the supervision of the event staff. Use of the system requires cards to be either unsleeved or in sleeves recognizable the system. (i.e. sleeves which do not obscure the card faces.) Although the prototype system requires special electronics equipment to compute and project, and stands between both cardfighters, it also projects images of the opponent's frontrow onto each fighter's side of the field to avoid interfering with gameplay. A paper marker on either side of the center is used to indicate to the projector's targeting which of the opponent's units each fighter is attacking, but how this will function with units capable of attacking the backrow is unclear.

The field layout is slightly modified to accommodate the limitations of the system. Since the marker to designate attack targets is in the center where the guardian circle usually lies, the space for the deck is shifted to the right slightly, and the guardian circle moves to where the trigger zone is typically set. When performing stride, the entire field lights up with rainbow colors.

The software appears generally similar to that used in the 3DS games Ride to Victory!! and Lock on Victory!! There are still a lot of questions  regarding the Fight Table G--for example, how it handles changes to power from card skills, skills that activate during the opponent's turn like those of Mandalalord and Shirayuki, and if it can keep track of the number of cards in soul. The most immediately flaw in the system at this time is that it does not support the damage zone. But if the prototype gives any indications for what the future may look like, the Fight Table G could be an exciting addition to tournament play.