Drop the deck: DropMix shows collectible cards aren’t just for gamers

Collectible card games have a long history, but whether its Magic or Pokémon, they’ve always been an all-consuming passion, rather than a casual drop-in. 

While DropMix is a game, and it does have collectible cards which are sold in packs, the similarities end there. Instead Hasbro and Harmonix have created an NFC card-driven DJ game that lets anyone play on the wheels of steel.

We talk to Jonathan Mintz, creative lead for DropMix at Harmonix about the new game, how it works, and why consumers should be excited.

What is DropMix – how do you play it?

DropMix is a dynamic and fast-paced music-mixing game. Players blend hit songs – each featured on a DropMix card – from award-winning artists to create mind-blowing mixes. Get together and
face-off with friends to master the mix, with no music-makingskills required.

DropMix cards are embedded with Near-Field Communication (NFC) chips, the same technology that enables digital wallets in smartphones like Apple Pay or Android Pay. When the NFC chips interact with the electronic DropMix board, the data is beamed to the player’s smartphone or tablet app via Bluetooth. The software in the DropMix app on the player’s smartphone or tablet then compiles the data into a seamless one-of-a-kind music mix. If you create an amazing-sounding mix, you can save it to – and share it from – the app. 

Place a card on the DropMix board to add its music to the mix. You can put down and pick up cards at will and the music mix will update on the fly. You can replace tracks in the mix by picking up cards from the board and putting down a new card. The app drives gameplay, with a range of exciting game modes to play – Clash, Freestyle and Party.

Do you need a mobile device as well then?

Yes. The DropMix app is available for iOS and Android, and will run on the majority of smartphones and tablets. You can connect your device to a Bluetooth speaker to pump up the volume.

How many music tracks are there?

There will be more than 300 DropMix cards featuring hit songs from popular artists in the 2017 collection. From these, players can create millions of possible mixes.

How did the idea come about?

Harmonix invented the modern music gaming genre and we’re always looking for new ways to innovate in the space. We saw an opportunity in the trend of music mixing – bringing unexpected songs and artists together in ever-changing ways. 

It’s never been done before as a game. There are lots of overly complex DJ style apps but never a game like this. Together we decided to combine Hasbro’s expertise in digital and physical integration with Harmonix’s expertise in music gaming. 

From that DropMix was born and it’s been a great partnership. We collaborate on everything from development decisions to music selections and game rules to physical design.

Did all the tracks have to be specially reworked for the game?

The tracks don’t need to be ‘reworked’ but, as in Rock Band, there’s a decent amount of hand authoring that needs to be done to turn music into gameplay. For DropMix this includes selecting and editing which parts to use for specific cards, making sure they work at all of our allowable tempos and in all of our allowable keys, plus a few other nerdy odds and ends.

How do consumers get additional tracks?

DropMix comes with a Starter Set of 60 cards, with further cards available separately in Playlist and Discover Packs, which include 16 and five cards respectively.

Who is it aimed at?

Music lovers of all ages, anyone who’s ever dreamed of being a superstar DJ, anyone who wants a fun party game that also provides the soundtrack! 

How did you decide on the art style?

We commissioned numerous artists to develop the amazing art featured throughout the DropMix Cards, representing a variety of backgrounds, countries and styles. Readers can learn more about some of our featured artists on the @DropMix Instagram channel.

Where would you like to take DropMix next?

We are thrilled about the response to the DropMix game this year, and we have some exciting new additions coming in 2018. 

To order DropMix contact Exertis on 01279 822800

About MCV Staff

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