I can haz gaming on audio too. Voice portal services company DialiFy Technologies has launched fascinating voice based Cricket fantasy game called Cwicket on Reliance Communications. The service is available on GSM, CDMA and Wireline, Nikhil Soman, founder of Dialify told MediaNama; VAS company Onmobile Global is the hosting partner. Cwicket features audio based Cricket matches in the Indian Public League (IPL for short, and they could get into trouble for that). We’d learnt about Cwicket via an anonymous tip-off (thanks), and of Soman’s involvement via a Who-Is search; the domain cwicket.com however only sports a logo and a coming soon message.
In order to play the game, Reliance users have to call and subscribe at 505101065. The subscription costs Rs 15 and users get 100 minutes of free playing time. Once their mobile number has been registered, users can choose one of 10 different teams – Kolkata Kite Flyers, Bangalore Techies and Chennai Super Annas to name a few. Hopefully in this IPL it will remain 10.
A user is allowed to choose to play the game in either English or Hindi. The commentary is pivotal as users need to listen to the commentary and decide the shot he wants to play when batting, and choice of shot depends on which key (1 to 9) is pressed. For example, 8 will result in a straight drive and 3 a leg glance or a hook. 1000 points are awarded for every game played, 400 extra for a win and 100 each for every six or wicket. The points can be redeemed to enter virtual tournaments, power plays, real prizes and custom bats and balls. There are two types of matches, home and away and the game accounts for home ground advantage also.
It’s difficult to explain how this has been deployed on audio, so we recorded our call to the voice portal to give you a sense of what it is like:
Soman told MediaNama that in future iterations of the game, there will be trading windows for players, and different players might have different characteristics, impacting gameplay. In the first iteration, they didn’t want to make it too complicated. A launch with other operators is also in the works. We will also see the impact of weather and pitch conditions on gameplay in the future.
We think in-game ads are another possibility. Every four and a six could be sponsored (for example, radio commentary used to brand each four as a BSNL Chauka) and there could be quick ads between overs and innings as well. Virtual bats could be sponsored by advertisers as well. Users could also integrate twitter and facebook accounts, and Cwicket could host a leaderboard.
Thankfully, they’re not charging per the minute, since the gameplay does take quite some time, even though the commentary is quite entertaining by itself. Soman said that the introductory sequence will be shorter after the first call. The key attraction for me was the depth of the game play.
(with inputs from Nikhil Pahwa)