Wyldcard DevKit

E-paper trading cards for game development and beyond!

May 25, 2023

Project update 1 of 5

We Are Live!

by Jonah S

I’m excited to announce the Wyldcard DevKit crowdfunding campaign on Crowd Supply!

With a Wyldcard DevKit, you can write your own game logic in JavaScript: display e-paper images on Wylcards, respond to button presses, read from and write to Wyldcard memory, and communicate over the link cable.

Since the initial Wyldcard blog post got to the top of Hacker News, I’ve been working to launch this campaign, to get Wyldcard kits out into the world and let others experiment with this new interaction-space.

I’ve been busy!

I had to redesign the plinths: my original prototypes were thrown together quickly and the top surface never fit securely. I shrunk the main PCB, iterated on some pin placement, and permanently affixed it to the top of the plinth, provding access to the inside with a sliding bottom panel. The result of my redesign was slightly less beautiful than I wanted, so I indulged myself and made an overly-fancy deluxe model to satisfy my aesthetic values.

You can buy the default model, totally serviceable and made of MDF, or you can splurge on hand-planed black walnut, mitered edges, and hand-made brass fittings.

I’ve also been working on the code that drives Wyldcard. The original prototypes were running on bare-bones Rust code, mostly the drivers I wrote for the e-paper displays and EEPROM chips. Using napi-rs I built a CI pipeline which compiles the Rust code into a native JavaScript module and publishes it to npm along with a Javascript abstraction layer. I’m proud of the way it lets you subscribe to a stream of chorded button-press events. I’ve been working on the documentation and will be adding more as the campaign proceeds.

Thanks to Sarah Freye, Wyldcard’s Creative Director for editing the main campaign video and putting together campaign content.

Please share the campaign with makers and gamers you think would be interested!

I’ll be speaking about Wyldcard at Kubla Con, a board-game conference, and will have an exhibitor’s booth at Open Sauce, a Maker conference in San Francisco.

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