By John Beck
I usually consider myself to be a bit of a tech head, but now and again something comes along which makes me realise how low I really rate on the universal scale of geekery.
The latest blow to my sense of nerdy self worth is SurfaceScapes, a project dreamt up by students at Carnegie Mellon University’s Entertainment Technology Centre, which aims to create a proof-of-concept for playing tabletop role-playing games on Microsoft’s Surface Table.
Basically, this provides players with a digital environment, which they can interact with using real objects (such as painstakingly detailed miniatures), and also provides automated calculations and visual and audio feedback for actions performed by characters in the game. If that takes your fancy, then watch the video and allow the nasal voiceover to explain things far better than I ever could.
So far, only Dungeons and Dragons is up and running on the prototype system, but fortunately for those whose proverbial boat is not floated by Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson’s magnum opus, the team say it could be expanded to other games in the future.
[ SurfaceScapes ]