Rise of the Digital Game Table

I have talked about emerging and established technologies and how they could be harnessed to enhance table top roleplaying games before. The digital gaming table is one of my favorite concepts and there appears to be a trend of resourceful individuals and groups developing more examples of these tables.

Previously, I wrote about Shane Deseranno’s interactive game table that worked with Wii technology. Recently, I have seen a few more digital game tables appear on the radar that are using multi-touch technologies. Multi-touch allows users to interface with a program via pressure sensitive screens that can be manipulated with your fingers.

DragonEye: DIY Multi-touch Table

The first example I want to highlight is a DIY multi-touch created by repurposing a PS3 Eye Camera and using Rear Diffused Illumination projection and reacTIVision software built by SpynalTom.

The best part of this build is that SpynalTom is part of a larger DIY community called NUI Group (Natural User Interface), “an open source interactive media community researching and creating machine sensing techniques to benefit artistic, commercial and educational applications.” They have a very informative and active forum where you can follow project builds like SpynalTom’s.

SurfaceScapes Proof of Concept

SurfaceScapes is a team out of the Entertainment Technology Center of Carnegie Mellon University. They have developed a decent proof of concept (prototype) of software/user interface for Dungeons & Dragons on the Microsoft Surface table.

This probably the most polished software I have seen designed to be with a roleplaying game on a digital gaming table. Obviously, the UI needs some tweaking, but I really like what I see. I think it would be even better if you had the option of using traditional dice which could be programmed to be recognized as fiducials (and therefore tracked by the software).

Tomorrow: Touchable Holographs

I am obviously talking about nextgen equipment that has yet to go mainstream with the multi-touch tables. But what is the next logical progression? Touchable Holographic or Augmented Reality displays.

I have also touched upon Augmented Reality (a different, yet similar technology than holograms), but before, where virtual realities are layered atop the real world… now imagine if you could touch it. I’ll leave you to wonder at the possibilities with this video that highlights while I ponder the ways to integrate Google Wave with these things…

Other Technology Focused Articles:

Listening to: Rob Zombie – Hellbilly Deluxe 2: Noble Jackals, Penny Dreadfuls, & the Systematic Dehumanization of Cool – What!?

3 thoughts on “Rise of the Digital Game Table

  1. @Aron: Doh, I wish I checked my comments more often! I’ll have to email you and hear what you thought about Carnegie Mellon and the SurfaceScapes stuff.

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