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wormspeaker
10-21-2009, 11:32 PM
An interesting tech demo for something a group at Carnegie-Melon is working on. It's an interactive table from Microsoft being used to run a mock D&D encounter. They show it with a battle map and a regional map.

It may be of some interest here.

http://www.wired.com/geekdad/2009/10/d-and-d-microsoft-surface/

Lathorien
10-22-2009, 01:16 AM
noooo.... I have been thinking of this since I first saw the table at the Microsoft release a few years ago, i didn't think a D&D app would come out before the table...

Good find!
:) I am going to cry myself to sleep now... :)

Steel General
10-22-2009, 07:34 AM
Pretty neat stuff there.

Redrobes
10-22-2009, 09:26 AM
When they rolled the d20 it landed on its point which I know is hard to program but the thing I always assumed is that you would roll real dice on a real table because if you were using it as a VTT then why not use a monitor.

The surface is a great bit of gear but I think the way this is being used is all wrong. D&D and this kit has been talked about to death already tho but its a good link cos this is the first I have seen using D&D on the real surface and so thanks for posting.

Notsonoble
10-22-2009, 08:10 PM
Yeah... If your using a VTT locally, then use real dice, if your using a VTT online, you don't need MS Surface...

Also that table's just too small, many time I've considered a monitor behind glass for a VTT, or maybe a projector, and every time I've stepped away because just a table of good size was out of the question, much less the electronics.

JoeyD473
10-23-2009, 12:03 AM
I like the idea of playing on the surface table, but it won't be practical for at least 10 years, if not a lot more

I've seen a projector pointed down at a table and it basically works. The important thing with a projector is to make sure it is far enough away to make what is being viewed big enough, which when a battle map is made to scale can be very hard to get the proper distance

Redrobes
10-23-2009, 09:06 AM
I've seen a projector pointed down at a table and it basically works. The important thing with a projector is to make sure it is far enough away to make what is being viewed big enough, which when a battle map is made to scale can be very hard to get the proper distancePeople scale the image to fit. With PS / Gimp etc that can be trial and error but my app has (projector compatible) real world scaling option. If your lucky enough to have a table and projector in the same place all the time then you can find the right scaling once and then its alright. So theres some options to help out in that regard. The surface is nice cos its 'projected' from underneath instead of on top. I just don't think the gesture pick up is enough to warrant the extra expense of having custom hardware for this. We can do everything but the gesture that it does with common RPG apps and a projector. Maybe the value will be in the surface software but I dont think that will be the case.

shantedracule
11-17-2009, 10:40 AM
THis is more about the monitor table idea..


You could build your own, the trick would be building it to match the a range of monitor sizes. THis might be somthing I look into. Semi modular system made from a durable material. Use somthing like a railing style system to adjoin the monitor/tv. plann cable routing, add some fold out desk top type things for players...

I could do this

shantedracule
11-17-2009, 10:49 AM
Ok couple minutes of research shows that the glass top would run 3-5 hyndred. An additional $300 for frame materials and fasteners.. I could probaly out put somthing simple for about $700 (gave me $100 buffer on my estimate) this would not include the TV/monitor and of course software. figure $15.00/hr for my labor [once I get the designe and proccess down figure about 4-5 hours genrous estimate for work time] gives me $75.00 labor costs, round total estimate for consumer ease, means selling these for about $800-$1000 hand made game table dor vtt....

Wont sell verry manny but hey it be a good excersise on Game Industry business practice.

wormspeaker
11-17-2009, 01:01 PM
You could also buy a glass topped table off of CraigsList and get the glass frosted (shouldn't be too expensive) then position a projector from underneath. Should work OK.

AlohaRover
11-19-2009, 05:09 PM
You are familiar with the Jonny Lee Wii Hack correct?

What people are doing is to use the projector on the back side of the table.

Video of one in use
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f8fTkXQ1tY0

seanpecor
11-28-2009, 12:13 PM
I thought I'd chime in here. For less than $750 I built a digital map rig and then wrote a rudimentary article on how to build one yourself:

Portable Role Playing Tabletop Projection Map (http://www.rpgenome.com/digitalmap.html)

I first tried the reverse projection method folks are describing in this thread, but I couldn't design something that was as portable as my cube. My cube breaks down and re-assembles in minutes. Remove just 8 wing-nuts by hand and the top lifts off the legs, and the legs lift out of the bottom. Overall, including the projector, weight is 25 pounds. I store the rig in my garage broken down into it's 2 sections and I can toss it into the back of my Prius and take it anywhere, and it is safe for any table, including cheap folding tables you'd typically find at cons or at your gaming store. When the table gets bumped, the map remains stable. A marker board is used as the projection surface so folks sitting round the map can track things if they like with dry erase markers. As it is currently configured, my rig can project a map as large as 26"x36".

Personally, I think there are major caveats to building a dedicated projection table in a dedicated area of a home. Gaming groups may want to alternate their gaming venue from time to time, or groups may opt to game at a gaming store table, etc. Having a portable digital map ensures you can bring your map with you wherever your group is gaming.

Sean

Ascension
11-28-2009, 03:56 PM
Pretty cool stuff there.

Kestenvarn
11-28-2009, 06:53 PM
An interesting tech demo for something a group at Carnegie-Melon is working on. It's an interactive table from Microsoft being used to run a mock D&D encounter. They show it with a battle map and a regional map.

It may be of some interest here.

http://www.wired.com/geekdad/2009/10/d-and-d-microsoft-surface/
That control object they have is really neat, the slideshow part was impressive, but the actual battlemap and especially its dicerolling was just embarrassing after using MapTools to automate nearly everything.

Jaxilon
12-01-2009, 02:58 AM
Yeah that was very cool but I'm sure by the time they get that thing rolling in the real world we will have even better stuff.

I have to be honest here, and this will date me, but anyone ever heard of a felt board? ROFL...why not try that with your next gaming group?

It would be worth it just to see their faces! "Here this is you." as they look down a this little lump of yellow felt in their hand...hahaha

Honestly though, nice link I was a little jealous watching that...reminded me a bit of Star Trek with those control doohickies.

Keneto
12-24-2009, 03:11 PM
It's a long way from "complete" but at least you can use it right now if you had the Microsoft surface in your hands....

Given this bitmap of walls...
http://qex.skyfire.ca/Peek/Peek_MazeSrcA.jpg

Output:
http://qex.skyfire.ca/Peek/Peek_MazeOutSmall.jpg

http://qex.skyfire.ca

Mixxathon
01-09-2010, 08:20 PM
I had an idea of building a gaming table a many years ago, and when D&D 4E was released and good battlemaps became needed it was time to actually do it.

My players gave me all the stuff I needed for the project (yes, they are satisfied with me as their DM, hehe), wich was not very much. A good sized glasstopped table from IKEA (about $90) and a 32 inch flatscreen TV ($420) propped up underneath against the glass. Then they gave me a laptop to run two instances of Maptool and we were all set. It has worked pretty good, even if I today would have chosen a 42 inch TV instead due to the scale of the maps. We could have built this much cheaper, but went with new stuff instead of used.

We play with the minis on top of the glass surface, so not much automated in Maptools. It looks great and it is really neat to be able to control fog of war when dungeoncrawling. I also use the laptop to run a VNC app to control my main PC wich is hooked up to the surround speakers in the livingroom (where we play), so I can use RPG Soundmixer, Atmosphere 6.0 Deluxe and a mediaplayer to mix a good sound ambience.

Gone are the days when we spontaneously played with pen & paper and a couple of dice. We have gone all out tech and created a blogging site where all our groups exploits are written - so now there is probably no turning back to the old ways :-)


http://www.rpgblog.net/wp-content/gallery/super-rpg-gaming-table-project/longshot-3-1024x768.jpg

http://www.rpgblog.net/wp-content/gallery/super-rpg-gaming-table-project/longshot-2-1024x768.jpg