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Thread: Microsoft "Surface" and D&D

  1. #11
      AlohaRover is offline
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    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
    Last edited by AlohaRover; 11-19-2009 at 04:11 PM.

  2. #12
      seanpecor is offline
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    Post Alternative method.

    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

    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

  3. #13
      Ascension is offline
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    Pretty cool stuff there.
    If the radiance of a thousand suns was to burst at once into the sky, that would be like the splendor of the Mighty One...I am become Death, the Shatterer of worlds.
    -J. Robert Oppenheimer (father of the atom bomb) alluding to The Bhagavad Gita (Chapter 11, Verse 32)


    My Maps ~ My Brushes ~ My Tutorials ~ My Challenge Maps

  4. #14
      Kestenvarn is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by wormspeaker View Post
    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...osoft-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.

  5. #15
      Jaxilon is offline
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    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.

  6. #16
      Keneto is offline
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    Link

    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...


    Output:


    http://qex.skyfire.ca

  7. #17
      Mixxathon is offline
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    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 :-)




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