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VOTW: Dungeons & Dragons on Microsoft Surface

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 27 comments
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So you play a lot of Dungeons and Dragons, eh? Well how would you feel about trading in your board and dice for a version that's a little more up to date in terms of technology?

Microsoft doesn't talk much about its Surface touchscreen table. Figuring out fun things to do with the tabletop computer may not be high up on Microsoft's list of priorities but there are plenty of people out there willing to tinker about the massive gadget and discover new uses for it.

Cnet's Matt Hickey reports that a group of students with Carnegie Mellon's SurfaceScapes team had been developing D&D for the Surface and went along to let's-show-Microsoft-what-we-made event.

Hickey writes:

"The figurines--optional in regular D&D but great tools here--are "tagged" with dot codes on the bottom. The Surface is able to use its tiny cameras to view these unique codes and determine which character is where on the game grid. This means the game can automatically determine line-of-fire angles and keep track of enemy health."

The Carnegie Mellon team is working with D&D owner Wizards of the Coast in an attempt to commercialize their product. Microsoft Surface rep Eric Havir says if things work out, he hopes to see Surface devices running the completed software in gaming centers and shops across the country.

Check the video below. 

Dungeons & Dragons On Micrsoft's Surface

Read more about it here.

Display 27 Comments.
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Top Comments
  • 18 Hide
    WheelsOfConfusion , February 11, 2010 4:52 PM
    Sweet. If only it were affordable, and easy to set up in my parents' basement!
  • 15 Hide
    grieve , February 11, 2010 5:01 PM
    that thing would be really cool for all "old school" board games...

    -How about a poker table with the cards part of the table?
    -Risk?
    -even monopoly!

    fun for the whole F'n family!
  • 10 Hide
    dantheman1001 , February 11, 2010 5:17 PM
    Well it may be expensive now, but who knows what'll happen in the next two or three years, with all this tablet technology upcoming. Just think... star wars holochess is getting dangerously close to becoming a reality
Other Comments
  • 18 Hide
    WheelsOfConfusion , February 11, 2010 4:52 PM
    Sweet. If only it were affordable, and easy to set up in my parents' basement!
  • 15 Hide
    grieve , February 11, 2010 5:01 PM
    that thing would be really cool for all "old school" board games...

    -How about a poker table with the cards part of the table?
    -Risk?
    -even monopoly!

    fun for the whole F'n family!
  • -6 Hide
    jerther , February 11, 2010 5:01 PM
    Pen & paper? Kind of cancels out the whole point imho...
  • 9 Hide
    grieve , February 11, 2010 5:02 PM
    WheelsOfConfusionSweet. If only it were affordable, and easy to set up in my parents' basement!

    lol, parents basement!

    I guess the D&D people are kinda tagged that way.. but they likely could afford this too.
  • 4 Hide
    griffed88 , February 11, 2010 5:08 PM
    It'd be awesome if you could play Risk! and Hero Clix! but this'll prolly be insanely expensive
  • 2 Hide
    jhansonxi , February 11, 2010 5:08 PM
    It's a tough decision - pen and paper or a ridiculously expensive computer that's only good for a coffee table outside of gaming. Hmmmm.
  • 2 Hide
    eyemaster , February 11, 2010 5:13 PM
    Looks more complicated than using pen, paper and dice.
  • 10 Hide
    dantheman1001 , February 11, 2010 5:17 PM
    Well it may be expensive now, but who knows what'll happen in the next two or three years, with all this tablet technology upcoming. Just think... star wars holochess is getting dangerously close to becoming a reality
  • 4 Hide
    Lunarion , February 11, 2010 5:24 PM
    This is a great invention... They need to make like a "master board" where you can download any board game into it. It will definitely work well for ppl who have 3+ board games taking up room in their house.
  • 0 Hide
    figgus , February 11, 2010 5:45 PM
    Just think... star wars holochess is getting dangerously close to becoming a reality

    I get so sick of people thinking that true 3d holotech is coming... Not even close. We still need something to bounce light off of. The advances leading to this will happen someday, but probably not while we're yound enough to enjoy it. Most of the tech we have now is still based on things we knew 30+ years ago, there has been very little in the way of NEW developments. It's all making existing knowledge better right now.
  • 1 Hide
    notsleep , February 11, 2010 5:51 PM
    that's awesome!
  • -6 Hide
    ct1615 , February 11, 2010 6:03 PM
    if i ever needed further proof why I have never played dungeon and dragons, i know have it
  • 0 Hide
    zelannii , February 11, 2010 6:14 PM
    It's nice, but the hardware is way too much money, and its not a freeware game engine. We use MapTool by rptools.net, with some custom macro mods. A big screen TV, and a bunch of laptops, we're cranking through battles in no time and getting back to role play.

    It's not hard to make good maps, it supports fog of war, and good 4e macro engines like Veggisama's even go as far as handling range, targeting, and complete character/mob stat tracking. It's all free, assuming you have at least 1 laptop and a TV to connect it to (players having their own laptops is even more efficient, but not required).

  • 6 Hide
    Teirdome , February 11, 2010 6:21 PM
    The first thing I would do with one of these things is create a Warhammer 40k rule-set board. Followed immediately by getting sued by Games Workshop. Followed by having to sell the surface to pay for my lawyers fees. But it would be worth it!
  • 1 Hide
    cablechewer , February 11, 2010 6:30 PM
    Their interface needs a little work - I don't see how it is easier to use than pen and paper at the moment. I would like to see an option for the "fudge factor" as well. The game isn't always about the numbers you roll. Sometimes more excitement is generated by deciding the Orc will miss.

    In my last campaign I used Neverwinter and a projector to aid in exploration. I didn't use it for combat, but it did prevent misunderstandings about room layout and corridor choices. In some rooms I even placed 'friendly' monsters so that I could operate my toon in 'tourist mode' for the map I had created.

    I may never play again, but I still hope that one day there will be a nice synthesis of PnP with a computer so that a DM can have the visual aid, number crunch combats and modify results on the fly to account for special circumstances (sometimes that is the fudge factor, but usually it is object placement, concealment, direction of wind and a host of other situational factors that require a judgement call).
  • -4 Hide
    cybernike , February 11, 2010 6:31 PM
    Oops...the surface turns blue because of a blue screen of death..
  • 1 Hide
    wisci , February 11, 2010 6:42 PM
    JertherPen & paper? Kind of cancels out the whole point imho...


    No it does not. The point of pen and paper is actual interaction with real people in a face to face environment. The point is not actually using a pen and paper.......
    http://yayforapathy.blogspot.com/
  • 0 Hide
    jgiron , February 11, 2010 7:05 PM
    this would be great if it was affordable.
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