Recommend
2 
 Thumb up
 Hide
6 Posts

Wargames» Forums » General

Subject: Wargaming on a Surface-like table? rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Chris Hobbs
United States
Dublin
California
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I know the Microsoft Surface has been discussed in this forum before as a potential Vassal platform. I was pleased to see that someone is working on a much less expensive alternative. Granted, it's a kickstarter project, so you can't just order one today, but it sure looks like an intriguing concept.

The biggest downside I see to it (other than it is still not cheap-cheap) is that the resolution is only 1280*800. I don't know if that's a function of the available short-throw projectors or the touch-sensing hardware/software they're developing. In any case, I'll be following its progress with interest. A sub-$2K Surface alternative would look good in my office

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/472263971/playsurface-th...
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
jay white
Canada
Bowen Island
British Columbia
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
A projector / mirror setup sounds very fiddly. I would be afraid to move that down the stairs - a decent-sized bump could offset everything irreversibly. Not to mention that it's a "put-together yourself" deal - good luck getting everything to line up correctly on the first go!

I'm also curious about what kind of projector they're using to get such a wide throw in such a short space. The bulb on a projector like that will cost a fortune - don't bump it, and don't turn it off before the fan cools the bulb down, or you'll be out $400+!

I applaud the effort, but this seems sketchy to me. I can't wait for a tabletop gaming surface either, but I think it's something to let the big tech companies R&D and produce first. A cheap and early version is going to be a patchwork of old technologies (which seems to be what this kickstarter project is). I really think the touchscreen LCD deal (or whatever it's called that IPads etc use) are the way to go for this kind of surface.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
J J
Australia
flag msg tools
You can do this thing all on your own with open-source software and a standard webcam for the surface interface. Simple searching should turn up the details.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Chris Hobbs
United States
Dublin
California
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Valid concerns Jay. I do think there may be some advantages to the projection/camera-capture method over an expensive capacitive touch LCD or plasma though; the separation of the touched surface from the pricey bits seems like it would be a good thing. Something scratches this table, you replace a piece of acrylic. Not so easy on the new Surface.

Some googling for a short-throw projector with the specs they're claiming led me to some options in the 7-800 dollar range, with replacement bulbs at $200 on a 4,000 hour life (ViewSonic PJD7583w, for example).

I do still think the resolution is too low to be truly satisfactory. Of course, I also think a 40" LCD running at 1920x1080 (like the new Surface, and every other HD spec'd screen) is too low as well. If the new iPad can have a 10" screen at 2048x1536 pixels, I don't think it's too much to ask that a 40" screen have at least twice that?
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Zhe Leng
United States
Salt Lake City
Utah
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I also thought about touch-table gaming idea. But currently, the problem is that, from what I've seen on Vassal, the graphics of the Board-Wargame-On-Comupter is generally unattractive. I don't feel it will looks nicer on a touch table. It simply cannot give me that feeling of handling real things. And if you want to play it on a touch-table, why not lie them down on a real table?

If we can have 3D touch-tables, using the tech currently initiated for 3D TV, that will helps a lot. However, since these systems are only for commercial purposes right now, 2D display is their focus. But eventually, they will explore the idea of 3D display with touch-table. I think that's when the board game can really go on touch-tables.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Zhe Leng
United States
Salt Lake City
Utah
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Besides, you are not able to sit comfortably near that DIY table. It may be good for commercial display but not really good for several hours of gaming.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.