“Table-top” gaming prototype on iPad2

I’ve been musing (and designing) a simple role-playing game for quite a while. Mostly as a result of playing Dungeons & Dragons and getting slightly frustrated by how complex and convoluted it can be. (Checking rules interrupts gaming flow!)

My main focus has been on the game design. I made a few presentations and spreadsheets to get my ideas in order. I also had some ideas for how to commercialise it, but hadn’t really worked everything out yet.

Last Friday, everything suddenly fell into place in my head: design, gameplay, technology, market, production, sales. Bam! So I went to work creating a prototype and ended up making this over the weekend (with some support from Ben and Jim):

Here’s what is implemented so far (and shown in the video):

  1. A rudimentary web-based multi-touch map editor (written in HTML5, CSS3, and Javascript)
  2. A special holder (created using various plumbing and cleaning supplies) for miniature figurines
  3. Code to detect the special holder’s position and orientation
  4. A simple interface that allows a player to move their character or scroll the map via their figurine

On a technical note, the holder uses similar principles to this device (technical report) that I worked on back in 2006 while I was at ViSLAB. Ah, happy memories.

There is plenty still to come (including editor improvements, basic visibility, and monsters). Hopefully, I’ll get a chance to do some more hacking next weekend. 🙂