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Augmented Reality on the tabletop – a step closer (7 posts)

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  • Avatar Image redvers142p said 1 week, 4 days ago:

    This came out of the annual Apple conference alongside iPhone 8. Directive Games are to be launching a tabletop AR game that you play via the iPhone. While this particular game is digital only, it further proves the technology of AR running on a physical, flat surface. How much longer will it be before miniature gaming gets the full AR?

    You can read an article here:
    https://dotesports.com/general/the-machines-iphone-AR-17325

    And a short video from Directive Games here:

  • Avatar Image limburger1639p said 1 week, 4 days ago:

    It’ll be interesting, because there’s also a lot of ‘Mixed Reality’ headsets coming later this year.(Oktober 2017 )
    https://www.pcworld.com/article/3220426/hardware/microsoft-pushes-windows-mixed-reality-with-two-tiers-of-pcs-and-a-halo-game-tease.html

    We’ve seen Microsoft demoing their ‘Hololens’ kit with Minecraft a few years ago :
    https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2015/jun/24/minecraft-hololens-mixed-augmented-reality-microsoft
    So time will tell if anyone can sell the technology to consumers.
    Apple used to be good at it.

    We’ve had the Nintendo 3DS which had a few augmented reality games build into the system.
    And we can’t forget Pokemon Go … which technically is another augmented reality game.
    We’re going to need better definitions for these things.

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  • Avatar Image tarrox2p said 1 week, 4 days ago:

    The above iphone test is not really that impressive, it may look good, but it is only the recognition of a flat square surface and then adding 3D Models onto it which is really easy once you have the coordinates. It is basically the technology used, for example by the 3DS ,with better graphics. Its amazing how you can make so many people think you did something new and amazing with “The Machines”, just because it is Apple… I mean almost all examples shown are already doable see 3DS and Pokemon Go.

    The main problem with using AR with miniatures is recognizing the miniatures on the field and with miniatures i mean your painted miniatures which is basically adding a complete additional complexity layer on top of it and don’t get me started if your color of choice is black, thats like saying f*** you to the recognition hardware and software.

    Due to the nature of miniature gaming you would have to scan and describe each model individually to make it possible to recognize it. Especially because a lot of options for models are not modeled on it (Hello 40k). Oh and terrain that is obstructing the vision, maybe Warmachine Players are right all along with their flat terrain pieces, just let the AR make it 3D on its screen.

  • Avatar Image limburger1639p said 1 week, 3 days ago:

    Low end AR does tend to rely on cheats and short cuts …
    The easiest method is using what Nintendo 3DS does : specially prepared icons on paper
    When you know how the target image is supposed to look like it is ‘easy’ to use it to place a virtual character in that spot.

    The important thing that most people forget is that it never matters how advanced the technology used actually is.
    What matters is how easily people are convinced that it is something they need.
    And that’s where Apple tends to have the advantage. They know that marketing is what sells a product.
    MS is too much of a tech company trying to sell hardware to geeks, which is why they tend to fail with tech like this.

    IIRC the game ‘Heavy Hitters’ was supposed to have an AR component too.
    The developers dropped it because it was distracting them from the core game.
    I think they managed to make it work in the initial demo by placing some kind of icon on the models, which is pretty easy with the models they use.
    Any game with 28mm or smaller models will have to be very creative …

  • Avatar Image redvers142p said 1 week, 2 days ago:

    I fully accept the arguments around the technology etc. However, I stand by the ‘step closer’ in that within a few months, an increasing number of people will have an iPhone 8 capable of running such a game. That opens the door for other developers to try.

    Secondly, the game on show, while not particularly complex, is a virtual table top wargame played by several players at the same time. And on the iPhone, it will be brought to a larger audience.

    Full recognition of models, terrain etc is hugely complex but our hobby is niche. With a larger market looking at this on a commonly used device, it could move forward quicker than previously thought.

  • Avatar Image limburger1639p said 1 week, 2 days ago:

    @redvers : yep, it is an excellent chance to see stuff like this gain acceptance.
    However AR didn’t require the 3D’ish lenses that Apple is using in their new iphone.
    These already did exist :
    http://www.iphonetopics.com/augmented-reality-apps/

    As such I’d argue that the real problem is that no one really knows what games work in AR.
    The vast majority are pretty basic.
    As such it shares a lot of the problems with VR.
    We’ve got the tech, but we still can’t think of any games that need this to work.
    The AR game in your example is a prime example of this.
    Yes, it’s cool to see this thing happen ‘in the real world’.
    However I think it is far more practical to play on an ipad instead of trying to control it with an iphone in AR.

    The most practical AR app I’ve seen is Google Translate … it can translate text in the real world in real time.

  • Avatar Image ced110686p said 1 week, 1 day ago:

    I guess Golem Arcana was half a step forward, then.