Dungeon masters with deep, dark pockets no longer need imagine how the venerable tabletop game Dungeons & Dragons might play on a futuristic multi-touch platform. Six students at Carnegie Mellon University recently released a video showing off their D&D concept for Microsoft’s Surface Table, complete with a storyboard slideshow and rolling the virtual 20-sided die.
The SurfaceScapes project aims to provide extra immersion for role-playing enthusiasts by allowing those tiny miniatures of Drizzt the dark elf and Gimli the dwarf to interact with digital maps and landscapes. Players can pull up choice interfaces by putting down their unique “control objects” onto the table; the dungeon master gets his own control screen.
No word yet on when this proof-of-concept might become available commercially, but it’s certainly one of the more entertaining applications for the Surface Table. PopSci’s own Sean Captain couldn’t stop playing virtual poker on Microsoft’s device back in 2007, so perhaps the Carnegie Mellon team is onto something.