GameChanger – Virtual Game Surface
GameChanger is a new virtual tabletop gaming surface that’s compatible with several VTT settings. They’re in pre-funding now, so go check ’em out.
From the announcement:
GameChanger is a touch enabled, intelligent gaming surface optimised for Table Top RPG, Miniature and Wargame players.
“We’ve seen a lot of ambitious attempts to achieve this over the past few years, all of which were very expensive and mostly didn’t meet expectations”, said Richard Woodfield (CEO of Splendiferous Press Limited). “GameChanger is different in that it is a carefully crafted configuration of existing and reliable technology assembled to produce a fantastic result for Gamers, and it is affordable.”
The GameChanger is for people who play table-top games such as pen and paper RPGs and Wargames, although many other table-top games such as chess or Monopoly could also be played, broadening its scope significantly. When not in use it can be put on its stand and used as a TV, monitor or computer.
GameChanger has been designed to support a number of leading virtual table-top systems. In particular the popular web-service, Roll20.net with nearly 500,000 users was a key inspiration. The system also supports Windows based offerings from Fantasy Grounds, Battlegrounds and Realm Works.
“You can plug in your laptop and go, or else fire up Chrome on the optional embedded Linux or Android mini-pc”, says Ben Baker, Creative Director at Splendiferous. “Hooking up to a PC or Mac is really easy using a Chromecast or screen sharing on Linux; the performance is really good”
“You can control the screen with any bluetooth device, the supplied remote control keyboard+touchpad or via a separate Android/iOS device; but my favourite is the touch option —that’s just amazing” said Baker.
In keeping with the latest mobile innovations, GameChanger makes extensive use of collaboration between apps. So it is realistic to be using tablets for individual’s gaming stats in conjunction with smartphones for messaging and video, while the GameChanger handles the group experience.
GameChanger is available in several formats:
• As a 32” or 42” complete product in an attractive acrylic case, with toughened glass top.
• A 32” or 42” kit version which includes only the casing and mounts, allowing enthusiasts to mount their own monitor. We think this will appeal to the cost conscious and tinkering nature of a lot of gamers.
Options for both include 4 point multi-touch, ARM Linux mini-pc with remote, ChromeCast, Android stick.
The price points for complete GameChangers start from $599 for a basic 32” to $1299 for a fully configured 42” and from $450 for a 32” Kit.
A 36” x 36” version of the product, aimed at miniature based war-games and with an embedded PC to drive its twin 42” screens is expected to follow the Kickstarter. This product will be launched with software allowing gaming stores and clubs to play one another from different locations, using software to enable tele-presence and fog of war.
The main challenge with this type of niche engineering is that in order to make these low price points achievable, we need enough people to buy GameChanger at the beginning.
Our Kickstarter campaign launches on 30th May 2014 and is aiming to get pledges which enable us to supply at least 100 units. So we are looking to raise at least $50,000 to make it viable.
We have so far been one of the most popular Prefundia projects so we are hopeful that this will translate into a good Kickstarter.
Richard Woodfield is an experienced technology business professional having founded several successful companies and been part of fund raising and exits worth more than $60M since 1999.
Ben Baker is an augmented reality specialist having studied at the Serious Games Institute in the United Kingdom on its prestigious Ph.D. program.