Porn may be out, but another great geek pastime gets the Surface treatment: Dungeons & Dragons.
Microsoft's pitch for Surface is, so Microsoft says, primarily at businesses. Well, businesses that have a spare twenty grand and change making their pockets bulge, and no businesses involved in porn
anyway, but as with products of this type, there's always interesting hackery going on around the edges. Although in this case, you could replace "hackery" with "wizardry".
Web site Crunchgear
reports that a group of students at Carnegie Mellon University in the US have developed a fully working prototype of perennial geek favourite Dungeons & Dragons running on the Surface
. You provide the miniatures (with appropriate surface tags on the base) and the Surface itself provides a lot of the backend, including virtual dice.
Naturally, there's quirks to sort out. It's a student project, not professional development, so don't expect D&D enabled surfaces at your local games store any time soon. For a start, the current rights holders, Wizards Of The Coast, might have something to say about that. Then there's the asking price, which would presumably be a touch higher than the surface's inbuilt $21,000 asking price. As a US-centric project, you might conceivably be able to score the cheaper US$12,500 model and still be able to afford the software on top cheaper than the blank Australian version.
Then again, turning up to your regular games session with a
surface-enabled D&D board will make your mates' cardboard dungeon
master's screen look awfully tatty incredibly quickly.
D&D on the Microsoft Surface from CrunchGear on Vimeo.
Surfacescapes Demo Walkthrough from Surfacescapes on Vimeo.