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Joined: 2010-01-04

[B]Dungeons & Dragons, Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson's masterwork marriage of wargaming and playacting, is the game mechanical template not only for RPG videogames but for videogames in general.[/B] The modeling techniques and the concepts of balance used in those first three tomes of fantasy action goodness serve as a primer of game design. Ironically, however, D&D itself has never made a satisfying transition to the interactive sphere.

A group of students at Carnegie Melon may have found the secret sauce to pull it off, though. Their fundamental insight: Let a computer handle the housekeeping — tracking hit points, movement, calculating the results of combat — but give the players keep the tactical joy of their painstakingly adorned lead figures and even, if they choose (and we definitely do), let them do some dice rolling themselves.

Oh yeah, and do it all on a [URL=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CZrr7AZ9nCY]big ass table.[/URL]

That's right, the Microsoft Surface may have just found its (orc) killer app. Whitney Babcock-McConnell, Michael Cole, Stephen Dewhurst, Bulut Karakaya, Duyala Kattan-Wright and Maokai Xiao, all masters students at CMU's Entertainment Technology Center, collaborated on the digital D&D tabletop as part of their graduate thesis. The project got started when Penny Arcade founder Mike Krahulik, who was visiting the group, offhandedly suggested to the team — which was already working on a big-ass-table app for Lockheed — that they should just play D&D on it. They loved they idea, ditched the defense contractor and got down to work.

The system includes two pieces of software; one that runs on a laptop and is controlled by the Dungeon Master and another that drives the Microsoft Surface table itself.

[URL=http://www.gameculture.com/2010/04/08/penny-arcade039s-krahulik-inspires-big-dampd-table]read more[/URL]


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