Sunday, October 29, 2017

Some Thoughts On VR / AR GM Tools

In response to the post Are we a step away from 3D augmented reality rpg tabletops? by +Gerardo Tasistro, whose original post was this blog entry on Saurondor ... I'd like to present my reply to the OP here as a way to get these ideas out to a wider audience ...

Yup. I think this represents one of a series of "first steps" in the direction we're looking for as Professional Gamesmasters. Definitely. The technology needs to mature, and tools specific to RPGs need to be created, but yes. I can imagine this working in the context of shared environments in several ways. With AR the use would probably be to have a virtual table that all your friends sit around (ala Tabletop Simulator). In the case of AR it would be more like holodeck where you take a first person view. The best solution, as far as I'm concerned, would be the ability to switch between the two viewpoints at will.

That said, I would also like to point out that over the past 20 years there's been all kinds of promising looking technology, such as VRML, that could have done exactly this for us... but totally failed to come to fruition. The reasons are manyfold, but one of the primary ones, other than ridiculous and destructive corporate insistence on implementing the technology in proprietary formats instead of standards-based open formats, is the fact that there hasn't really been a Killer App for it yet. I see live-GM'd VR / AR games as the solution for that.

Gamemasters who are World Creators, teamed with 3D Artists and professional improve players could run sustainable entertainment companies based on live action VR / AR RPGs.

However, the tools need to be created for that. And so far every VR / AR company I talked to has said, "Oh that concept is absolutely awesome... but two levels above where we are technically at this point."

There's also the fact that if the stars do not align right in the business world, another hundred years could go by without anyone figuring out how to build those tools, and coalesce an actual community around them for live VR / AR RPGs.

So ... we as a community of GMs would need to specifically and assertively push for it. I recommend doing so loud, clear and often. Twitter, FaceBook, Google+... et al.

We need VR / AR RPG Gamemaster Tools!

Loud, clear and often.
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