An XR demo for tabletop games
Mixed Reality(XR) has the opportunity to enhance the experience of reality and Unity Labs have set out to grasp that opportunity with their XR demo, Unity Slice: Table. Unity Slice: Table is an XR prototype where users can play tabletop games virtually on a flat surface in the real world. As a fan of tabletop games, I like this demo because it allows players to play these games online from the comforts of everyone’s home while enhancing the whole experience visually and interactively. The demo engages the player by presenting a fully virtual play space without the need for physical items. In the demo video, two men are able to play a game of chess using a small space in their house and interact with the chess board using only their hands. They are also able to change the environment around them to a virtual space and transform into a virtual avatar.
The ability to join a virtual tabletop online and look like you are seated in someone’s physical space is promising as it is a step towards the Metaverse concept, where friends can virtually meet up as though they are meeting physically. Also, the changing virtual environment is an impressive feature as future development could lead to more interactive and realistic space. For example, a fantasy tabletop game could “teleport” people into the fantasy world itself and allow players to interact with this world as it changes and evolves with the game. However, there are some setbacks to the prototype. One example is that the board requires the controllers to set a location for the board. Given more development time, I could see the possibility of setting the board freely on any physical space you can see by solely using your hands.
I am excited to see this XR prototype further improved in the future.