AR company Mirrorscape and Qualcomm Technologies, a leading technology innovator, have joined forces to enhance the gaming experience for tabletop roleplaying games. The new platform ARcana is set to feature mixed-reality technology and AR glasses, allowing players to explore various genres of tabletop games in a more immersive and realistic way.
The Snapdragon Spaces XR Developer Platform, on which ARcana is built, incorporates cutting-edge perception technology and hand-tracking features, providing users with a seamless and authentic gaming experience.
“We are creating an authentic tabletop gaming experience using the magic of augmented reality already on your device that allows you to play together whether around the table or around the world”
Mirrorscape founder and CEO Grant Anderson told MPost.
According to Anderson, players are no longer restricted to flat maps and tokens. Instead, they can construct and interact with authentic 3D replicas of terrain and miniatures from the company’s major partners, such as Dwarven Forge and Reaper Minis. The maps and miniatures are anchored to the players’ tables just like real objects, allowing people to join in around the table and experience the action from their own viewpoints or remotely via the map on their own table.
As ARcana moves towards augmented reality glasses, such as those developed by Qualcomm Snapdragon Spaces, the experience will become increasingly seamless, enabling players to reach out and move the miniatures just as they would in real life. The focus is on preserving the best aspects of traditional tabletop role playing games, despite the shift to a digital format. While the aim is not to create a video game, the game’s digital format allows for additional features, such as spell effects, weather, and animated traps, which Anderson refers to as the “sweetening layer.”
Mirrorscape’s ARcana platform, currently in beta, will soon be available on iOS, Android, and various XR operating systems, particularly those that use Snapdragon Spaces. Mirrorscape sees a lot of potential in the AR game and plans to showcase ARcana at multiple industry conferences during the season.
“First and foremost, we’re mobile first and in augmented reality! This leads to spontaneous pickup of game sessions since you always have your phone or tablet with you. “Hey, let’s pick up last weekend’s game session at lunch!” And with AR we can create authentic gameplay sessions around the tabletop with your friends using realistic, digital twins of terrain and minis people already use. Using our platform as the visualization tool, you’re still keeping the best part of roleplaying–seeing and hearing your friends! Something you’re not likely to do with other VTTs. Of course, there’s a long line of other enhancements we’ll be announcing in the future”
The Los Angeles-based company was founded by tech veterans from Disney, Marvel Studios, SONY, and Apple. Mirrorscape uses AR to project a 3D game board, complete it with characters, monsters, terrain, and buildings, onto a flat surface, such as a table. Users can manipulate game pieces through touch controls and communicate with others through voice chat.
Last September, Qualcomm partnered with Meta to design and create custom chips for the tech giant’s XR platform. Qualcomm’s Snapdragon XR2 chip is an essential component for Meta’s VR Quest 2 headset.