In roleplaying games, immersion is everything, so we've been champing at the bit to use augmented reality to basically make a holodeck for tabletop RPGs. When we shared a demo of our early work (well, hobby) on Imgur and Reddit, the community response was so positive and energizing that we decided we should commit full-time. The footage you see in the video above is the result of our preliminary work, and we're dying to dig in and upgrade literally every feature you see. This Kickstarter, we're asking you to join us to help make truly fine and fun augmented reality & dragons.
To bring augmented monsters and heroes to life, we’re using token-based augmented reality. Each token you place and move around your table is transformed into beautifully animated creatures and cravens (or heroes, if you're the sort). In the final version, the QR-coded cards from the demo will be replaced with polished, professional tokens that add to your tabletop roleplaying experience.
Your one-inch tokens will come in four varieties: print-and-cut, grayboard, ceramic, and engraved wood. To move your characters and beasties through space, you simply move the tokens through a scalable grid that AR&D will generate for you.
Hero breeding and cultivation is perhaps the best part of tabletop RPGs. Our first core feature is a comprehensive character creator. From within AR&D you'll be able to summon and customize exactly the right hero for your adventure, stick him on a token, and bring him to animated, living-and-breathing augmented life. Want an Elven archer, an Orc cleric, or a Half-demon barbarian? Pick what speaks to you, gear them up, and make them kiss we mean take them on adventures.
AR&D will let you choose from the classic mythological races like Human*, Orc, Elf, Demon-touched, Dwarf, Lizardman, Halfling, Half-giant, and Gnome. Regardless of which you choose, you can customize their natural variations, put them in clown makeup, and select from epic sets of armor and gear to complete the ensemble. (*mythical human, naturally).
Within AR&D will be your very own monster farm. Summon up mesmerizing art and captivatingly sculpted monsters that can breathe fire, fly, burrow, and generally end your player characters' dreams. Most of our next months will be dedicated to building up armies of Very Bad Dudes for all of us to play with. On first pass, there will be 25 unique, animated, resizable monsters ready at launch, with more if we hit our stretch goals or find ways to extend out the day/night cycle.
To make the library of baddies truly endless, other stretch goals will make it possible for you to upload 3D files you create or find on your own. You could 3D scan yourself and be your own character class! One of us already turned himself into a playable lvl 13 Coward, complete with wooden cart, cabbages, and despair. It’s a prestige class for Peasant, in case you'd like to roll one yourself.
To build the best version of AR&D that we can, we'll need you. While we've already had a ton of fun playing around with early versions, we want your help in making a lasting, rich, and robust play experience. As we finish up testable chunks of design, we'll be counting on you to play with us. Long before the final version is issued, your job will be to tell us all the ways in which it breaks, or better yet all the ways in which we can make it shine.
Our stretch goals will help define how far you all want us to push AR&D. The more bells we ring, the better AR&D will be on release. Also the louder the bells will be.
We'll add the ability for you to upload any 3D file you create or download for use in your games. You can share models with friends, scan yourself, or we'll point you in the direction of some open-source libraries to dive into. By making it possible to use your own files, you'll have limitless flexibility in bringing your campaigns to life.
With the shared tabletop feature, you can remotely see and interact with the same table your friends are using. You could move your character behind cover in Vermont and your friends in Texas would see it happen right in front of them. You'll have to trust your DM that the Gorgon really was staring your escort in the face the whole time.
We'll create a fully integrated character sheet for you to use in-game. Update your stats live as you play and save your sheet session-to-session, character-to-character.
Combat Assistant lets you toggle displays to track hit points and initiative for each character on the map. He won't *actually* assist you in combat, but at least he'll helpfully tell you how badly you're doing (or, if your DM is a pushover, that you're still alive and fully en-limbed).
We'll double our library of animated monsters and beasts. Rampaging LG Unicorns, here we come!
Our milestones for this Kickstarter are already quite ambitious, so we'll only unlock further stretch goals if we hit all of our first targets.
We love Kickstarter, and we love the enthusiasm Kickstarter backers bring to a project. We need a big community of vocal RPG fans to help propel this project forward.
Some of you may wonder why the funding threshold is set so high. Well, we have huge plans for AR&D, and we're setting ourselves on a course for the next year and a half. We want to make something enduring and worthy of your support. To complete a project that lives up to our hopes and dreams will take everything we've got; half-way simply won't do.
Elder Labs was started by Dan, one of the cofounders of Elderwood Academy. We've always been passionate about fantasy tabletop gaming, and when we first saw augmented reality in action our hearts stopped. Elder Labs' mission is to use the awesome promise of augmented reality to bring tabletop RPGs to life. If you ever want to reach out and say "hello" or an awkwardly friendly "HELLO!" please hit us up at info@AugmentedDungeons.com.
Risks and challenges
Any Kickstarter, big or small, is at its heart a labor of love, collaboration, and madness. We're no different from any other creators in that regard; we depend on your help and shared love to bring something new to life. There are universal challenges to all Kickstarters and Dan, via Elderwood Academy, has been integral in five successful campaigns.
The biggest challenges of this project are twofold. First, we need to build a product that is seamlessly fun to use while playing tabletop RPGs. While we love playing with the demo, we're certain there are extensive opportunities to make it more fun for everyone.
Second, we're basically trying to create an MMORPG's worth of digital assets from the ground up, to be optimized for iOS and Android and serve you the most attractive digital garden of animated monsters and heroes ever. We've lined up everything we need to get it done, but it's no mean feat, and half done will probably mean undone. To help insure against that, we've set the funding level high to cover the absolute costs we expect to incur over the next year.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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