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£9,213 pledged of £25,000 goal
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By Richard Woodfield
£9,213 pledged of £25,000 goal
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About this project

The GameChanger is the first affordable, durable and widely available gaming surface.  Using recent price breakthroughs in LED panels, touch technology and mini-computers, gamers can at last take advantage of the latest technology, in an easily upgradeable and affordable way. 

We've made a huge ruggedised iPad to use for gaming —for about the same price or less!

Now your favourite adventures (readily available on pdf or scanned) can be presented quickly and easily using whichever virtual table top, or any other tools you use for your games. 

GameChanger - Virtual Gaming Surface (shown with Roll20)
GameChanger - Virtual Gaming Surface (shown with Roll20)

To make the price points as low as possible, there are several product variations:

  • The 32" GameChanger Complete;
  • The 32" GameChanger Touch Complete (with 4 point multi-touch).

And for people who have a spare TV already:

  • The 32" GameChanger Kit (provide your own 32" TV);
  • The 32" GameChanger Touch Kit (provide your own 32" TV, with 4 point multi-touch);
  • The 42" GameChanger Kit (provide your own 42" TV);
  • The 42" GameChanger Touch Kit (provide your own 42" TV, with 4 point multi-touch).

All of the products are available with a Linux Mini-PC, and all of them can be upgraded to touch or a PC later.  You can also just plug a laptop in using HDMI or VGA.

Game-play using Roll20
Game-play using Roll20

Several attempts have been made to provide the main features of display, control and touch in a single product, even going back to the original Microsoft surface. Amazingly nearly all of these products had a demo of Dungeons & Dragons.  Like many gamers, we wanted one of these, but there is nowhere to buy one.  I found some marketing displays, but the prices were really high, and the products were not durable enough to use with metal minis, let alone stand your drink on.  I found companies selling complex technology frameworks for apps, but no ready to go Gaming Surfaces for use with existing software and adventures.

MapTools from RPTools in use with minis
MapTools from RPTools in use with minis

Some people had been successful with home-brew projection projects, and they look great (providing you have the time and skill to invest), but I wanted to get a well thought-out product, that would just work and not cost a small fortune. So we started looking at the components, the materials and where we would put them together to create a quality product.

With collaborative devices using Roll20
With collaborative devices using Roll20

While we were doing this we started to think about the possibilities given that so many people have smartphones and tablets.  Using services like Roll20, you could have a group of players using the GameChanger as a communal view and their tablets for personal information.  Phones and other devices could be used for video/audio comms, chat, dice, reference;  the whole mash-up would be great.

Then we realised that you could use tablets and phones to control the software as well!

Screen control from a tablet
Screen control from a tablet

I have been doing some work with low power ARM computers for some time, and the idea of embedding a Linux computer into the product to allow it run software directly (like Roll20, RPTools), or via screen-share (such as Fantasy Grounds or Realm Works) seemed like an obvious thing to do.  These products are very powerful and only cost around £100.  Of course you can always just use the GameChanger as a screen for your own computer, or use it with a ChromeCast or Android stick.

Mini-PC, Controller and Touch
Mini-PC, Controller and Touch
Linux mini-PC in action with Roll20
Linux mini-PC in action with Roll20

The next thing to think about was adding touch capabilities, so you could control the software by touching the GameChanger like a tablet.  A lot has happened with touch for large format applications, yet we haven't seen touch make an impact in large size format units for home users.  We've been able to take advantage of recent price drops for bulk orders to make it part of GameChanger;  Imagine, we've just created a gigantic iPad-like device, ruggedised for play in a social setting, for less than £250.

Product sketches from Creative Plastics Ltd
Product sketches from Creative Plastics Ltd

We found a quality local manufacturer that could design and build the prototype, using fashionable, but durable materials, and we received our prototype in April.  We recently put the project on Prefundia, which turned out to be a great success with hundreds of people subscribing.

The prototype as displayed on Prefundia
The prototype as displayed on Prefundia

When we started using the prototype at our gaming group, we were really pleasantly surprised at how well the GameChanger fitted in with the game; it worked perfectly and added a lot to the experience.  Not only that, but despite getting beer and food spilled on it, it survived really well.

Guinness-proof , easy to set up and great fun
Guinness-proof , easy to set up and great fun

Since we've had the prototype, the unit has been used on a continuous basis and we've fed-back all our experiences into the design process.  We've even taken it to the UK Games Expo and played it there on an open table.  It was a great experience to show the GameChanger to members of the public in person and get their feedback face-to-face.

mini-PC and Fantasy Grounds (screen-share)
mini-PC and Fantasy Grounds (screen-share)

Delivery

The product is made from several components, some are imported and others manufactured locally.  All our partners are identified, costs baked-in and ready to go.  If we meet our minimum funding goal, it will take around five weeks for delivery and lead-time on manufacture.

Fulfilment and delivery is all being handled through Amazon, and the GameChanger will be available on Amazon to buy (at a higher price than is available to our Kickstarter backers).  So the same high standards of customer service and delivery you are used to from Amazon, will be there for you with this project.  This has all been extensively researched, since the products are oversize to ship and it has been vital that this part of the project were nailed down.

Give your minis a hi-tech stage to perform on
Give your minis a hi-tech stage to perform on
An epic platform for Heroes from very realm
An epic platform for Heroes from very realm

With your help we can make this project become a reality and bring your adventures even more vividly to life.

So please make a pledge and help take your tabletop gaming to the next level.

Risks and challenges

This project is low-risk in many respects:
• The technology exists and is readily available;
• The product itself has been dreamed up and implemented many times over the past ten years;
• All of the manufacturing and sourcing has been done;
• We have been successfully using a pre-production prototype for more than a month;
• We are using Amazon for fulfilment and delivery.

The overwhelming challenge to provide a product like this to a niche audience of gaming enthusiasts, is simply to get enough initial interest to make it viable to produce it at these prices.

I have been a successful senior manager and entrepreneur for nearly twenty years, and I have researched what is needed to deliver this project, so I believe that you should have confidence that I can deliver it to you.

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Support this project

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge £1 or more About $1.67

    GO GO GAMECHANGER - we'll keep you posted about the project. Thanks for the support

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    Pledge £20 or more About $33

    EARLY BIRD FREE T-SHIRT - Get a Splendiferous GameChanger T-Shirt and a complete guidelines about how to create a GameChanger for yourself and how to configure the software and hardware to get good results.

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    Pledge £20 or more About $33

    Complete guidelines about how to create a GameChanger for yourself, including the toughened glass panel and how to configure the software and hardware to get good results.

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    Pledge £215 or more About $360

    EARLY BIRD SAVE £35 ($50) - GAMECHANGER 32" Kit - We'll send you a case for a 32" Television (Front maximum dimensions of 83 cm x 52 cm - see description)

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    Pledge £250 or more About $419

    GAMECHANGER 32" Kit - We'll send you a case for a 32" Television (Front maximum dimensions of 83 cm x 52 cm - see description)

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    Pledge £315 or more About $527

    EARLY BIRD SAVE £35 ($50) - GAMECHANGER 42" Kit - We'll send you a case for a 42" Television (Front maximum dimensions of 106 cm x 65 cm - see description)

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    Pledge £350 or more About $586

    GAMECHANGER 42" Kit - We'll send you a case for a 42" Television (Front maximum dimensions of 106 cm x 65 cm - see description)

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    Pledge £365 or more About $611

    EARLY BIRD SAVE £35 ($50) - GAMECHANGER 32" Complete - We'll send you a complete GameChanger with a 32" screen, fully assembled and ready to plug in and go.

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    Pledge £400 or more About $670

    GAMECHANGER 32" Complete - We'll send you a complete GameChanger with a 32" screen, fully assembled and ready to plug in and go.

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    Pledge £500 or more About $837

    GAMECHANGER 32"Complete Linux - We'll send you a complete GameChanger with a 32" screen, fully assembled and ready to plug in and go, with embedded 4 Core ARM Linux computer and wireless remote.

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    Pledge £500 or more About $837

    GAMECHANGER 32"Kit - Touch - We'll send you a case for a 32" Television (Front maximum dimensions of 83 cm x 52 cm - see description), with 4 point multi-touch frame.

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    Pledge £500 or more About $837

    EARLY BIRD SAVE £100 ($170) - FULLY LOADED 32" Kit

    GAMECHANGER 32"Kit - Linux/Touch - We'll send you a case for a 32" Television (Front maximum dimensions of 83 cm x 52 cm - see description), with embedded 4 Core ARM Linux computer and wireless remote, and 4 point multi-touch frame.

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    Pledge £550 or more About $921

    EARLY BIRD SAVE £100 ($170) - 32" Touch SPECIAL DEAL

    GAMECHANGER 32"Complete Touch - We'll send you a complete GameChanger with a 32" screen, fully assembled and ready to plug in and go, with 4 point multi-touch frame.

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    Pledge £600 or more About $1,005

    GAMECHANGER 42"Kit - Touch - We'll send you a case for a 42" Television (Front maximum dimensions of 106 cm x 65 cm - see description), with 4 point multi-touch frame.

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  15. Select this reward

    Pledge £600 or more About $1,005

    GAMECHANGER 32"Kit - Linux/Touch - We'll send you a case for a 32" Television (Front maximum dimensions of 83 cm x 52 cm - see description), with embedded 4 Core ARM Linux computer and wireless remote, and 4 point multi-touch frame.

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  16. Select this reward

    Pledge £600 or more About $1,005

    EARLY BIRD SAVE £100 ($170) - FULLY LOADED 42" Kit

    GAMECHANGER 42"Kit - Linux/Touch - We'll send you a case for a 42" Television (Front maximum dimensions of 106 cm x 65 cm - see description), with embedded 4 Core ARM Linux computer and wireless remote, and 4 point multi-touch frame.

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    Pledge £650 or more About $1,088

    GAMECHANGER 32"Complete Touch - We'll send you a complete GameChanger with a 32" screen, fully assembled and ready to plug in and go, with 4 point multi-touch frame.

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    Pledge £650 or more About $1,088

    GAMECHANGER 32"Complete - Linux/Touch - We'll send you a complete GameChanger with a 32" screen, fully assembled and ready to plug in and go, with embedded 4 Core ARM Linux computer and wireless remote, and 4 point multi-touch frame.

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  19. Select this reward

    Pledge £700 or more About $1,172

    GAMECHANGER 42"Kit - Linux/Touch - We'll send you a case for a 42" Television (Front maximum dimensions of 106 cm x 65 cm - see description), with embedded 4 Core ARM Linux computer and wireless remote, and 4 point multi-touch frame.

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    Pledge £750 or more About $1,256

    GAMECHANGER 32"Complete - Linux/Touch - We'll send you a complete GameChanger with a 32" screen, fully assembled and ready to plug in and go, with embedded 4 Core ARM Linux computer and wireless remote, and 4 point multi-touch frame.

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Funding period

- (30 days)