Games on Tables

Last blog post I talked about how we were creating “games on tables” for our Magic Table™ platform.  

We’re making a series of beautiful environments where you can meet up with your friends from around the world. In the middle of each of these environments is a “Magic Table” that can spawn any number of games that are played on tables.

 
MagicTableChess-Rift-02.jpg
 

I want to elaborate about games on tables, and how they are different than board games.

As we started raising money in our friends and family finance round, we talked about making board games in virtual reality; board games are something that even non-gameplaying people understand. But from the beginning I didn’t like the phrase, as we were already planning to build more than this. Board games are a fantastic category of games, and include a wide range of well-known titles like Chess, Backgammon, Go, Scrabble, Risk and Settlers of Catan. But board games don’t really describe card games like Solitaire, Uno, Apples to Apples, and Cards Against Humanity, or tile games like Dominos, Rummy and Mahjong.  Board games certainly don’t describe games like Warhammer 40k, Dungeons and Dragons or Magic: The Gathering, or games where people sit around tables like Charades or Pictionary.

For Magic Table, we envision building games of all types, with the common thread being that they are all played on tables.

 
 

For me, “games on tables” became the phrase to describe Magic Table games. There are certain expectations that you get when play a table-based game. You know, visually, how you will be observing the field of play.  You have an expectation how game pieces are presented, how they are moved, and how a board (or lack of board) defines the field of play. You have an idea for who your team members and opponents are, where they will be positioned, and how you interact with them. There are good skeuomorphic parallels we can incorporate in from the real world, while still being free to adapt to the best practices of a digital virtual medium.

Switching to the phrase “games on tables” gave us the freedom to plan more ambitious projects (announcements coming soon!) than we might otherwise have thought up if we’d limited ourselves to the concept of board games alone. It also made us plan our engineering infrastructure to be robust enough to handle this broader scope of game, along with giving us different thoughts on user experience, interface, player avatar representation, room design and more.  We liked the phrase enough that we incorporated it into our Experiment 7 branding: Magic Table Games.

So what are we building?  We’re building games on tables for our Magic Table platform.  We look forward to announcing more of them soon.

Geoffrey Zatkin
Creative Director, Experiment 7

Geoffrey Zatkin

1354 Cynthia Ln, Carlsbad, CA, 92008

Geoffrey "GZ" Zatkin is a game designer, industry executive, and serial entrepreneur with over 20 years experience in the video game industry. One of the original designers of EverQuest and co-founder of game data giant EEDAR, Geoffrey more recently co-founded Experiment 7 and serves as its creative director. A celebrated industry speaker, analyst and futurist, Geoffrey is a frequent contributor to industry development as a presenter at GDC, PAX, and various other conferences and collegiate courses.