EEDAR co-founder, Geoffrey Zatkin, and former GM of Zynga New York, Demetri Detsaridis have recently announced that they have now formed their own virtual reality development studio, called Experiment 7. Coray Seifert from Impeller Studios has also joined the team.
But this company isn’t going the normal VR route. Instead, they’re focusing on creating something the VR community has been asking for for a while now – tabletop gaming experiences. “Experiment 7’s mission is to give VR players ‘better than life’ tabletop gaming experiences, making game-night possible for anyone, anywhere, at any time,” they stated in a recent press release. Experiment 7’s new tabletop platform will include the traditional multiplayer games that we all know and love. Like their newly released title Magic Table Chess. It will also feature original titles by legendary game creators – who are yet to be announced. Mr. Zatkin said that their main drive behind the whole platform is that they want “to give people the ability to have tabletop and board game nights with their friends wherever and whenever they want”. This is pretty exciting to me because I’m a huge board game fan myself.
The Magic Table Platform
The platform they’re creating for their tabletop games is called Magic Table. It will, at first, be used solely for their own releases. But they’re also planning on letting other developers release their games on Magic Table as well. Magic table will not be focusing on one specific headset either but will be open to all. “Players on the platform can challenge real-world friends, other VR users from around the world, or face our custom AI opponents in a variety of tabletop games set in stunning and personalizable rooms. You can even play and chat with users on completely different VR hardware,” Detsaridis said.
It looks like Experiment 7’s goal is to form the be-all and end-all platform of virtual tabletop/board games for all VR players across the board. And they’re kicking it off with their first title, called Magic Table Chess.
Magic Table Chess
This is a preview version and is basically what you would expect a VR chess game to be like. Experiment 7 hasn’t fully launched their platform yet. So this title, for the moment being at least, will only be available on the Oculus store for Oculus Rift and Samsung Gear VR. But it’s free! (Note: The game does require a touchpad).
In Magic Table Chess you will be transported to a beautiful and tranquil location where you will be able to test your wits against others. You can switch between locations in the game as well. Right now there are only two to choose from – a cozy room with a great view or a spaceship’s lounge with large windows overlooking the galaxy. For some reason, you’re also able to change the works of art on the walls and the color of your chess board as well. The game interface looks simple enough and doesn’t distract from the experience.
It’s a single-player only title right now. So you’ll be playing against a small, friendly-looking robot right now. There are a couple of difficulty settings at least. Fear not, though, they are planning on adding a multiplayer component within the first quarter of this year. The multiplayer component will include skill-based matchmaking, friendly play, avatars, touch controls, real-time voice chat and multi-tiered AI. They’re also planning on adding motion controllers, more decorative art, and an original soundtrack in the near future.
So Magic Table’s first title might not be perfect right now, but the company has assured us that they have a very talented and dedicated development team who are planning on creating the best tabletop experiences VR can offer. We’ll let you know about any future releases or developments from this team.