Augmenting Board Games using Virtual Reality

University essay from Göteborgs universitet/Institutionen för data- och informationsteknik

Abstract: Virtual reality, VR, is a relatively new technology which right now shows great commercial potential and garners the attention of many game developers. Even though many games and prototypes have been made using VR technology, few studies have been found which explore how VR could augment games of genres other than computer games. Identifying and characterizing the possibilities of virtual reality could help developers to more effectively incorporate new aspects in their applications, as well as allowing them to easier identify novel areas of different design spaces.In this project, one such design space, Virtual reality augmented board games, is chosen as the subject for examination. Around this subject, two closely intertwined processes are done, one investigative and one developmental. Current games and literature are examined and several elements of interest are identified. Also, an original game, BoardNight, loosely based on an existing board game, is developed simultaneously as a compliment to the investigative effort, which allows for a more thorough examination of certain aspects of the design space.The elements of interest that were identified highlights aspects of the studied subject which was considered interesting in relation to developing BoardNight. While not necessarily enhancing a gameplay experience, all identified elements of interest proved to be of interest when augmenting board games.The resulting elements are not exhaustive and there are still elements within the design space which could be of interest to study further. Also, it would be beneficial to conduct user tests to get more objective results, which as of now could be considered to be somewhat subjective.

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