Would you 'want' this device

Discussion in 'General Gaming Discussion' started by Panzer Tacticer, May 5, 2010.

May 5, 2010
  1. Panzer Tacticer
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    Member Panzer Tacticer veteran human

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    Ok first off this is about seeking input on whether you would 'want' the item, so your income level, your ability to afford it today, right now, is not the issue I want to investigate.

    What I want to know is, if it was on sale, would you be 'man I want to get one of those'.

    Here's the concept

    It's a piece of actual furniture. Not a console like a PS3 is. Not a TV which is just an appliance ON a piece of furniture.

    The item will look largely like a coffee table with a TV built into the top designed to be looked down upon. It will run software like a computer would, but would possess the ability to run games like a console would.
    In other words, you could load programs into it the same way you do a computer, and play games on it the same way you might a console machine ie you insert a game disc and just play the game.

    I'm looking for a device to be created, that any member of the family could enjoy using ideally.

    Dad gets to play some great Chess games on it with really cool 3d pieces. Mom gets to play fun board games on it when company visits.
    Your sister can play on it and enjoy some atypical girl friendly game. Who knows, she might like the same games her brother does.
    The boys in the family can play on it and likely would enjoy more than just cliche video games. I'm thinking of table top miniatures games without needing the miniatures, or all the terrain pieces or the mess. Just the fun of the game all in nice colourful graphics.
    Then there is role games which would benefit from this concept.
    All of which can be made possible of having an internet option.
    Picture being able to go online, an viewing a truly great visual experience with a screen you can manipulate with your hands.
    I also know of uses for wargames based on board games that could enjoy this.
    Anything made for a Nintendo could function on this.

    You could enjoy having friends present and using this, or connect to others online and interact with them on theirs. All the fun of a board game, none of the mess.

    I happen to know the software exists. The hardware already exists. it's just that no one has yet asked for anyone to make it such that it can satisfy the whole family at the same time, not just isolated portions.
    Virtual table tops are nothing new.
    But until someone wants it made, it won't get made.

    So, would you want it made is the question?
    Would you enjoy any of the above mentioned options?
     
  2. Psyfira

    Member Psyfira Credit: 0ml. Insert tea to continue

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    ... to be honest, I wouldn't. While the concept of a large screen shared between multiple users sounds like a good idea, I wouldn't want one mounted in a table, and don't see any benefit over using a normal monitor / TV instead. For several reasons I can't see this solution working for anything other than a board game:

    * How many people have space in their house for a "special" table? I assume you can't stand other items on top of the screen.
    * Ergonomics: there's a reason why most monitors are vertical, prevents neck pain from being hunched over for extended periods of time looking down on a device
    * Viewing angle / number of players - space around a table is limited compared to what you can see from a normal monitor / TV mounted on a wall.
    * You mentioned using it for web browsing, but if you can sit on all sides of a table which way is up?
    * Half the fun of Warhammer is painting the models [​IMG]
    * Can't really call it a device for the whole family if the whole family don't play board games

    ...actually why mount it in a table at all, if you want a virtual board game wouldn't a tablet PC do the same job, and you can put it away when you're done? Either way, I don't believe the cost would be worth it for a device with such limited uses compared to just buying a TV / LCD monitor / tablet PC.
     
  3. ProtoKun7

    Global Moderator ProtoKun7 GBAtemp Time Lord Regenerations: 3

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    LCARS FTW. [​IMG]

    On The Gadget Show, computer tabletops have been shown and they do look quite nice in their own way.
     
  4. UltraMagnus

    Member UltraMagnus hic sunt dracones

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    1) is this a survey for a school/university project?.
    2) it does sound cool.
    3) it also sounds like an ergonomic nightmare.
     
  5. ProtoKun7

    Global Moderator ProtoKun7 GBAtemp Time Lord Regenerations: 3

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    Panzer is 48. I doubt it's for school.

    Warning: Spoilers inside!
     
  6. UltraMagnus

    Member UltraMagnus hic sunt dracones

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    True, his profile does say that, however half the time you see ages like that on a forum it means "I am ten but it won't let me register if I am under 13 so I put in random numbers into DOB"

    Also the are quite a few "mature students" at universities these days.
     
  7. ProtoKun7

    Global Moderator ProtoKun7 GBAtemp Time Lord Regenerations: 3

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    He's also mentioned his child. [​IMG]


    Now, back to computer tables.
     
  8. Panzer Tacticer
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    Member Panzer Tacticer veteran human

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    Oh I WISH I was in high school. It would mean I'd have a chance at screwing schoolgirls without landing on a pedo list [​IMG]

    It's bad enough my love of anime makes me look suspect such that I can't bring myself to try and get a 4th edition D&D group going at the local high school where my son goes.

    I've also dispensed with checking out volunteer teaching for much the same reason although I'd kill for a chance to do substitute teaching in the history department. Heck I'd even love to just share my massive documentary collection and give the teacher a few minutes break during a wide range of 20th century topics.

    I assure you I am 48 though (surely you've read my posts?). No one can fake being an old bugger this well and this long hehe.

    I hear you on the comments regarding the table size. Actually, it depends on the person. Each Friday or Saturday (depending on my friends schedules) I regularly sit around a table playing 3.5 I run a game on second Tuesdays sitting around a desk. I recently converted to running off a laptop so that my other group I run (that meets more infrequent that's to work schedules as well) can meet in more varied locations.

    Wargamers (I'm a wargamer) would likely kill for one of these devices. I am sure a lot of table top miniatures gamers would rather sit to play the game than stand all through a session.

    Adults often like to do dinner get togethers and then play cards or some form of light game actually. Done this since my mid 30s with several couples.

    But the fancy table aspect is me just being a cabinetmaker (I am a furniture maker when not wearing my gamer hat).

    Granted, a wall mounted display visible from anywhere in the room is likely just as functional. The whole concept works on the premise, that a large visual display can give you what a table can as well, but with the power of electronic graphics.
    Being mounted on a wall though removes the tactile option you get with programs that can manage touch based concepts like MS Surface or Nintendo DS games.

    Being a mobile item has merits. We all know the iPad/HP Slate whatever else gets made can be rendered as a larger screened device. Imagine running a game off of a device measuring 2x3 feet and only a few inches thick that can be picked up and put away in a closet when not in use.

    LCD TVs are already damned near that mobile. My son still has a 27inch CRT (Cathode Ray Tube eh) in his bedroom and holy shit you forget how heavy TVs once were after being around LCDs for a while. Not to mention how bloody fat they are (CRTs).
    I've actually packed my computer case (desktop) AND my 22inch Widescreen monitor and my keyboard into a suitcase and carted it off to a friend's place when I went to visit for a week [​IMG] And yes, the desktop is quite sizable (but I have a large old style suitcase ie you pick it up and carry it, no nifty wheels and handle on it).

    About the only think preventing me from routinely using a computer monitor as a gaming surface, is mine isn't a touch screen and it isn't wireless. Otherwise, it's actually not much trouble picking it up, and detaching the base it sits on.

    But I like the idea of a fancy piece of furniture wrapped around essentially a touch screen monitor designed to have games loaded into it directly as in a console game or have software that can run virtual table tops.

    it's not like it can't be done. You can buy monitors that have the computer built in as well as monitors with the disc drive incorporated.

    The industry just hasn't been asked to make it happy all in one.
    Maybe if Sony isn't totally fubared over this law suit connected to ditching the Linux OS, they could even make it. As they market consoles and TVs and games and movies already. They just need a proper OS and a desire to make the device a unified effort.
     
  9. 431unknown

    Member 431unknown Greatness Awaits

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    The idea sounds interesting, but i would have to see a finished unit in order to determine if I'd buy one or not. I guess they could be built in multiple sizes tho and I don't think this would replace a good old fashion poker table for card games. Is this a device your thinking of trying to bring to market? If so do you have some design sketches or drawings?
     
  10. hunnymonster

    Member hunnymonster GBAtemp Regular

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    I remember playing PacMan on a table-mounted arcade game back in the early 1980s... it doubled up as a table in a cafe as I recall... I can see there being a limited want for this type of thing - particularly as whatever console or PC it's based on, there'll be whiners wanting it based on a different console or a Mac
     
  11. FAST6191

    Reporter FAST6191 Techromancer

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    It looks like you are heading towards designing your ideal device, nothing wrong with that mind but there is a risk of clouding your vision and trying to sell it to others can be tricky if you do.

    I dare say a similar situation to what I see in mobile/cell phones- possibly useful/viable but at present sporting a frankly embarrassing level of underdevelopment which turns me away.
    I shall elaborate though:

    My chippy friend and I have built several things in this world although mainly in the antique table with embedded computer sort of thing. Similarly while I have enjoyed tabletop mame cabinets as a more general computing tool I can not see them leaving the realms of fancy TV shows, R&D (and the expo circuit) and sci fi in the presently envisioned manner.

    War games- assuming we are not actually a military unit an LCD screen rapidly becomes cost prohibitive. Not sure how well multiple screens would work especially if screen ageing is taken into account (bezels are a different matter entirely and one I am ignoring here).
    Being static in nature means you can have a backlit slideshow type of arrangement quite easily I would imagine but that is little better than what you already have.
    Assuming you either have the kit or the room a projector under the table or above it (under negates shadows mind).

    "cool 3d pieces"- does this mean holograms (not outside the realms of possibility especially if you go the projector route) or just regular computer graphics.

    As a straight up computer as well- to my mind such a thing would be perfect for mainframe/thin client computing but video streaming (looking at text and games) will probably have to up the ante first if not only because such a thing would be effectively be a monitor/TV type investment (useful lifetime somewhat greater than a PC might be). If you could truly spin a level of virtual computing into it- you say family so outside of some serious multi input methods (not necessarily an OS level rewrite/rethink but heading that way- why do you not have two mouse cursors as standard?). Control for multiple people being simple enough with virtual computing (some work would have to go into simple button press control transfer) but this side of morphable surfaces (not that hard to do really) it could get troublesome- think a situation with mutiple remote controls.
    I shall also say docking station and seeing where someone else takes it.

    I consider it a non issue but to solve it anyway- size/floorspace. We have had extendable tables of varying forms for perhaps hundreds of years and I could show you any number of thin film plastics that could cover area and reel up.
     
  12. Cermage

    Member Cermage GBAtemp Advanced Maniac

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    wouldn't be hard to implement, but definitely needs touch screen controls (imo).

    think about it, you're watching a game of footy or a movie and you and your mates get hungry. all you need to do is go to a pizza site order delivery online and barely move an inch. hella convenient no? also a good way to be able to keep an eye on your kids while you watch tv or something.

    its something hella convenient. and people would buy, its just a matter of not making it look like an abomination from 20 years ago. as long as it turns out somewhat stylish. right now, technology is heading towards convenience, its what people want. no one wants to go home after a shitty day and have to fumble with things for an hour until you get it to work. its something i'd buy after moving out provided it looks somewhat good and its fairly hassle free.
     
  13. BlueStar

    Member BlueStar GBAtemp Psycho!

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    A pub near me had a Mrs Pacman one of those (a cocktail arcade cabinet I believe they're called, the ones that flip the screen for two players taking turns at opposite sides) that doubled as a table, I remember thinking I'd love one in my front room.

    [​IMG]
     
  14. Panzer Tacticer
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    Member Panzer Tacticer veteran human

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    Some replies.

    I have thought of designing the concept and then selling the concept to an actual game company. I have no capacity or interest to actually go into the production aspect.
    But I have access to all of the needed furniture making aspects.

    Screen life is of course an issue. I'd be looking for something with the life span of a quality product. 3 years isn't going to cut it for instance.

    Imagery is not meant to be holographic, just the usual 3d we already all known.

    If anyone is interested in some of the notions I have been kicking around, Google MS Surface, or Virtual Table Tops.
    In addition, you might wish to look at Matrix Games or HPS games to get an idea of what Panzer Tacticer calls a 'wargame' [​IMG] It will use hexes in most cases as well as be turn based, and possess graphics YOU might call a bit dated (good graphics does not automatically equal a good wargame to a wargamer). Panzer Tactics essentially is a wargame of this sort as well.

    The only real vital aspect, is the item needs to be capable of appealing to the entire gaming demographic spectrum, or you can't really expect a sale.
    If mom or dad and brother or sister all can find a use for it, you might have a chance.
    It is after all, an item designed for the living room, not a persons office or a child's bedroom. It won't work as a kitchen item either.
    It's likely a stretch assuming a batchelor lives in a place with enough space, although it depends.
    I have a female gamer neighbour friend, and her place is plenty spacious. But just because you live alone doesn't mean you have to live in a one room cubicle. I use her place for role gaming get togethers with friends because my own living room is dimensionally narrower than her front crafts room [​IMG]

    This item will appeal to some of course more than others.
    I am a wargamer that would like it as a wargame interface. I also would like it as a virtual table top for my 6 person group.
    I have a son that likely would enjoy it for playing World of Warcraft with a much more spacious screen size.
    I know dinner parties would be amusing playing Monopoly on it.
    And I am sure a web page would be fun seen reeeeeeeeeaally big.
    It would have little if any movie appeal.
    And likely is the wrong ergonomic angle for a selection of console games like shooters best played seated properly.

    Like any device, it would be best used for what it was made to do understandably.

    But as always, marketing makes a difference. How many hear think the Nintendo DS is an adult friendly game unit?
    I'm an adult, but I rarely encounter anyone over 20 that owns one.
    Which explains the games on the shelves.
    Too many perceptions figure it is a kids toy.

    This design would need to make people aware of all the people that could use it to succeed at all.
     
  15. TanookiSuit

    Member TanookiSuit Game Reviewer/Writer -- formerly Vampire Hunter D

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    I read that first post, and it makes me think of the video game multipurpose table in the original Star Wars where they had those digital 3D holographic creatures on some chess wannabe board.
     

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