Vectorform Bringing Settlers of Catan to Microsoft Surface

Vectorform Bringing Settlers of Catan to Microsoft Surface

In bringing Catan to the Surface, Vectorform is forging a new genre: the digital boardgame.

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Wanted one since I thought about how awesome D&D would be on it (that was my first thought on hearing of the Surface, I didn't know people were working on it.)

As soon as the original 1990s FASA version of Crimson Skies is available on the Surface, I'll buy one*

*This is an outright lie. As cool as that would be, I can't spend that kind of money.

That sounds great. I love Board games and always wanted to get into them more but they are quite messy and clumsy to set up and such whereas this seems to remove all the bad points and keep the good points. However the cost will no doubt be skyhigh.

You can buy Surface? News to me!

I want that! Nao! Thats epic!

When Surface eventually does reach home consumers, even if it's five years from now, Settlers of Catan will already be available for it, and therefore one of the first apps people purchase. Very forward-thinking to implement a game this early on.

P.S. Thanks

Next logic step: Google Desktop (now with facial recognition!)- now indexes everything you set near the surface :)
I'm sure there's some serious practical uses for this, but I'm thinking is:
"I definitely need one for one of those serious practical uses... Also, does it come preloaded with games or can I order them online?"

Combine Microsoft Surface with Augmented Reality and Geeks of the world might never leave the house. (Yeah, I mean we'd cancel that annual 'See the Sun' event and catch it on Youtube.)

I could see this being relevant in the future. You know, when the average person can afford one and not be called a gadget whore.

Yay! Something else gets featured on Surface! Nice to see the idea is finally getting spread out. Hopefully Microsoft is taking notes on what to do with Surface 2.0 from all this as well. Though to be honest, if you got a large handful of physical cards, that is even as difficult to get what you want out of the hand. I remember coming away with cramps in my hands from games with lots of cards to collect.
I'd love to see Axis and Allies get applied to this as well as other good ol' Avalon Hill games.

Did you get wood for sheep? :)

(KODT/Catan reference)

Interesting. But how does it compare to the Smart Table?

Which is basically the same thing, but from an established interactive whiteboard manufacturer, leveraging a variant of their existing IR-based back projection / screen overlay tech... which ordinarily wouldn't be the best, but they've somehow turbocharged it to do 128-point multitouch recognition.

And built it tough as it's meant to be going into elementary school classrooms, not staid, low-impact meeting rooms.

Oh and if it costs HALF that $12000-some then I'd be surprised. A consumer grade data projector, a trick short throw lens, mirror, translucent plastic tabletop, and the sensor array itself (which if bought to fit onto a generic LCD TV, is in the low $1000's). Oh yeah, and a sturdy, wheeled, solid-sided but hollow table to mount it all to.

Do hope that Settlers is available for THAT as well (if Surface is windows based, then why not?), because it'd be just the thing for a youngsters classroom if the teacher can come up with suitable activities. Plus one of the tutors at my work has splashed the cash to get one in, and I'd like to learn how to play :)

(No, I'm not trying to shill for Smart here - for a start, I haven't got my own name on here so it's pointless, I won't get any kickbacks - but have you any idea the kind of ass kicking wall-mount, multitouch IWB I could get for that money? Or in fact, more likely, what PAIR of them I could get? MS Surface AND Smart Table are basically the same thing, or more accurately the self contained, back projection mobile types which we're busily junking as fast as we can because they're yesterday's news ... but turned on their backs. Woo. I can see it would be impressive to someone who's never experienced this sort of thing before, but... well, it's my job. I know how it works. It's pretty much standard classroom teaching-tech nowadays, and you can tell a cash-strapped school by how they DON'T have one in every room. It ceased being a wonder some time ago, and whilst I still think both the wallmounts and tables are pretty cool things, they are really just variants of each other. And the stuff we're chucking away is like 6-7 years old and wasn't that expensive to start with.)

Did you get wood for sheep? :)

(KODT/Catan reference)

Dammit! I came to this thread SPECIFICALLY to post that!!


Greg Tito has ore, but needs bricks. Any takers?

Sure. I'm usually getting it the other way around.

(Lesson one of Catan: Say which resource you have for trade, else you'll say "trade wood for bricks" and wind up swapping bricks for bricks or something.)

Catan is best played on a board with other people in the room, but if the board in question is Microsoft Surface, that's just awesome. All the ease and convenience of a computer game, all the social interaction of a real board game.

I have to admit, Catan games need to be released more for the PC.

Love the playing.

12K?! You make me very sad, sir. They need to release something like this as a board-gaming console. Like you could pay for board games and download them directly to it. Might help out that industry a bit, as it's sure to be struggling now.

I can imagine why anyone would creat such an adaptation. But the removal of setting up the game and putting it back in the box is not a real selling point to me*.
The only real selling point is that you save on room by not needing ridiculous large boxes (1/8 of my boardgame/cardgame is Catan products), but then again; you need a place to store the Surface somewhere.
And the great thing about physical games is that you can take them on vacations. I played Catan in at least six countries. And I like to build little forts from the houses and roads when it's someone else's turn. It's awesome.
Well, anyway ,my point is: it's nifty but unnecessary.

* Not for Catan, anyway. For games with more game pieces like Arkham Horror it'd be a valid point.

I can't wait to see how they can integrate something like Warhammer 40k into something like this.


Well, anyway ,my point is: it's nifty but unnecessary.

Isn't that the point of all gimmicks and techdemos?

Very expensive, but also very interesting. interactive table..

Wait, the Surface is a real thing that they're planning to really sell for real money? I thought it just was a proof-of-concept prototype.

Next logic step: Google Desktop (now with facial recognition!)- now indexes everything you set near the surface :)

You mean Google TABLEtop, amirite? :D

This could also be great for games that build the board during play (like carcassonne) or games with gigantic boards that you could move around to be closer to. I would get a few friends together to buy one of these for board games if I had any belief it would start supporting many other board games, it would make life much easier for all of us.

If you search around the Net, you can find DIY 'surface' kits that'll run you about $2k. The big hitch is aligning the sensors: if you're even a millimeter off, it'll be impossible to accurately control it. (We've all had mice that have broken and started jumping the cursor all over the screen. It's the same principle.)

And the $12k price is actually fallacious: the price is what it would cost to produce a unit today and sell it, and is mostly due to the fact that much of the unit would have to be custom made. Once the manufacturing process reaches the point where many of the parts can be mass-produced and assembled, it will drastically lower the price. Yes, it will still be more expensive than even a high-end desktop, but it won't cost as much as a vehicle.

Sure if you want to spend over 10k.....

Anyone have one that they want to give away? I would be your friend forever... well until I disappear into my whole and start using it.

I don't know. The whole point of board games (well, one of them at least) is the feel of the physical objects and people. You can't throw a digital sheep in your friend's face.

I can't wait to try this for a board game like Twilight Imperium.

such a good game:)

However awesome this would be, I think it would never beat playing it on the actual board. It's like a eReader for books. Sure, it's easy and convenient and offers you the ability to carry books like most FPS characters carry guns, but there is just something about holding a book in your hand.

On a side note, anyone interested it playing board games like this for free online, I found: It's a german site, but you can translate it to English. Good for when the people you play board games with don't live in the same state.

This sounds awesome but the price is far too high. If they can go down to 3000 or 4000 or so, people might actually buy one if the screen can be swung up to serve as a TV/normal PC. Would be an interesting multi-purpose media station.
Until then one thing that might be fun could be if they put them into arcades or cafés. Imagine sitting around that thing with friends for 1-2 hours, playing Catan or whatever while having a few drinks and maybe having a small meal before going to a concert or whatever. Well, that is at least assuming that the thing doesn't die after a coke spill.


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