Fantasy come to life
Back in 1972, an imagination-fueled role playing game took on an impressive following. Fast-forward nearly 50 years and Dungeons & Dragons has become a staple of modern life - surprisingly, finding room to breathe outside of suburban basements.
It turns out that not everything your 12-year-old son gets excited about is a passing fad. Worldwide, the total number of tabletop D&D players has surpassed 13 million.
Furthermore, America’s most popular role-playing game has generated over $1 billion USD in book and equipment sales. It turns out the kids in Stranger Things aren’t the only make-believers around.
As seen in Stranger Things, Dungeons & Dragons has an obsessively loyal following. Credit: Polygon
So where does the franchise go in the 2020s? Part of the answer can be found in a driving force behind the game’s mass appeal: it’s limitless potential.
Any session of D&D has endless possibilities...literally. A party member could travel an entire war-stricken medieval province by dragon-back. Friends could be forced into uniting to fight a blood-thirsty goblin king to the death. A player could be forced into seducing an innkeeper for vital quest info.
What if players were given tools to recreate these events in vivid detail? Augmented reality could allow dungeon masters (those who play god, navigating players through each game) to program stories in advance.
They could choose from a selection of character avatars, favor certain map types over others, and adorn players with virtual articles of clothing befitting their character profiles.
Like any D&D session, AR has endless possibilities in the game’s future. Credit: Geek.com
Smarter questing with smart glasses
The possibilities are endless. However, they mean nothing without the ability to seamlessly take in these 3D-rendered worlds.
Smart glasses present a tantalizing solution. Wearing a pair, all party members could become fully-immersed in the dungeon master’s creation. Without taking their eyes off the table, users could laugh, scream and cry as the board and the players around them transform before their very eyes.
Like living in a SnapChat filter, developers could bring quests to life with raw detail.
Augmented reality will soon give us the power to witness worlds previously reserved for sketchbooks and Hollywood basements. With smart glasses, these imaginings are set to become fully-realized in the games we use to spice up our lives.