The GameSlate was born of inspiration from other board game fans, who wish to be more immersed in their craft. At the beginning of 2016, I had the notion to design a gaming table for all my favorite games. I had previously designed several enlarged maps for wargames to allow the miniatures to easily fit on the spaces provided, but this time I wanted something a bit more flexible.
I started with the internet, of course, and was amazed by all the many different table designs and creations by talented fans. One was dedicated to Twilight Imperium. Another was dedicated to X-Wing. Still another to Pathfinder. However, the one thing that all these designs lacked was flexibility in the form of switching from game to game. And the table took up too much room in the house. Thus, the idea for the GameSlate was born.
Instead of an entire table, The GameSlate is a tabletop device that lies flat where the player’s miniatures or tokens are placed upon the surface. Each press or release of a figure triggers a gameplay function; such as attacks, movement, or skill use. Player cards are digitally mastered and manipulated through swipe gestures; the cards turn, shuffle and flip.
The multi-touch grid allows multiple, simultaneous touch points which is a new innovation that makes the GameSlate possible. Multiple touch points translates to multiple figures on the gameboard at once. After a month of work, I was able to make the multi-touch device work with the software, which was a happy occasion indeed. Not just for me, but for every one who benefits from this innovation.
The Benefits for the Player
Include the Casual Gamers: The GameSlate encourages casual and new gamers through a lowered learning curve and novice play settings. We all want more players in our gaming sessions, but if the new player is confused, they will never play again. Our software is designed to help the new player and challenge the expert all in the same setting.
Remove the Boring: As the game proceeds, lost counters, lost dice, rule clarifications, other bookkeeping tasks, such a moving the turn marker become unnecessary. Thus, the overall gameplay time decreases and allows a speedy resolution.
Enhance the Awesome: Lastly, there is the enhanced game experience with lights, sounds, and gratuitous explosions and special effects. When playing licensed games, my gaming group would often put on the theme music from the show, but now the GameSlate performs lights, power effects and musical scores just like any AAA video game production.
A Bridge between Worlds
We feel that the GameSlate will help revolutionize the board game industry, which has been attempting to jump to the video game format for several years. When porting a board game to the video game format, the video game port changes the board game dramatically or forces the players into a “hot seat” turn order. Neither of these instances is great for the immersion that we, as board gamers, crave.
The heart and soul of any console or game peripheral is the game selection. In the beginning, GameSlate will have only 3 launch titles that utilize its unique tabletop features. However, with the use of Android emulators, such as GenyMotion or BlueStacks, players can have access to all the 1,000’s of Android games on the market today. And the Gameslate works seamlessly with them all, just on a MUCH larger surface area.
The launch titles for the GameSlate will be split into three types. The first will be a licensed fantasy RPG adventure, which is unnamed at this point until negotiations are finalized. We will be providing updates as the campaign proceeds. The second title will be a free form vehicle or ship combat system similar to XWing or AttackWing or WarHammer. I cannot be specific at this time because again nothing is final. However, board game manufacturers are interested in this new format for their games, which is very encouraging to us.
The last launch title game will be Wizard’s fortress, where up to six players are gathered around the edge of the screen and launch barrages of spells at their foes. Each player is given a fortress to defend that must be defended from other hostile wizard’s spells. As each player saves a portion of their base, they can upgrade and add new defenses and towers to help survive the mayhem. Wizard’s fortress is a light hearted explosive title that will engage all player types in a quick jump in jump out fashion. Look for it, when we launch in November 2017 !!
Within the last few years, there has been a massive wave of board games and board game designers emerging through Kickstarter, which is awesome. What this means is that the barrier to entry to the board game market has been lowered significantly and competition is increasing. The GameSlate is a new way to differentiate a board game brand through enhanced features, painted miniatures, and even special effects.
We have confidence that this project will fund because of the usefulness of the GameSlate. It was designed to be versatile. For instance, current mobile game apps can be ported to the GameSlate easily. So, in addition to the software offering that Sturx will make, I will be encouraging current mobile software developers to port their application to the GameSlate market to round out the game selection and thereby have a large selection of game apps available to our customers. Thank you for your support in making the GameSlate a reality. Trash the board; Amp your game!