Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Cellphones Displays Input Devices Iphone Games Hardware

Multimodal, Multitouch Gaming Gaining Traction 94

Posted by Soulskill
from the play-multiplayer-super-off-road-on-the-gps-screen-of-your-cars dept.
andylim writes "Several universities and commercial entities are developing multimodal, multitouch games, such as a card game using iPhones for individual hands and an iPad for public information, and an iPad Scrabble game that lets you use your iPhone to see your letter tiles. Of course, it's an extremely expensive setup right now, but over time it will become cheaper. It's also pretty cool, so why wouldn't you want to play board/card/strategy games like this?"
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Multimodal, Multitouch Gaming Gaining Traction

Comments Filter:
  • by tacarat (696339) on Tuesday April 06, 2010 @10:38PM (#31757194) Journal
    You run the risk of ruining pen and paper games by increasing the speed in which encounters get dealt with. GMs need time to BS and slow mechanics enable that. I'm sure there are other games where being efficient will detract from the social aspects of the situation. Slot machines are probably one of the best examples of such.
    • by FooAtWFU (699187)
      Alternatively, you can do it online, and casually multitask (chat with other people, check up on Facebook, and stuff like that). It's highly effective.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by gmhowell (26755)

        How about we give it a nice grahpical interface where I can see my character fighting alongside my friends? Ooh, and then give the monsters a little AI so that the GM has less work to do still?

        It would be pretty.... Well, all I can say is:

        WoW!

        • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

          by tacarat (696339)
          Pulling a Leroy Jenkins on your friends is simply not the same as having them attacked by rabid ninja gerbils. For one thing, they still have hope. [penny-arcade.com]
        • by WNight (23683)

          If your gaming sessions can be navigated by simply applying various powers over and over again to stacks of faceless monsters, you probably should just play video games...

          For replacing actual pen and paper games I think I'd like a virtual whiteboard. Anything more than that and the players want to assume the art is reality, and not ask what their characters can see. As if they expect I'll start drawing in secret doors, just in a different style, or something. Their natural inquisitiveness is hurt by having

      • by tacarat (696339)
        True, but there's a point where you have to say the new thing is too different than what was old to be considered the same.
  • "Multi" touch? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by White Flame (1074973) on Tuesday April 06, 2010 @10:40PM (#31757206)

    The only multitouch demonstration on any of the videos was rotating the playing cards (to little effect anyway).

    Why is "multitouch" specifically such a buzzword, and not just "touch" on its own? Multitouch has so far had weird implications on what sort of appendage/stylus you can use on the surface, whereas single touch does not. Plus, you can effectively do pinch/zoom on a typically single-touch panel, just not rotations.

    • Re:"Multi" touch? (Score:4, Informative)

      by michaelhood (667393) on Wednesday April 07, 2010 @05:40AM (#31759054)

      The only multitouch demonstration on any of the videos was rotating the playing cards (to little effect anyway).

      Why is "multitouch" specifically such a buzzword, and not just "touch" on its own? Multitouch has so far had weird implications on what sort of appendage/stylus you can use on the surface, whereas single touch does not. Plus, you can effectively do pinch/zoom on a typically single-touch panel, just not rotations.

      simply, multitouch refers to a type of screen (capacitive in this case) that can track more than one point of contact simultaneously.

      the other type of popular touchscreen is resistive, this is what is used on my htc touch pro2.

      if you put three fingers on the surface of the screen, one after another (like how you'd press ctrl-alt-del), it would look like the following:

      capacitive: _ _ _
      resistive: _

      on the resistive screen, whichever spot you touched first is "it".

      • by hitmark (640295)

        there are resisitive screens coming that allow multi-touch.

        • i know next-to-nothing about the underlying tech, so i can't comment on how it works or what the advantages would be at that point. but i was aware of there being non-capacitive multitouch in the works, at least, which is why i was careful to say "in this case" in my gp post :)

      • Yes, I understand all that. It's also the exact same thing I'm saying is completely unutilized here and many times in general, yet still carries the downsides of the material used to touch the display.

        Plus, with a resistive screen, if you did the ctrl-alt-del experiment, first it would see a small point centered around ctrl, then a large point centered between ctrl and alt, then a larger point centered around all 3. This is how pinch/zoom is possible on simple stylus-capable touch interfaces.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by mdwh2 (535323)

      I fear the answer is basically because it's the one thing that Apple did first, therefore it's touted as important.

      I do agree with you. Touch works fine on my 5800, and lacking multitouch has never been a problem (indeed, I find it easier - one mouse button is simpler, remember?), and a resistive touchscreen has some minor benefits to make up for this minor loss. A well designed UI doesn't need multitouch, it can simply use better paradigms instead.

      There are plenty of other touchscreen tablets and phones ou

    • The dirty secret of the computer industry and gaming in the 1990's -- by sheer person-hours Solitaire was actually the best game ever! (With Tetris a close second.) It was also the real "Killer App" for Windows.

    • by Gilmoure (18428)

      So... you'd need 10 iPhones to do a Celtic Cross Tarot layout?

  • by Whuffo (1043790) on Tuesday April 06, 2010 @10:45PM (#31757224) Homepage Journal

    In the interest of truth, how about the commenters in this thread start by telling us if they own or have used at length an iPhone, Ipod Touch, or an iPad. I think that if we pay more attention to the people who have something that they know to add we might discover something useful here.

    I mean, sheesh - if you want to see people holding forth on things they know nothing about you can always tune in the Fox channel. We're better than that here, aren't we? This "I heard it was bad so it must be" nonsense isn't doing anyone any good. It's a product, not a philosophical statement - so get down off of those high horses and let's discuss this like men and women.

    • by causality (777677) on Tuesday April 06, 2010 @11:14PM (#31757400)

      In the interest of truth, how about the commenters in this thread start by telling us if they own or have used at length an iPhone, Ipod Touch, or an iPad. I think that if we pay more attention to the people who have something that they know to add we might discover something useful here.

      That would exclude the people who don't own those and believe they have good reasons for this. Truth is not served by discounting them. Even if you could never agree with them, consider them an important contrast.

      I mean, sheesh - if you want to see people holding forth on things they know nothing about you can always tune in the Fox channel. We're better than that here, aren't we? This "I heard it was bad so it must be" nonsense isn't doing anyone any good. It's a product, not a philosophical statement

      It's possible to know something about an object that you've still chosen not to purchase. In fact I'd recommend knowing something about it before you decide whether or not to purchase it. There actually are philosophical aspects to this. Your own might motivate you to dismiss the opinions of anyone who hasn't patronized Apple. They could also motivate you to understand an alternative viewpoint and why a given person holds it. Either way you are reflecting a philosophy, worldview, set of priorities, values, whatever you wish to call it. Is it therefore an offense when others do the same?

      so get down off of those high horses and let's discuss this like men and women.

      That's a related but different subject, easily conflated with your first. This one is about the style with which something is expressed, not the nature of what is being conveyed. It's really about how the tone that is used can affect the quality of discourse but not the subject.

    • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

      by BlueBoxSW.com (745855)

      Fair question.

      I just spent the past 2 hours playing with a new iPad.

      I think the gaming potential is going to be phenomenal.

      Stratergy, a pretty good Risk-type game with random hex boards was ported over day one from the iphone, and it looks great.

      There's now an online option, but I see sitting at a table with the iPad between players as the way games like this will be played.

      (Wipe the cheesy-poofs from your fingers, rob.)

      In cases where you need to keep something secret in the game, yes, individual devices or

    • by mdwh2 (535323)

      In the interest of truth, how about the commenters in this thread start by telling us if they own or have used at length an iPhone, Ipod Touch, or an iPad.

      And let's also hear how many of those people have also used every other phone, mp3 player, tablet, e-reader and netbook on the market.

      You make a fair point, but why is the "But you haven't used this product" only directed towards critics? It works both ways. And given the free advertising given towards the Iphone and Ipad, and the way that such devices ar

      • by Whuffo (1043790)

        Since we were discussing the iPad, experience with the multi-touch interface is relevant. What we're seeing far too much of is people trashing a product that they don't know anything about. And it'd make it more real to have people who know the product trashing it, right?

        What is really troublesome to me (and many others) is that some of these wank-fests are being started by shills from competing corporations. So somebody posting from an IP address assigned to HP said that the iPad has an overheating probl

  • by Trepidity (597) <.gro.hsikcah. .ta. .todhsals-muiriled.> on Tuesday April 06, 2010 @10:49PM (#31757250)

    All this article seems to claim is that some people are making them. And most of the ones the article mentions aren't even out yet. It remains to be seen if they'll "get traction".

    The overall trajectory of hyper-realistic computer versions of traditional games reminds me of an old SNL parody of virtual reality: you put on a headset, and engage in an immersive story world, consisting of a 3d-rendered room exactly like the one you're sitting in. You pick up a 3d-rendered book from the 3d-rendered table beside you, and can read it, turning the pages in beautiful virtual reality. Unfortunately only about 5 words fit per page, due to technical limitations.

  • Why not just play the real games, rather than an electronic version of the game?

    • by yotto (590067) on Wednesday April 07, 2010 @12:06AM (#31757724) Homepage

      Pick one:

      * You're not in the same room as the person or people you're playing with (for the network games)
      * You don't have room for 100 (board) games, but one iPad with 100 games is small.
      * The game is difficult to score (or easy to score incorrectly) but otherwise fun (example: Carcassonne)
      * You don't have time to complete the game so would like to easily save it to continue another time.
      * You own a pet, or have children and are afraid of them disturbing the pieces.

      I'm sure you can think of more.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by amRadioHed (463061)

        Also: The game takes an hour and a half to set up, like Axis & Allies.

      • * You're not in the same room as the person or people you're playing with (for the network games)

        This. I've drooling at a chess board a guy made for his thesis, which can detect the pieces' positions and provide visual feedback (leds) to show the opponent's moves. It only provides an AI opponent, but connecting it to my computer or phone and developing a internet chess gateway would be peanuts.

        I thought about building it, but the cost of all the LEDs, magnetic sensors, magnets, electronic board, etc. would

    • by SheeEttin (899897)

      Why not just play the real games, rather than an electronic version of the game?

      Because packing (e.g.) fifteen board games for you car trip is inefficient.
      Fifteen games in 15 cu. ft., or fifteen games in <0.25 cu. ft.? HMMM.
      (Also, convenience. Say you're with friends, and want to play a game. You probably didn't bring Scrabble, but you brought your iPhone/iPad/both. Which can you whip out?)

      • by bronney (638318)

        What friends?? I don't have friends you insensitive clod. Knight to E6, your move..

      • by e2d2 (115622)

        Oh really? I can pack more than 15 in my pocket. It's called a deck of cards and it needs no energy; which everyone seems to be worried about but yet they keep plugging things in.

        • by SheeEttin (899897)
          True, but you'll eventually get tired of card games. You can't play Scrabble, Monopoly, etc. with a deck of cards.
  • by s-gen (890660) on Tuesday April 06, 2010 @11:09PM (#31757370)
    "multimodal multitouch gaming"???? Sod that. How about... "Two pods, one pad".
    • Re: (Score:1, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      "multimodal multitouch gaming"????

      Sod that. How about...

      "Two pods, one pad".

      Catchy. I like mine better though: WPG

      Stands for Whole Paycheck Gaming.

    • by dorre (1731288)
      We can make a verb! Podspadding! No, to wait for it to catch on.
  • Uhh, because I don't need to charge a board game? And so that if my board game runs out of batteries I still have a usable phone? And because a physical board game can be larger than an iPad so everyone doesn't have to crowd around it? There are countless reasons.
    • Where is the law that says we can't have both? If I buy something like this, I won't throw away my board games, but it can be a nice complement for certain occasions when I don't have them handy or in games through the interwebs.

      • by fbjon (692006)
        Yes, but your complement costs 20 times as much, for just one pad. It's a great idea, but the economics aren't flattering, even if the price drops to $200. Unless the iPad(s) or similar become ubiquitous, but I don't see that happening.
        • Just like I don't have to throw away my physical boards, I don't have to keep a tablet just for gaming. This is just one more advantage.

    • by mdwh2 (535323)

      And because a physical board game can be larger than an iPad so everyone doesn't have to crowd around it?

      Coming soon ... the iBoard. Offering a massive one metre square multimodalmagictouch screen, at only twice the price of the iPad. It's bigger, so everyone will want one. It'll be even more popular than an iPad!

  • Maybe it's because computers with 32-bit random number generators (pseudo or otherwise) can only generate 2^32 different permutations, which is a tiny fraction of the possible permutations of a deck of cards or a set of Scrabble tiles.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by mrsurb (1484303)
      If only there were some way of combining two or more 32-bit numbers together to form a 64-bit or greater number. This is a solved problem.
      • by XanC (644172)

        Well, it's true that I haven't taken the time to sit down and figure out whether or not that works. But if it does, perhaps you could correct the Wikipedia [wikipedia.org] page? Or am I misreading something.

        For example, the built-in pseudorandom number generator provided by many programming languages and/or libraries may often have only 32 bits of internal state, which means it can only produce 2^32 different sequences of numbers. If such a generator is used to shuffle a deck of 52 playing cards, it can only ever produce a very small fraction of the 52! ~= 2^225.6 possible permutations. It's impossible for a generator with less than 226 bits of internal state to produce all the possible permutations of a 52-card deck. It has been suggested that confidence that the shuffle is unbiased can only be attained with a generator with more than about 250 bits of state.

        • by jibster (223164)
          This only applies to the Fisher-Yates method for fast shuffling cards. In this method a number is selected at random and that number corresponds to a random looking (but deterministic and repeatable) sequence of cards. Its fast but its far from perfect - just use a slower method (I'm sure on mondern hardware you would never notice anyway) and you will get back the full state space of the deck. Even still you would have to play a lot of hands before you notice. Note: I'm sure Fisher-Yates is not used on
      • by XanC (644172)

        Whoops, meant to quote this one:

        Also, of course, no pseudorandom number generator can produce more distinct sequences, starting from the point of initialization, than there are distinct seed values it may be initialized with. Thus, a generator that has 1024 bits of internal state but which is initialized with a 32-bit seed can still only produce 2^32 different permutations right after initialization. It can produce more permutations if one exercises the generator a great many times before starting to use it for generating permutations, but this is a very inefficient way of increasing randomness: supposing one can arrange to use the generator a random number of up to a billion, say 2^30 for simplicity, times between initialization and generating permutations, then the number of possible permutations is still only 2^62.

        • by grumbel (592662)

          That's only a problem when you use time() as you seed, you should simply use /dev/random instead.

          • Yeah, something like a modern phone with all its accelerometers, magnetometers, and touch inputs has absolutely no shortage of real random data to work with.

    • I, for one, would like to see your Scrabble game with 2^32 tiles.

      • by XanC (644172)

        Well let's see... There are 100 tiles in a Scrabble game, which means there are 100!, or about 2^524 different permutations. Which is, of course, 2^492 times greater than 2^32.

        The duplicated tiles will take that down quite a bit, but nowhere approaching a number as low as 2^32.

        • Sit down with your favorite language and write this one out.

          It is actually much easier than you are making it.

          Each player gets 7 tiles.

    • by fbjon (692006)
      That's why it's a better idea to generate 52 32-bit integers, assign them to each card in the deck, then sort according to the generated numbers. It's probably clear why this is an adequate method, even for quite large card decks. I'm sure something similar works for Scrabble.
  • It would seem like this form of geeky board gaming would be of great benefit to games that require a large number of identical pieces of several kinds, or games that require the player to remember math frequently. Settlers of Catan has a couple apps out for the iPhone that attempt to aid board game players.

    One of the keys to these kinds of apps in the majority of board games (read: social board games; games that are determinable only to a few moves due to probabilistic influences), is that they should be h

  • So I've owned an iTouch and a Macbook pro for about a year now, and I've gotta say, I'm *very* impressed with the touch capability and quality that these have. The responsiveness of the iTouch is great, which I'm sure everyone knows, but the multi-touchpad on the macbook pro is phenomenal to me. I don't know how I ever lived without that thing. It makes scrolling down pages, 'right clicking', going back or forward between pages, and tabbing to other programs a lot faster and a lot smoother. I never thought

    • Not to mention, I also saw some windows laptops were coming out with multitouch pads... I'm very excited about those.

      Just about any new-ish laptop with a Synaptics touchpad (all of them) supports multitouch, even netbooks.

  • Weren't Monopoly, Trivial, Pictionary, Scrabble and all those board games already 'multimodal, multitouch games'? Will fanning yourself with an iPod feel so good as doing it with Monopoly's fake bills, when you win? :) Anyway, multitouch tables will for sure be used as what we know today as board games (among many other uses). I'm not sure if they will replace them, but at least they will offer new ludic experiences. And I can easily imagine my living room table being a multitouch table where I can read, p
  • bad examples (Score:1, Redundant)

    by k8to (9046)

    What's the advantage of four players with an iphone showing virtual cards and an ipad showing the display vs real cards in people's hands that they lay on a real table?

    For typical games, nothing. In fact, the real cards are vastly superior. They are easily adjustable. They require low investment. They're lighter. They're more readily replaced. They are easier on the eyes. It's easier to adjust their layout to fit the set of people in the playing space. It goes on and on.

    The only real reason to do th

  • Why wouldn't you? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by YourExperiment (1081089) on Wednesday April 07, 2010 @05:26AM (#31758990)

    why wouldn't you want to play board/card/strategy games like this?

    Because then they're no longer board games. Part of the fun factor of these games comes from the physical board and pieces. The components can be quite beautiful in some games (Euro-games especially). The tactile nature of the game is part of its appeal.

    There's no denying that multi-touch screens are cool, but (shock, horror) the real world can be even cooler! I happen to like holding cards in my hand, and dragging a bunch of wooden pieces around an expansive, beautifully artistic board.

    This might be an odd claim to make on /., but not everything can be improved by putting it on a computer.

  • Wow. This brings back memories of the old Atari 800 games that used four plug in controllers to play. I remember one of their greatest was a four player game FIRST FOUNDER. Very competitive bidding game where no one knew what the other players would do each turn that accounted for hours of fun in the old days. I could see how a porting of some of the war games onto iPAD with such controllers would also be a big hit. I would spend the money to get such a system and await one of the iPADs with AT&T inter
    1. Cost. US$50.00 for a board game vs. around US$1000.00 for the iGameSetup.
    2. Availability. What if the user does not have or want an iGadget? I am perfectly happy without any iGadgets.
    3. Power. What happens when the "board" or one of the controllers runs out of power?
    4. Visibility out doors. I do like to see the daystar sometimes and playing a game out back on a nice day is great.
    5. Cheating.

    It may have a niche market now, but it isn't going to be The Next Big Thing, at least not for a while.

  • After seeing the scrabble demo I couldnt help but think that cards games especially CCG's like Magic, Pokemon or whatever else is popular now could be a great use of this. Sort and manage your deck on the handheld then play the cards by "flicking" them towards the slate. Add in some animated "battles" and you could really have a cool new way to play without loosing the traditional gameplay elements. Booster packs could be sold online so you could customize the deck.

    I really want to see an archon/battle c

  • I tried to love iPhone gaming. Unfortunately the touchscreen display has many problems [gem-session.com] when game controls are ported to the iPhone unchanged. You will want to eat babies as you're trying to control your character using a virtual d-pad or the built-in acceleromater. I'm glad touchscreen devices might finally get more games designed specifically for them.

You will be successful in your work.

Working...