So, I’m thinking a gaming table might be a fun thing to have. Every time I end up ‘reclaiming’ a piece of the house through better organization, my wife fills it with sewing stuff or more square-footage-eating children’s junk.
So far, I’m thinking that the table should be a little lower than usual for easy reaching. There should be raised edges (I do have a three year old daughter and a four month old son) to protect it a bit. I’ve been toying with the idea of a removable top which could sit above the gaming surface by four inches, or so, to multipurpose the table. You know, for sewing stuff. Grrrr…
Power would be important - with a recessed gaming surface, running some light strands under the inner edge would illuminate the playing surface well. Perhaps a series of PC speakers built into the sides for atmospheric sound would be nice. And some connections for my laptop.
I’m thinking that the gaming surface should be made of plexiglass, as it would open the opportunity to create sub-surface lighting effects. Or, make a series or removeable plexi panels, to be able to use modular terrain and add extra dimension to the table quickly.
I’ve also been thinking about using cheap old 15" LCD monitors to build terrain features around to the loop animations into - such as a boiling pit of lava, a flowing river, etc… I think that would be really cool, and stop the static-ness of a traditional tabletop. A peice of plexiglass would go over the screen surface to protect it.
I’ve been a little obsessed lately with digital projectors, and how they could be integrated into a gaming surface. Being able to ‘project’ a picture onto a playing surface and putting 3D terrain on top of it would be awesome, but there would be blank areas where shadows would occur. So, I thought about back-projecting it, but then I realized that would light everything really strangely and make all the work people put into miniature painting be unrecognizable. Also, you’d need to play in near-darkness to appreciate it.
This is all part of another idea of taking the IR camera in a Wii remote to turn the battlefield itself into a gigantic touchscreen, which you could manipulate with an LED pen. Here’s an example of it being done on a wall (“Low-Cost Multi-point Interactive Whiteboards Using the Wiimote”): Johnny Chung Lee - Projects - Wii But again, the 3D terrain features would result in dead zones what would make it all useless, unless multiple Wii remotes could be linked together, which is absolutley and completely beyond my abilities. Also, a huge and expensive, hassle.
Anyway, as you can see, I’ve been thinking about this a lot - but, then I realized that the hundreds of minds here just might have some excellent suggestions. This is (obviously) only at the research-level stage, and I may not ever get around to actually making it, but if anyone could let me know what they would find useful and interesting in a gaming table, please list it.
Part of me is thinking about finding a mostly-destroyed pool table to use as a base and working with that - that other part of me says build it all from scratch to make it exactly how I want it.
Thoughts? Ideas? Brainstorms?