thinking about the iPad

Well, the tech blogs are overflowing with information, so I guess everything important is said somewhere else.

Yet I just watched Evan Dolls lecture in the CS193p Lecture.

Mockup of Tactica like it could look on an iPad:

I agree that its new and it is hard to project how successful it may be. But one thing he said caught my attention, that it may be a good device for multiplayer games. Not in the traditional way of one device per Player, but in the old way computer games had a Multiplayer before the time of the internet, that was called hot seat.

I could see an iPad lying on a table, with the players sitting around it like at a board game table.

Since its viewing angle is high and because of the touch interface experience it may give a reasonable board game experience.

If you look at the videos of the Tactica interface it would be very feasible to add the Users buttons and his credits/income to several borders of the screen, facing the respective players. The controls are also mostly done in a way, where the actual viewing angle is not so important. Most of all this usage of the iPad would generate a use-case very much like the one in the EVE Online “Walking in Stations” demo video (beginning at second 20).

Overall I can see, that the iPad may be a wonderful device for little board games, to be played at a table at home, in a car/train/airplane on a journey etc.

And the OpenGL ES 3D-Engine described previously may be wierd but it may also be quite capable of displaying extremely detailed 3D miniatures for a board game (Remember it has fast FPS since those miniatures don’t change internally).
I have to admit I didn’t use textures in my project (except for the entrance of those bunkers, just to test texture painting). But this is only due to lacking resources, I had to cut some edges somewhere.
I.e. I learned how to model 3D Geometries in Blender, but I still have to learn how to paint textures πŸ˜€

Technically there is nothing stopping me from using textures. And it is a fact that even a low-polygon 3D Model looks so much better with textures. So my engine is probably able to look a lot better given resources to produce textures. Every unit consists of more than 1000 triangles (more than a zombie in half-life) and they are all tiny miniatures on a battlemap. And actually, the engine is far from its limits on the iPhone. As it is I could draw a lot more triangles and may even incorporate more performance improvements proposed by Tim Overnick in the OpenGL ES lecture.

I hope I have the spare money to buy an iPad and the time to create board games for it in the future πŸ™‚

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