Tap on Fire Begins Kickstarter For The Most Lifelike RPG Virtual Tabletop Ever

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The creators of a visually stunning 3D RPG virtual tabletop gather support to share the experience across devices.

The party facing off against a skeletal dragon in a deep dungeon

A screenshot of the 3D Virtual Tabletop

It is the perfect balance of technology and simplicity/elegant design. So much like a real tabletop that it is stunning... nothing more, nothing less.

Tap on Fire began a Kickstarter campaign on August 6 to enable network multiplayer in their breakthrough 3D Virtual Tabletop application. Their app is notable because of its faithful visual representation of physical items on the tabletop. It also stands out due to its intuitive use of the touchscreen, being a native app on iPad, iPhone and Android. The sole feature remaining to make it a contender in the role playing game (RPG) virtual tabletop space is the introduction of cross-platform networking sharing, allowing both Android and iPad users to play together in the same tabletop environment. The purpose of the Kickstarter campaign is to complete that final step.

A demo 3D Virtual Tabletop app has been available on iPad, iPhone and Android for over a year. It allows play standalone on a single device, with participation in that experience limited to passive viewing via screen sharing, or simply passing the device around. Nonetheless, gamers from around the world have been able to run games with it, and it has been very well received, with positive feedback like this from an early user, Doug D. "It is the perfect balance of technology and simplicity/elegant design. So much like a real tabletop that it is stunning... nothing more, nothing less."

The app’s advanced graphical capabilities are due to its use of the Unity game engine. While sometimes put to use producing AAA games, it gives 3D Virtual Tabletop its visual fidelity but the licensing of a commercial grade engine is the reason that a Kickstarter was needed. The demo was developed with the free version of Unity. Expanding the app’s capabilities to include network play requires use of the Pro version, which has a significant cost, but is well within the reach of a typical Kickstarter campaign. Stretch goals enabled by the Kickstarter could also allow the app to make use of Unity’s multiplatform nature to release 3D Virtual Tabletop for Windows, Mac or the web.

Tap on Fire was founded in 2011 to bring the benefits of mobile computing to the role playing game community. A year of research and experimentation culminated in the technology demonstration release of 3D Virtual Tabletop in mid-2012. Continued refinement of the technology has seen 3D Virtual Tabletop become the premier virtual tabletop experience on iOS and Android platforms. 3D Virtual Tabletop is available to purchase now for iOS from the Apple App Store and for Android from Google Play and the Amazon Appstore.

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Brendon Duncan
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