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AR/VR Weekly: an experiment worth watching

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Experiment 7 is setting out to create more than a way to play games in virtual reality with its Magic Table platform. It’s released two games so far — chess and the Dungeons & Dragons-licensed Dungeon Chess. And next up is Catan VR, which brings the classic Settlers of Catan board game to the Oculus Rift and Samsung Gear.

I’ve talked a couple of times with the studio’s leadership — creative director Geoffrey Zatkin and managing director Demetri Detsaridis — and each time, I’ve come away impressed with not just their grasp of making games in virtual reality and love for board games but also with the scope of their ambitions.

The next game they’re bringing to VR and their Magic Table platform is Settlers of Catan. It’s how Experiment 7 wants to bring board games to VR, by enabling you to customize the space you’re playing in: changing the look of your surroundings, swapping in different pieces of art, and so on. It’s just the first step of their ambitions to make VR a better social space for gaming.

Toward the end of our interview, I asked them about user-generated content. A segment of board gamers love to customize their games, just as PC gamers enjoy modding. It’s an idea Zatkin and Detsaridis like, and they’re putting it “into the backlog.”

If anyone can bring modding to VR, it could be Experiment 7. Working with more static environments like rooms, paintings, landscapes, and chairs might be the first stepping stone to bringing the vibrant modding community from PC gaming to the next emerging technology.

For AR/VR coverage, send news tips to Dean Takahashi and Jeff Grubb (for those that cross over into PC gaming). Please send guest post submissions to Rowan Kaiser. Please be sure to visit our AR/VR Channel.

–Jason Wilson, GamesBeat managing editor

P.S.: VR tech does more than just power experiences in a headset. Take a look at what it’s doing for Destiny 2.

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