Battle Map Studio is a playful map editor and RPG sandbox that makes world building fun, simple, and social. Developed by Bradley Shepherd, founder of Harken Studio, this map editor uses a variety of practical and amusing tools to paint forests and rivers, generate mountains, and construct houses.
We asked Bradley what the process of bringing Battle Map Studios to Tilt Five was like! Here's what he had to say about getting the stage set for holographic RPG campaigns.
What was the production process for you and your team? What did you learn?
When I began adding Tilt Five support to Battle Map Studio, it was important to me that the map-making experience was actually augmented by the holographic visuals and Wand controls. An easy decision I made early on was to have the Tilt Five controller assume the roles of pointer and paintbrush. I knew that building environments and maneuvering characters using the Wand would feel much more natural compared to using a PC mouse. I spent quite a while designing control schemes, imagining how a key-press or mouse interaction could be replaced by a Wand button and/or motion without it feeling awkward. This process has been challenging, but many times I’ve found it has led me to redesign and improve map editing tools and features on all platforms.
What made you want to integrate Tilt Five into your video game?
Tilt Five intrigued me because it is a lightweight and affordable AR system built primarily for games. Compared to other XR devices, I felt Tilt Five was much more accessible and consumer-realistic. With the gameplay being anchored on the Gameboard, it was exciting for me to imagine a group of friends gathered around a table collaborating on a map or playing a tabletop RPG in real-time using Tilt Five. Using the Wand to paint forests, place props, and move characters on the gameboard in holographic 3D seemed like it would make for a really fun and immersive worldbuilding experience.
Do you have any tips for developers who are interested in integrating their existing game or building a new game for Tilt Five?
When developing for Tilt Five, I think it’s important to consider various ways you might utilize the Wand, Gameboard, and play area to best suit your game. Instead of trying to shoehorn PC controls into your game, allow yourself to be creative and experiment with fun game controls that work well with the platform. With the XR space being a relatively new frontier, it’s a great time to explore innovative approaches to user input and controls.
What was it like to see your game on the Tilt Five system for the first time?
When I saw holographic 3D plants and characters pop out of the Gameboard for the first time, I couldn’t help but reach out my hand and try to touch them. It was surreal to be able to wave the Wand and see mountains rise up, jungles grow, and characters battle, right in front of me.
What games or experiences are you looking forward to trying on the Tilt Five?
I’m a big fan of both tactical strategy and card games, so I’m looking forward to checking out Rise of Humanity. I’d also love to play that procedural town builder called Townscaper on Tilt Five!
Is there anything else you want to share or include?
It has been such a joy to develop Battle Map Studio for the Tilt Five system. Everyone at Tilt Five has been so helpful and supportive of me and Battle Map Studio. I’m looking forward to exploring more of Tilt Five’s capabilities, like hand and tangible object tracking!
Check out Battle Map Studio using Ultraleap for hand-tracking on Tilt Five: