One of the most successful and critically acclaimed board games, “Catan” (also known as “The Settlers of Catan” or simply “Settlers”), is set to become a digital board game in early 2023 under the name “Catan — Tilt Five AR”.
The game will come in “holographic 3D”, and will use the AR gaming headset Tilt Five. Tilt Five is the company founded by former Valve employees Jeri Ellsworth – a hardware engineer; and Rick Johnson – a programmer. They left Steam in 2013 when Steam was more interested in working on their VR headset which eventually became the HTC Vive. They left Steam on good terms, however, with the full endorsement of Gabe Newell – he had given them the tech and his blessing for the new startup.
There currently aren’t any details on the digital “expansion” of Catan. However, Tilt Five have made promises that you’ll be able to “interact with the Catan island in new ways using the Tilt Five Wand and watch the island’s wildlife and environment spring to life in holographic 3D.”
Innovative AR Technology Will Bring Your Game to Life
Most AR headsets are self-contained. What this means is that they bend the light into your eyes with special mirrors, lenses and waveguides. This system, however, has its downsides, providing a very narrow field of view. Tilt Five’s system is innovative – it projects the light onto a retroreflective game board and then bounces it back at you.
This allows you to play 3D board games, video games, and even interactive Dungeons & Dragons campaigns have “a life on their own”. Images will effectively stand from your table, much like an action figure or a game model, and even provide each player with a different view of the board. Tilt Five have released a trailer to the game, which our readers can enjoy watching here:
Sadly, the trailer doesn’t show actual gameplay, but again, the project is currently under development and more details are bound to come up sooner rather than later. Tilt Five have shared that the game will have several game modes. You can play it around a table, solo against “classic AI opponents,” or online with other players from around the world in a global multiplayer experience.
The company announced a partnership with Asmodee – Catan’s publisher in March. This is very exciting news, as it could lead to other popular board games coming to Tilt Five, such as “Gloomhaven,” “Terraforming Mars,” “Arkam Horror” and others. To add to the hype, Embracer Group bought Asmodee this March, which could mean “The Lord of the Rings” games might find their way to Tilt Five, should the company manage to convince the right people that it’s worth the investment.
The system, however, is not going to be cheap. Per their official store, one Tilt Five AR copy will cost you $359, two will cost you $659, and their three-pack will cost $959. Our readers should keep in mind the AR system is still in the pre-order stages and will become available in the upcoming months.