Microsoft’s Surface group was so enthused about a Surface Dungeons & Dragons game built by students at Carnegie Mellon University, it flew the six students to Redmond this week to demonstrate the game in person.
Carnegie’s Entertainment Technology Center produced a viral hit with a video demo of their “SurfaceScapes” game that it released in October.
While in Seattle this week, students also had dinner with Penny Arcade folks who gave them the idea during a visit to the school last year. Penny Arcade is expecting the Surface D&D game to be a big draw at its PAX East game conference in Boston next month.
Not on the students’ schedule, though, was Renton-based Wizards of the Coast, which publishes D&D.
The team said they don’t have any plans to commercialize their version of the fantasy game, which was built to show how tabletop games could work on a Surface computer.
Microsoft sells the $12,500 computers to hotels, restaurants, retail stores, cruise ships and other public venues. The computers use cameras to sense gestures, touch and objects on their tabletop displays.
Microsoft’s expected to eventually release a consumer version of the Surface but first it has to update the commercial model from Windows Vista to Windows 7.
The first video below is the Carnegie team playing Dungeons & Dragons at Microsoft. The second is their demo; it’s far better to see the game but doesn’t show the people who made it.