Virtual reality, at its most efficient, can save companies time and money with its digital spaces. VR can supply immersive meeting spaces with a level of interaction not available to phone or even video conference calls. Those digital areas can even be shaped to test tools, ideas, and take risks that would otherwise be financially inconvenient. On a lighter note, VR can provide intimate gaming spaces when otherwise not available. Catan (also known as The Settlers of Catan) is a popular board game that’s being brought into the VR realm, allowing friends and fans of the game far and wide to pull up a seat and play together.
In Catan, players take the role of settlers and attempt to dominate the island of Catan through trading for resources for the building of settlements, cities, and roads. The different tiles all produce one of the different resources you need (except the desert tile which produces none) so you must navigate and trade accordingly while also staying aware of the robber that hinders resource production. The video taken at VR NOW Con showcases a prototype that revealed a high level of interaction from rolling your dice right down to other players possibly being able to see the cards in your hands.
The game has sold over 20 million copies and has been translated into 30 languages, so there’s certainly interest there for the game. In June we reported on the independently developed Tabletop Simulator that’s essentially a physics sandbox where you can create board game experiences and interact with them freely, even if your idea of interacting is flipping the table and scattering all the pieces all over. In that game, you could practically re-create The Settlers of Catan or any other board game but you’d have to go through the trouble of uploading all of the game’s assets. This project would eliminate that process and potentially offer some Catan-specific features that the open nature of Tabletop Simulator wouldn’t offer. We’ll see how the prototype shapes up from here on.