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Star Wars' Holochess creator has a monster-battling AR game on Kickstarter
You read that right. The original designer of the classic HoloChess scene in A New Hope, Phil Tippett, has a Kickstarter campaign running for a game called HoloGrid: Monster Battle. It’s not quite the HoloChess you know from the movie because the AR tech isn’t there yet, but it is the foundation for what will evolve into full-blown HoloChess when the technology catches up.
“Let’s be real: any article you read about Magic Leap or any AR platform, the first thing they talk about is Holochess,” says Mike Levine, a man who was once the senior effects specialist at LucasArts and is now the CEO of a game studio working with Tippett and Corey Rosen, another former creature effects supervisor at Industrial Light & Magic.
In its current form, HoloGrid is a mobile game with a physical card and board (for those that eschew too much technology in their HoloChess). To play, you build a deck from the collectible cards and either play it on your phone by scanning in your cards or on the physical game board. The aim is to build the infrastructure now and turn it into full-on HoloChess when AR and VR can support it properly.
The aim is to build the infrastructure now and turn it into full-on HoloChess when AR and VR can support it properly.
As Levine notes, “Even though that tech is not here yet, at least for consumers, it’s coming somewhat soon. Our whole vision here is really that this is version 1.0 of this project – build the gameplay foundation, the mechanics – but our real long-term vision is to take it to those platforms and be one of the first cool games on it.” The Kickstarter campaign is already at 10% of its $100,000 goal and will ship to backers in November 2016.
While none of the monsters in HoloGrid: Monster Battle are directly from Star Wars, the new creatures are not only based on the originals but were built by Tippett himself (Engadget has the full story of how the game came about if you’re interested). So while HoloGrid won’t be exactly like HoloChess for a little while yet, it already has as many of the original ingredients in it as possible without Disney’s lawyers knocking at your door.
How long have you waited for this to happen? Will you be backing HoloGrid?