Veteran dice-and-card board games made a spectacular comeback in the last decade in the gaming industry, with bloggers attributing it as a ‘detox’ for the generation socialized on Playstation. If the positive protective force – towards the set of objects of a bygone cultural momentum – has pointed towards something stereotypically conceived as ‘hipsterdom’, now with this trend it breaks out from the ghetto of subcultures and becomes a phenomenon on its own. Included those youngsters whose primary experiences come from the screens. Age-old community games leap into a “golden age”, as some kind of an anti-trend to the electronic games developed mostly for single players by the 2000. Since then, sale rates for boardgames show unprecedented increase (in 2014 by 20%) that signals how situated presence, tangibility, rituals or community bonding are again the ‘next big thing’.
There has always been a trend towards expanding the social and physical aspect of games in the field of computer games. It started with multiplayer games, then online strategy games that were played by thousands of players in the same virtual environment. Great example of innovations towards making games physical were dancing mats, Nintendo Wii or the Microsoft Kinect. Although, these products by all means provided new innovative interactions, the result was still people staring at screens. The approach was always to turn something digital into more social and physical. However what Atmo proposes, is an approach from the other way around. That is to start from something that is already social and physical, and discover how its game play experience can be enhanced by digital solutions.
Atmo offers a third way in the analog versus digital debate and gives a blended solution that is capable to perform the best features of the two distinct realms. This area has benefited vastly from the spread of Internet of Things. New connected devices allow seamless integration of physical and virtual worlds, which opens new dimensions for more natural interactions between users and technology. Real-time motion tracking brings a new perspective into traditional board games, as it enables animations, sound- and light effects to be triggered by player actions.
- real-time action tracking (upon dice roll, revealing cards or moving the token on the board)
- ambiance support
- light and sound effects
- Thurn und Taxis
- Dig Mars
- King of Tokyo
Game clubs enjoy insane popularity these days, there are numerous community spaces or cafes exploiting this trend. This phenomenon can partly be attributed to better game design (new wave board games successfully merges the European genealogy of strategic merits and seamless mechanics with the American way of story telling and good humour), social media gives fertile ground for reviewing, at the same time it flattens your social interaction to a degree to feel the need for face-to-face activities. These are few of the trends that lead to the Renaissance of board games.
When you sit down to play, a special atmosphere starts to unfold around you that is composed of visible and invisible elements. Guidelines and rules form a common knowledge and a shared code of behavior, this is why it feels so comfortable to be in it. With Atmo, we target this invisible realm to enhance its qualities.