Board games: How AI will revolutionize the concept

What if an artificial intelligence slipped around the table to lead a board game and revive the interest of games with friends or family? It is the idea of ​​Xplored which launches Teburu, a hybrid game system that is both physical and connected.

Since mid-March, a new fundraising campaign on Kickstarter has presented its new board game project called The Bad Karmas and the Curse of the Zodiac. On an initial objective of 200,000 euros to be financed, Xplored has already collected more than 230,000 euros in less than 15 days. A success that demonstrates the interest of players for new experiences, while this Italian start-up aims to write the “future of the board game”.

In concrete terms, the project was born out of a passion for “old-fashioned” games, where figurines, dice and a cardboard board are placed on the table. However, Xplored, which already works with big names like Bandai Namco, Clementoni or even Ravensburger, imagined adding a smart brick around the concept. “It will be one of the future board game options in the industry because it offers a different way of playing games while keeping and preserving the physical rituals that we love”, explains to CNEWS Davide Garofalo, CEO and founder. from Xplored.

And to continue: “Inside our system, we have a very thin layer of electronics printed with sensors, and this allows the machine to know what is happening and to identify the pawns to follow their position. All of this data is collected through Bluetooth devices that communicate with a mobile app that manages the game. Above all, you don’t have to read a manual since it’s the AI ​​that manages the rules, while Teburu will complete the experience by adding immersion and a lot of narration.

A part is also peppered with contextual sound effects. For example, when you advance a pawn, you hear the footsteps of the characters. Are you opening a door? The system calls out to you to announce that a monster is appearing. An interesting new dimension.

Play with and against players

The Bad Karmas and The Curse of the Zodiac is billed as the first game tied to the Teburu system and intends to demonstrate its capabilities. But, like a video game console, the Teburu platform can accommodate other game boards, other rules and other adventures. By relying on artificial intelligence to manage the experience, Xplored imagined this technology to support players but also play against them.

“Teburu will analyze the game and manage the enemies, while adapting to the players. This brings a new vision by adding replay value that translates into different parts. We can compare this to role-playing games in video games, in the end the player immerses himself in a part that is already completely managed by what the creators of the game have programmed. Above all, there is an interesting point around the story and its narration that allows us to imagine a different experience from a traditional board game”, underline Riccardo Landi, author of the design of Teburu, and Alessandro Carlotto, programmer head of the project.

If Xplored is betting on a first game to launch its concept, others should arrive quickly. With a commercialization planned for the second quarter of 2023, the Teburu system and the game The Bad Karmas and The Curse of the Zodiac is offered at the price of 170 euros on Kickstarter. The Xplored company, as a publisher, is also in negotiations with major players in the entertainment world such as Disney and Warner Bros.

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Board games: How AI will revolutionize the concept

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