This is a student project on augmented reality games supervised by Kaj Grønbæk, and conducted by: Sune Kristensen (, Bjørn W. Nielsen (, Troels Lange (

The original source of inspiration for the BB3D project was a sequence in the movie Star Wars Episode IV where two characters are playing a game of chess. The different pieces of the chess game are alive, moving and making comments of the game, and when a strike is executed a battle between the actual pieces are shown on the field of the board. The vision with the BB3D prototype was to make this scenario come through outside the world of fiction film in the actual settings of traditional board game playing.

Physical pieces are dismantled and recombined to invoke a battlePhysical pieces are dismantled and recombined to invoke a battle

In BB3D the physical pieces are associated with animations which show the virtual representation of pieces and the outcome of occasional battles. This kind of augmentation provokes new ways to interact with computers, which enables the user/player to maintain the same kind of interaction as known from classical board games – the interaction is purely based on physical interaction.

The resources are the augmented parts of BB3D. Augmenting the resources influence the player’s experience of the space factor. The virtual – and the physical spaces are by augmentation extended to contain additional digital information. The goal of augmenting a board game is to extend the aesthetic experience of the resources, the space and the game in general.

BattleBoard 3D – the Concept

Based on the ARToolkit as the platform it is possible to use a Web cam to detect a marker which contains a graphical symbol. The marker can be associated with 3D graphics which is placed on top of the marker when detected.An important feature is that the physical setting of the classical board game is integrated into the physical settings of an augmented board game, to ensure interaction based on physical objects with the two players on each side of the board.

The game may be played both with goggles and with a display on the side

Through VR goggles enhanced with a Web cam or with a Web cam and a display, the player can experience the battles in the virtual world. The game is played on a six times seven squared board and each player starts with seven pieces.

The prototype has been developed so it is simple but still exciting enough for children to play the game. The primary goal was to create an objective in the game, which in BB3D is to capture the opponent’s chest which is similar to the flag in e.g. Stratego.

The construction theme in LEGO gives the possibility of combining pieces to create a new unique pattern which invokes the battles between pieces. This is done by breaking off the halves of the pieces carrying information and assembling new halves again. Future research may be to support players to build their own physical pieces in LEGO and thereby defining their own unique markers and to utilize a different kind of goggle to minimize the fumbling when moving pieces.


Kaj Grønbæk
Kaj Grønbæk
Department of Computer Science, University of Aarhus
P +45 89425636
M +45 21495634

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