Weta Workshop is working on a new game called Giant Killer Robots (GKR), which combines tabletop wargaming with augmented reality. Details are sparse at the moment, but the New Zealand-based prop studio demoed the game this week at San Diego Comic Con, and descriptions have started to trickle out from people who attended.
We have already seen concepts of AR being used for real world games like Microsoft’s E3 Hololens demo, which showcased a coffee table version of Minecraft. But many of these concepts are entirely digital games projected over real world surfaces, and GKR will apparently use physical game pieces.
According to Reddit user beardeddragonborn, GKR is ” a tabletop combat game” that uses a mix of real figures and digital imagery.
“You purchase collectible figures for the game, can upgrade them, and then use them on the play mat to fight,” he wrote. “You can then scan that figure into your virtual game using a camera from a smart device, like an iPad or smartphone.
“Then, you can use that device to watch the game through their app, and on the device you will get animations of the fight, animated overlays onto your play mat of other battlefield elements, as well as see your opponent and their figures on the field. This is where the possibility is to play a tabletop game over the internet.”
From the description, GKR sounds similar to games like the Star Wars: X-Wing Miniatures Game or Warhammer 40,000, both of which use collectible miniatures and movement-based battles.
The brief description on GKR’s currently sparse website says:
The year is 2150. Mega corporations rule the world of GKR, fighting for control over cities long destroyed and abandoned after a devastating world war 100 years earlier.
Like MODERN DAY GLADIATORS GIANT KILLER ROBOT battles are broadcast across the globe as entertainment for the masses.
These sponsored robot armies battle in proxy as a way to humiliate and financially break their competition, as well as profit off the entertainment advertising and promotion during these global events.
Weta Workshop is best known for its work on Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings film trilogy, where the studio created all of the physical costumes, weapons, and other props used in the movies. Weta is also the prop team behind District 9 and Elysium, both of which used a similar “used future” aesthetic that can be seen in the concept art for GKR.
You can watch Weta’s teaser for Giant Killer Robots below: