XRoads (Cross Reality On A Digital Surface) explores novel and multimodal interaction techniques for tabletop games. It is a Mixed Reality platform which combines touch, speech, and gestures as input modalities for turn-based and real-time strategy games.

XRoads is built on top of The in-house software framework Simulator X [Latoschik & Tramberend, 2011].

The utilization of Intelligent Realtime Interactive Systems (IRIS) plays a decisive role in the area of virtual reality, augmented reality and mixed (or rather cross) reality. These fields yield assistive technology for numerous everyday situations, offering the user intuitive options to interact with the system. Besides many other application areas, the development of novel games benefits from such interactions.

Funding and Collaboration

The development of XRoads has been supported by our cooperation partner Pegasus Spiele, a german tabletop game distributor. Support includes basic game mechanics, digital assets for prototype implementations, as well as financial support for student workers.


2012-2013 a mixed reality version of the role-play-based board game Quest: Zeit der Helden was implemented in the context of student projects: A multitouch table with object recognition capabilities (Samsung's SUR40) serves as a shared interaction space for tangible game elements (pawns, cards, ...). The system augments these real objects with multimedia content, according to the ongoing game. The integration of portable devices allows for private interaction spaces. This prototype unifies different interaction techniques, like touch input or tangible interaction, in order positively affect the user experience [Giebler-Schubert, Zimmerer, Wedler, Fischbach & Latoschik, 2013].

Until now the Quest-prototype has been enhanced with additional multimodal interfaces [Fischbach, Zimmerer, Giebler-Schubert, Latoschik, 2014]:

  • A dice shaking- and throwing-gesture, detected via the Leap Motion sensor, allows the player to roll a virtual dice that bounces off the real pawns standing on the table.

  • A simple speech interface provides an alternative to the existing touch interface for all actions a player can choose from at any point during the game.

Recently the prototype has been extended by a location-based adventure played on a mobile-device [Fischbach, Lugrin, Latoschik, Fendt, 2014; Zimmerer, Fischbach, Latoschik, 2014]. The extension devides the gameplay into two phases an adventure phase, where players follow a non-linear storyline by visiting various real-world locations to acquire rewards and information and a skirmish phase, where strategic plans and collaboration is required to defeat enemies in a turn-based battle.


During the skirmish phase, the mobile device is utilized to extend the interaction possibilities with the interactive table:

  • additional private interaction space, e.g. for playing secret traps

  • use of device sensors, e.g. shaking the mobile device activates a dice roll

This enhanced versions has been demonstrated at several events where user feedback was continuously collected.

Future Goals

  • Conceptual and technical implementation of additional (multimodal) interaction techniques, in particular speech and gesture interactions using consumer hardware like Microsoft Kinect, Razor Hydra or DICE+.

  • Implementation of further existing (tabletop) game mechanics

  • Exploration of new game mechanics, that are solely feasible in a mixed reality setup

  • Research of Realtime and Multimodal Interaction Techniques

  • Comparison of alternative interaction techniques (e.g. rolling a via touch vs. gesture vs. DICE+)

  • Continuative studies that research the difference in the user's experience between the original tabletop game and an cross reality version.


M.Sc. Martin Fischbach
Telefon: 0931 31 86314
E-Mail: martin.fischbach@uni-wuerzburg.de


Current state of the realtime strategy prototype

Current state of the Quest-prototype

Basic functionality of the Quest-prototype


XRoads Demo at the Mobile Media Day
24.11.2015 Vogel Convention Center, Würzburg
Berit Barkschat and Sascha Link present the latest results of the ongoing project XRoads at the Mobile Media Day in Würzburg. (2015-11-23)
ICMI '15 in Seattle
09.11.2015 - 13.11.2015
The International Conference on Multimodal Interaction 2015 is over. Have a look at the excellent publications! (2015-11-16)
Presentation at the ICMI '15 in Seattle
09.11.2015 - 13.11.2015
Martin Fischbach will present an extended exposé of his PhD thesis on software techniques for multimodal input processing in Realtime Interactive Systems at the International Conference on Multimodal Interaction in Seattle. (2015-09-17)
HCI at the RPC 2015 in Cologne
16.05.2015 - 17.05.2015
The HCI group presented the latest result of the ongoing project XRoads - a realtime mixed-reality game - at the Role Play Convention in Cologne. (2015-05-16)
Demonstration at the Mobile Media Day in Würzburg
03.12.2014 - 03.12.2014
The HCI group presents the latest results of the ongoing project XRoads as well as the outcome of the myCards project at the Mobile Media Day in Würzburg. (2014-12-03)
Demonstration at the ITS '14 in Dresden
16.11.2014 - 19.11.2014
The HCI group demonstrates the latest research on fusion of mixed reality tabletop and location-based applications for pervasive games at the Interactive Tabletops and Surfaces conference in Dresden. (2014-11-16)
Demonstration at the WUD '14 in Würzburg
13.11.2014 - 13.11.2014
The HCI group presents the latest results of the ongoing project XRoads as well as a thesis on the comparison of interaction techniques for time-critical applications at the World Usability Day in Würzburg. (2014-11-13)
HCI at the SPIEL'14 in Essen
16.10.2014 - 19.10.2014
The HCI group presents the latest results of the ongoing project XRoads together with the co-operation partner Pegasus Spiele at the Internationale Spieltage SPIEL'14 in Essen. (2014-10-17)
HCI Group at ISMAR 2014
Chris Zimmerer and Marvin Thäns presented the XRoads Demonstration at the International Symposium on Mixed and Augmented Reality. (2014-09-19)
HCI at the RPC 2014 in Cologne
10.05.2014 - 11.05.2014
The HCI group presented the latest results of the ongoing project XRoads together with the co-operation partner Pegasus Spiele at the Role Play Convention in Cologne. (2014-05-12)


(Modified 14.06.2015)

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