Co-founders Joanna and Rivelle have led a successful Kickstarter campaign for an augmented reality app called Cartographr. The video pitch shows the beta working already, and it brings tabletop RPG adventures to visual life through the lens of a smartphone.
Augmented reality blends what your smartphone can see through its camera with the fantasy of digital assets. Cartographr has been designed to make maximum use of all the free asset packs available for computer game makers. You can find out more about the app or join the project on the pitch page.
The app does not claim to be a virtual tabletop replacement and instead positions itself firmly as a companion to what you’re already doing with your tabletop RPGs.
Cartographr is a social AR app for Tabletop RPG that aims to reinvent the way tabletop roleplayers build visualizations for their players. It is an immersive digital tabletop terrain modular builder enabling collaborative virtual world creation in the physical world by using intuitive drag and drop gestures, on the devices players already own. Cartographr experiences can be saved and shared with other players empowering everyone to interact with the same scene together—even when apart—in real time.
It is also possible to use Cartographr with a web view, not with your mobile. As you’d imagine, this gives you a wider screen.
While the app isn’t suggesting it a virtual tabletop replacement, it does have some features in that area. Cartographr helps with scale. You can scan a real-world setting, drop in a virtual enemy, scale that to size and then use the app to calculate attack range. In other words, if the skeleton moves over to that doorway, can the ranger still blast it?
In contrast to most VTT experiences, Cartographr offers a first-person point of view of the fantasy world. Rather than watch your character move around on a table, users of Cartographr can look through their character’s eyes and see what they see.
How much will Cartographr cost?
There’s going to be two version of the app and one will be free. The free Cartographr gives you unlimited use of the public map and lets you create 6 of your own, but those will expire if you don’t use them. Your maps can also only have 30 assets on them.
The $5 a month version gives you the ability to create an unlimited number of never expiring maps, with 100 assets on each and whether. It’s only the pro version that integrates sounds and unlocks the first person view.
A pledge of $10 gets backers beta access, complete with the ability to suggest features.
If you step up to $25, then you get alpha access, which means you get in sooner, in May, rather than August. You also get 2 asset packs.
A pledge of $50 comes with a pro subscription that lasts for a year (which would normally cost $60), Discord access, a playtest invite and those bonus asset packs. That unlocks in October.
There are higher tiers, including an early bird “All inclusive” which at $108 gets you that $50 tier, with all the available launch assets, Cartographr d20, an ARC mimic t-shirt and leather journal with AR Image.
What do you think? Measured observations are welcome and you can leave them in the comment section below.