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TrueSight Battle Grid

Grade: E

edit board 1.jpg
Design Project 1

Competency Areas Built

  • Creativity + Aesthetics

  • User + Society

  • Math, Data + Computing

  • Business + Entrepreneurship

  • Technology + Realization

  • Design + Research Processes


Data visualization is often used in computer gaming to provide feedback to players. However, little research has investigated its potential in hybrid physical/digital tabletop games, or for tabletop role-playing games. Building upon the benefits of tangible interfaces we introduce and report on the design of the Truesight Battle Grid, a modular, tangible battle grid for the role-playing game Dungeons & Dragons. Through visualizing game-play possibilities with lights, it aims to provide players with information about the fantasy world without being distracting. We report on a preliminary evaluation with two focus groups - showing that the tool was helpful and is able to contribute to an engaged audience - and reflect on possibilities for future work.


This project has been one of my steepest learning curves while at the university in terms of information absorption in a short period of time. Throughout this project, we have taken a deep dive into the weird and wonderful world of Dungeons and Dragons, and the people who play it. Not only is the rule system vast and complicated, but the culture itself is rich with unspoken agreements and expectations


which we had to learn quickly. It was an exercise of leaving our stereotypes at the door ( although usually picking them up again on the way out) and going back to basics with human-centred design principles. I found out very quickly that I knew very little about D&D, which contrasted previous projects where I usually had some

personal involvement with my user groups. This forced me to really listen and make design decisions based on the user input from online forums, blog post and our interviews at the beginning of the project. This was a very good practice in taking very varied groups’ thoughts and summarizing them into design possibilities. I will certainly be more mindful of digging deep during the empathy stage of my next project.

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