Developed by a team at Carnegie Mellon University as a proof-of-concept for playing tabletop role-playing games with Microsoft Surface, SurfaceScapes provides a set of features designed to immerse both game masters and players with virtual representations of their game environments and characters.

"We are taking traditional tabletop role-playing games to the next level, adding a new layer of immersive and intuitive gaming to the Microsoft Surface Table and assisting both GMs and players in enjoying exciting and engaging adventures," says the CMU group.

The setup doesn't yet look as impressive as traditional Dungeons & Dragons setups with detailed miniatures and elaborately constructed scenes, but it does have the advantage of animating movement/combat/spells and providing audio feedback. With a Microsoft Surface table typically priced around $12,500, however, it could be a long time before anything like this shows up at your weekly D&D sessions.

[Via Microsoft Surface Blog]