Phil Tippett collaborating with HappyGiant on photogrammetry technology for HoloGrid: Monster Battle

Jurassic Park dinosaur supervisor and creator of Star Wars holochess developing AR title

One of the creative forces behind cinema’s most iconic special effects is moving into game development.

Movie FX veteran Phil Tippett has worked on films from Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom and Robocop to Howard the Duck, Twilight and Starship Troopers.

To most, he’s probably best known as the man who brought holochess to life in Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope (and subsequently in last year’s The Force Awakens), or the joking-mocked ‘dinosaur supervisor’ credited in Jurassic Park. (“You had one job, Phil” and so on.)

Now, Tippett’s eponymous games development studio is working on its first title, with the help of fellow dev HappyGiant.

Adopting a familiar style to his famous virtual chess pieces, HoloGrid: Monster Battle is targeted at VR and AR platforms such as the Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, Microsoft HoloLens and Magic Leap.

The title is built upon a technology called photogrammetry, which allows physical cards to manifest creatures in virtual space. It’s comparable to past efforts such as Eye of Judgement for the PS3 and the AR cards included with Nintendo’s 3DS system, but appears to be more dynamic than those older attempts to mix physical and virtual card games.

Regarding gameplay, the developers say that battles are similar to Hearthstone and Magic: The Gathering, focusing on the collectability of cards and efficient deck-building.

While platform and release date details remain vague, HappyGiant told The Verge that it is targeting PC and mobile alongside AR and VR systems.

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