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The creator of Star Wars' holochess is making a monster-battling AR card game

The creator of Star Wars' holochess is making a monster-battling AR card game


Also coming on VR headsets, mobile, and PC

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Phil Tippett the man perhaps best known as the subject of a meme — for failing in his role as "dinosaur supervisor" on Jurassic Park — but the veteran artist's most famous works are his holochess pieces, stop-motion beasts originally seen on the Millennium Falcon's game table in Star Wars: A New Hope, and resurrected in last year's The Force Awakens. Now Tippett's bringing a similar game to the real world with HoloGrid: Monster Battle, a game for both augmented and virtual reality platforms that uses cards to make miniature monsters appear in front of your eyes.

Tippett's self-named studio is working with developer HappyGiant on the game, which will use a process called photogrammetry to make holochess-esque monsters spring from cards played on a game board. A similar effect has been used by Nintendo for its AR cards, and in PS3 game Eye of Judgment, but HoloGrid's monsters, designed by Tippett himself, look to be far more active than the figures produced in those cases, swaying, pacing, and growling in place.


The game itself is described as similar to collectible card games both real and virtual, including Blizzard's Hearthstone and the seminal Magic: The Gathering. Details of exactly how the game will play are thin at this point in development, but HoloGrid: Monster Battle seems to have borrowed some of the brutality of Star Wars' holochess. Early footage shows one giant beast chowing down on another's neck, yanking it off the game board and out of play, while the player's oversized hand hovers over the game table.

There's no details yet on when the game will be out, or the specific platforms on which it will launch, but Mike Levine, president of developer HappyGiant, says his company is "incredibly excited and interested in new platforms like Magic Leap, HoloLens, CastAR, Meta, and others, as well as current AR mobile tech such as Vuforia." In addition to AR hardware and VR headsets like the recently released Oculus Rift, HappyGiant says the game will also be coming out for mobile and PC.