La Tabla is a magical table—put things on it and they come to life. Make music and animations. Play games. Design your own pinball tables. Use your body, your friends, paper, drawings, game pieces—whatever strikes your fancy.
Ever wanted to design your own pinball table? It's never been easier. Use paper and objects to design your layout. Play it with a game controller. La Tabla Pinball is a great tool for learning the fundamentals of level design. Touch, experiment with, and rapidly iterate your table layout.
Make music that sounds great—no musical experience necessary! Sheets of paper become musical scores for a variety of instruments: software synthesizers, MIDI instruments, and robits—tiny robots that play the xylophone! Draw, place objects, or use your hands to manipulate the song.
La Tabla has a ball pit, because let's be honest—a pile of bouncing balls is all you really need to have fun.
Make animations. Draw the frames one at a time, or use objects for a stop-motion style. Reuse images from magazines or the Internet. Make a mash up.
Of course we had to make the granddaddy of video games! Cut your own paddles out of foam core. As many players as you want: four, eight, three, a hundred, one, or zero. It's up to you. Redesign the playfield. Cheat. You and your friends make the rules.
Pilot shoots, collect treasure, and blow each other up. Brand new multiplayer game we made for 2018 GDC/EGW. Video coming soon.
Play anything. La Tabla makes activities—games, toys, and tools—open to playful and improvisational reimagining.
La Tabla is open source, and the parts—a computer, web cam, and projector—are relatively inexpensive. Check out the source code on GitHub.
Have an idea for a La Tabla project? Of course you do! Join the Google Group to discuss building, installing, and hacking La Tabla.
Join the Google Group.
Organizing an exhibit or event? Want to host a La Tabla installation? Contact us: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Keep updated on the latest La Tabla news. Learn about upcoming game jams and exhibitions. You can also follow La Tabla on Twitter: @TablaViva.
La Tabla was begun by Chaim Gingold (Spore, Earth: A Primer) right after finishing his Ph.D. about play. While doing his dissertation research, Chaim became fascinated by adventure playgrounds—unusual playgrounds that children themselves build out of wood, nails, and junk. Chaim became interested in designing flexible play environments in which players could introduce whatever materials and rules they wanted, and which combined the digital and physical. Meanwhile, his colleagues (Bret Victor, Robert Ochshorn, and Toby Schachman) had begun experimenting with projection mapping and computer vision—work that ultimately led to Dynamicland—and prompted Chaim to begin experimenting with playful and tangible computing. La Tabla then went on to inspire and inform the development of Dynamicland.
It began with the bouncing balls and pong game. Chaim then joined forces with talented designer/programmer/musician Luke Iannini (Rumpus, Artikulator), to create the music mode. Luke contributed his expertise in music and sound synthesis, design and coding chops, and psychedelic shader powers. Another colleague, Paula Te, built the Arduino powered xylophone, and contributed sketches for the music characters. The rest is history.
La Tabla introduces a groundbreaking way to interact with computers. Rather than using a finger to click on a mouse or poke at a screen, you reach into the simulation world with two hands, bringing the full force of your hominid dexterity and playfulness to the table. Because you can put whatever you like—coins, stones, books, drawings, yourself—into the simulation world, play is surprisingly improvisational and open-ended. Playing with others doesn't require sharing a mouse, keyboard, or network connection. Everyone sees and touches the same thing, which is such a profound way to interact that we take it for granted during our everyday, non-computerized, life.
Chaim and Luke gave a short talk at the 2018 Game Developers Conference / EGW on La Tabla. Watch it here. La Tabla starts at ~1:28:19.
Paula Te built the Arduino xylophone and contributed character designs to the music mode.
Special thanks to Dynamic Medium / Dynamicland members past and present: Bret Victor, Paula Te, Toby Schachman, Josh Horowitz, Glen Chiaccieri, Robert Ochschorn, Michael Nagle, Virginia McArthur, Jennifer Jacobs, Chaim Gingold, and Luke Iannini.
Video Friends: Vi Hart, M Eifler, Andrea Hawksley, Nina Walia, Le Wei, Gina Collechia, Jeremy Herrman, Mike Rotondo, and Nicky Case.
Animators: Nicky Case, Tara Parker-Essig, David Hellman, and Eadweard Muybridge.
Thank you especially to our MVPs—Many Valuable Players—who have helped the project evolve.
Special thanks to Dan Ingalls and HARC / Y Combinator Research.