The CEO of The Last Gameboard Shail Mehta shared an overview of the company's gaming console for tabletop experiences, explained how it was developed, and spoke about its Unity SDK.
I grew up playing board games and tabletop roleplaying games. When my family and I immigrated to the United States in the 90s, I made friends and learned English by playing simple board games. My passion for gaming and making social connections through technology inspired me to create Gameboard.
I’ve worked at hedge funds and private equity prior to creating Gameboard. After being granted a patent in 2020 for Gameboard’s groundbreaking technology, I formed a team, raised capital and launched Gameboard. Gameboard connects players and game creators through digital/physical technology, allowing worlds to merge. I’m also a mother of two and love traveling!
The Last Gameboard
As a kid, I was a big fan of board games and game nights. I always wanted to play games with my friends, even when they weren’t around. At the time, there weren’t many good options for connecting with friends online, and any virtual tabletop platforms that existed were not very sophisticated and focused more on the interface than on connecting with friends. Gameboard was born out of the need and desire to merge both of those facets together. Our top objective was and still is to connect people with the people and games they love.
Gameboard is made by gamers, for gamers. In a digitally native world, we wanted to provide a solution that is akin to Kindle and Netflix for tabletop gaming (neither of which killed analog books nor theater attendance). We understand that analog games will always have a time and place (our team still plays too!). Our goal is to enhance those experiences and provide better access for both publishers and gamers.
Getting Started With Gameboard
Gameboard was designed to be intuitive, so you can sit down, turn it on, download your favorite games and jump right in. Think of it as the Netflix for board games. Its digital player drawers keep track of your games, preferences, and allow you to jump right into playing with little setup.
The Unity SDK is the most mature and is publicly available in the Developer’s Guide. Once we finish some final refactors on the Unity SDK, we will mirror and publicly release the Unreal and Android Studio SDKs. All games submitted to the Gameboard platform will be evaluated on a number of criteria which can be found on our Game Developers page.
Gameboard is a 17”x17” tablet that’s big enough to host most board games while still fitting squarely under your arm for portability. It is based on the A311D chipset: quad-core ARM Cortex-A73 and dual-core Cortex-A53 cluster with united L2 cache, neural net accelerator (INT8 inference), ARM Mali G52 (OpenGL, Fulkan and Open CL) and 2.5D graphics processor, and 60Hz 1920x1920 resolution. Gameboard has 4GB of DDR4 RAM and 64GB of eMMC internal memory with microSD card for expansion.
Network connectivity includes Bluetooth 5.0 spec, 2.4Ghz and 5.0Ghz Wi-Fi and comes with stereo speakers and microphones. Gameboard is IP54 rated and is covered by chemically strengthened, soda lime glass (7+ mohs).
Approach to Monetization
Gameboard is a platform that operates on a revenue share system with three main modes of rev share:
- Subscription, where developers are paid on a normalized basis of a subscriber’s “valuable play” of a game in a month;
- Game Purchase, where developers are paid on a fixed rate rev share on a particular title;
- In-Game Purchases that are paid on a fixed rate rev share on in-game purchases.
We are constantly improving and evolving the Gameboard platform to make it the most advanced social gaming platform in the world. Our focus is on the user interface, the platform’s AI, and the unique physical touch capabilities that make Gameboard special. We are also dedicated to growing our content library through partnerships with board game publishers, as well as by working with studio and independent developers.