Hail is a tech demo from Midnight Status that is experimenting with a neat twist that could quite possibly feature in the future of video games -- 3D-rendered video chat built into games.

The Unity demo, which you can play directly in your browser now, connects two players together via webcam, and allows you to chat via a screen on the bridge of a spaceship.

Although the functionality of the tech demo is currently limited to chatting, Midnight Status' plan is to expand on this, giving pairs of players scenarios and episodes they must tackle together.

Think the sorts of situations that the Star Trek Enterprise crew would get themselves into, and you're in the right ball park: Space battles where each player controls a different part of the ship, or political situations that you must negotiate together.

The team behind Hail has made the 3D-rendered video chat tools available for purchase via the Unity Asset Store, for any other developers who are interested in giving them a whirl.

The full video interview with developer Jeremy Alessi, filmed inside the tech demo to show the functionality in action, can be viewed above. The team also has a Kickstarter in progress for the tech.

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[Mike Rose wrote this article for sister site Gamasutra]