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dragonI know a lot of gamers. It’s a world I’ve never gotten deeply into, but some of my closest friends are heavily involved in it – RPG, tabletop, video games, you name it. Their expertise impresses me, and I’ve learned quite a bit from them about gaming. One of the things I find most interesting is the creativity involved. I have friends who are better at world-building and character-building than some published authors.

Fat Dragon Gamesgelatinous cube, a ten-year-old company that produces a variety of gaming products, wants to help gamers literally build worlds. The company, founded by Tom Tullis in 2005, specializes in downloadable, printable files for the purpose of building your own terrain. Most of the files on offer are PDF files for the purpose of papercraft, but the company is now making its first foray into 3D printing.

They’ve had six successfully funded Kickstarter campaigns, and their seventh, which is currently running, is already about 7900% funded with over two weeks left. DRAGONLOCK, the company’s first 3D printable terrain set, will be funded as of November 3rd, with plenty of money left over.

dragonlock

So why is DRAGONLOCK so wildly popular? Well, for one thing, it’s pretty much a limitless terrain system. Designed as a series of interlocking pieces that snap together or are fastened with clips (also 3D printed), the 28mm scale terrain can be built up level by level to create a multi-level dungeon. A basic “Dungeon Starter Set” consists of seven pieces, sold as downloadable .stl files: two wall designs, a corner wall, 2″ x 2″ floor tile, a doorway with a working door, a narrow stone pillar, and a staircase. This set, also designated as the Adventurer package, will be delivered next month to anyone who pledges $10 or more.

starterBackers can level up by donating higher amounts, with the amount and complexity of the pieces increasing with every $10 increment. $20 will earn you the Hero package, $30 gets you the Champion package, $40 the Warlord package and $50 the Duke package. Anyone who pledges $60 or more receives the King package, which includes all items from the previous packages plus several rooftop pieces including an archway and arrow slit. Expansion packages are also available; anyone who adds $15 to their pledge receives a hazards and traps package which includes items such as giant poison mushrooms and a treasure pile.  Several stretch rewards are offered as well for anyone who pledges at Champion level or higher, and all packages include the file for the small clips that connect the pieces.

The campaign’s original goal was only $500, so the fact that well over $39,000 has been pledged thus far is remarkable. The company points out that a standard wall piece costs about $.50 to print, much cheaper than a standard factory-made piece. They are also digitally sculpted by professional artists and made to be durable. Once the files are purchased, they’re yours forever, so theoretically if you want to print forty sarcophagi with removable lids, you can do so for the price of one. Gamers can now build terrain that is as expansive as they want it to be, for a much lower price than more limited sets. All pieces will be downloadable through Fat Dragon’s distribution partner, DriveThruRPG.com.

Discuss this story in the DRAGONLOCK forum thread on 3DPB.com.

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