3D printing has become popular among people from all walks of life, but one subculture in particular has taken to it very well. Gamers have adopted 3D printing as a tool for building terrain, miniatures and entirely new games at a scale that wasn’t possible before. Older modeling techniques took a lot more time and work, and while there’s definitely an appeal to the creative process of painstakingly handcrafting and painting your own miniatures, that process is also limiting. With 3D printing, gamers can create vast landscapes and complex pieces with minimal time and money – leaving much more time for actual gaming.
It’s not surprising that some of the most successful Kickstarter project have been dedicated to tabletop games. In October, a Kickstarter campaign launched by Fat Dragon Games brought in a whopping $104,426 for the company’s new Dragonlock gaming terrain – the original goal had been to raise $500. It’s too soon to be sure, but French gaming design company Via Ludibunda may give Fat Dragon a run for their money with their currently running Kickstarter campaign, which reached its funding goal of €500 ($543 USD) in less than ten hours. The Kickstarter will be running until February 27, and at the time I’m writing this, $2,603 has been pledged (and at the time of editing, it’s up to $2,852) – it’s definitely feasible that they could get close to, if not surpass, Dragonlock.
Like Fat Dragon, Via Ludibunda has designed 3D printable terrain for tabletop RPGs. Where Dragonlock’s terrain was comprised of a sprawling castle that could be endlessly built upon and extended, Via Ludibunda’s scenery lets you build an entire village. Cottages, stables, towers, a castle, and a graveyard are just a few of the designs that the company has created, and everything is sold in STL file format. No actual printed models are available, but you don’t need your own 3D printer, the company reminds you – just find a printing hub or FabLab. The cool thing is that all models are open source and fully customizable. Each purchase includes a fully detailed and textured ready-to-print model along with a plain model that you can detail yourself, or alter completely, if you like.
Rewards for backers are pretty nice, and you don’t have to break the bank to get some cool stuff. For as little as €15 ($16), you can get the STL files to print three entire houses; €30 ($33) will get you the same plus STL files for three specialized buildings, such as temples and forges. Pledge €60 ($65) and you can have an entire city. For the really serious gamers, a pledge of €300 ($326) lets you design your own building with the help of the Via Ludibunda design team. There are several add-on options for every pledge level, too.
Since the funding goal has already been exceeded, stretch goals are being unlocked – right now you can download a sample model for free, and it’s likely that more will be unlocked soon. Delivery of rewards is expected in April. The team states on the campaign page that if this project is successful, they’ll start on sci-fi themed scenery for a future campaign, so you’ve already got that to look forward to next.
You can tell with just a quick glance that these are high-quality designs – the textures are finely detailed and realistic, and the construction is solid. Via Ludibunda is made up of professional designers and experienced gamers; they’ve also designed some really nice miniatures that you can check out on their website. See a quick preview below. Are you thinking about supporting this project? Tell us in the 3D Printed RPG Scenery forum over at 3DPB.com.