Hero Forge Kickstarter Aims to Provide Custom Minis for Tabletop RPGs
Hero Forge hopes to raise $95,000 to fund a custom RPG miniatures service backed by 3D printing and easy to use character creation tools.
Easily one of my favorite parts of RPGs in the realm of videogames are character creators. Creating a character just tends to focus me on the potential of the coming adventure and excite me about the experience that lies ahead. Where I run into trouble is when my role-playing heads to the tabletop. While a blank character sheet is, in many ways, a similar wellspring of possibility, I've come to loathe the process of finding miniatures. It's not that there aren't good options, mind you. The problem is that when I create a character I have a mental image of them that some generic mini is never going to be able to capture.
Enter the folks at Hero Forge who, using funds raised through a recently launched Kickstarter, hope to give tabletop gamers character creation options fairly similar to those provided in many videogames. Customers will apparently be able to use a 3D interface equipped with a smorgasbord of racial, facial, body, clothing, armor and weapons features to build a unique character. You'll then be able to choose a pose and the size of end product and print your own custom miniature from a variety of optional materials, all of which should cost between $15 and $25. "We're bringing a high-tech update to a classic analog hobby and giving you the opportunity to breathe your vision and creativity into your miniature," said the team on its Kickstarter page.
Hero Forge's campaign is aiming to raise a total of $95,000. The funds will be used to "turn our library of concept art into one of the coolest, most diverse digital armories on the internet" and to further develop Hero Forge's planned user interface. As of this writing it still has 33 days left to go and has already nearly broken $60,000. You might excuse then for feeling safe in saying it's probably going to succeed, and then some.
I just hope the prices will wind up being cheaper than what those Proxy Wars guys were charging. I love the idea of being able to custom-order your own tabletop armies and characters, and with the massive boom 3D printing is going to experience once the tech comes down in price, it probably is the future... but the prices they were asking for with Proxy Wars were just nuts. Especially considering that it was meant for tabletop wargames where you would need to print up a lot of models.
But yes, very cool idea, and I hope they can pull it off like they claim, and in a way that is actually affordable to the average gamer. Either way, I think stuff like this is the way tabletop gaming is heading. 20 years from now, our grand-kids will probably think it was bizarre that we had to use generic models or placemarkers at all.
And yet it's still cheaper than Games Workshop.
I had a feeling a service like this would become available, but not this fast. Splendid! I hope it all goes well for them, and that some alternatives crop up.
I'm very excited about the future of 3D printing. I hope there will be design software available, so I can design and print my own guff at my leisure in the future. It's going to be interesting times!
...Unless Games Workshop & Friends manage to find a legal way to strangle it in its crib, of course. I would not put it below their like.
There goes 145 dollars of my money. Hopefully this doesn't explode in my face!
I wonder why this Kickstarter campaign has been so successful when previous essentially identical ones have all failed and there are already websites around that do essentially the same thing.
As far as I can tell, it's a matter of presentation. The other Kickstarters don't seem to have the same presentation values that this campaign's got going for it, and it's a big deal that they already have several different models as examples (and even have a limited software demo in the video.) And the one site that's already up-and-running requires you to submit a 3D image file, something that's kind of beyond most people.
I know that I'd throw money at this in a heartbeat if I weren't intent on spending my Christmas cash on a bunch of Tau.