With hours left to go before it comes to a close, the Hero Forge Kickstarter campaign has raised over $342,000 in funding for the customizable 3D printed tabletop miniatures service.
UPDATE: The Kickstarter campaign has ended, and the final total raised was $360,403.
As of this writing, there are four hours to go before the Hero Forge Kickstarter campaign ends. Hoping to raise $95,000, the campaign achieved that base funding goal within 72 hours of launch and has gone on to reach nine stretch goals. With $342,000 in funding - and more dollars coming in every minute - the campaign may even reach its tenth and penultimate goal of $350,000.
Hero Forge is a service that allows consumers to customize a tabletop miniature using a web interface, then have it remotely 3D printed and delivered. Nine stretch goals have unlocked additional fantasy and sci-fi races, mounts such as horses, wargs, and motorcycles, animal companions and familiars, hand-held fireballs, pulp fedoras, wild west cowboy hats, East-Asian katanas and wakizashis, and more customization options. The final two stretch goals would add cyberpunk and steampunk customization elements upon attaining $350,000 and $375,000 in funding, respectively.
Now, similar 3D printing Kickstarters have been attempted in the past, without success. Hero Forge co-founder Joshua Bennet actually found it helpful to observe how others approached the idea and where they may have failed.
"I think a couple of other projects we looked at kind of just missed the main appeal, packaged it wrong, or didn't really have the right team," Bennet told The Escapist. "While a lot of awesome Kickstarter campaigns come from passionate hobbyists working out of their garage, some of the more ambitious projects really demand some credentials. That's another area where our team excels: we have a really amazing group with great artistic and technical experience. Unlike other projects, I don't think the Kickstarter audience had to spend much time asking themselves, 'Can they really do what they say they can?'"
Bennet also pointed to the team's focus on flexibility and ease of use. "There was one Kickstarter project that wanted to build a marketplace where you'd buy individual 3D modeled parts (say, a set of gauntlets, a head, a torso) then manually pose and position your collection of parts. But really, you want as few steps as possible between having an inspiring idea and then executing it. The key, I think, is to make it fun to build a character, not technically challenging."
While Bennet and his team knew that Hero Forge filled a need in the miniatures community, they did not expect this level of response. "We had an inkling that we'd do alright, but couldn't have anticipated how successful we've been."
Hero Forge is slated for alpha access this August, with beta hitting around October. "The most important thing for us is to get our full service up and running well before Christmas," Bennet said.