Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Super 3D Dungeon Boards Interview

Welcome back to another Kickstarter Conversation!  Today I am joined by Tyson Koch, the inventive mind behind Super 3D Dungeon Boards. Thank you for joining us today, Tyson.  

Thank you. I am happy to be here.

Let me start off by asking, “Where were you when I was single, young, and had the money to buy these things!?”  Seriously, as a married father of two young rugrats your wonderful product can only be drooled at by the likes of me.  Is that why you brought it to Kickstarter?  To tease us old married gamers?  

Ha! Well, I was probably painting miniatures and dreaming of why someone had not made something like this, too! I brought this to Kickstarter to get a measure on the interest. A project like this will require a significant investment in hardware and materials to do it correctly, and Kickstarter helps mitigate this along with keeping me from going bust if no one ends up wanting it. And hey, did you ever think of justifying buying a board, or two, by calling it a toy for the whole family? Just think of the adventures that could be had by My Little Ponies or little green army men! Super 3D Dungeon Boards are fun for the whole family!

Now there's a thought. What exactly are Super 3D Dungeon Boards?

The Super 3D Dungeon Boards were inspired by the game Super Dungeon Explore! by Soda Pop Miniatures. These boards are here to provide gamers an interesting playing board set that is different than what is currently available out there. The game feels more alive when you’re actually hopping over lava streams, dodging around pillars, and fleeing down stairs from fanged treasure chests!

How is doing resin on top of foam with a wooden base better than say an all plastic board, or an all foam one, or the cut and fold ones, or the old pure resin ones?  

By doing a hybrid solution I am keeping costs down while still providing a lot of detail and durability.
An all plastic board (injection molded) is quite expensive to make. With an initial six boards the dies would be prohibitively expensive for a first project. I would love to get to this point in the future, though.
All foam boards are soft and do not hold up well over long term use and typically do not hold detail well.

Solid resin boards, while simpler to make, would require a lot of resin which would bring the cost of manufacturing and shipping up quite a bit.
So by using a hybrid approach I get the detail and durability of resin on the outside, the weight and material saving of foam for the interior, and a stable warp resistant base with the wood.

All your pictures are of prototypes created using existing commercial molds, do you have any molds made of your actual product yet?  

These boards were done quite a while ago for our local gaming group. I used Hirst Arts and Keebler Studios molds on these original boards. I will be sculpting and creating my own molds for this project. In the next few weeks you will be seeing posts on both my Kickstarter page and my website (FigurePainters.com) of the new individual pieces and boards as I get them sculpted. And if the sound of that makes you a little wary of the finished project, like perhaps you’re imagining a child’s Play Doh experiment, have no fear! I’ve done quite a bit of converting and modeling since my kindergarten days. These sculpts will be in good hands.

How modular is your system?  While paper boards are dull at least you can get a lot of variety for little cost.  

Each section is 12”x12” with a 1” modular divider to give each board walls. Right now each element on a tile is fixed. In the future I would like to make the details on the boards modular. That way you can get that variety by moving around platforms and stairs and rubble and such.

How hard are these tiles to paint?  Just a simple primer and then your chosen painting techniques?  

These boards are very simple to paint. Simple primer and your chosen technique of painting will work on any of them. I will be providing painting tutorials for the boards that will be available to anyone. The tiles will have enough detail that you can go crazy with the painting if you want to make them super fancy, too.

Did you notice you have two “Lava Caverns: Tile 3” on your page?

That was on purpose. That tile has two unique elements in each corner that did not photograph well without having two different views. I can modify the image to make it more clear if needed.

Ah that makes sense. One of the keys of a successful Kickstarter project is backer participation.  How are you engaging your backers?  What kinds of things do you have planned for updates?  Interviews?  Videos?  Stories from the project?

I have been engaging backers through keeping up with comments on Kickstarter. Prior to the Kickstarter completing I plan on updating people on the resculpting progress of the tiles and construction with pictures, videos, and other interesting bits. The key is balancing lots of information with spending time moving the project forward in a timely manner. Once I get closer to fulfillment I will be posting tutorials on assembly, painting, and anything else that would be fun or helpful for backers.

What kind of media attention have you received with your project?  How are you spreading the word?  Facebook?  Twitter?  Google+? Youtube?  Advertising?  Are you using Kicktraq to help things along?

I have been posting on Facebook, the miniatures forums I frequent, and I’ll have some podcast advertising coming up shortly. I have added Kicktraq too.

Do you have any tips/advice you would give to anyone looking to start a Kickstarter?

If you have something you think is a great idea, don’t be afraid to go for it! Take some time to show your friends and family what you are proposing. Something that you would like that makes total sense to yourself may be confusing to others or could be worded more clearly. And make sure to warn your wife!

Thank you for spending your time with us!  Do you have any final thoughts for our readers?

I just want to thank everyone that has backed this project or that is thinking about it. I am very excited that this projects look to be coming to a reality!
If anyone has any questions feel free to head on over to Kickstarter and let me know.

Thanks again and I hope to hear good things from your Kickstarter!

Thank you too! And have a great holiday too.

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