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Posts Tagged ‘Shapeways’

Alas, the Tinker Dice campaign didn’t meet its base goal.  I am nevertheless very grateful for everyone who backed it and/or plugged it on blogs, Twitter, Facebook, G+, forums and a smattering of other places.  It’s been a good ride, and I’ve made new friends.

Thank you very much, everyone!

Since I hate to leave anyone empty-handed, though, here (at the bottom of the post) are a half-dozen files that you can use to print out your own paper versions of the dice to play with, if you’re interested.  The 4×6 files fit neatly onto a 4×6 photo print, and photo paper tends to be nice and sturdy.  That’s what the beta prototypes are made from.  Just cut them out, fold them together and put some tape around the seams, and you’re set.  You can glue the flaps and put them together that way, but in practice, that’s more fuss than it’s worth most of the time.

New Tinker Dice Prototypes

Alternatively, the 8.5×11 one can be printed on a standard sheet of paper or cardstock.  It’s black on white to save ink, but if you all want an 8.5×11 of the colored dice, I can make those pretty quickly.

I know, I know, it’s just not the same, but these should be the same size as the plastic dice would be, so it’s hopefully better than nothing.

You can take these and print them up and play with them, just please don’t sell the designs.

I am also working on another Kickstarter campaign for metal Tinker Dice, as well as metal Gearpunk dice.  I’ll have those up as soon as I can; I’m just waiting on some prototypes I can take photos and videos of.  It does seem that the metal dice were intriguing enough to some to merit a separate Kickstarter, and the base goal will be a mere $1,000, which should be more accessible than the $3,000 we needed for a production run of plastic dice.  I am actively looking for other production options for the plastic dice, but so far the search hasn’t borne fruit.  It’s certainly possible to get places like CustomDice.com or Chessex to make these, but they are significantly more expensive that way.

…speaking of which, if any of you really want to go that route, please just email me at tishtoshtesh at gmail, and I’ll see if I can help you out.  I’m not opposed to individuals taking my designs and making their own dice, either via homebrew tech like this, or asking Chessex to do it.  I ran the Kickstarter campaign to see if I could get the dice out to more people at better prices, but I’m not going to say that’s the only way they can be made.

I also have the beta version of Tinker Dice up for sale in my Shapeways shop thisaway.  These will be the designs we use on further Tinker Dice campaigns, with the corner screws scooted around to allow rounded corners, which allows more printing options.  Again, it’s a more expensive option, but it’s a viable one.  The Shapeways dice are hollow to save costs (except for the solid singletons), but they are printable as far as I can tell; they are printing up a few for me to show for the next campaign.  There are plastic versions and metal versions; they differ only in the interiors; the metal dice require more interior structure to meet the Shapeways printing guidelines.

Tinker Dice plastic D6 pair

Tinker Dice plastic Fudge/FATE set

Tinker Dice metal D6 pair

Tinker Dice metal Fudge/FATE set

Tinker Die solid D6

Tinker Die solid Fudge

Tinker Dice collector’s pair plastic

Tinker Dice collector’s pair metal

Thank you again!

Oh, and while we’re talking about dice, might I recommend the Daft Dice Kickstarter?  They do fine work with a laser cutter.  I have one of their simple numbered wooden dice, and it’s a solid, handsome bit of work.

Wood Die

TinkerDicePrintableSimple8_5x11 4x6FourTinkerDiceBronze 4x6FourTinkerDiceDarkRust 4x6FourTinkerDiceGalvanized 4x6FourTinkerDiceRusty 4x6FourTinkerDiceSimple

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…for shameless self-promotion.  Y’see, there are sales afoot, and one might as well take advantage of them, yes?

Specifically, I’m an artist.  I do art.  Some of it’s good.  Some of it’s for sale.  Some of it’s on sale.

Some is over here, at Zazzle.  It’s mostly shirts, but also some fun puzzles and assorted knickknacks, like this Zelda-inspired bumper magnet and this Mousemech art (available on a variety of things) that I’m inordinately happy with, and some preliminary Project Khopesh art.

Some is over there, at Shapeways.  Specifically, my gearpunk dice and some World of Warcraft inspired “class rings“, suggested by the venerable Big Bear Butt some time ago.  At present, I only offer Druid rings, but I’m taking requests.  I also have some other great ideas for 3D prints, if only I can make the time to create them… including the models for Zomblobs!

CafePress carries one of my shirt designs, but I’ve decided I’m not a huge fan of their limitations on free shops, so most of my products will be offered via Zazzle for the forseeable future.

I also do the occasional commission, but to date, that’s mostly been for in-game currency over on the Puzzle Pirates forums, where I’m known as Silveransom, from whence several of the bits of art in my Mini Portfolio hail, and where one of my art tutorials resides.  I’d love to open the floodgates to do commissions for cash, but since I can’t promise a quick turnaround, I’ll just say that I’m very open to requests, I’m just going to be somewhat less than a full-time production house.  Somewhat less than part-time, really, but you might be surprised what is possible to do in the wee hours around midnight when the kids go to bed.

Y’see, things are unnaturally busy here at the Tesh household.  We’re finishing the basement, so my “vacation” from work this holiday season isn’t exactly filled with carefree whimsy and mad dashes to fulfill art requests.  Still, I’m working in a bit, here and there.

So yes, Happy Holidays!  Merry Christmas, or whatever it is you do this time of year!

…are the Steam sales up yet?  That’s kind of an event, right?

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I suppose this is technically an addendum to my last post about the signet rings, but I figured it merited its own mention.  I now have Moonkin Druid signet and slim rings in my Shapeways store, Tish Tosh Tesh Toys.

Moonkin Slim Ring

Moonkin Slim

Moonkin Signet Ring

Moonkin Signet

Ah, that’s the full set now.   Back to Zomblobs!

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It’s “Cyber Monday”, and among other sales out there, Shapeways is having a 15% off sale.  That means my Gearpunk dice are on sale, as are the World of Warcraft Druid signet rings.  They are rejiggering the pricing around a bit as well, so the prices are going to be changing in my shop, too.  No more of the nice progression of price points I planned out, no, it’s going to be a mess of weird numbers.  That’s the bad news.  The good news is that all the prices are going to be coming down a bit.  I’m happy about that.  Lower prices, 15% sale… it’s a good day to investigate Shapeways.

Here’s my shop, Tish Tosh Toys

and there’s the main Shapeways page.

I now have the Resto and Cat form rings up for sale as well.  Sorry they are late, but hey, sale day is a good day for them, right?  Moonkin rings are in the pipeline, hopefully available in the next few days.

Cat Signet

Cat Slim

Resto Signet

Resto Slim

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Dyed Dice

I posted about these over on the Shapeways forums, but I neglected to show them off here.  The paint job isn’t done yet, but I’m pretty happy with how these turned out.  (These are the dice I noted over thisaway, my Gearpunk dice, with freshly fixed D24 over on Shapeways.)

Starting out in white plastic…

Gearpunk Dice Set

I used RIT cloth dye (the white printouts are actually a nylon plastic, and the RIT dye work on nylon), a plastic spoon and a plastic cup.  I never did really get the water boiling (I just used hot tap water and 30 seconds in the microwave every six minutes or so), but I kept stirring the dice in the hot water for about a half hour.  In retrospect, I probably should have dyed them again to get a darker color (and I should have used a brown instead of black, which just turns out purplish), but they are dark enough to contrast well with the bronze acrylic paint I’m using to pick up the highlights.

Dice Dyed Painted

…they do look better under different lighting, and in person.

Dyed Painted Gearpunk Dice

I’m obviously not done yet with the big dice, but I’ll get there after doing all of my other projects.  I really want to get Zomblobs! into playtest form within a week, and I still need to make Shapeways see my other signet rings I made.  (Healer and Cat glyphs in the druid rings.)

Oh, and I finally pulled the trigger and bought RIFT from Steam’s sale this morning.  Maybe I’ll play it sometime next year.  I do want to give it a shot, but life is kinda busy at the moment.

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I received the 3D prints of my Druid Signet ring, the Druid Glyph ring and my set of Gearpunk dice.  Shapeways does good work… though it looks like I need to do a little still with the D24 to make it read cleanly.  (So to the one person so far who has ordered the ten die set, I’m sorry!  Please contact me via the contact info up there on the About tab, and once I get this D24 model all happy again, I’ll print out another one and send it to you.  It’s not really Shapeways at fault here, I didn’t design the numbers well enough.)

It looks like I was aiming too small for the detail work, but overall, for custom 3D printing, these turned out really well.  Only a decade ago, this would have been absurdly expensive to do.  Now, for all three prints, it was around $50.  It’s not practical for big stuff, but for little cool widgets and wodgets, this is awesome.

Druid Rings Together

The big ring is size 10 and the small ring is size 6.  Bigger is better for detail work, apparently.

Druid Rings On Hand

Both of those are on my fat-fingered hand.  Note to self:  hands on the same person can vary in size somewhat… the ring almost got stuck on my right hand, but fit just perfectly on my left (it fit nearly as well as my wedding band; it’s quite comfortable).

Gearpunk Dice Set

Dice Size Comparison

I fully intend to dye the dice black and drybrush them with metallic paint to get the proper steampunk feel, but that will come later.

In the meantime, there’s also this little gem that I burned 12 hours on over the last few days.  A World of Keflings, now in Sculpey!  (Based on this promotional poster, direct from NinjaBee, my employers.)

A World of Keflings

Wire, armature wire and tinfoil armature on wood, 2 hours.  This is really the crucial part, because it’s the skeleton of your sculpture.  It needs to be solid (though you can fudge it a little bit with a thin layer of Sculpey you put on and then cook, then put on your detail layer) so you don’t have trouble with the structural integrity.  Like a figure drawing, you really need to nail down the proportions or else all the detail work in the world won’t help down the road.  (Notably, I should have made Doug’s arms longer so his face would be more visible, but once I got the clay on, it was too late.)

Kefling Armature

Tools of the sculpting trade, Super Sculpey and a pair of simple plastic tools.  Yes, this is really all I used beside my own two hands.  You can do a lot with simple tools if you’re careful.

Tools of the Trade

Base and some detailing, 3.5 more hours.  Most applications of the Sculpey are 1/4″ or less.  Thinner layers bake better and faster, and are lighter so the armature doesn’t get overloaded.

Getting Started

Finished product, 6.5 more hours, plus cooking.  45 minutes at 200F, standard electric stove, cooled for 1 hour before I took it out of the oven.

They Probably Don't Need Their Winter Coats

Hero pose!

Grand total, 13 hours or so.  Totally worth it.  Maybe someday I’ll paint it with acrylic paints, but for today, I’m happy with it in this “raw” state.  There’s a certain appeal to the basic sculpture.

In The Soft Daylight

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Edited to add:

Bah.  Turns out that a couple of the dice models need a bit more tweaking to work with the 3D printing process.  The walls were too thin.  That means prices changed a bit as I thickened up the walls.  Sorry! 

I’ve done a little more digging in the Shapeways system, and found that I overlooked an element of the cost of models.  There’s a handling fee per model, which means that if you wanted a set of the dice I made, buying them one by one incurs a whole set of handling costs.  Bleh.  So, by condensing the set to a single “model”, I was able to reduce the cost of getting a whole set by more than half.  They can still be costly in metals (3D printing always is), but now you can get a set of six for just over $10 in the cheapest (pretty durable) White, Strong Flexible plastic material.  The set of seven (with the special extra D10 “decader” die) or the full set of 10 (with the D24, D30 and alternate D4) are just a few dollars more.  That’s not much more than you’d pay for a set of gaming dice from Chessex, really.  OK, OK, mine are hollow to save on costs, and you’d need to ink them or paint them to really make them exciting if you’re going with the boring old plastic like me, but what hobbyist gamer doesn’t have some paints around?  (Yes, I’d love to get them in the bronzed steel, but I’m still stingy.)

Six set

Six Set

Seven set

Seven Set

Ten set

Ten Set

Me, I’m going to get the full set of ten in black plastic and drybrush them with some nice bronze paint.  That should about get the effect I’m looking for.  Sorry I didn’t think of this earlier!  A set of these should be a lot more affordable now.  Less than a month’s sub to most MMOs, as it happens…

…and yes, this means I’ll offer individual Zomblobs! eventually, but probably package them together in sets as well for cost reasons.  I’m very curious to see if I can be competitive with a starter set of something like WarHammer or WarMachine.  Then if I can get my ruleset in order and offer it as a free PDF (or a printed manual someday), well… I’d love to have myself a little cottage industry build around this sort of thing.

Edited to add:

I also just added a couple of D6 sets, perfect for several games including some tabletop miniature games.

Batch of 3 D6 dice

3D6

Batch of 6 D6 dice

6D6

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The grand experiment continues.

I now have a full set of what I’m calling Gearpunk dice in my Shapeways storefront, Tish Tosh Tesh Toys.  There are some visual inconsistencies between the models, mostly in the nongear corners, because of the polyhedral shapes underlying the dice, but overall, I’m happy with how things turned out.  Maybe someday I’ll do a 2.0 version of them, but for now, I’m releasing these into the wild.  I’ll see about getting a set of them on my own and getting some real photographs of them as soon as I can.  In the meantime, this is what the Shapeways renders look like.

Gearpunk Dice

It’s been fun making these, and if nothing else, it’s good 3DS Max practice.  Ditto for the rings, inspired by Big Bear Butt a little while ago thisaway.

Slim Signet

Big Signet

Oh, and yes, I’ll still be working on Zomblob! miniatures, I will just be using Blender, so there’s a learning curve I need to master first.  I don’t like Blender, but it’s free, so I can’t argue with that.  I’m looking at this as a small indie startup art/game shop, and I just don’t have thousands of dollars to pour into software.

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Note to self and other game designers: the Pentagonal Icositetrahedron is not really suitable as a die.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pentagonal_icositetrahedron

So naturally, I designed one before recognizing that simple fact.  (Protip: Don’t design when sleep deprived.)

http://www.shapeways.com/model/354819/

Gearwork D24

It doesn’t have flat opposing faces, so when it’s at rest, there’s no “top” face to read off, just a triplet of faces.  So yeah… Tesh dice design failure #1.  Maybe there’s a game mechanic where you’d need 3 values from a D24… so let’s call that a design challenge, maybe.  Except, they wouldn’t be three random values, since the same face it’s lying on at rest will always give the same three values.

…I’m not seeing a way out of this.

Oh, well.  I’ll use the gearface tech on other suitable polyhedra.  And there are some fun ones out there…

Edited to add:

Ah, that’s better.  This one will actually work as a die!  It’s now for sale, too!

DGear24

DGear24, ready to go.  I recommend the bronze version, of course, but you can make it in pretty much anything.

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Just a few scattered thoughts and an announcement.

First and foremost, I now have a shopfront over at Shapeways.

Tish Tosh Tesh Toys

This is where I will be offering miniatures for games I’m designing as well as a smattering of other widgets and wodgets.  Yes, I’m making Zomblobs! into a tabletop game that maybe someday will be digital, but it won’t be the only miniatures game that I do (yes, there’s another IP I have in mind, I’ll dig into it once I nail down the Zomblobs! and get it out in the wild).  It will mean codifying some rules into dice rolls and the like (a convenient excuse to design dice, by the way), but that’s just a fun design challenge.  Presently in the shop, I just have some rings I’ve designed as a response to Big Bear Butt’s article over thisaway.

What to Get the Geek That Has Everything

I’ve been meaning to set up a Shapeways shop for a long time, and it seemed like a good time.  I still need to finish illustrating my mother’s book, but that’s close, so I’m trying to find ways to be productive and maybe earn a little coin.  It beats playing games all the time when there are bills to pay.

A few other things online caught my eye of late:

Doodling is good for your brain, apparently.  Seems right to me, but then, I’m an incurable doodler.  Even if I weren’t an artist (I planned on a career in the sciences at one point), I’d still doodle all the time.  It’s how I’m wired, I guess.

I also consider this to be doodling, albeit origami-inspired… this is where bad Magic the Gathering cards go to die in my office.  My coworkers play a lot of Magic, and some of the cards are just… bad.  As in, “don’t play with them because it might give you a bad impression of the otherwise excellent game” bad.  So, we may as well do something useful with them, right?  (Yes, that’s my computer, and yes, I made this.  It took a few minutes here and there over about 3 weeks.  Apologies for the phone camera shot, it’s all I had at the moment.)

MTG Menger Sponge

Questing and flow… I tend to think that the problem of losing track of what you’re doing while questing in an MMO task hub is that you have a lot of threads going at once, and that the quests aren’t really linked in any obvious way in your quest log.  I wonder what a better log might do; better record keeping and ways to review what you did before and how it connects would be one way to make quests and narrative work better.

Tangentially, I always find it hard to jump back into Final Fantasy XII after a week or month away.  I don’t always remember why I’m doing what I’m doing, and the game only gives me the barest direction of where to go.  I think a “last time on your adventure…” intro bit (optional, of course, maybe just text tucked away in a log with convenient wiki-like links to key players), like we see in serial TV, in a log would go a long way to making it all feel cohesive.  These games are so big and the narrative occasionally so byzantine (or would that be Gordian?) that a pocket primer of what we’re actually doing might be a useful thing.  Even in a linear game like FFXIII, time away can diffuse the narrative.

There’s a minor storm brewing about gear and the acquisition thereof that the MMO Melting Pot has been keeping tabs on.

Is It Actually Worth Gearing Up Any More?

Points-Based Loot, Difficulty and the Decline of WoW

I’ve only skimmed these, but I’ve written on difficulty before and even the “ease” of WoW, but as to gear, well, I really don’t like the lottery drop system.  Yes, grinding up currency via dungeoneering to buy special loot might seem like more of a chore than the lucky drop in the first run, but to my mind it’s more honest and easier to plan around.  If I’m going to care about gear (I usually don’t, I’m just sayin’), I want to be able to plan for it, not gamble.  The few pieces of loot I’ve tried to find to get the best gear for my level 20-capped Paladin in WoW’s Starter Edition are… frustrating.  One is a very rare drop from a rare spawn, and others are from dungeon bosses.  The randomness of achieving that goal undermine the desirability of doing so.  Getting these bits of gear wouldn’t be me achieving anything (I’ve already demonstrated mastery by beating the bad guys before), it’s not me learning anything new, it’s just me outlasting an evil Random Number Generator.  That’s not satisfying gaming in my book.

Gaming Addiction?  How about putting a face on it?  This is a great video from the Extra Credits guys:

Game Addiction Pt. 2

And I do try to avoid this sort of thing, but sometimes a financial/political post really just needs to be shared.  This is one of them:

OWS: Want to Turn the Tide?

It’s ultimately about math and how leverage and exponential functions are killing us, fueling political unrest.  We live in interesting times.  It will be interesting to see where things go, and just what sort of revolutions pop up.  Be prepared and pay attention.  Hopefully it’s a tempest in a teapot, but it doesn’t hurt to have food storage, water and emergency preparations ready to go.  Even if all the politics in the world suddenly turn really boring and inconsequential, nature can still break stuff and cause some trouble.

If nothing else, you should have enough for pancakes.  Everyone loves pancakes, right?

Star Wars Pancakes

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