There are some famous Makers who have been working toward 3D printing game pieces for the famous games like Carcassonne or Warhammer 40K, maybe violating on the IP of some important manufacturer. But instead of pursuing large manufacturer’s works isn’t it better to invent a board game yourself? Or even better develop a platform, so that anyone could produce and share their tabletop games. This is what Bryan Salt and his team ThinkerThing are doing their best to develop, having launched Indiegogo campaign.
What they are creating is called Open Board Game (OBG). It is an online community and platform to help develop easy designs and board constructions, characters and parts for tabletop games. The board was created with a hexagonal pattern, which helps to interlock pieces more easily. But OBG has some unique elements added to pieces of board, so some of the new gameplay ideas can be available. The parts are produced in such a way that they could be piled for vertical 3D gameplay. OBG has also produced tiles, which allow more space for sensors and servos for creating interactive components. There will be no supportive structures for the 3D printed tile to reduce hassle.
OBG community is a good place for sharing other board games cards, characters and concepts. Members of OBG can upload their own concepts so that others could download them. In such a way they will expand gaming possibilities considerably. Can you imagine a single universe where there are all the games, and the worlds are merged! Using the community, its members will be able to hack and alter one another’s parts to extend more the gameplay. Looks like a perfect idea!
To show a good example, the OBG team has created their example, which they called Rust to Dust (R2D). The idea of the game is the following: there are clans of various robots, which are the survivors of the disappearing civilization. They fight having different weaknesses, strengths and using various movements. R2D parts are to be 3D printed with ease. You can download three of the robots for free, but your support to OBG on Indiegogo will give the funders access to a wider range of game printable files or even some of the game pieces printed with pro 3D printing service. Also supporting OBG funders get access to OBG members’ site, where they get access to a Pokemon-style card game – Miomon.
OBG is not the first 3D printing campaign by Salt. Dr Fluff’s Robot Factory, and Android App, also belongs to ThinkerThing (Salt’s company). It was widely discussed last year. Robot Factory also suggests users creating funny robots, whose designs are based on the users’ own choice and tastes. This can be possible through the evolutionary algorithm based engine. OBG as well as the Robot Factory has appeared as the result ThinkerThing’s larger aim – making the process of creating 3Dprintble models funnier and easier for everyone, not only professionals.
Salt said once that they are probably famous for Dr Fluff’s Robot Factory. That is an application for children, with which kids could create simple robots following a general algorithm. That is their long-term business project – creating applications with which everybody could develop their own models and then 3D print them. They have been trying to create two more applications to do that; and this campaign shows the results of that work. Later this year they’re planning to finish an application, with which you yourself will be able to construct absolutely unique models of high quality. So, the company’s long-term aim is to let people create objects themselves, but not to make profit from the models. Convincing the investors is not an easy thing, and the company needs more funds for their development. That’s why crowd funding has some positive sides, apart from the money. It confirms their concept and shows to the investors that there is a demand.
Currently funding is necessary for ThinkerThing and Salt for the project’s development. They hope that OBG players would like to support 3D artists in their communities. Salt tells that they have left board pieces completely open, so that everyone could download them and then share. They want the public to create fresh and interesting ideas based on that. 56 robot models are offered as perks and will be available only for the company’s bakers. 3 models will be released absolutely free for everybody to play the first game. The team also hopes that people would like to have the full robots clan and thus they will be able to raise more money. If they succeed, their further goal will be to create a new clan of robots consisting of 14 models, all free for everyone.
This is new for 3D printing and It’s obvious that not many people are ready to pay for the models. But hopefully more people would like to support the team. It’s the same as in music industry: very few people are willing to pay for music, but far more people want to support musicians. Probably the team will do something special and the public would like to support them.
If you want to support the Open Board Game, follow the Indiegogo campaign webpage.