Monday, October 14, 2013

[Q&A] Allen Clark & Tristan Morris (Proxy War)

[19:06] <+TristanPA> Alright! Let me introduce myself first -- I'm Tristan, and along with Allen, I'm one of the two founders of Proxy Army Games.
[19:06] <+AllenTClark> Howdy. As the name would suggest, I'm Allen T. Clark, one of the two founders of Proxy Army Games.
[19:07] <+TristanPA> I'm twenty-five, studied engineering in college before I realized I would be a really really bad engineer, and I've been playing tabletop games since I was 14 (started with D&D).
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[19:08] <~Dan> (Howdy, Than!)
[19:08] <+TristanPA> To introduce our company, we do fully custom 3D printed tabletop miniatures. You log onto our database full of model parts, build fully custom figurines, and then we 3D print them and ship them right to you. For instance, if you wanted to make your D&D character, you could grab a torso, clip on limbs, a head, customize their expression, drop on gear, add equipment, paint them online, and then get them 3D printed in ultra-fine detail.
[19:08] <+TristanPA> We do it for RPG groups, but also for wargamers (fully custom armies), and to help make new games.
[19:08] <+TristanPA> If you're a game dev, we'll take you all the way from a box full of miniatures to a finished box full of minis.
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[19:09] <~Dan> (wb, Pony_Knight!)
[19:09] <+TristanPA> And for those of you who like looking at websites during the interview, you can see pretty pictures at (Link:
[19:09] <+TristanPA> (Done)
[19:09] <~Dan> Thanks, guys!
[19:09] <+TheNabster> Does it work now?
[19:09] <~Dan> (Tristan: FYI, Thantastic here is Nathaniel Dean of Clockwork: Empire.)
[19:09] <+Thantastic> Hi guys!
[19:10] <+TristanPA> Hey Than! Glad to hear from you.
[19:10] <+AllenTClark> Howdy!
[19:10] <~Dan> (Oh, and Abstruse over there is the RPG columnist for Aint It Cool News.)
[19:10] <+TristanPA> I'm not quite sure if Nabster is asking about the chat, or about our service, but I'll assume the latter. And no, right now, the service is only available to game-devs and other people making new miniatures games. But we're going to fix that soon! On November 5th, our Kickstarter goes live, which makes our services available to gamers everywhere.
[19:11] <+TristanPA> Starting with our Kickstarter, for $7 a mini, you can get ultra-high detail, 3D printed, fully custom miniatures.
[19:11] <+TristanPA> And if your a game dev, feel free to contact us before then.
[19:11] <+TristanPA> (Done)
[19:11] <+Abstruse> (Sorry, I was working on the column!)
[19:11] <+TheNabster> I was more thinking about the fact that your website got DDoSed. But enough about that.
[19:11] <+TheNabster> What is this "Proxy War" I read on your website
[19:11] <+Catseye> TristanPA: He was asking if the site was up. And I can answer that. Yes, it is.
[19:12] <~Dan> Now, I'm going to be "playing dumb" here to make sure certain questions get asked, guys. :)
[19:12] <~Dan> For example...
[19:12] <~Dan> ...can you talk us through what you guys can work with when it comes to designing a custom mini?
[19:13] <+Schadmobile> How will you handle minis of licensed properties for your custom lines? Say I wanted to print up a run of ghost busters for my game, how close am I going to get?
[19:13] <+AllenTClark> Proxy War is two things: it's the service that you use to make fully customized models and it is also a point buy tabletop wargame that offers jsut as much variation in tactics and units as the service does in models.
[19:14] <+TristanPA> Sure! We have two kinds of custom miniatures: Personalized, and Origional. With personalized miniatures, you log onto our website just the way I described, and start with an empty field. You then scroll through our collection of base parts (torsos for infantry, chassis for vehicles, hulls for starships, etc), and grab one you like. After that, you scroll through our collection of parts (limbs, weapons, etc), and clip them on. You can
[19:14] <+TristanPA> hang equipment like armor or side-arms on the finished product, and then, pose and customize to your tastes.
[19:14] <+TristanPA> If you don't feel comfortable starting from scratch, you can also load an existing model and tweak.
[19:15] <+TristanPA> For instance, one complaint we've heard from Pathfinder players is that there are no good tie'fling miniatures out there -- and that there aren't many  models with good two-handed weapons.
[19:15] <+TristanPA> So if you're playing a tie'fling with a bastard sword, you can load a base human, add horns and a tail, tweak their features, and then scroll through weapons and grab "Bastard Sword"
[19:15] <+TristanPA> Then drag it onto the model and pose to your tastes.
[19:15] <+TristanPA> So, that's personalized -- the most common type.
[19:15] <+TristanPA> But if you are a man of wealth, taste, and very fancy pants.
[19:15] <+TristanPA> You can also get an original model.
[19:16] <+TheNabster> An almost limitless number of tactics and units, but how ever do you balance such a thing?
[19:16] <+Abstruse> So I can go through the site sort of like I'm ordering a pizza? "Extra greatsword, scale armor, hold the shield, and if I see a damn helm on that thing I'll come down there..."
[19:16] <+TristanPA> In that case, we assign you a three-man design team: A character artist, an illustrator, and a 3D modeler. They go all the way from a quick concept ("I want a psychic warrior from a dystopian future") to a complete, finished model.
[19:16] <+TristanPA> However many revsisions and tweaks you require.
[19:16] <+Abstruse> (I now have a Jonathan Coulton song stuck in my head now...)
[19:16] <+TheNabster> ((Also will there be an army book, I like army books))
[19:17] <+TristanPA> A personalized model is $7 or so for a regular 28mm scale model. An origional model is $430, but to make it more affordable (because we know that's super expensive) we put your origional model up on our database, and whenever anyone uses parts from it in their own model, you get a cut of the profits.
[19:17] <+TristanPA> That way, people contributing awesome custom content can pull a profit -- and keep making cool models with us.
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[19:18] <~Dan> (Welcome to #rpgnet, Coinneach!)
[19:18] <~Dan> (Is that you, perchance, Ken?)
[19:18] <+TristanPA> (Done. Though allen is writing about the game, so give him a sec. ^_^)
[19:18] <+Coinneach> Indeed
[19:18] <~Dan> Ah! TristanPA and AllenTClark, meet Ken Vinson, author of the steampunk RPG Brass & Steel. I was just telling him about you guys.
[19:18] <+AllenTClark> You playtest it until you're sick of it and then you keep going. You make the core system so statistically balanced that you can no longer find a munchkin capable of breaking the game. Seriously, we've had theoretical mathematicians and statisticians take a swing at this.
[19:19] <+AllenTClark> Then you build all the bells and whistles, playtesting them over and over in so many permutations it starts to drive you mad.
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[19:19] <+Coinneach> ./wave
[19:19] <+AllenTClark> Last, you make a San check or two, and hope you pass well enough to market the thing. (Done)
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[19:20] <~Dan> And here we have BPIJonathan of Battlefield Press, and an #rpgnet regular. :)
[19:20] <~Dan> And howdy, Le_Squide!
[19:20] <+TristanPA> Hey there, BPIJonathan! You and I need to catch up after the Q&A. I've been meaning to talk to you.
[19:20] <+TristanPA> But for now, let the Q&A continue.
[19:21] <~Dan> So what's the minimum amount of info you need to make a custom model? A written description? A sketch?
[19:21] <+TristanPA> The shortest description we've ever worked with was: "A machine gun on robot legs."
[19:22] <+Abstruse> I have a LOT of questions, BTW :p
[19:22] <+Coinneach> Do you have the parts to do steampunk characters?
[19:22] <+AllenTClark> We will after the kickstarter.
[19:22] <+Coinneach> Gotcha
[19:22] <+AllenTClark> A significant portion of the funds go toward building our database.
[19:22] <+AllenTClark> And that is a focus of ours.
[19:22] <+TristanPA> Though, if you're a game-dev with a steampunk game. You know. As a hypothetical.
[19:23] <+Thantastic> We're looking forward to talking to you about that as well. :)
[19:23] <+TheNabster> ((Nudge nudge wink wink))
[19:23] <+TristanPA> Any steampunk models you might want help us grow out database, so we could make a deal.
[19:23] <~Dan> That's just if Coinneach wanted to build from your database, though, right?
[19:23] <+TristanPA> Yes.
[19:23] <+AllenTClark> The actual process for Original unit design is a two paragraph description, which we reply to with a short questionnaire, which helps us assign you the proper design trio for your needs.
[19:23] <+TristanPA> We can do fully custom models right now, of anything at all.
[19:24] <+TristanPA> (done)
[19:24] <~Dan> Do you have any limits on size?
[19:24] <+GenoFoxx> including mobile variable fighter suits?
[19:24] <+Abstruse> Are the personalized minis all $7 no matter how many options I pick?
[19:24] <~Dan> (Question pause.)
[19:25] <+Abstruse> (Crap...I had like five more questions...)
[19:25] <+TristanPA> Dan: The smallest model we can do and still get a reasonable level of detail is 10mm. The largest model we can do is 450mm on a side.
[19:25] <+AllenTClark> I grew up on Mecha, it's always been a favorite of mine. There's no way we'll be launching without the stuff for my personal army.
[19:25] <+TristanPA> Or to put that another way, 18''.
[19:25] <+Coinneach> There aren't any official miniature rules for Brass & Steel, but that doesn't mean I wouldn't want a set to run demos with and I'd be happy to promote your product at said demos.
[19:25] <+TristanPA> The tallest model in our initial release set is a 14'' tall anti-orbital cannon.
[19:25] <+AllenTClark> That's for all sides. If you want a block, 18"x18"x18", we can actually do that. Still blows my mind.
[19:25] <+TristanPA> Yup.
[19:26] <+TristanPA> (done)
[19:26] <+Thantastic> Do design prices vary with final model size? (I'm assuming that print prices scale with volume)
[19:26] <+Abstruse> What genres will you have at launch for personalized minis?
[19:27] <+TristanPA> Than -- yes they do. Print price is related directly to the size of the model. You can get as many bells and whistles as you like, the only thing that determines the final model price is size.
[19:27] <+TristanPA> We run from $7 for a typical 28mm scale figure.
[19:27] <+TristanPA> To $200 for, say, a 12'' tall dragon figure that shakes the table when you put it down.
[19:27] <+AllenTClark> High Fantasy, Middle Ages Realism, Hard Sci-Fi, Sci-Fantasy, Steampunk
[19:28] <+AllenTClark> Tristan mentioned print prices- design prices actually don't change for models of different sizes.
[19:28] <+Coinneach> Sorry if this has already been asked, but is the final product a monochrome that needs to be primed and painted?
[19:28] <+Abstruse> Nothing modern?
[19:29] <+TristanPA> Abstruse: We have "near future" miniatures planned in the kickstarter.
[19:29] <+TristanPA> Swat officers, modern weapons, modern poliece, etc.
[19:29] <+TristanPA> Just nothing "real world realistic" in the initial set.
[19:29] <+AllenTClark> I can field the priming and painting one, hang on, it's a bit long.
[19:29] <+TristanPA> Though if you want that, we can totally do that as a custom.
[19:29] <+TristanPA> (Done to let Allen handle that)
[19:29] <+Abstruse> (Woohoo! Shadowrun minis!!)
[19:30] <+AllenTClark> Priming and painting with a bit on price:
[19:30] <+AllenTClark> We  currently print in three materials; Fine Detail, Regular Reinforced, and  Sandstone.
[19:30] <+AllenTClark> Fine Detail is currently the best resolution material available  for 3D-printing. The detail is better than current Finecast models, and a  typical Fine Detail 28mm figure typically runs for $7. This one paints as normal for a model of its quality, and is our usual standard for pitches.
[19:30] <+AllenTClark> Regular Reinforced is an incredibly strong material- At a recent con demo, we  played catch with our tanks. With my aim, they rarely made it to the  volunteers, but never had a scratch, broke, or suffered any damage.  Compared to current modeling resin and plastic, they're functionally  indestructible. Seriously, we ended one demo game with a victory spike  of the tank. These have resolution between the current standard model  and Finec
[19:30] <+AllenTClark> Sandstone is exactly what it says. We 3D print  Sandstone, which is incredible enough on its own. The best part is it  comes in high-resolution color, and not just one. You can print it in  full color, any design, put together in the 3D model as you build it.  Sandstone models have slightly less resolution than existing tabletop  models, but offer so much of a time save in pre-coloring that they're  one of our unique draws. These are be
[19:30] <+AllenTClark> We have a few more materials, but those are our big three.  The variance is simply because models have different volumes- a Skeleton  is going to be cheaper than a werewolf, for example.
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[19:30] <+AllenTClark> (Done)
[19:31] <+Abstruse> So the 3D printing in full color, is that the same $7 or is that just for custom minis? And if the former, how much customability do I have in the color?
[19:31] <+Abstruse> I can't paint, so this is important to me...
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[19:31] <+TristanPA> Abstruse -- the 3D printing in full color is actually cheaper.
[19:31] <~Dan> (Is that you, Francis?)
[19:31] <+TristanPA> It's completly customizeable.
[19:31] <+mib_qtta71> Tis
[19:32] <+TristanPA> I also can't paint, so sandstone is my go-to material.
[19:32] <~Dan> (You can set your name with the "/nick" command.)
[19:32] <+Coinneach> I would love to paint, I just don't have the time anymore.
[19:32] <+TristanPA> It's about 3/4ths the price of fine detail.
[19:32] <+TristanPA> 9Done)
[19:32] <+TheNabster> So, back on the Proxy War stuff. How does the points buy system work. If I want to make, a regular dude, with a gun, how much would that cost me in the system?
[19:32] <~Dan> (Guys, this is Francis James Hogan, author of Adventure Maximus!, an RPG designed for younger gamers. He expressed some interest in your service.)
[19:33] <+TristanPA> In the Proxy War system, characters are defined by their statblock (Offense block, Defense block, Move, and Leadership), and a list of special abilites.
[19:33] <+TristanPA> So for instance, stay I wanted to make a tank.
[19:33] <+Abstruse> (I backed Bones II even though I can't paint....might be a waste of $127.50)
[19:34] <+TristanPA> It's offense clock would be high Damage, middle Accuracy, and low Rate of Fire. It's defense block would be high Defense, high Toughness, but low Health (once a shot gets through the armor, the tanks screw isn't that tough). It's move would be high, it probably woudln't have any leadership, and you'd give it the specials: Move and Shoot, Turret Gun, Armor Penitrating, and All Terrain Movement.
[19:34] <+TristanPA> Each of the stats has a price table for how much it costs, which special abilities modify.
[19:34] <+mib_qtta71> yes we've been looking into the possibility of having the core races in Adventure MAXIMUS done up as minis.
[19:34] <+Abstruse> (Actually, the more I think about it, the more I think I need to interview you guys for the me at so we can schedule something before your KS launches)
[19:34] <+TristanPA> So, to make a guy with a gun.
[19:35] <+TristanPA> You'd decide what his base stats are, and what specials that gun gives him (for instance, a guy with a machine gun might have Pinning).
[19:35] <+TristanPA> And he could be anywhere from 4 points (a conscript with a pistol), to 100+ points (Rex Kickass, Heroic Commando).
[19:35] <+BPIJonathan> I am looking back through the chat, but I think I missed something....what scale are the minis?
[19:35] <+TheNabster> Then can ge from 10mm to 18 inches apparently
[19:35] <+TristanPA> Yup!
[19:36] <+TristanPA> From 10mm to 450mm.
[19:36] <+BPIJonathan> Thanks.
[19:36] <+TristanPA> But most of our minis are 28mm just because that's what most peopl ewant.
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[19:36] <~Dan> Francis: I can PM you the chat so far if you like, or you can just wait for the log to be posted after the end of the chat.
[19:36] <+TristanPA> (done)
[19:36] <+mib_qtta71> thanks Dan that'd be swell, I was out at the auto shop, car exploded, I'm fine
[19:36] <~Dan> Yikes! O.o
[19:36] <+mib_qtta71> (done)
[19:36] <~Dan> Glad you're okay!
[19:37] <+TheNabster> Additional question. Do you have a set points value for a "standard" game
[19:37] <+BPIJonathan> Me too.
[19:37] <~Dan> I'll send you the chat so far via FB.
[19:37] <+TheNabster> That seems to be a lot of points
[19:37] <+TristanPA> The demo games we've been running at cons is 2250.
[19:37] <+Abstruse> Okay, back to the 3D printing. Can you give me a general idea of what points of customization you'll have for the personalized minis and how many options you'll have for each?
[19:37] <+AllenTClark> But it runs at a similar scale to a current edition GW game of 1500 points.
[19:37] <~Dan> (Francis: Sent.)
[19:38] <+TristanPA> Sure thing, Abstruse. Let me run you through a quick example.
[19:38] <+TristanPA> D&D character.
[19:38] <+TristanPA> Say, I want to make my current RPG character (Human Summoner, becaues Pathfinder is awesome).
[19:38] <+AllenTClark> Our points are not directly equivalent to other games points; we wanted things to be broken down slightly smaller to allow for more nuance and variance.
[19:38] <+TristanPA> I start by selecting a torso. We currently have about 16 torsos in our database for humans and near-humans, and we plan to increase that to over fifty post-kickstarter.
[19:39] <+Abstruse> Is that base funding or with stretch goals?
[19:39] <+TristanPA> Base.
[19:39] <+TristanPA> Next, I select limbs. Or, since I'm terrible at posing minis, I select a pre-gen limb set and then start scrolling through options.
[19:39] <+TristanPA> Either way, we anticipate the same number of limb choices as torso choices.
[19:39] <+TristanPA> Then, I hang a robe over him.
[19:39] <+TristanPA> Tweak the hem. Add a belt.
[19:40] <+TristanPA> Add a head. For expression, I can select from pre-gens or tug his features to my tastes.
[19:40] <+AllenTClark> (That's limb set choices, not limb choices. You can take them all separately.)
[19:40] <+TristanPA> then I toss on his gear, add hair, pose, color, and print.
[19:40] <+Abstruse> Wow...and this is $7?
[19:40] <+TristanPA> So, to do the math. About fifty torsos, times about fifty limb sets, times about 100 sets of clothes in the fantasy pack, times a few hundred mix-and-match items.
[19:40] <+Abstruse> What's your expected turnaround time on an order?
[19:40] <+AllenTClark> (You can also do things like start throwing limbs onto spots there aren't initially limb joints. Mutant army ahoy!)
[19:41] <+TristanPA> that's about fifty  million unique comboations, Abstruse.
[19:41] <+TristanPA> And, it's about two weeks including shipping if we have to mail it to you, but if you have a 3D printer at home, we can stream it to you instantly.
[19:41] <+Abstruse> Do we get a discount if we print ourselves?
[19:41] <+Abstruse> And how much volume are you guys ready to handle?
[19:41] <+TristanPA> Yes. We haven't set the exactly price yet, but tentativly, we plan to charge $1 max for any model if you print it yourself.
[19:42] <+TristanPA> We'd need we'd need to set up a special deal if you want more than 10,000 units.
[19:42] <+TristanPA> But short of that, print time is print time. There's no lead up or wind-down to worry about.
[19:42] <+AllenTClark> Relatedly, our long-term plan to involve FLGS is to get them printers and terminals for use with our sercive, and allow them to print and customize in-store.
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[19:42] <+Abstruse> So it's $1 or less to basically lease your CAD engine or $7 to have you print it (for a medium sized RPG mini at least).
[19:43] <~Dan> (Welcome to #rpgnet, Lor!)
[19:43] <+TristanPA> That's correct, Abstruse.
[19:44] <~Dan> Do I recall that you're able to print modular minis as well?
[19:44] <+mib_qtta71> Tristan I'm a Zbrush man myself, would your service be able to use a zbrush file for 3D printing?
[19:44] <+Abstruse> The only thing I'm worried about is how fast you can turn around orders if you get swamped, because I see this getting very popular very quickly. Say you get 50,000 orders at launch. Are you set up for that, or will you see a bit of a lag at first?
[19:44] <+Bigby> Is it possible to look at the current options or are you not opening that to the public until after the Kickstarter?
[19:44] <~Dan> (Question pause.
[19:44] <~Dan> )
[19:44] <+TristanPA> Yes. We can print bits, parts of minis, accessories for other miniatures, etc.
[19:44] <+TristanPA> To answer your question, MIB, yes, we will accept 3D files you make yourself, but you must be able to provide some proof that you own the copyright on the file.
[19:45] <+TristanPA> We won't be sticklers about it though, and the legalities of this are pretty favorable (despite what GW would have you believe).
[19:45] <+AllenTClark> We currently buy print time from mass industrial print shops; the ones we use do not have limitations or delays for orders of less than 10,000.
[19:45] <+TristanPA> So, to expand on what Allen said, if we get 50,000 orders at our Kickstarter, we'll buy a lot more industrial print time leading up to release.
[19:45] <+TristanPA> Getting swamped is not a serious concern for us.
[19:46] <+Thantastic> If you were to print bits only (or markers/tokens/etc) is there a reduction in cost for the $7, or is that the minimum total?
[19:46] <+TristanPA> (Done)
[19:46] <+Abstruse> Is there any human involvement to make sure I didn't completely screw up my mini accidentally, or is it all automated with a "This is your mini, make sure it's correct before clicking buy" thing?
[19:46] <+AllenTClark> That is to say, we are concerned, and have taken steps in our business model to eliminate that concern for any reasonable level of business.
[19:46] <+Thantastic> Also, I didn't see what the shipping prices were? Are those included or additional?
[19:46] <+TheNabster> ((Imma sleep. Night))
[19:46] <~Dan> (Sleep well, Nabster!)
[19:46] <+TristanPA> Thantastic, we generally offer fully custom color tokens for RPG's and board games for about twenty-five cents each.
[19:46] <+TristanPA> Tantastic, shipping prices are included in that figure.
[19:46] <+TristanPA> That is a total.
[19:47] <+AllenTClark> There is a spot check to make sure nothing violates our Terms of Service or is unprintable.
[19:47] <+TristanPA> (Done)
[19:47] <+Thantastic> Wow, that's great.
[19:47] <+TristanPA> Thanks!
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[19:47] <~Dan> Were you guys able to do any market research into your market, and if so, how promising were the results?
[19:48] <+mib_qtta71> domestic shipping right? (Done)
[19:48] <+AllenTClark> We have done extensive market research, especially on competition in this space, both from traditional manufacturers and new manufacturing methods.
[19:49] <+TristanPA> (Yes, domestic shipping. We do internaional but it's a bit more)
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[19:49] <+Abstruse> Did you guys see my question?
[19:49] <+TristanPA> About human involvement? Yes, sorry, Allen answered it earlier -- but I'll say it again in case you missed it. A human does spot-check all of your orders to make sure they're printable and valid.
[19:49] <+TristanPA> If you pay a few dollars more, the designer can advise you on asthetics as well.
[19:49] <+AllenTClark> With a few exceptions that are not as useful to the gaming community at large because they are one-trick-ponies, we are the first to move into this space- customization of minis on the large scale via 3D Printing.
[19:49] <+TristanPA> But that's just optional.
[19:49] <+TristanPA> (Done)
[19:50] <+Abstruse> So...are you offering a demo for the press by any chance? ^_^;;
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[19:50] <+TristanPA> Oh, I'd never impugn your journalistic integrity by offering to send you a model right before you might say something nice about us.  ^_^
[19:50] <+TristanPA> But we will be doing demos over the course of the Kickstarter, yes.
[19:50] <+Bigby> Is the current database of parts available to view?
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[19:51] <+AllenTClark> We've gotten a super-enthusiastic response from the gaming community as a result of all this market research, and are riding that wave into our kickstarter. People want this service, and no one else does anything like it.
[19:51] <+TristanPA> Grabbing playtesters and journalists and walking them through the entire process during the Kickstarter.
[19:51] <+TristanPA> Not right now, Bigby.
[19:51] <+TristanPA> We'll be releasing pieces of it during the KS as teaser material.
[19:51] <+AllenTClark> No, the current database will not be available until after the kickstarter. Selections from it will be on the KS to begin with and more will be released as time goes on.
[19:51] <+Abstruse> Closest competitor was a Kickstarter I covered a couple of weeks ago that does 3D scans of a picture and prints on a generic mini body for something like $20.
[19:51] <+Abstruse> So the only customizable part was the head.
[19:52] <+AllenTClark> Yup! Howard Taylor has a mini-him, and that's phenomenal. We wanted to do something more widely applicable, though.
[19:52] <+TristanPA> Speaking of Howard Taylor, I should mention.
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[20:01] <+Bigby> Abstruse, I think they had at least 4 different bodies (4 different classes) unless you're talking abut a different one.
[20:02] <+TristanPA> If you're a fan of Schlock Mercenary or Erfworld, we'll be doing releases of exclusive miniatuers from both of those comics.
[20:02] <+xyphoid> hey, nice
[20:02] <~Dan> Awesome. :)
[20:02] <+Bigby> Erfworld minies?  Epic.
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[20:02] <+Catseye> Regarding figures of copyrighted characters. And say, I owned said rights and marks, would you still be able to do figures for me? Or would there be any issues with my own copytrights and trademarks somehow becoming challenged?
[20:02] <+AllenTClark> I should note that those are limited edition; only 100 of each set, so they'll probably disappear pretty quick.
[20:02] <+TristanPA> You'll be able t oback our KS to get Elf, Tagon, and Schlock -- or from the fantasy side, Bogroll, Vinnie, and Jaclyn. If you have the fanciest of pants, you will also be able to get the Tool riding his Dwagon, signed by Rob Balder himself.
[20:03] <+Abstruse> Bigby: They unlocked about a dozen and change with stretch goals. And the bodies weren't customizable at all.
[20:03] <~Dan> (Howdy, Wondy!)
[20:03] <+TristanPA> Catseye -- as long as you own the copyright, we're fine. We will be lisencing other properties as quickly as we can to open fan-content to development, but for your own content, you're fine.
[20:04] <+TristanPA> (Done)
[20:04] <+Catseye> woo! That's a weight off my mind
[20:04] <~Dan> What do you think will be your bread-and-butter: game companies or individual gamers?
[20:05] <+Abstruse> Are you going to offer a license deal? Like say I'm wanting to launch a board game or I have a campaign setting I want to do custom minis for. Will you offer deals for that as fulfillment only?
[20:05] <+Abstruse> Like you sell directly to me and I sell to my customers?
[20:05] <+TristanPA> Can I say "both"? I think most of our /buisness/ will be gamers, but I think that game companies will provide the platform gamers need to help their creativity flourish.
[20:05] <+TristanPA> For instance, the game we're doing right now, The Robot Age.
[20:05] <+TristanPA> The creator is only comissioning two figs from us.
[20:05] <+TristanPA> But I love me some robot minis and I'm sure his players will as well.
[20:05] <+TristanPA> So we were happy to give him a good deal knowing it'll help players who want to make awesome robot characters, and we'll make minis for them in turn.
[20:06] <+AllenTClark> Abstruse, we will sell to you. One of our cornerstones is that we are both a games company and a "helping you make games" company- so we are open to selling models to you, and having you repackage them for sale with your game.
[20:06] <+TristanPA> (Done)
[20:07] <+Abstruse> So the $430 option is for a complete ground-up build, right? Or is there a price cut if I just want a custom sword or torso or something?
[20:07] <+TristanPA> $430 is the complete ground-up build. Things like weapons, clothes, etc, will vary in price between a few dollars and as high as $50.
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[20:07] <~Dan> (Howdy, Caylin!)
[20:07] <+TristanPA> An authentic elizabethan era dress is harder to model than a custom sword.
[20:07] <+TristanPA> So it's all by what you want.
[20:08] <+TristanPA> $430 is "start with nothing, end with exactly what you imagined."
[20:08] <+Thantastic> Allen, to follow up on Abstruse's question, can you confirm that custom content we design with you can be treated as work-for-hire with full rights retention if so desired? I'm thinking mainly of use for token/component sets, or for exclusive minis that we as devs might not want to get into the wild.
[20:08] <~Dan> Do I recall correctly that if someone is able to provide you with ready-to-roll 3D design specs, the cost for creating a custom mini drops to $300?
[20:09] <+TRA-Preston> (whoops i got mentioned when I wasnt looking)
[20:09] <~Dan> (Let that be a lesson to you, TRA-Preston. NEVER turn away from this channel. EVER.)
[20:09] <+TristanPA> Dan -- even better than that, actually. The cost of the mini drops the more things you have prepared. It's $430 is you have nothing but a description. That drops the more reference art you have, if you have any character pictures, or even if you have a 3D model.
[20:09] <+TristanPA> for The Robot Age, they already had excellent character design work and concept art, but no 3D models.
[20:10] <+TristanPA> So we gave them a discount to $300.
[20:10] <+TristanPA> That's pretty typical.
[20:10] <+TristanPA> (And, Done. Gonna let Allen finish up his)
[20:10] <+TRA-Preston> (*The Robotic Age)
[20:10] <+TristanPA> (Whoops! Thank you)
[20:11] <+AllenTClark> Than, not automatically. The contract is variable, but one of the reasons we are able to offer customization for so cheap is that by default, your models are pulled apart into their base components and reshuffled into our database, exponentially expanding the options available to everyone each time we design custom content. If you want exclusivity, we can do it, but it's a bit more expensive. The exact amount is on a per-customer basis.
[20:11] <+Abstruse> So if I had 3D models from somewhere (and I can prove they're legit), that would drop even lower?
[20:11] <+TristanPA> Correct, Abstruse.
[20:12] <+TristanPA> For example, if you wanted steampunk minis, steampunk is popular, so we could do that for significantly less, because we know we'll get a lot of use our of the parts for other people's creation.
[20:12] <+TristanPA> But if you want steampunk minis and insist the parts remain exclusive, we coudln't do that.
[20:12] <+TristanPA> So it's a bit more.
[20:12] <+AllenTClark> We couldn't do that /for the same price./ It's perfectly possible.
[20:12] <~Dan> Ah... seems like someone was asking me about that, re: keeping a design exclusive.
[20:12] <+TristanPA> Yes. thank ou.
[20:12] <+TristanPA> Thank you*.
[20:12] <+Abstruse> So you could do exclusive, but I would have to pay through the nose for it.
[20:12] <+AllenTClark> We just have to add the dev cost on other things that non-exclusivity would be saving us back into the price.
[20:13] <+TristanPA> I woudln't say "pay through the nose" Abstruse, but there are a lot of print shops out there that will take your money and give you a 3D model and call it a day. We specialize in helping gamers create fully custom models, and game companies adding their content to our database really helps gamers do that.
[20:14] <+TristanPA> Charging you through the nose would defeat the point, but we do prefer it when we're a custom miniatures company, not just a 3D modeling print shop.
[20:14] <+Thantastic> AllenTClark, that makes sense. My question about tokens is mainly since they're one-piece bits, the exclusive mini was more as a possible use for the next KS campaign.
[20:14] <+Abstruse> I meant that figuratively. Would it be possible to keep some components of a ground-up design exclusive and let you use others to reduce the up-front costs?
[20:14] <+TristanPA> We do give you a percentage every time your model parts are used in someone else's creation -- so if your concern is money, we have that covered. It's only if you insist that no one else can use your parts ever that there's a problem.
[20:14] <+AllenTClark> Yes.
[20:14] <+TristanPA> Yes, Abstruse.
[20:14] <+Abstruse> Like "You can use the torso and head, but that sword and helm are strictly mine"
[20:15] <+TristanPA> Yes, we can do that.
[20:15] <+AllenTClark> Whoop, my yes was also to Abstruse. We have similar deals already with game shops and groups, and their unit patches and squad insignias.
[20:15] <+Abstruse> Okay, so in can basically do anything I want, either as a gamer or a designer, at a minimal cost no matter what, and it's full color and delivered in a fortnight?
[20:16] <+Abstruse> Okay, what happened to my other two wishes?!
[20:16] <+AllenTClark> We promise the sun, the moon, and the stars.
[20:16] <+AllenTClark> If someone had told me two years ago this is what I'd be working on, I'd have told them to sober up.
[20:16] <+TristanPA> You're gamers. If you can't get everything you want with one wish, you either have bad wording or an insufficiently evil GM.
[20:16] <+Duloth> Insufficiently evil?
[20:16] <+xyphoid> (i wish that this wish not be granted)
[20:17] <+Abstruse> (I wish for a Deck of Many Things!)
[20:17] <+FrancisJamesHogan> wish for more wishes!
[20:17] <+AllenTClark> You guys make it hard on a Djinn.
[20:17] <+Abstruse> Okay, enough side-chatter that I started in the first much customization is there in the color?
[20:17] <+TristanPA> 258 colors, Abstruse.
[20:17] <+Abstruse> Or how specific can you get in the $7 versions?
[20:18] <+TristanPA> And you're not limited to full-color dumps.
[20:18] <+Abstruse> Like can you do iris colors?
[20:18] <+TristanPA> You can do numbers, logos, patches.
[20:18] <+TristanPA> Yes.
[20:18] <+AllenTClark> Yup!
[20:18] <+TristanPA> for resolution, I'd say the smallest object you could manage and still have it be clear with distinct colors is maybe 2mm across?
[20:18] <+TristanPA> So a character could have blue eyes at any size. Or green. Or brown.
[20:18] <+Abstruse> Okay, I need a break from the Q&A because I can't state my amazement at this without breaking the no profanity rules.
[20:18] <+AllenTClark> For the unit stats, we actually have a set of cards legibly printed in full color sandstone.
[20:18] <+TristanPA> Oh yeah!
[20:18] <+TristanPA> The unit cards.
[20:18] <+TristanPA> Forgot about those.
[20:18] <+AllenTClark> I set them down next to a Magic player's deck one.
[20:18] <~Dan> So let's say someone wants a mini designed for a particular game line. How does it work if you want to "tweak" that mini? Is that doable so long as the design isn't exclusive?
[20:18] <+AllenTClark> *once. It melted in shame.
[20:18] <+TristanPA> (note: What allen just said is not true :| )
[20:18] <+xyphoid> how thick are they?
[20:19] <+xyphoid> because I have been considering custom warmahordes cards....
[20:19] <+FrancisJamesHogan> The color is rendered through the texture map?
[20:19] <+TristanPA> So, we have an app for unit design, one that lets you add stats, add a unit picture, and fully design a stat card for the unit. You can then download it to your phone or computer, or you can hit "Print" and we'll print it for you in 2mm thick custom sandstone.
[20:19] <+TristanPA> Yes, the card is added directly to the texture map.
[20:20] <+TristanPA> And, Dan. Yes. So, with The Robotic Age.
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[20:20] <+TristanPA> They didn't ask for exclusivity, so if you like one of the Robotic Age figures, but think that what it really needs is a chainsaw gun.
[20:20] <+TristanPA> You can add that, and the Robotic Age's creator will get a cut of the sales, since it's based on his models.
[20:20] <~Dan> Cool.
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[20:20] <+TRA-Preston> (And a chainsaw gun still wouldn't be out of the question in The Robotic Age)
[20:20] <+Thantastic> Do you have any specifics yet on what the designer's cut is for parts inclusion?
[20:21] <~Dan> So, to rephrase: Exclusivity assumes no tweaks? Or is there an option to make that work somehow?
[20:21] <~Dan> (Welcome to #rpgnet, Guest41!)
[20:21] <+Guest41> Hi Dan!
[20:21] <+xyphoid> how does the stat card resolution work out through the 3d printer
[20:21] <~Dan> (You can set your name with the "/nick" command, Guest41. :) )
[20:21] <+xyphoid> presumable you don't get as sharp as you would printing with ink?
[20:21] <+TristanPA> Dan, it's whatever the creator wants. If they insist on no-tweaks, we could do that. But to be frank, if you don't like players being able to tweak your models and add their own content, we are not the service for you.
[20:22] <+Guest41> :) ty
[20:22] <~Dan> Makes sense.
[20:22] <+TristanPA> Thantastic, that's on a case by case basis. TRA-Preston did not give me his permission to talk abot his share, so, I won't. I will say though, that it depends on how much of the model is used (how many parts) in the final.
[20:22] <+Thantastic> Fair enough.
[20:22] <~Dan> (Heh. The Robotic Age author didn't say you could talk abot it?)
[20:23] <+TristanPA> Talking about him as a client is not the same thing is talking about the details of his contract.
[20:23] <+AllenTClark> What Tristan means in his response to Dan is that we're all about you guys- everyone from the littlest Pathfinder player to the biggest dev looking for a model set. We want everyone to be able to fulfill their vision for their artistic work- so if you want exclusivity, we can do it. Exclusivity is not our baseline, but it's a possibility. Exclutivity precludes tweaks.
[20:23] <~Dan> (No, I was just mentally chuckling at your "abot" typo. :) )
[20:23] <+TRA-Preston> (the buiesness side and the "omg this is awesome" sides are often seperate)
[20:23] <+TristanPA> Also, The Robotic Age is awesome, so no way am I not shouting to the rooftops that we're doing their miniatures.
[20:23] <+AllenTClark> (heh)
[20:23] <+Thantastic> So I'm not too shy to say that I'm interested, for my own play and as the Dev for Clockwork, so what's the best way for me to get more info or share info about your service with other people?
[20:23] <+Abstruse> (Okay, that was disgusting...almost drank an ant that got into my bourbon...)
[20:23] <+TRA-Preston> (oh i see the typo now)
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[20:24] <+Thantastic> And when does the aforementioned Kickstarter campaign go live for you guys?
[20:24] <+AllenTClark> (Oh, man, I have a story from my 23rd birthday about a wasp in some bourbon, but that's for another time.)
[20:24] <+Thantastic> (Good to know we're all bourbon afficianados)
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[20:24] <+TristanPA> Thantastic , our Kickstarter campaign goes live on November the 5th (remember remember). If you happen to be in the North Carolina area, you can attend our launch party, where we're doing a free custom army contest ($3000 in store credit!) and raffling away some custom minis. If you don't happen to be in the NC area, you can sign up for the newsletter at (Link:
[20:24] <+TristanPA> As for getting in touch with us, you can reach me at
[20:25] <+AllenTClark> We're also talking with FLGSs across the country (and one in Canada now) about holding satellite parties.
[20:25] <+TristanPA> (Done)
[20:26] <+Lor> Is the army contest based on yalls Proxy Army game or what?
[20:27] <+TristanPA> Nope! It's the best concept for a custom army or any other 24-miniature set. For instance, some ideas we've had so far are a voxel army (a race of digital creatures invading our reality, whose models show visible pixilation), or the Carkenoids, Crab People from a Water-Locked World.
[20:27] <+TristanPA> Ranging from serious alien monsters, to a thinly veiled Futurama reference with their Mobile Oppression Palace titan unit.
[20:27] <+TristanPA> We have a vote on whose idea is the best (after some semi-finals).
[20:27] <+TristanPA> Winner gets 24 fully custom minis, runners-up get 1 fully custom mini each.
[20:27] <+AllenTClark> (Nate will be upset when he reads this if I don't correct that to "Karkinoids")
[20:27] <+TristanPA> Bah!
[20:27] <+TristanPA> (Done)
[20:27] <~Dan> Hmm. Could you see multiple game companies with similar needs splitting design costs for custom minis?
[20:27] <~Dan> Like, let me give you an example...
[20:28] <+TristanPA> Absolutely, Dan.
[20:28] <+AWOLJoe> So, the entry is a custom army concept, not a set of custom minis made with your premade parts?
[20:28] <+TristanPA> Correct, AWOLJoe.
[20:28] <~Dan> Thantastic, will there be zeppelins in Clockwork: Empire?
[20:28] <+AWOLJoe> Interesting
[20:28] <+Thantastic> Yes, actually.
[20:29] <+Thantastic> The first adventure we just unlocked as a stretch goal on our KS takes place on a zeppelin.
[20:29] <~Dan> Okay. So I could see you and the author of Brass & Steel (who stepped away, I believe) splitting the cost for a basic zeppelin design, then each of you paying for your respective tweaks.
[20:29] <~Dan> (Brass & Steel being another steampunk game.)
[20:29] <+Thantastic> TristanPA, do you have anything in place for co-development on basics such as that?
[20:30] <+AllenTClark> That's absolutely possible, yes, but barring the stars aligning and dread chthulu rising to  make the most ironclad, restrictive contract known to man, protective to all parties involved in ways beyond human comprehension, that would not be compatible with Exclusivity.
[20:30] <+TristanPA> Sure!
[20:30] <+TristanPA> If you want to split costs directly, we'd just set up a contract with both parties as the signatory. But if you want something more general, our current system already handles that.
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[20:30] <+TristanPA> For instnace, once you have the zepplin bag and rigid superstructure, making new gondolas is much cheaper, because that's not a whole unit.
[20:30] <+Thantastic> If it was setting up a more generic parts library that was key to a particular setting/genre, that could be very interesting.
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[20:30] <~Dan> (wb, KJ!)
[20:31] <+TristanPA> If you two want to set up a steampunk parts library, we will /make that work/. ^_^
[20:31] <+TristanPA> Split the costs on top of a hefty discount.
[20:31] <+TristanPA> Because those parts are super-reuseable.
[20:31] <+TristanPA> by you and others.
[20:31] <~Dan> Hmm.
[20:32] <~Dan> I could see that being beneficial for all concerned. :)
[20:32] <+Thantastic> Agreed.
[20:32] <+TristanPA> This was a good idea.
[20:32] <~Dan> Than, if you're interested in something like that, I'll let Ken (the Brass & Steel author) know.
[20:33] <~Dan> I think he was mainly interested in some demo models, so that would make financial sense for him.
[20:33] <~Dan> TristanPA: "This" being the Q&A, or the cost-sharing idea? :)
[20:33] <+TristanPA> Yes.
[20:33] <+TristanPA> ^_^
[20:33] * ~Dan chuckles
[20:33] <~Dan> Cool. :)
[20:33] <+Thantastic> I'd love the introduction, but I'd like to cover some smaller-scale stuff first :)
[20:33] <~Dan> So going back to Proxy War for a moment: Is it genre-specific, or multi-genre?
[20:34] <~Dan> Thantastic: Certainly. :)
[20:36] <+AllenTClark> It's a sci-fantasy setting in a massive galaxy. The main conflict is a recently sparked war between the remnants of a recently deposed galactic empire, their rebellious servitor species, and a young upstart from some backwater planet in the Orion arm of the galaxy. The setting treats scale with some selective hard sci-fi, however, and as a result, you have millions of planets whose inhabitants have never heard of the Vana Hegemony, desp
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[20:37] <~Dan> (Cut off at "Vana Hegemony, desp")
[20:37] <+AllenTClark> ... , despite it spanning 95% of the setting at its height. There are worlds and entire sectors that have never felt the stomp of a Nakara boot, and live out their lives in relative primitivism, working the alternate laws of physics some would call magic to bend reality to their will.
[20:38] <~Dan> That sounds like a solid premise for an RPG as well as for a wargame. Any thoughts in that direction?
[20:38] <+AllenTClark> There are pockets of military sci-fi that Micheal A. Stackpole would have a field day in, and there are the odd nebulae that Kamina would find homely.
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[20:39] <+AllenTClark> We strive to be all-inclusive without watering down the integrity of any one genre.
[20:39] <+TristanPA> And to answer your question, Dan-
[20:39] <~Dan> (Howdy, Oddsod! Q&A in progress, #rpgnet2 open for general chat! :) )
[20:39] <+AllenTClark> It's a delicate balance, and requires constant player feedback.
[20:39] <+TristanPA> We really, really want to answer that "yes." :)
[20:39] <+AllenTClark> (Done.)
[20:39] <+TristanPA> I love RPG's, I love making RPG's and worldbuilding. We've got a fantastic setting here.
[20:39] <+TristanPA> But right now, we're focused on helping other people make minis for their own RPG's, not on making our own.
[20:39] <~Dan> Fair enough. :)
[20:40] <+AllenTClark> (Grumble grumble.)
[20:40] <~Dan> Are there any systems out there that you think would be ideal for it?
[20:41] <+AllenTClark> Yes, but I don't know if we can talk about that right now. I may or may not be interested in another in-development game whose devs and demos impressed the hell out of us.
[20:41] <~Dan> Heh. No problem. :)
[20:41] <+AllenTClark> For now, I recommend Fate for a more cinematic feel and Gurps for numbers-heavy realism. The trick is catching a balance between the two.
[20:41] <+Bigby> This might be a weird question.  Along with limbs and heads and such will there be any options for the miniature's base?  Like a flat base or a textured base or a cobblestone/dungeon floor?
[20:42] <+TristanPA> Bigby, there are two stretch goals that expand that option massivly -- letting us do everything from textured bases, to dungeon floors, to entire world map sections, on which the mini indicates global movement.
[20:42] <+TristanPA> By default though, they come without bases, and you base/flock them normally.
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[20:44] <+BPIJonathan> I have a whole box of basis.
[20:44] <+BPIJonathan> bases
[20:44] <~Dan> Have you covered them all?
[20:45] <+AllenTClark> Heh.
[20:45] <+Bigby> I wasn't thinking full size bases, but most metal and plastic minis I have are standing on something.  Even if it's "green army man" style base.
[20:45] <+TristanPA> Well, Bigby, you could always just add a base to the miniature and 3D print it that way.
[20:45] <+TristanPA> We just usually don't because bags of bases are so cheap.
[20:45] <+TristanPA> that it's less expensive to base normally.
[20:45] <+xyphoid> yeah, most of us who're painting the minis will want them separate to the bases anwyay
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[21:02] <+Bigby> I paint and I"m not arguing.  I've just never seen a free standing mini (other than large creatures).  Interesting.
[21:02] <+AllenTClark> With our models, it's all about customization. You have the option to make a base out of any terrain texture, or even grab a shattered limb from one of your enemies and throw it on the ground before you.
[21:02] <+Bigby> Cool
[21:02] <+AllenTClark> Or you can keep them base-free in printing and do what ever you want to it in-post print.
[21:04] <~Dan> Whoops... My computer clock was running behind. You guys are more than welcome to stay and answer questions as long as you like, but before I forget, is there anything we haven't covered that you'd like to bring up?
[21:05] <+AllenTClark> Heh, I was about to say, Tristan is about to pop off for a quick business talk, but I can stick around for any other questions.
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[21:05] <+Kei> hello folks
[21:05] <+TristanPA> Just a reminder! Our Kickstarter goes live on November the 5th. If you're in the North Carolina area, you can attend our Kickoff party and have a chance to win free minis, a laptop, or a fully custom 24-unit army. And even if you're not, you can sign up for more info on our newsletter here. (Link:
[21:06] <+FrancisJamesHogan> You guys were great, very informative.
[21:06] <+AllenTClark> We're in talks to hold satellite parties elsewhere in the US and Canada, so you might want to get that info in case we do end up with a local shindig.
[21:06] <+TristanPA> Thanks, Francis!
[21:06] <+AllenTClark> Especially if you'd like to talk to your FLGS about said local shindig.
[21:07] <~Dan> Thanks very much, guys! I'll post the log from here, but please stick around as long as you like!
[21:07] <+AllenTClark> Oh, of course. Thanks for having us, Dan.

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