The future of terrain and DF

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MrMorden
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Re: The future of terrain and DF

Post by MrMorden » Fri Jan 03, 2020 12:15 pm

Crappy mass market terrain is not going to displace DF, especially with millions watching good terrain on Critical Role. The 3d printed terrain is the real threat, and that threat will only become more dire.

If I could give DF one piece of business advice, it would be to invest NOW (if not yesterday) in the technology to produce 3d models that can be purchased and printed at home. Many would pay more for DF quality sculpts they could print.

This does not mean abandoning current staff or sculpting methods! There are plenty of options out there now for making 3d models from high resolution scans of physically sculpted models.

DF, start now or the wave might swamp your business.
Last edited by MrMorden on Fri Jan 03, 2020 9:21 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: The future of terrain and DF

Post by Gargs454 » Fri Jan 03, 2020 10:48 am

While it is certainly something that DF needs to keep an eye on, I agree with the others that DF should always have its niche, so long as it continues to be an industry leader in terms of durability, quality, and artistry (for lack of a better word). There has long been competition for DF. From the simple wet erase grid mat, to WotC's old Dungeon Tiles line, to the flip and poster maps of Paizo. Obviously these were varying degrees of 2D alternatives, but there was even at one point the TerraClips(I think it was called?) system which was a fairly nice 3D option (though nowhere near the quality of DF, it was notably cheaper).

More options in the 3D realm are not actually a bad thing. In fact, I would argue that they are a good thing. It will force DF to adapt to the market by either a) continuing to innovate so as to still have the best of the best options or b) find a happy medium in terms of quality and price to stay competitive. My bet is that they go for A and continue to be an industry leader -- albeit one that is for the more . . . affluent gamers.

I also see the potential for combining elements of multiple suppliers. As someone who has a bit of a limited budget for instance, I could envision a scenario where for the encounter that starts in the middle of town, I am using a series of cheaper buildings/streets (maybe flip mats for the streets with cardstock type buildings for the stores, inn, homes, etc.) but then when the party chases the bad guy into the sewers, I break out my set of DF sewers. Creates a happy medium between spending a crap ton on DF city buildings and streets, while also having the cream of the crop for the more confined encounters.

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Alkettory
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Re: The future of terrain and DF

Post by Alkettory » Sat Dec 14, 2019 5:50 pm

Mass market terrain is to DF as Yugo is to Lexus.

They have different target demographics, so they aren't really in competition with one another.

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Re: The future of terrain and DF

Post by GODofwar » Fri Dec 13, 2019 12:48 am

Second 'Hear, hear!"

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Re: The future of terrain and DF

Post by AnimeSensei » Thu Dec 12, 2019 5:37 pm

RB and GoW have it right.

I started with a battlemat and pieces of paper and SWORE I'd never buy terrain or minis. DF was too expensive for me to even consider.

Then WOTC let the D&D Minis line kind of die out and suddenly minis at game stores I frequented were put in the discount section. Suddenly I could buy minis for $0.25 prepainted. So I fell into the minis trap.

Then after I had minis, I found pre-cast Hirst Arts terrain. It was cheap too, and I could make a decent sized area for <$100. So I bought in. DF was still too expensive.

Then Reaper and DF came out with Bones and Dwarvenite. Both were cheap! (This was KS1 days) So I took the plunge again and spent almost $1k now into the section of the hobby I swore I'd never delve into.

Now I have thousands of prepainted and unpainted minis and virtually every DF resin/dwarenite set/sculpt. (I just can't keep up any more with all of the DF sets and paint schemes)

My point is that having something that looks TERRIBLE to me now would have probably been a pretty attractive option to me 10 years ago solely due to the price. If these things are cheap, then they will find buyers. Then those buyers will need new environments. ("I got my dungeons, but now I need some caves... let's see what Google has to say about that...") They will discover DF and those that can afford to take the plunge will do so. I just hope DF is ready to keep the webstore stocked with basic sets on a regular basis.

To me, it's like how a lot of us here got into the hobby with Heroquest. Or people playing Magic got into it by starting with Pokemon or Yugioh.

This hobby is an addictive one as there's always something in your games that you discover you don't have, whether it be a monster, a type of terrain, or even accessories. It's sad, but it becomes more and more frustrating to have to "pretend" something is there when we don't have the specific piece, especially when most of the games we play on this stuff don't technically require it at all. :roll: I'm sure most of us do it though.

I hope the new (ugly) line does well and brings more people into the hobby so they can upgrade to DF at a later date.
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Re: The future of terrain and DF

Post by ced1106 » Wed Dec 11, 2019 10:34 pm

I've backed four or five KS for inexpensive terrain, and now WizKids is entering that same market. I think DF's transition to higher quality, more expensive, terrain happened at the right time, because, while its still a few handfuls, it's certainly noticeably more than the days of the first DF KS. In a way, it's similar to how high-end display-level miniatures and boardgame-quality plastic miniatures can exist together. Pretty obviously, you need more than just that to stay in business, but DF has a long history in the hobby, and you don't get there by accident. I agree that 3D printing is a concern, but backers of Reaper's Bones $3M campaign are showing that they're willing to spend over $150 for a core set and shipping for a product in two years, than buy a $200 3D printer today and print mini's.

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Re: The future of terrain and DF

Post by GODofwar » Wed Dec 11, 2019 3:59 pm

Rabbit Burner wrote:
Tue Dec 10, 2019 11:14 am
The more there is the healthier it is.

We do not believe that cheap terrain is a threat to DF and other more expensive terrain manufacturers but will act more as a gateway into the gamut of tabletop terrain producers. It will make those that do not have any 3d terrain and who never thought it was a 'thing' see what wonderful builds they can produce.

We do think 3D printing will impact, but DF should be able to survive on innovations such as leds and magnets and their sculpting skill and the durability of dwarvenite. We see 3D terrain printing supplementing DF for those that are serious about their table top terrain.
Strongly concur with Rabbit (I must be ill...that's three 'Concur with Rabbit's' in one day). DwF is NOT in competition with D&D. Scenario: Kid A gets D&D terrain for Xmas. His friends see 3D terrain for the first time and are thrilled they can keep track of the action better (not all of us can imagine things in 3D color). Then Kid B brings one small room of DwF to the next game....wonder what's on the Birthday and Xmas list for that bunch of kids???!!

DwF needs to find a way to ride the wave. DnD will put a lot of $$ into adverts of this stuff. Like Rabbit, I see an opportunity, not a competitor.


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Re: The future of terrain and DF

Post by Rabbit Burner » Tue Dec 10, 2019 11:14 am

The more there is the healthier it is.

We do not believe that cheap terrain is a threat to DF and other more expensive terrain manufacturers but will act more as a gateway into the gamut of tabletop terrain producers. It will make those that do not have any 3d terrain and who never thought it was a 'thing' see what wonderful builds they can produce.

We do think 3D printing will impact, but DF should be able to survive on innovations such as leds and magnets and their sculpting skill and the durability of dwarvenite. We see 3D terrain printing supplementing DF for those that are serious about their table top terrain.
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Re: The future of terrain and DF

Post by dice4hire » Mon Dec 09, 2019 11:49 pm

There are indeed many communities out there.
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Re: The future of terrain and DF

Post by jchunick » Mon Dec 09, 2019 11:00 pm

There's a whole crafting community out there that lives in a wonderful, beautiful, full and separate world from all of this and it's going just as strong. I straddle many different communities to sate my creativity, from 3D printing to world and battlemap creation using Wonderdraft and Mapforge, to crafting terrain, jewellery, gaming accessories, dice, etc. I run the gamut and see the benefits as well as the drawbacks of each.
Last edited by jchunick on Tue Dec 10, 2019 12:44 am, edited 1 time in total.
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