Sunday, March 23, 2014

dxContent 3D Dungeon Tiles Get Walls!

Technically we have "half" walls that work with dxContent 3D Dungeon Tiles or can be used on all types of battle mats or even classic cardboard tiles.  Walls are available now in the dxContent store!

Lets take a quick look at the walls in full glory!

A column of dwarves come upon a battle with two viscous beasts.

Why Half Walls?

The big benefit of "half" walls is that you can see the minis - very important for games like D&D or Pathfinder.  The "half" walls are 2 inches long (a scale 10 foot wall section). 

(NOTE: We expect to add 1" walls at some point.)

Here are some of the renderings we showed our focus group of gamers that demonstrate the full wall height problem.  Both renderings have the same red minis in the same locations... the full height walls (while cool looking) obscured too much... hindering the game.  We showed views at different angles to simulate standing or sitting at a game table... and in all cases our players preferred the half walls.

Full height walls obscure the action

"Half" walls are the perfect solution!

The careful observer will see half doors, half bars, and a half arrow slit in the renderings.  Yes, we've got plans!  We've already got a prototype door model we are playing with.  So as you can see we'll be adding a variety of models to the "half" wall line.  We have a whopping eight model variations in our initial half wall offering.

Tiles Optional

Another neat thing about our "Half" walls is that they can be used even if you don't use tiles.  I've seen everything from kids blocks to dominoes used to layout dungeons.  We wanted something just as convenient, but something that did not interrupt the "immersion". Here's our half walls being used on a typical laminated battle mat:

Notice that figs can still reasonably fit into spaces that the wall occupies

With small pieces like this... we recommend two small bits of inexpensive, non-toxic, re-usable adhesive like Bostick's Blu-Tack or Elmer's Tac 'N Stik to hold them in place but allow for easy re-positioning.

So how did this great idea come about? Well, if there is a limitation to tiles, it is that it can be a challenge to subdivide the tile space into smaller rooms.  Consider this drawing...

We can easily make a 50x60 foot dungeon area... plunk down two 6x6 inch tiles, and two 4x6 inch tiles.  That's easy.  But we always knew that maximum flexibility comes with the ability to easily divide that space up.

Our competitors make some neat stuff with the walls built into the floor sections, but the problem with that approach is that you end up having to own or purchase specific, specialized pieces to make the above map...

The beauty of the dxContent approach to all of our tile products is maximum reusability of every dxContent 3D Dungeon Tile you own.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Is it 2014 Already?

It seems like just yesterday it was New Years Eve.  We had a big rush of orders in December, and one HUGE order that consisted of 1000+ tiles.  We were so darn busy our one year anniversary of making 3D Dungeon Tiles came and went!

I have been busy making tiles to replenish inventory and get some of the newer products ready for production.  We've got some new equipment set up in the shop including a big belt sander (that I dropped on my thumb - oh that hurt!).  We also created molds for 3 new stone texture 1x4s.

I've got a set of new wood-plank style master models ready for mold making... tomorrow I pick up the necessary supplies to make it all happen. Soon you should see...
  • Wood texture 6x6
  • Wood texture 4x4
  • Wood texture 4x6
  • Right and Left wood texture boat prows
After that probably....
  • Wood texture 2x6 (2 variations)
  • Wood texture 2x2 (4 variations)
So those will all fit with the wood texture family like the 2x4:

 I've also got some products surprises in the works that I can't talk about yet.

On the Free DM tools side of things... we manged to get the Pathfinder Monster Database updated as well as adding a few more search filters.

So long for now!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

New Diagonal & Round Tiles

We've recently added a slew of new dxContent 3D Dungeon tiles to the store.  And with all the tiles available to date you should be able to approximate most typical and drawn dungeons... Here's one I just linked to off the internet (credit to Tim Hartin / Paratime - creative commons license)...

Some of the larger circle rooms are 5" radius... our largest radius is currently is 4" but you can easily slip in some 1x2s between the four quads and it would be close enough.  And with the new diagonals, we've got those angles taken care of now as well.

Below I've put up a random collection of images showing the new pieces in action.

Where can you get them?
From the store!  You can purchase them in kits:
  • There is a diagonal kit - 1 of each size... 2", 3" and 4" edges -  $2.20
  • And the quarter round kit - 1 of each size... 2", 3" and 4" radius - $4.35
If you like to mix and match and get your pieces individually... you can order them from the


A pair of 3" radius quarter rounds.

A pair of 4" radius quarter rounds.

A pair of 2" radius serves as a bend in a corridor.

An odd shaped room using two 3" radius and one 4" radius quarter round tiles

Now we are getting fancy by adding an alcove to a room and a curved stage/dais.

Another odd shaped round room.

Corner stairs?

A pair of 2" edge diagonals make a hallway.

A pair of 2" diagonals chisel off a room and a pair of 2" radius quarter rounds crate a dais.

I pictured a chasm between to flared hallways....

Just getting creative and demonstrating how you can branch off a diagonal.

The Diagonal Tile kit.

The Quarter Round Tile kit.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Quarter round tiles available!

I've added some new tiles to the 3D Dungeon Tile line 2", 3" and 4" radius quarter round tiles.  You can really add some variety to your dungeons with quarter round tiles.  Check out some of these quick shots of what you can do...

A pair of 3" Quarter rounds

A pair of 4" Quarter rounds

A 2" Quarter Round - great for a bend in a hallway

Spiffy room configuration

Round balcony / alcove and round dais

Another easy to make room shape

Stack 'em for round stairs or a zigurat!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Casting a vision for the future of dxContent 3D Dungeon Tiles

Lets take a nostalgic trip back in time via the way back machine....Back in the late 80's early 90's I had an official "DBA" (Doing Business As...) called FireZone. FireZone made and sold war gaming terrain and structures.  Here are some photos...

All of these items were from my personal collection.  When I moved from Michigan to Georgia, I had to reduce my collection.  I believe this stuff was eventually sold on Ebay - hopefully still being used in the war game community somewhere!  Ironically, the stuff I did keep is better quality but its all packed away - some day I'll have to drag it out for show and tell.

Those days were good times.  A group of us meet regularly and painted minis and built terrain.  We went to conventions and wowed the crowds with our over the top game tables.  We developed our craft and the earnings from FireZone paid for the hobby for at least two of us.

We learned techniques that worked. And we learned some that didn't.  Our biggest challenge back then was mass production.  We had to do a lot of work by hand.  One thing that helped was learning how to make molds cast parts.  My good friend Dave Patterson got me started with Por-a-Kast and single piece latex rubber molds.

Fast forward to today... With the 3D dungeon tiles I'm back in the business of making and selling "stuff for miniatures" with the dxContent 3D dungeon tiles.  And some of the same challenges are there... I spent all of last week hand crafting and painting two huge tiles set orders.  Some where in the middle of the night with my neck and arms sore... I had to ask myself, can I really hand building every order?

The realistic answer is "yes" for small volume, but once it scales... it quickly becomes a "no".  For now I'm staying on top of the orders as volume has been manageable... but as any good endeavor should... you have to look over the horizon to see what is next and how you have to change to adapt to what is coming.   And for dxContent 3D Dungeon Tiles... molds and casting is on the horizon.  This means I have to dust off some old skills and learn some new ones.

So, I found time this past weekend to visit a really cool store called "The Engineer Guy" located on the south side of Atlanta - what a great place and what great staff.  I took in some sample pieces and in about 30 minutes Nelson (I assume) had me loaded up with product and shared with me a wealth of knowledge.  Later that day I had two complete molds (one was a two part mold) and over the next few days I even did some test casts.

At this point it looks like doors are going to be the first mass-produced cast offering - The cast doors are very durable AND have a bit more weight to them then the hand crafted versions - For those reasons I know people are going to love them.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

The Demon Gate dxContent 3D Dungeon Tile

I've added a new model to the dxContent 3D Dungeon Tiles collection I like to call the "Demon Gate". 

In the following picture you can see the subtle markings of some long and forgotten evil on the stonework and the corroded metal gate. 

This is actually a five piece set as this shot from my work area shows.

So there you go, a must-have model for any classic dungeon set.  You can get it for $9.60 from the dxContent Tile store.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

More dungeon tile news

More news relating to dungeon tiles.  Over the new year holiday, I rolled out the dxContent Custom Tile feature - a tool that allows you to get custom shaped tiles for places of major action in your campaign - Boss rooms, places where PCs go regularly, etc.

Today I want to highlight the dxContent store - here is where you can get your "standard" shape dungeon tiles:
  • 1"x1" - great for adding little alcoves to rooms
  • 1"x2", 1"x3", 1"x4" - perfect for narrow 5 foot scale hallways
  • 2"x2", 2"x4", 2"x6", T's, 4-way, corners - classic shapes for standard 10 foot wide hallways
  • 4"x4", 4"x6", 6"x6" and 6"x8" - perfect for larger rooms.
All the tiles are available with an assortment of textures which we will be adding to as we go.  Here's a pic of the latest list:

Latest Graphic Options

One of my favorites is "Icy" - makes me want to run a campaign in the frozen reaches of an icy realm with Frost Giants, winter wolves and other unknown frozen horrors!

The stock tiles are offered at low introductory price to help get the product and awareness out there - I'm also giving away a free custom tile with the first 5 orders of stock tiles over $20!  Just enter promo-code "BLOG BONUS" in the special order instructions and I'll hook you up!