About this project
What happened at:
$1,000: FUNDED! The first printer goal was the Solidoodle 3, a budget printer.
$2,000: 10 Specialty dice! Bakers get a choice of 4 when they get a full set. The second printer goal was the MakerBot replicator mini, the cheapest MakerBot printer.
$3,000: A better printer means nicer prints! The third printer goal was the MakerBot Replicator 5th Generation, a state-of-the-art printer, but with a few drawbacks.
$4,000: Braille needs to be quite precise, so an even better printer is needed! The last printer goal was the Ultimaker 2, with a resolution up to 0.02mm layers, and a big print bed.
Assassin Games has pledged their additional support in this project by offering a discounted download of their upcoming adventure, "The Curse of Hallas Reach". Upon reaching this Stretch Goal, all backers may add an additional $1 to their pledge and once the adventure goes live, they will receive a coupon for a digital download of the adventure.
"The Curse of Hallas Reach" is a low level (3rd to 6th) d20 fantasy adventure, set in a small outpost in the wilderness. The adventure can be dropped into almost any fantasy setting, but has ties with future supplements to be released by Assassin Games.
In other news:
The log dice design has been changed, as they are covered under a patent held by Michael Bowling of Crystal Caste. However, the D4 is not (the faces aren't triangle-shaped) and those will stay the same. Could you imagine reading braille off a triangular D4? Ow.
Big thanks to Mark E. Shoulson for the D5 design, check out his stuff at: https://www.shapeways.com/designer/clsn.
The stretch goals:
All the specialty dice will count as an 'under a D10' die. backers at the $30 level (getting everything) can ask for 4 dice of their choice from these. Those getting the files will get them for ALL the dice, including specials!
Why braille dice?
When my group sits down for D&D every week, we gather up dice, character sheets and pencils. My friend Bekah has a few extra steps. She gets her braille-display computer, her dice tower (so she knows where the dice will land), and designates someone to read her dice for her. Bekah is visually impaired, she relies on braille for everything, from finding her classes to finding her containers of tea. This means that if she wanted to run a game she would need someone else to read her dice. Sure, there are random number generators and things like that, but that doesn't get anywhere close to actually rolling a die. She tried huge dice, but those are still hard to read, and putting braille labels on a die would just squish them.
For the uninitiated, D&D and tabletop games like it are games heavy in visual components. The dice (of which you need a set of 7, the most useful in D&D being the twenty-sided die, called a D20), the 'mini figures', sort of action figures/dolls signifying characters, and maps of what's happening. A 'GM' (game master) narrates what is going on to players who control a character. Dice are rolled to determine if players succeed at what they are trying to do, as well as to determine how much damage attacks do. Suffice to say, D&D is not exactly friendly to the visually impaired. There are games without a map or anything else heavily visual, but even those need dice. So no matter the game, to play or run a game you really need dice, preferably your own. And it is really useful to be able to read them on your own, as your fellow player may not be paying attention at all.
So, to spread dice to the hand of every tabletop gamer, I intend to design and print brailled dice using a 3D printer. I will make a full D&D set: D4, D6, D8, percentile dice (D10 and D100), the little-used D12, and the ever-important D20. Then, I will wrap them up and send them to you awesome people! The dice will have both braille (one cell only, anything above 10 on the D20 and D12 will have dots 3 and 6 on it) and also a number above.
Risks and challenges
This is my very first kickstarter project, so I want to emphasize that I will be learning a lot as I go. Indeed, I already have! Did you know that pretty much every state has different standards for braille signage? And that braille fonts are terrible, as standard written braille cannot be re-sized as normal fonts can? And that braille should never have a flat top? But I already got through some of those, mostly by making my own sketchup braille component. The biggest challenge is the 3-D printing, as I have never used a solidoodle printer, or indeed any 3D printer at all. However, all the math shows it's much cheaper to make the dice by self 3D printing it, and the cheaper these dice are, the more people can get at them, which is something I want more than anything.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
3D printing is both cheap and easy. Yes, it takes a while to print each die, but I'm willing to spend that time, and as a college student I have the time to spend waiting on a print to finish.
Yes, 3D printing is NOT always perfect, but injection molding is SUPER expensive, and people who have tried to kick-start braille dice like that have always come short, so I wanted to do something cheap enough to actually make the funding goal for. Thingsverse has plenty of dice files, so while it may not be pound-of-dice company quality, I know it's possible to make them balanced! Generally, the way you do this (and the way I have made them) is by making sure opposite sides add up to the number of sides on the die +1. Seriously, grab a die and look, it's really cool!
Why this design? What about issue x (specifically: rolling accidentally and finding the die after rolling it)?
The first dice style was log dice (also known as crystal dice), however the log dice design was changed, as they are covered under a patent held by Michael Bowling of Crystal Caste.
As to accidental rolling and finding dice after rolling, this would be a problem no matter what. A dice tower can solve the “where did it go?” issue, but the DM will have to decide how to deal with someone knocking it over while reading it. I suggest re-rolling or taking it as is, since anyone who needs the braille probably is unaware how close they are to a 20, but the DM may think differently.
Well it has been! This means a much nicer printer, see above for what happened at each thousand dollars the project got.
In about a year I will put the dice up on my website (bekahdms.com) once rewards are delivered to you awesome backers. Although get the dice now, as those dice will $15+ more than these are now (possibly close to double on shapeways), and not up for about a year.
Why not app x/y/z? It'll read the numbers! And a handful of surprisingly ablest and exclusionary remarks.
I know some people use random number generators regularly, but you can't tell me that RPG players don't care about using their dice (and no one else's!). For many, rolling the dice is half the fun of RPGs!
Put yourself in the shoes of someone who can't read dice. How would it feel to be the only one at your table not rolling? Or to be dependent on someone else to tell you if you hit or not? The goal here is to let the visually impaired RPG player be the independent grown person they are.
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