BIOME BLOX allow you to create highly realistic terrain with the ease of industry standard building / gaming blocks.
BIOME BLOX allow you to create highly realistic scenes with the ease of industry standard building / gaming blocks.
BIOME BLOX is a new product that fills a void between high end modeling dioramas (for gamer enthusiasts) and common industry standard building blocks (that have captured the imaginations of millions worldwide). BIOME BLOX blend the best of both worlds to bring you a set of nearly indestructible blocks that look great, and their design makes it very quick and easy to setup exquisitely realistic scenes & terrain!
BIOME BLOX’s will be released by “biome”. A biome is an environment that is represented by a set of beautiful customized building blocks. The biome provides a variety of blocks that will allow you to create versatile scenes (terrain) of a given type (forest, cave, space, etc…). Typically you would be looking at about a half dozen unique blocks and two dozen different textures per biome. Blocks will be made in a way that can accept different high-resolution painted textures. The first biome we will release will be the "wilderness biome". Our first stretch goal will be the “Castle & Dungeon Biome”. If we hit more stretch goals, we will call upon the premium supporters for their votes.
We love the fact that these BIOME BLOX allow someone to get out of 2D paradigm and really experience the scene in glorious 3D. We have designed the BIOME BLOX to be expandable over a vast surface area, but also vertically. You can grow your biome in any direction without limitation. Want to create 3 sub-levels to a valley or 5 floors to a castle? No problem!
The capping tiles also permit you to have a dynamic battlefield. Have some troops destroyed by surface to surface missiles? Pop out the road capping tiles and replace with the space with crater capping tiles. Volcano erupts? Create lava flows on the fly!
How will the textures be different than the simple printing used by industry standard building blocks? We are looking into technologies similar to “water transfer printing” that can map exquisitely high resolution and detail textures onto our BIOME BLOX. Some of the more intricate blocks will have a human painted element to ensure the best results. We are also sampling bas relief extrusion pieces with textures painted via multi-layer roll methods with a nice matte finish. BIOME BLOX will all be coated with a matte finish to remove the “plastic” look of the base material since we aim for "high realism" in everything we will produce.
Are some of those BIOME BLOX grooved and sculpted? Yes! Aside from some basic shapes with smooth sides, we will be creating BIOME BLOX with high poly modelling techniques in order to create maximum realism. We will also ensure that any extrusions don’t occlude the natural versatile connections between pieces.
We wanted the BIOME BLOX to be compatible with leading industry standard building blocks such as LEGO* and MEGA BLOKS*. Why create a new standard when we can allow people to merge their existing collections with BIOME BLOX. Using universal “studs and tubes”, you can add those blocks to your scene, or visa versa.
The scale of the blocks and tiles makes BIOME BLOX perfect for miniatures gaming terrain (Warhammer 40k, Warmachine, Malifaux & Hordes). This terrain can also be used with electric train dioramas.
*LEGO is a trademark of the LEGO Group, MEGA BLOKS is a trademark of MEGA BRANDS, both of which do not sponsor, authorize or endorse this product.
BIOME BLOX are designed to be:
- Light, Durable, water and UV resistant blocks
- Configured pieces that accelerate your scene building
- Compatible with your existing industry standard building blocks
- Compatible with popular table-top war-games miniatures scales (28 mm - 30 mm)
- Compatible with RPG miniatures
BIOME BLOX advantages over high end dioramas:
- A fraction of the weight
- Much more durable (BIOME BLOX can be dropped, thrown and drowned)
- Water resistant
- Lower price
BIOME BLOX advantages over industry standard building blocks:
- Much higher realism
- Ability to have extruded models
- Blocks made specifically for scenes, easy setup without having to use many smaller pieces
- Specific textured cap pieces that hide all the connecting “studs and tubes” connecting mechanisms for a finished look
BIOME BLOX advantage over cardboard based dioramas:
- Water and stress resistant
- No gaps or spaces
- Surfaces are embossed and have a tactile realism
We envision each biome to include at least one ultra-detailed signature piece. These pieces will accent your scene with an eye-popping block that includes incredible realism and complexity. For the Castle & Dungeon biome, we will create an archway insert piece that will be either a door and/or a portcullis. For the Outdoor biome, we’re creating a gorgeous waterfall block. If we exceed initial funding estimates, we will be adding more signature pieces to all biomes (trees, houses, bunkers, etc...).
We have 3D models and textures for 2 of the biomes already, but they need to be redesigned to adhere to machine level micro-manufacturing standards. As with all mass produced manufacturing, you incur a lot of up-front costs for sample creation and rework until the blocks meet your quality standards. We want to ensure that the blocks connect with existing “studs and tubes” standards with adequate pressure so as to be easy to snap together and take apart, without feeling loose or overly tight. For this we will be involving a 3rd party inspection agency on site to do spot checks of production batches to ensure that the best quality is being produced for you. Legal counsel is also required to ensure that designs do not infringe on any other designs and patents (some consults have already been made for our proprietary designs). And when creating molds for blocks, a minimum manufacturing quantity is necessary for the economy of scale to kick-in (and offset the very high costs of mold creation). Right now we are looking at absolute minimums of 5,000 with more realistic numbers closer to 10,000. All of this adds up to the totals you see for this Kickstarter.
Since our team is working from different time zones, collating all the final files will take a few weeks. And then we need to validate samples of all our blocks at a few manufacturers with whom we have been having discussions. Assuming a few iterations, we are looking at a few months to proof the final versions of all the blocks. Then once we green light the production, the final manufacturing run should take 30 days at most. We are quoting the worst case scenario.
Those who take part in the early adopter pledge levels will become a BIOME BLOX Premium Member. Members will be included in discussions and votes that take place for new signature block pieces as well as what biomes come next. International Premium Members also get a shipping discount. We will be restricting the membership size in order to make sure that the voice of the committee isn't too large and we can get focused and timely responses from the members. If we get our manufactured pieces in multiple shipments, we will ensure that our Premium Members will receive them first.
Our first major stretch goal milestone will be for an extra biome! However along the way, we will be unlocking new building blocks and signature blocks that will either be added to existing pledge levels for free, or will become stand alone extras.
Economy of scale is the guiding principle in manufacturing. We can offer more to each backer once we get to a larger order size. This is reflected by the greyed out text that outlines the extras we can offer everyone once we reach an overall financial goal above our minimum requirements. Reaching these amounts also decreases overall project risk as budget allows for more prototyping.
Below is a list of what is included in the individual packages. Greyed out items get unlocked when certain stretch goals get realized.
At $160,000 we unlock the bridge block for ALL backers!
The more you order, the greater your savings!
Premium members will be called to vote for new biomes and signature pieces.
Risks and challenges
Most of the risks and challenges are covered in the "Costs & Risks". As we have professional consulting in the space of toy manufacture distribution and legal matters, we feel that most risks have been addressed. But as with any project that involves producing tens of thousands of units, the scale of work and challenge rises. The team assembled to deliver this project are assigned exclusively on BIOME BLOX, there will be no distractions of competing project work. We have set the most pessimistic dates for delivery of the individual pledge levels based on previous Kickstarter experience. In all regards, we will strive to deliver sooner.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (38 days)