Hello and welcome to what I hope will be my 7th successful Kickstarter and the Second Wave of my specially engineered Meanders: Synchable Digital Maps campaign - a campaign too big for one kickstarter. Meanders are unique in that they allow you interchange each map with itself or any other Meander map to create huge instant sprawling layouts with tons of pathways for you or your players to explore. This time I am featuring an all-new core set of 4 Sci-fi Themes Moonbase Colony, Galactic Super Cruiser, Spaceport and Alien Mothership with12 maps per theme (48 total). Get all the digital Sci-fi Terrain you will ever need or still need: Whether its galactic imports or detention, bio-labs or mess hall, docking bay or fast food outlet,:whether inside a Space Station or Alien Craft, on the surface of the Moon or a Sulphuric Hostile Planet, Mining or Moon-Bugging: Whether in Orbit above the planet in your ship or in the midst of a gigantic laser/phaser firefight, travelling through the Deep Reaches or moving at light-speed+ through Hyperspace, escaping from Xeno's or boarding a ruined vessel - Meanders will help you easily depict it all.
As usual the campaign also offers dozens and dozens more via the extra Superset and Stretch Goal maps and I will be attempting potentially over 145+ New additions to my growing Meanders range.
To do so, I need your help to keep me at my desk for several months designing the new Sci-fi themed digital maps to expand the existing Meanders range in an entirely new direction - and enough diverse high-detail Science Fiction map designs for the ultimate layout - whether on foot or in ship, allied or alien, low-tech or high-tech, indoors or deep space and much more. I'll be taking inspiration from a lot of well-known genres and settings as well as adding my custom design twists to present some genuinely unique ideas. Here are just a few Samples of what you can expect.
The Above samples are not yet Path-Synched. When they are, they will be able to join together seamlessly with matching locations of doors, shutters, pathways lining up with every other Meander.
If you've never heard of a Meander - the section below will give you an overview and explain why they are called Meanders, why they are referred to as synchable terrains and how they are used in RPG.
What is Meanders: Synchable Terrain? A Meander is an ancient word for a winding curve or bend of a river or road - as well as a term to wander aimlessly. And 'synchable' is adapted from Synchronization meaning the operation or activity of two or more things at the same time or rate.
My Meanders uses dynamic 2.5d scenery with a repeating entry/exit point system that allows all Meanders to be joined to one another (whatever genre - type) to create potentially endless sprawling paths for adventurers to wander upon. They are essentially gigantic tiles that allow creative control over the layout without having to fiddle with a lot of smaller tiles. The layout is deliberately assymetrical to enhance the impression of randomness but you can orbit any Meanders around another and you'll find their paths match up so you can quickly create huge regions of adventuring space in a diverse variety of themes.
Originally designed to be a quick way to create maps for side-quests and random terrain in between dungeons and main quests for RPG, the range has grown and is growing to allow much more thanks to two previous campaigns and the support of my backers. Every Meanders measures a massive 8100x5400 px (27x18") allowing it to be neatly reduced/divisible to suit any VTT whether 50 pixels per grid (ppg) - 100 ppg or any other requirement. The seamless joining of Meanders allows you to join them together like a large digital blanket but to cut them wherever you like to create new maps with the features you want. Plus every Meander comes in a bundle of map sizes and grids so you'll be able to use them right away whether you want to print them or put them into Roll20 or Fantasy Grounds.
My campaigns are generally made up of three groups of maps: 48 Core Maps, 32 Superset Maps and as many Stretch Goals (Free Extra Maps) as funding unlocks. Here is a brief run-down of the pledge levels - more detailed information can be found beneath it.
- $1 [Thumbs Up] gets you campaign updates and as with any other pledge, grateful thanks from me!
- $5 [Sample Pack] gets you a sample pack with any 10 Digital Core Maps.
- $25 [Core Set] gets you All 48 Digital Core Maps + All Stretch Goals.
- $45 [Constructor Set] gets you the Core 48 Digital Maps + All Stretch Goals + loads of PNG Vectors + a Free Guide to learning GIMP to create your own maps.
- $75 [Super Set] gets you the Core 48 Digital Maps + All Stretch Goals + 32 Extra Digital Superset Maps with Dozens of extra locations and areas.
- $110 [Commercial License] gets you the Core 48 Maps + All Stretch Goals + loads of PNG Vectors + a Free Guide to learning GIMP to create your own maps + 32 Extra Digital Superset Maps + 1 of only 10 Commercial Licenses.
New Pledge Levels include:
- $150 [Afterburner] which offers custom Map Design in addition to Core, Superset and Constructor Rewards, all Stretch Goals and bonus map pack.
- $300 [Hyperdrive] offers the same as the Afterburner, except it allows you 4 custom Map Designs (or 1 Mega Meander) and to choose two friends to get duplicates all of your rewards sent to them for a Christmas Present or a gift - AND - their own single Meander custom map design too.
If you're a Returning Backer (VIP) - a warm welcome back. Specially priced pledges with unique VIP Rewards are available to you.
- $20 [Loyalty Pledge A] gives you the 48 Core Maps + All Stretch Goals and special VIP-Only Designs of a Space Canteen/Bar, a Mega-Meander Asteroid Belt, and a Mega-Meander Supernova.
- $60 [Loyalty Pledge B] gives you everything in the above reward + the Superset + the Constructor Set and the [revised] bonus map pack.
Keep in mind that regardless of whether you take these discounted pledges or another non-discounted pledge, you will still get the VIP Rewards.
This time around I'd also like to honour those who jump in first with some extra bonus incentives for backing me early. You may also be eligible for more than one reward.
- The first 25 Backers to pledge $20 or more will have their name immortalized somewhere in one my designs.
- The first 75 backers pledging $25 or more will get a special Galactic Super Cruiser Blueprint Meander digital map.
- The first 75 backers pledging $45 or more will get 1 x Special Galactic Super Cruiser Blueprint Meander digital map and 1 x Alien Mothership Blueprint Meander digital map.
- The first 15 backers to pledge $60 or more will have a Meander stylized after their name.
- The first 5 backers to pledge $110 or more will have the option to have their business name or logo (stylized to suit) featured in a Meander + receive 3 Blueprints - via 1 x Special Galactic Super Cruiser Blueprint Meander digital map, 1 x Alien Mothership Blueprint Meander digital map and 1 x Unidentified Craft digital map.
- The 3 Highest Pledgers will have a prominent key planet named after them or their company if the Meanderverse Map and/or Mega-Map is unlocked, they will have an alien race named after them. If the Corebook (see below) is unlocked they can submit an image to be one of the exclusive few that become a character in the Meanderverse as a super-villains or galactic hero. They will also receive 4 Blueprints - 1 x Special Galactic Super Cruiser Blueprint Meander digital map, 1 x Alien Mothership Blueprint Meander digital map, 1 x Unidentified Craft digital map. and the fourth a custom design digital ship blueprint.
Featured names might appear on a neon sign, flag, banner, company billboard, shopfront, vehicle, alien race, as grafitti or some other terrain/map feature. So help get the engine started and to show my thanks I'll build you into the Meanderverse and you'l be immortalized for your efforts!
Also: You don't have to stick strictly to the pledge levels provided in the campaign - you can pledge any amount to a Kickstarter campaign at any time. Whichever 3 backers have pledged the most to my campaign will be notified at the end.
So let's take a closer look at the Core, Superset and other base rewards.
Core maps are based around a centralized theme such as Spaceport or Alien Mothership and feature maps associated with that theme. Core maps are designed to tile seamlessly so you can place them side by side indefinitely without coming to an edge. The 48 NEW Core maps will feature the following themed sections:
You can get all of these + any Stretch Goals for just $25.
The 32 Superset Maps can be joined to the Core Maps. While some Superset Maps are extra rooms/areas, others are called Edgers, Blenders or Bridgers or (EBB's) and they help you to do a lot of extra things when using Meanders including providing interesting start/exit points on map layout (Edgers), blending two different types of terrain together (Blenders), or representing some interesting area or location that breaks up the pathways (Bridgers). They include dozens of extra rooms, locations and areas that compliment the Core maps and allow you to build even more diverse and interesting layouts. Check the FAQ for more in-depth information on EBBs.
You can get the Superset Maps (+ Core and Stretchgoals) for $75.
If you are interested in making your Own maps - you can pledge for the Constructor Set which comes with sets of blank templates such as blank or marked asphalt, planet surfaces, deep space and a huge range of assorted vectors such as lights, panels, textures and things that I use to create my Sci-fi maps and the pack will feature over 100 PNG Vectors. You'll also get my free massive fully illustrated PDF Guide to using GIMP (A powerful free photo-shop style program that is used to make Meanders) that will have you using it in hours even if you're a total beginner. And a special Path-Synch template to help you make maps with pathways that will match to mine. The Constructor Set is just $45.
Ten opportunities exist to purchase a Commercial License to create and sell your own maps using my templates and vectors. Please check the FAQ for license details. A License includes the Core, Superset and Constructor Pack and costs $110.
If you're already familiar with Meanders: A warm welcome back :) - as always, this new wave of terrain can be attached to your other Meanders to give you a huge set of interchangeable Sci-fi layouts inside, outside and deep into space.
VIP's - if you pledged in any previous Meanders campaign - you are in my VIP Club - which entitles you to an assortment of Kickstarter Exclusive goodies including a special set of Asteroid Belt Meanders, Mega Meander Supernova and a Space Cantina called Eyes Mostly, You can also opt for one of two special loyalty pledges with a discount - but regardless of which pledge you choose you will receive these extra rewards as my way of saying thank you for returning to support me.
Thank you all very much for getting me to this point and to my new backers as well. I appreciate all of the support, generosity and encouragement that allows me to keep designing for you and doing what I enjoy - and as usual I have a huge range of Stretch Goal maps on offer to those eligible as extra free rewards when funding reaches certain levels.
A Stretch Goal is an extra set of rewards that is given to all backers who back at a certain level as a free extra. There are many exciting rewards that your funding could potentially unlock by way of dozens of new maps that I will design in addition to the Core and Supersets. I've chosen a way to show which Stretch Goals are unlocked as funding increases. Below are a set of stylized graphic user interfaces for a 'prototype production machine' that is currently on stand-by. As funding (credits) increases and matches the credits required to order these protoypes (stretch goals), the system screens will be individually updated - lighting up the panels below with green lights, order confirmation and a map description of the unlocked Stretch Goal. While only four are currently visible - if the campaign funds well, more and more of these 'prototype machines' will be added with all kinds of Sci-fi themed maps being added to your rewards. The name of the prototype that can be unlocked is shown in white and the number of credits required to unlock it is shown in red in the top left-hand corner.
Each Stretch Goal is a major reward and consists of either 2 new Meander Maps or 1 new Mega-Meander (a gigantic map the size of four standard meanders).
In addition to being a Graphic Designer, I am also a writer, with a considerable imagination. When I put together a Meanders - it is not a random assembly but a considered composition that requires me to make up a back story in my head to make sense of what is there, with what else, and why. I realize that many of you will be using these as generic maps for your specific RPG - but - if there is sufficient interest, in addition to the avalanche of maps I would be willing to write a lengthy Corebook "The Meanderverse" detailing the locations, history, background, features of the designs and create the first steps toward populating the background of this giant galaxy I am creating. It will be perhaps a 60-80 page PDF (possibly much longer - depending on how/if many Stretch Goals are unlocked). If you would be interested in this please add $12 to your pledge. I will develop it alongside the Meanders and try to release it around Nov-Dec 2017. If you pledge for it - please add an 'M' to the main campaign comments: this way other backers will know how many backers have pledged for it.
While you get a massive 110 vectors in the Constructor Pack, I am now offering an extra 200 vectors that can be used with my commercial license if you have one - or personally, to customize your maps in even more ways. Just add $50 to your pledge before the campaign ends to get them added to your rewards and delivered toward the end of the year when I have made all of the maps and the vectors that go with them and I will supply you with a massive assortment of custom-made equipment, vehicles, electronics, machines and much more.
- LOW/NO RISK: [Edit] This IS my 7th successful Kickstarter. I am extremely hard-working and specialize in completing huge digital map/tile projects. I have previously delivered 6 projects to promise with no issues and 100% backer satisfaction. Those project details are listed in my risks section.
- VERSATILITY: Digital Maps are supplied as high-res 300dpi JPG files in FIVE formats per map. Every Sci-fi Meander design comes as a 8100x5400 without a grid, with a 1" square grid, with a 1" hex grid: as well as two formats perfect for VTT such as Fantasy Grounds or Roll20 including 2700x1800 with 100 pixels per grid and 1350x900 with 50 pixels per grid. The larger images allow you to create your own additional formats as needed. This diverse range allows you to use Meanders in virtually any way needed.
- INTERCHANGEABLE: All Meanders use a repeating entry point that makes them compatible with themselves or any other Meander so you can mix and match designs to create thousands of versatile terrain layouts and customize virtually any set-up you need.
- RANGE: I aim to produce over 100 Digital Maps that will cover virtually every type of room, setting or requirement for nearly any Science-Fiction RPG and put a staggering amount of beautiful art at your fingertips. I am confident this is the largest and most diverse campaign for digital Science Fiction maps ever attempted.
- CUSTOM CREATIVITY: The Constructor Pledge offers a huge range of over 100 of the PNG Vectors/Assets such as objects, buildings, textures used to create the Sci-fi Meanders and is supplied with my free 86 page illustrated Terrain 101 Gimp Guide that will teach you in hours to use GIMP and provides step-by-step instructions on all the techniques, tip and tools to making your own maps.
- COMMERCIAL LICENSES: A limited number of Commercial Licenses to create and sell your own Sci-fi Meanders using the Constructor Templates are available to just ten backers.
- SAVINGS: Meanders are slowly trickling out onto the market through my site GameTileWarehouse and retail at $1 per map set. By backing my Kickstarter you could save over $120 if all Stretch Goals were unlocked and sold separately, and will be pledging half price or approx 50c per map - with tons of free Stretch Goals as a bonus.
- UNIQUENESS: I attempt all kinds of new and difficult depictions that feature regularly in Sci-fi RPG but for which there are no or few current representations - as a gamer, writer, artist, cartographer and more I combine my knowledge to produce maps that are functional not just beautiful.
- DILIGENCE: This is not my first campaign - nor my first campaign making over 100+ maps - with at least 3 of those behind me, I know what it takes, how long it takes and I strive to deliver an excellent end product on or before time that keeps my backers coming back for more.
- EVOLUTION: Every campaign that funds allows me to continue expanding the range of maps I offer and closer to my goals of learning and creating 3d objects and STL's to compliment the existing maps and eventually - miniatures. By continually returning to visit past projects, find ways to improve, evolve and make them even cooler and add more and more variants - you are helping me to create a universe of maps that I would like to eventually be available in every theme imaginable.
- SOLUTION: Meanders solve problems: they allow a DM to quickly and instantly cover a table with endless layouts in designs that are available nowhere else, both inexpensively and inexhaustively. The formats have been re-designed and tweaked over their lifespan to provide the ultimate convenience and excellence for your RPG and still provide a huge level of customization without lengthy set-up times.
- INTERACTIVITY: I listen to and act on backers requests, suggestions and advice to create what you want - how you want. Through the agency and support of many of my backers, Meanders have been refined and reformed both functionally and aesthetically. Many Meander designs are taken from suggestions by backers and I warmly welcome yours too.
- INVOLVEMENT: To show gratitude to my backers both repeat and new I'm offering to embed you somewhere in the Meanderverse through a variety of free extra incentives for backing me early and helping to fund this campaign. You have helped me to create the Meanderverse, and it is and will be a very big place - certainly big enough to make room for many of you. By showing your support early, some of you will have the opportunity to be immortalized in it!
- ASSURED DELIVERY: With the potential to fund the design of over 145+ new maps in a huge range of Sci-fi themes, I am estimating full delivery of all digital rewards by or before November 2017.
- TRANSPARENCY: You'll always know where I am up to with the project with regular updates and rapid comprehensive communication/replies to any issues that may arise or questions you may have. I strive to keep my backers very well informed of the good (or the bad) and even provide post-campaign support and convenience by installing a campaign graphic that shows which stage of the process I am up to at a visual glimpse, give estimated times for processes, and provide multiple ways to contact me privately or publicly at any time.
- EXCELLENCE: If something isn't right, if something goes wrong, I do my absolute best to fix it quickly and definitively once I spot it or it is brought to my attention. I want my backers to have the best tools for their RPG and continually look for ways to improve my products and service.
Do you like the idea of Meanders but find yourself strapped for cash? Credits aren't the only way to help me out - spreading word about my campaign is also a great way to help see it fund and ensure you can pick them up from my store later on when you have some spare change. I've created these two banners which you can use for promotional purposes on sites and groups (where allowed) that you think might really love a millennium-load of new digital maps for their galactic RPG.
In my previous campaign I created over 130 giant 27x18" maps in the space of 2 months (Launched 17th March - Fulfilled May 11) and I'm not sure but it feels like that -might- be some kind of record not just for Kickstarter, but for any digital campaign. For a bit of fun I tried to contact the Guinness Book of Records to ask them what the most digital maps by a single artist in any online campaign was - but they are experiencing delays of up to 12-15 WEEKS to reply - so I asked Kickstarter. I'm still waiting on a reply, but wouldn't it be awesome to break a world record for most digital terrain maps created in a single Kickstarter campaign? There are an insane number of locked maps which totals more than 60 + the 80 core/superset + VIP is 145 or so maps. To unlock all of them would require me to fully fund out at 10k - but its not impossible. It might be fun to be part of that record - so if anyone knows Kickstarters highest digital map count for a single campaign please let us know in the comments. I think I could probably do at least 180-240 in the 5 months allotted for design ;) and if I had to extend my Stretch Goals I could - comfortably - there are so many ideas and concepts I wanted to try for Sci-fi that there are hundreds on stand-by. Not that I expect that to happen - and my focus as always is on quality AND quantity above the fun of any potential record. Still, not many single artists create this many detailed maps in one go, so maybe together we could try to set a record and if so, create a special Meander will everyone's name on it.
I will try to keep this campaign to a minimum of three campaign announcements/updates, on the 27th May, 3rd June and 10th June - wrapping up in one post what has been unlocked/achieved - but will post other comments in the main comments section as replies or as necessary. I will be working hard right throughout the campaign to try and get the majority (or all) of the Core Maps and as many others as I can done by the time KS funds clear.
Whatever I have completed will be sent out to backers the day after funds clear. Remaining completed maps/rewards will be bundled and sent to backers via regular monthly mail-outs. Fortnightly updates with sample images of newly designed maps will allow you to see my progress and the artwork in your new Meanders - and I will change the front image to reflect a timeline reflecting my progress with the various sets that you can easily check to see where I am up to just by glancing at my campaign graphic. Files are supplied zipped, individually labelled and sorted into folders for grid type and theme sub-sections. Files are uploaded to Googledrive and backers are supplied the relevant links directly through Kickstarter messaging.
Please note: the ETA for completion of this project is November 2017. I produced over 130 maps in 2-3 months for my last campaign. Science Fiction design is very different to Fantasy both in mindset and in aesthetic. It will require me to build many new vectors & textures and take time to accurately reflect the technologies and arrange the compositions suited to sci-fi settings. For this reason, I will require more time to complete this wave than the previous. Some maps I have already completed - and some will be very challenging, approaching and exploring new concepts that may have never been represented before such as Hyperspace - or may even require revisiting to ensure they meet my rigorous standards.. But I am confident of completing another very decent gigantic set of maps in all of the themes I have mentioned, each a work of art, and look very forward to the chance to go where I have not gone before.
I want to create the ULTIMATE Science Fiction Digital Map Set - please consider helping me to make it so - and may the funds be with me ;)
If you have any questions or concerns, please notify me, I am always standing by to offer rapid response.
Risks and challenges
With sequential quick-fire campaigns that focus on a compact genre with a short campaign time-frame and identical formula as previous successful Meander campaigns - I believe there is little risk of not funding, given the vacuum of available tiles dedicated to space- and the relative popularity that Meanders has so far enjoyed.
In my previous campaign a hard-drive crash occurred (predicted as one of my potential risks) but from which the project was recovered with only a few days delay, and a new hard-drive installed as a remedy. As this has shown itself to be significant real risk - Files will be transferred to an alternate hard-drive as well as Googledrive upon their completion so data is shared (backed-up) on three access points on a systematic basis. Failure of one cannot corrupt the other two and jeopardize the project only very minimally.
With your support I hope to make this my seventh successful Kickstarter campaign supplying the RPG community with my maps. I've delivered to promise on six previous campaigns and will continue my track record. I am dedicated to my art and my backers and strive to deliver comprehensive communication, professional standards, timely delivery and an excellent end-product. Even now I continue to study GIMP, lighting, filters and learn new techniques to enhance my craft - and now have a tried and tested formula by which to present my products.
The timeline for completing this major new themed set of maps is realistic and broader than last time with an estimated November due date for all potential 145+ maps. Other than an Act of God - nothing will stop me from forging ahead and completing yet another gigantic digital map project. Please feel free to ask any questions, I am always here to offer rapid response.
***Previous Project Status***
Meanders 2 Wave 1: Fantasy Digital Maps
Successfully funded at 1428%
Funded 27th March 2017
***Reward fulfillment 97% Completed. Core Goals completed Early March / 100% Digital Maps/Rewards / Custom Gridwork underway expected ETA, June 2017***
Digital Coin Forge: Layered Template Device for Designing RPG Coins
Successfully funded at 968%
Funded 3rd January 2016
***Reward Fulfillment 97% Completed: All Digital Forges Supplied / Custom Designs in Progress / Printed Rewards: 2 Manufactured and Sent / 1 waiting on Survey Response.***
Meanders: Themed Boards with Connecting Paths for RPG
Successfully funded at 193%
Funded 9th November 2016
***Reward Fulfillment 100% Completed: All Digital Art Supplied / Custom Designs Completed & Transferred / Printed Rewards Manufactured and Sent.***
Soloman Temple Squares
Successfully funded 144 %
Funded September 8 2016
*** Reward Fulfillment 100% Completed ***
Urban RPG City Rooftops
Successfully funded @ 138%
Funded Jul 7 2016
*** Reward Fulfilment 100% Completed ***
Day/Night Reversible Deluxe City Rooftop Tile Set for RPG
Successfully funded @ 445%
Funded Feb 12 2016
*** Reward Fulfilment 100% Completed ***
- (21 days)