About this project
PolyHero Dice are the result of a creative collaboration between brothers Dann and Greg May. We've worked together in the visual arts for more than 20 years, as graphic designers, artists and 3D animators. We've also played Dungeons and Dragons (and other RPGs) together from an early age, starting with the red boxed Basic Set (oh, and even before that a game Dann made up and tried to make Greg play).
This project is a labour of love for us; to create imaginative, 3D-sculpted custom dice for our favourite hobby, and for the pure joy of holding and rolling them. We are very motivated to run this Kickstarter well and get the product into more hot little hands than our own. We'd love you to consider the pledge levels and rewards to the right, and if you'd like to order more than 4 sets, or for other details see the FAQ at the bottom of this page.
We needed your help to produce the Warrior Set! And not only have you helped us do that, thanks to your support and stretch goals we've already sized up the dice, added Knight Fight: A PolyHero Dice Game as an extra reward and unlocked Vorpal Purple and Amber and Steel Grey with Molten Copper dice sets! You've also helped us add a Grey and Copper Knight card to every copy of Knight Fight! Over the last few hours of the campaign only two potentially miraculous stretch goals remain unlocked, two more additions to Knight Fight: a set of multi-player battle-royale cards and rules ($88,000) and 6 new magic items ($99,000).
Rolling Prototypes, Production Samples and What's Next...
Are These Dice Balanced, Sir?
We've worked to make these dice balanced, through using lines of symmetry and weight and number distribution -- through testing in both computer simulations, with 3D printed prototypes, and samples of the final dice -- and they work very well. But we certainly don't claim they are as accurate as casino machined dice. If you want a guarantee of high precision and statistical clarity while you lop off a Troglodyte's head then these dice aren't for you. But if you just like fun and different dice for whatever reason, and don't care if you roll an extra 20 every 1,000 rolls then we'd love to raise a flagon together and share our dice with you.
When we reached $40,000 it made it possible to "chunkify" the dice (for every set and with no cost to backers). We think it will make the dice look and feel even more impressive and Warrior like. Check out the end of the Rolling Prototypes, Production Samples and What's Next... video (higher up on this page), and Update 2 for more details. The below figures are a good guide, but we'll be printing new prototypes to get the feel of the larger dice in hand before locking in the percentage increase of each specific die.
A PolyHero's Journey
When I, Dann, first played Dungeons and Dragons I can remember the exact moment I learned that I needed to roll a certain one of these strange but cool dice to "do damage". I was in a class room at lunch time and I was examining the strange pyramid of the 4-sided dice, trying to work out how the numbers worked on it. As I rolled that "d4", I'm sure I can remember my 12 year old self imagining using the dagger that dice represented against whatever monster my friend had pitted against us. It may be a false memory, but I'm sure I remember part of me wanting the dice to more "be" the weapon in some way. But how could a dice also be a weapon...? (Well, I mean, besides just chucking it at someone)
[Insert spooky video wipe]
...to 30 years later and my team mate in the creative department at Game Salute, David MacKenzie dreams up and produces Rocket Dice for his excellent new edition of Alien Frontiers. Greg and I worked for David on the 3D sculpts for the dice, and as we were working on them David had the idea of doing an RPG set of Rocket dice. I suggested to him that maybe we do the higher number dice as flying saucers. The idea of saucers didn't "take off", but time passed and I got to thinking about custom dice in terms of my own love of RPGs, and soon dreamed up the idea for the 20-sided shield dice. I took the idea to Greg and we began working on the other designs.
We worked together on the designs and 3D modelling for almost a year in gaps between our regular work. Settling on the final designs was a bit of a journey. The first decision was to build a set themed around a Fighter. We had and still have other designs for other characters, but a Warrior just seemed like the best place to start.
One of the biggest decisions was whether to make the sword a d6 or a d8! In D&D long swords traditionally do d8 damage, short swords d6. What clinched it for us is that a d6 is a much more widely used dice and we felt like a sword would be a more iconic d6 for that reason. It would allow the possibility of people using handfuls of swords as their d6 in a variety of fantasy games, that seemed cool. Of course, it doesn't really matter, they are fun whether they exactly match the weapon you are using them for... but as you do, we wonder these things. And we can always do d8, or d10 swords in the future if things go well. (Plans for sets of d6s are on the cards, but not as part of the funding goal for this campaign, see the FAQ at the bottom of this page).
It actually took us the longest to come up with an idea for the d10 and d10 percentile dice. I'd started thinking about the dice in terms of a possible game, and the idea that the more faces a dice had the more defensive it would be, that all made sense, we had a shield and a helmet at the top of the scale and a dagger at the lower end. But what weapon would go in the middle...? Then somehow we got onto the idea of Gauntlets, which seemed to fit the bill as a transition between attack and defence, but also because there needed to be two of them... Coming up with the idea was the easy part in the end. Trying to arrive at a design for the d10 dice and modelling them in 3D took longer than any other design. We restarted multiple times on the design and ended up with more of a leather armoured glove look to the gauntlet. It's fun that we even have a right and left hand. We decided to use a simple dot beneath one of the number sets so they could together be used as percentile dice. Just think of it like a decimal point, or full stop.
The Production Process & Progress
We live south of Melbourne, in Australia, but thankfully Dann also works with Game Salute, who have been able to help us out with setting up this campaign, sourcing a manufacturer for the dice and seeing to their distribution internationally after the campaign completes. The plan is that after delivering to the backers, the dice could go on to be sold at retail in partnership with Game Salute.
Game Salute's experience with the manufacturing of Rocket Dice taught the company a lot, and we've been able to benefit from that experience. We were adamant that the manufacturing process be bedded down before we went to Kickstarter, and Game Salute agreed, and agreed to foot the bill to guarantee it. They sourced a new manufacturer and went ahead and paid for a full production mould for some of the dice to be cut, so we could test the designs all the way through to a first round of production samples ahead of the campaign -- so that we anticipate no issues with the molding and manufacturing process.
After the campaign we'll continue to refine up the finish of the dice, and implement a slight size increase (thanks to a stretch goal)... and then it's on into production. We'll update you as that progresses.
FREE International Shipping! (Yes, that means Australia too!)
Because our dice are mercifully small compared to a big box board game, we can cover the shipping cost for you to locations all over the world! (using www.ShipNaked.com).
Stretch Goals and Extras?
We've unlocked a lot of stretch goals (see the introduction above)!
Because we have been so careful in testing the designs and the manufacturing process, we won't be adding new dice designs to this campaign. We'd absolutely love to do more dice design, and have some great ideas bubbling away, but that will happen as part of a new campaign if this campaign does well, with newly tested designs and due preparation on our part. (If you have ideas for the future leave them in the comments!!)
We don't want to add in extras like dice bags. As super-cool as they would be, there are lots of awesome dice bags out there and we would be honored if you chose to buy a special dice bag to hold your Poly Hero Dice, that would awesome!! But by us not offering that sort of thing here, we can concentrate on the task at hand and not end up with delays in our attempt to become dice bag creators and merchants. Maybe one day, maybe if this thing takes off we can offer custom PolyHero Dice bags, but not this day. The main concern for us is we deliver on time.
As part of the design process Dann created a dice game -- Knight Fight --- with a set of 18 cards to use with 2 sets of PolyHero Warrior dice! We're now making it part of the campaign! Check out the update.
If there are other game designers out there that feel inspired and work up games using PolyHero Dice, the easiest way to let us know is via the Submissions page at Gamesalute.com. We'd love to hear your ideas!
Here we go for the weird credits section where it's just us... but just so you can see the split of work...
Concept and Design: Dann and Greg May
3D Modelling and Animation: Greg May
Storyboarding, Art Direction and Graphic Design: Dann May
Producer: Dann May
Dann May is a visual artist and took on the role of Chief Creative Officer at Game Salute in January 2015. He has worked as an Art Director and Artist/Graphic Designer on games including Island Fortress, Chaos and Alchemy, King's Forge and the upcoming Legends of the American Frontier, Skyway Robbery, Area 1851 and Storm Hollow.
Greg May is a professional 3D Animator and Modeller with over 15 years in the industry working on projects including children's television programs, medical animation and live event installations. He also freelances creating high end rendered images of board games.
Risks and challenges
We learned a lot about making custom dice through Game Salute's experience with creating Rocket Dice and watching other custom dice campaigns. These take a long time to make. We started this project about a year ago.
We know that it will take time to get these dice done right. That's why we've done all the 3D modelling up front and paid for a test mold with the factory producing the dice. We have gone to the extent of having actual samples in hand before the campaign begins to be sure that the designs didn't encounter in any issues during the moulding process.
That's also why we're keeping this campaign simple, with just two different colored sets. Game Salute learned that lesson from the ballooning of options with Rocket Dice and we're dedicated to keeping it simple for this one. If this campaign does well, we can always look at doing more options in the future, but we want to focus on delivering the first sets first.
We're being realistic by setting a year timeline for production and delivery. Of course we hope it takes less time and if it does Ship Naked will ship the dice out to all backers as soon as they have them.
We'll provide you with updates at each major milestone of production and delivery.
We love your comments and feedback. We'll provide any changes inspired by your feedback in our updates. If you've got a question or comment, whether it's in person, by phone, via email, or on this project page, we appreciate it.
Game Salute have seen that sometimes, after a campaign successfully funds and the thing being funded is actually being produced, life happens and a few people will want to cancel their pledge before the estimated delivery date. If that happens, just contact us and we'll be happy to make arrangements to process a refund to you. Now take note: when we receive your funds, we only receive around 85% of what you paid thanks to various fees and charges, so whatever your pledge was you’ll get it back less 15% to cover those charges.
Thanks for supporting us in making our idea for these dice a reality.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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