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$8,233 pledged of $53,000 goal
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By Andy Rothfusz
$8,233 pledged of $53,000 goal
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About this project

You know the downside of dice: every game, some tumble off the table. Or they don't land flat. Or, worse yet, they hit all your armies and wipe out hours of strategy! So you roll off to the side, where only you can see it, or in a clunky box top. There is a better way!

The Dice Shield™ brings the action back to the middle of the table, protecting your game from destructive rolls and runaway dice.

The smaller the table, the more crowded the board, the more valuable the Dice Shield will be to you. And the more important the dice are to the game, the more excitement the Dice Shield will bring. Rolling shouldn't be timid!

Sound Dampener Update: the sound dampener is now available for everyone at the Shielded and Internationally Shielded contribution levels for an additional $5. We've found a local manufacturer who can cut as many as we need!

The Manufactured Dice Shield

The photo above shows a hand-made prototype, where it all started, but that is a slow process of cutting, bending, routing, gluing and polishing. A better, faster way to produce the Dice Shield is with injection molding. Cast from a single, clear piece of acrylic, the manufactured Dice Shield will be beautifully smooth and strong. And since the casting takes only a minute, we can bring the Dice Shield to the thousands of table top gamers it would benefit.

Over half your contribution will help to pay for the mold, a metal beast made from 400 to 1000 pounds of a special alloy tough enough to withstand the tons of pressure and high temperatures required for injection molding. To get clear sides we must pay for a very high degree of polishing.

The remainder of your contribution will pay for manufacturing your Dice Shield awards here in the USA, packaging them, and shipping to you.

The Manufactured Dice Shield is what you're helping to create. With your contribution, we can work with injection molders here in the USA to mass produce the Dice Shield. With higher volumes we can create them affordably and in greater numbers than we ever could by hand.

The following animation is based on version 5.3 of our engineering drawings and gives an idea of what I'll be shipping to you. 

The manufactured version includes and integrates three 2 1/8" long legs, taller than most board game pieces and heroic miniatures. The legs have reinforcing gusset plates to provide extra strength and they are hollow, so if you do have extra-tall models in your game (like Games Workshop's Warhammer 40k), you can make the legs as tall as you like by inserting 1/4" diameter rods. 

Thanks to the enthusiastic feedback of those who bought the hand made prototypes, I'm sure I've got a winning design and novel function. I've even applied for a patent to protect the Dice Shield, so this will be the only place to get one.

Designed in California. Made in the USA.

I designed and tested the Dice Shield here in San Francisco. Engineered Outcomes drafted it in Newark, California, and with your help, Questo Gizmo will contract with a toolsmith to manufacture the Dice Shield here in the USA. Creating the mold is an expensive initial cost, and we need your help to make it real.

Please contribute! Let's put an end to runaway dice!

Rewards

Timing: Kickstarter + 17 weeks

Once I have the mold made, which takes between 4 and 8 weeks, a domestic injection molding company will begin production. The first test runs take another two weeks, and then full production should take another three weeks. I'm adding in another 4 weeks of unexpected set-back time (like shipping or customs problems), but within 17 weeks of ending the Kickstarer we should have a steady stream of perfect Dice Shields to ship to you as rewards for your contributions!

Token of Appreciation

A little keepsake to say thanks for supporting the Dice Shield and helping to make it possible. Makes a nice key fob, Christmas ornament, or two-sided die.

Shielded: Dice Shields, Sound Dampeners, and Leg Extensions

Computer-generated image of Dice Shield v5.3
Computer-generated image of Dice Shield v5.3
Clear vinyl sound dampener
Clear vinyl sound dampener
How clear is the sound dampener? Nearly invisible.
How clear is the sound dampener? Nearly invisible.
Leg extensions provide about 6 inches of clearance beneath the Dice Shield
Leg extensions provide about 6 inches of clearance beneath the Dice Shield

The Elite Lids

Send me your own black and white design and I'll etch a custom lid for you! The lid does not have a latch or hinge. It just rests gently on the top of the Dice Shield. This is more for show than for turning the Dice Shield into a box.

Sponsorship Messages

Do you have your own store or game you'd like to promote? At this level of sponsorship, I would be happy to print your family-friendly message in full color onto an insert that I will place in every Dice Shield I send to a Kickstarter supporter! 

There will be three double-sided inserts in the Dice Shield, each one 4"x7.5" and in full color. This allows six sponsorship messages. We'll shuffle and flip them randomly so your message should be face up 50% of the time, and 1/6 of the time it should be both on top of the Sponsorship messages and face up.

Special Limited Promotions

These awards will be available later in the Kickstarter campaign. The Allomancer will be available after we've reached 200 contributors, and The Turing Test after 500 contributors.

The Allomancer

We have enjoyed a great relationship with Crafty Games and managed to acquire what may be the very last four sets of Mistborn dice available! This award level includes all 10 dice from the original Premium Dice Set, plus the special Eleventh Metal Promo Die, 11 plastic dice total, and one Dice Shield to rule them all... err.. roll them in. Optionally you can add some money to your pledge and get the sound dampener and leg extensions too.

Eleven Collectable Dice for Mistborn
Eleven Collectable Dice for Mistborn

The Turing Test

Alan Turing not only made major contributions to Computer Science and Engineering, but he also designed his own Monopoly board! This award level includes one Dice Shield with a sound dampener and a Turing Special Edition of Monopoly to play with your Dice Shield. It plays mostly the same as regular Monopoly, with changed place names, but it also includes a replica of his own variation on the board, which included a diagonal!

Risks and challenges

The design of the Dice Shield is complete and it has been reviewed by several engineers for manufacturability, so the risk with the design should be minimal. But it is possible that the design itself is faulty and could be not as strong or clear as the prototypes, or lead to poor yields from the manufacturing process. I've worked with the best engineers I can to reduce the risks, and once in production, I will work with the manufacturing plant to tune the mold to ensure strength and clarity.

The next risk is with the mold-maker. In 2012 I had one toolsmith become unavailable at the last minute, and so this time I will have clear, written expectations.

Another risk is with the timing of the mold. The toolsmiths have given me a timeline for completing the mold, but this could be inaccurate or adversely affected by shipping problems, labor disputes, or unexpected complications with the mold mechanisms. I'll just have to deal with these as they appear and rely on the strength of our contract.

Even if the design is good and the mold is delivered on time, there is a potential risk with the quality of the mold. Since this will be the first time I've worked with this toolsmith, I don't have a personal track record with them to know if their molds produce high quality castings. But I will review their previous work and choose the best toolsmith I can.

The cost of acrylic could change radically, and that could affect the cost of creating the rewards. It has been fairly stable but slowly increasing. If there was a jump in price then would try to absorb the costs as best I could or work with you on alternatives like lower cost shipping.

There is a risk with shipping, that the USPS will change their rates or the size of their medium priority mail boxes. I can absorb some of the cost changes, but not a large change in cost or shipping constraints.

And, finally, there is a risk that so much depends on me. If I get hit by a bus then the project deliverables are likely to be delayed. I have enough interested friends that could help in a pinch, but there is still a lot riding on my health and ability to move funds to the toolsmith and manufacturer and move Dice Shields from the factory to your dining table.

So, with good health and the help of you, the toolsmith, the manufacturer, my friends and the USPS, we'll get the Dice Shield from the factory to your dining table, ready for game night.

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Support this project

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $2 or more About $2.00

    Token of Support: A laser-cut 1.5" hexagon token of 1/8" thick plexiglass, etched with the Dice Shield logo so you can show off your support! Sent by regular mail.

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    Shielded: One Dice Shield with its patent-pending utility, ready to roll anywhere. It's transparent! It's elevated! So "clearly superior" to all other dice trays! Shipped via USPS Priority Mail (an $11.30 value)

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    35 backers
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  3. Reward no longer available

    Pledge $60 or more About $60

    Clearly Deluxe: one Dice Shield plus three clear acrylic rods you can use to extend the legs AND a clear vinyl liner to soften the sound of the rolls. Limited number because I have to cut the rods and vinyl by hand. Shipped by USPS Priority mail service.

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    Reward no longer available 50 backers
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    Pledge $65 or more About $65

    Internationally Shielded: Same as the 'Shielded' award, but sent anywhere in the world via First-Class International mail.

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    9 backers
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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $133 or more About $133

    The Elite: One Dice Shield with leg extensions, sound dampener, PLUS a clear lid laser-etched with your black-and-white design. Shipped by USPS Priority Mail service.

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    Limited 7 backers
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    Pledge $215 or more About $215

    Fist Full of Dice: Four of everything: 4 Dice Shields, 4 sound dampeners and 4 sets of leg extensions, all sent to one address. Great for competitive families, gaming groups, and stores!

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    Limited 5 backers
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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    Sponsorship Inserts: For $1 per impression, I will have your full-color family-friendly image printed on a paper insert and include it with the first 500 Dice Shields shipped to Kickstarter contributors. Increase your contribution to reach more contributors.

    This could introduce your own store, brand or game to some serious gamers here on Kickstarter!

    Each insert will be 4"x7.5" and your image will be one side of a double-sided glossy sheet. Randomly shuffled, you'll be face up and on top about 1/6 of the time.

    Includes printing from your print-ready proof.

    PLUS two Dice Shields with sound dampeners and leg extensions, of course!

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Funding period

- (42 days)