I’ve tried my hand at rpg style terrain a few times over the many years of gaming, and always ended up with sub-par results. A long time ago you could buy these plaster wall molds, which created groovy stone like structures. You needed to mold a boatload to create anything useful, and it was a large undertaking to create much more than a simple tile set. As a young gamer I gave up and just used white board markers and contact sheets. Quicker, crappier, but overall better.
Then recently I read about the MakeBot concept did the rounds as a new hobbyist’s dreams, and its a darn exciting idea – joe-public able to cheaply produce simple 3d objects at home. I got to see a production unit of the MakerBot up close on the weekend and I’m impressed. It looked exactly as advertised, and we created a few trinkets so the resolution and production time could be understood.
The first and foremost purpose I can think of is terrain for rpg games. I mean this is perfect.
It is such an obvious and wonderful toy that I’m really tempted to get one of these. Either that, or find a guy in my area and pay for the construction of the floor tile models. From what I saw on the weekend there is rendering and production time involved, but nothing akin to the amount of time and mess of the traditional molds and plaster casts.
I can see entire floor pattern developed as segments cheaply and combined to form tilesets of a dungeon. heck, you could even create specialised floors for particular rooms, special events, and complex scenes.
I’m adding one of these units to my wishlist now. No way in hell I’ve the time to actually use it and play with the models, but a man can wish. It is almost a golden age for mini-production.