First off a huge thanks to the friends and family who have helped us get this far. Without their support and encouragement we never would have begun this project and we wouldn't be looking at turning a passion into a reality for ourselves and our fellow gamers!
That said Welcome to TerraForms Terrain!
We began this whole thing as a pet project. I've been a lifelong gamer, as most of our staff have been, though with the demands of life I'd gotten out of tabletop gaming some years ago. It's hard to be a regular tabletop wargamer when you're in the Army and galavanting around the world, so I sold off all my games, all my armies, and thought I'd closed that chapter of my life.
Life changed, and I'm now medically retired from the Army and back into a situation where I can game. Several months ago I was looking at the possibility of beginning tabletop wargaming again and an old friend told me about DreamPod 9's Kickstarter to retool their facility to produce injection molded plastic figures instead of white metal for their game Heavy Gear: Blitz. HG:B was a game I'd eyed for several years, though never bought into. I talked to some pals and we decided we were going to split the cost to back the starter set with multiple armies. We would each have an army, and we'd have a game to play again with regular opponents.
For his part in pointing me to DP9's campaign and helping spark this whole thing a huge thanks in particular goes out to Matt Bleichner, a friend and fellow gamer from long ago. Our team wouldn't be here without your setting this all off, man!
As we got more and more excited about the game (the minis will begin shipping in the next month or two, SO excited!) we realized that we needed a table and we needed some kick ass terrain. One of our team had about half a dozen FDM (fused deposited material) 3D printers that he used for prototyping movie prop replicas, and another of our team was already running his own 3D design/prototype and large scale figurine manufacturing company and we figured we could use those resources to design and print off some cool custom terrain.
We started showing our designs and prototypes to friends, family, and people in various online forums and everyone had the same reply: "When is this going to be available for me to buy and use on my own table?" We eventually decided that since we already had the resources and the expertise to create high quality molds and cast resin replicas of this terrain for resale, we really needed to look at the viability of doing this as a full scale project.
Fast forward a few months of research, informal polling, and quizzing people we had access to that are in the miniatures and wargames industries, and we decided we could really do this. We could create this awesome terrain, we could do it better than what we saw as our competition, and we could do it cheaper than anyone. That meant that we could provide better terrain to more gamers and do it affordable enough to open our doors to gamers world wide.
That was our "eureka!" moment.
We worked on some terrain redesigns to make our terrain cheap enough to ship worldwide. We worked on creating terrain that can be customized by cutting away wall sections to create battle damage. We put in removable roof sections with hollow interiors so players can place units inside buildings they are occupying for the best look on a gaming table. We wanted our terrain to be 'generic' enough to flow easily from recent historical settings to modern day to sci-fi genres. We wanted it to be detailed enough to be visually impressive on a table. Perhaps most importantly we wanted it to be affordable enough that a gamer isn't having to feel like they've just thrown away enough money to buy and entirely new army to have a good looking setup on their table.
The biggest problem with all of this is that we needed startup capital to get all this going. We already had the printers, we were already creating the prototypes, but we needed to buy large quantities of quality urethane rubber to create the detailed molds from the prototypes. We needed to buy the urethane plastic to actually cast the terrain for sale. Not to mention all the extras that come along with setting up a large-scale molding and casting process.
That's when we went to Kickstarter. We think there are enough gamers who want great terrain, and we think that you will help us make this project a reality.
We're still putting the final touches on our Kickstarter, but we'll be sure to let everyone know when it goes live!