Monday, April 25, 2011

Industry Interview - Mark Mondragon, Dreamforge Games, Part II


This is Part II of my interview with Dreamforge Games founder Mark Mondragon.


5) You didn't give up after your problems with GW, and now have re-invented your company. Tell us about that process.

My nine to five is as a procurement manager for IT products, blades, servers, switches, etc. The creative work I do with DreamForge-Games is far more satisfying than pushing PO’s through enterprise software. As the economy takes its down turns, you only need a procurement department to work out contract issues. Eventually all the issues get resolved and the pink slips start flying. I was faced with the decision to continue to be an overpaid corporate slave or a starving artist. I am fortunate enough to be in the position to fallow my true love and do something creative.

The current Leviathan designs were about 70% completed, so I got to work refining the details and started researching the new processes and machines that would allow me to turn pixels into real world objects. A lot had changed and although not perfect, the machines used to print 3D models had greatly improved. Having found a process that would work, I now needed to figure out how I would be able to pay for these very expensive prints. As it so happens John Bear Ross put a call out on his Yahoo forum for help, he was swamped with overtime at his nine to five and his client work was falling behind. One thing led to another and I started doing contract work for others in the gaming industry. Khurasan Miniatures, MERCS, Comfy Chair Games, Outland Games and eventually some commercial work for Land Rover. This side work helped me to fund my current designs and get the ball rolling again.


Having worked with John over at Moddler for my clients prints, he was the obvious choice to handle my personal work and he printed the Leviathan kits on his Objet printer. He always runs his machine at its highest resolution, so you get the best quality possible. I can’t tell you how important it is to have a good service provider doing your prints, part orientation makes a big difference on the quality of the print.

I then spent two months benching the parts, cleaning up the surfaces to mold level quality in an effort to get rid of the micro stepping that these printers create in the surface of the model. Another two months making love to molds followed by a limited release of casts to prove the molds. It has always been my intention to contract out the casting end because it is so time intensive that it takes me away from the design side. My search for a contract caster took a month or more. It’s surprising how few resin casters there are here in the US. This model presented some unique problems, with the number of parts I needed to make family molds, each mold containing four or more parts. With an open pour mold, it soon became evident that I needed to find someone who could inject the resin into the molds. This limited my short list of casters even further. I finally settled on a contract caster and sent my masters off to them. We have had a few bumps along the way but I am about to open up pre-orders for the Leviathans and roll the dice.

6) The new model looks AMAZING. The state of the art has obviously changed. How has that affected your work?

Due to the process I use, the software and printer are critical components to the process. I use Rhino for my CAD end with a few plug-ins to aid in the modeling process. I have found Rhino to be about the best software available for hard surface models such as tanks, mecha and other mechanical devices. If you’re doing organic surface models, such as animals, people, you’re not going to find a better software than Zbrush. The printer end still needs to catch up, but I would imagine that within the next five years you will see printer technology that can spit out a part that has nice clean surfaces. The other aspect that still needs to come into play is affordability. It’s still far less expensive to hand sculpt than it is to produce a model using a printer. This is the Achilles heal of the process, can you make a master cheap enough to be able to charge a price that most can afford.


7)  What is next?

With the release of the Leviathans, Crusader and Mortis, there are three more variants based on the same chassis. Each having their own weapons and some armor or other detail changes. A re-release of the refined Black Widow tank, The Paladin Leviathan, a more Anime design, and then… They sky is the limit.

I am currently working on a game system, Iron-Core. The Iron-Core is a game system being developed for vehicle centric combat. In the Iron-Core universe there are ten major factions, each faction has its own unique style. Eisenkern, the more gothic look, the commonwealth, a more advanced manga feel, the Protectorate, a nostalgic Russian influence, The Republic a more updated US military look and the alien races with their own distinctive designs. It is my hope to provide each faction with a complete set of vehicles and Leviathans. Within this framework, there is enough diversity of designs that I will be able to express my creative juices and provide the gaming community with a wide and varied selection.

Iron-Core as a game system will be scalable and modular. The goal is to provide a platform that will allow the player to choose between a fast and dirty beer and nuts game to an ultra detailed shell counter game and anything in between. This should allow the players to work within their budget or time constraints and still allow them to enjoy the models and the company of their friends.

Can all this be done with just me pushing pixels? I think it is a rather ambitious goal, but I like challenges. The more exposure I have with the other creative minds and talents in the gaming community, the more I find possible alliances and perhaps future partnerships. Until then I will keep pushing pixels and making models that I hope the gaming community will find as enjoyable as I do.

0 comments:

Post a Comment

Labels

3D Printing (7) 40K Fluff (3) 40K Nation (2) 6th Edition (32) 7th Edition (8) Aaron Lovejoy (2) Accessories (4) Adepticon (10) Adeptus Mechanicus (19) Aetherium (1) Airbrushes (1) Alan Bligh (1) Alpha Legion (9) Analytics (1) Anvil Eight (1) Apocalypse (43) Apocalypse Games (6) Apocalypse World Records (9) Armies (2) Art (2) Astra Militarum (1) Battle Reports (20) Battlefleet Gothic (2) Battlefoam (3) Battlefront Miniatures (1) Betrayal at Calth (7) Big Daddy (1) Black Templars (3) Blood and Skulls Industry (7) Blood Angels (21) Blood Ravens (1) Campaign (1) Chainsword (1) Chaos (18) Chaos Space Marines (35) City Fight (1) Collectors Editions (1) Conquest (2) Conventions (1) Conversions (14) Cosplay (5) Crimson Templars (5) Daemons (4) Dark Angels (29) Dark Eldar (5) Dave Taylor (2) Dawn of War (1) Death Guard (1) Death Korp of Krieg (1) Death Korps of Krieg (2) Dice of War Games (2) Digital Downloads (2) Dreadnoughts (2) Dreamforge (7) Drop Zone Commmander (1) Dust (1) eBay (6) Eldar (33) Emperor's Children (1) Eternal Crusade (1) Events (2) Facebook (1) Fantasy Flight Games (5) FAQ (6) Feast of Blades (1) Fellblade (14) Finecast (2) Flames of War (2) Flash-Gitz (1) Flyers (16) Forge World (397) Fraud (2) Games Workshop (77) Gamesday (1) Garro (1) Giveaways (8) Grey Knights (5) Heresy Trading (1) Hobby Articles (26) Hobby Supplies (1) Horus Heresy (336) Horus Heresy Weekender (31) House Rules (7) Imperial Fists (12) Imperial Guard (25) Imperial Knights (22) Inferno (6) Inquisition (3) interviews (4) Iron Hands (8) Iron Warriors (5) KICKSTARTER (7) Killzone (1) Knight Titans (5) Legal Issues (3) Legio Custodes (22) Legion of the Damned (4) Leman Russ (1) Leviathan Crusader (1) Lord Inquisitor (12) Magnus (2) mastadon (1) Mastodon (1) Mechanicum (9) Minotaurs (1) Mobile Devices (1) Moritat (1) Necrons (14) New Releases (4) Night Lords (4) Objective Scoring (2) Orks (28) Painting (4) Plastic 30K Kits (1) Podcasts (1) Primarchs (3) Primaris Space Marines (1) Privateer Press (1) Prospero (3) Raven Guard (8) Ravenguard (1) Resin accessories (108) Retailers (7) Roboute Guilliman (1) Rumors (95) Salamanders (5) Scam Alerts (1) Scratch Builds (24) Siegeworld (5) Sisters of Battle (11) Sisters of Silence (8) SoCal Apocalypse (5) Solar Auxilia (12) Sons of Horus (4) Space Hulk (3) Space Marines (56) Space Wolves (13) Special Ops (1) Starter Set (5) Stormbird (1) Supplements (2) Tactics (1) Tallarn (1) Talons of the Emperor (1) Tau (19) Terrain (15) The Big Game (20) The Big Game 2 (17) The Big Game 3 (14) The Big Game 4 (3) The Black Library (118) The Emperor (1) The Inner Geek (4) Thosand Sons (3) Thousand Sons (16) Thunderhawk (5) Titans (24) Tom McBride (33) Tools (1) Tyranids (13) Ultramarines (12) Video Games (16) Videos (1) Wahammer 40k (4) Warhammer Forge (1) Warhammer World (6) Warhawk (3) Warhound Titan (2) Warlord (16) Warmachine (1) Week in Review (1) White Dwarf (10) White Scars (4) WIP (2) Word Bearers (4) World Eaters (3)

Disclaimers

Apocalypse40K is a registered trademark of Dice of War, Inc.. ©Copyright 20010-2013. All rights reserved.

Warhammer 40,000
This web site is completely unofficial and in no way endorsed by Games Workshop Limited.

Adeptus Astartes, Blood Angels, Bloodquest, Cadian, Catachan, the Chaos devices, Cityfight, the Chaos logo, Citadel, Citadel Device, Codex, Daemonhunters, Dark Angels, Dark Eldar, 'Eavy Metal, Eldar, Eldar symbol devices, Eye of Terror, Fire Warrior, Forge World, Games Workshop, Games Workshop logo, Genestealer, Golden Demon, Gorkamorka, Great Unclean One, Inquisitor, the Inquisitor logo, the Inquisitor device, Inquisitor:Conspiracies, Keeper of Secrets, Khorne, Kroot, Lord of Change, Necron, Nurgle, Ork, Ork skull devices, Sisters of Battle, Slaanesh, Space Hulk, Space Marine, Space Marine chapters, Space Marine chapter logos, Tau, the Tau caste designations, Tyranid, Tyrannid, Tzeentch, Ultramarines, Warhammer, Warhammer 40k Device, White Dwarf, the White Dwarf logo, and all associated marks, names, races, race insignia, characters, vehicles, locations, units, illustrations and images from the Warhammer 40,000 universe are either ®, TM and/or © Copyright Games Workshop Ltd 2000-2008, variably registered in the UK and other countries around the world. Used without permission. No challenge to their status intended. All Rights Reserved to their respective owners.

Warhammer
This web site is completely unofficial and in no way endorsed by Games Workshop Limited.

The Chaos devices, the Chaos logo, Citadel, Citadel Device, the Double-Headed/Imperial Eagle device, 'Eavy Metal, Forge World, Games Workshop, Games Workshop logo, Golden Demon, Great Unclean One, the Hammer of Sigmar logo, Horned Rat logo, Keeper of Secrets, Khemri, Khorne, Lord of Change, Nurgle, Skaven, the Skaven symbol devices, Slaanesh, Tomb Kings, Trio of Warriors, Twin Tailed Comet Logo, Tzeentch, Warhammer, Warhammer Online, Warhammer World logo, White Dwarf, the White Dwarf logo, and all associated marks, names, races, race insignia, characters, vehicles, locations, units, illustrations and images from the Warhammer world are either ®, TM and/or © Copyright Games Workshop Ltd 2000-2008, variably registered in the UK and other countries around the world. Used without permission. No challenge to their status intended. All Rights Reserved to their respective owners.


General This web site is completely unofficial and in no way endorsed by Games Workshop Limited.

Adeptus Astartes, Battlefleet Gothic, Black Flame, Black Library, the Black Library logo, BL Publishing, Blood Angels, Bloodquest, Blood Bowl, the Blood Bowl logo, The Blood Bowl Spike Device, Cadian, Catachan, the Chaos device, Cityfight, the Chaos logo, Citadel, Citadel Device, City of the Damned, Codex, Daemonhunters, Dark Angels, Dark Eldar, Dark Future, the Double-Headed/Imperial Eagle device, 'Eavy Metal, Eldar, Eldar symbol devices, Epic, Eye of Terror, Fanatic, the Fanatic logo, the Fanatic II logo, Fire Warrior, Forge World, Games Workshop, Games Workshop logo, Genestealer, Golden Demon, Gorkamorka, Great Unclean One, the Hammer of Sigmar logo, Horned Rat logo, Inferno, Inquisitor, the Inquisitor logo, the Inquisitor device, Inquisitor:Conspiracies, Keeper of Secrets, Khemri, Khorne, Kroot, Lord of Change, Marauder, Mordheim, the Mordheim logo, Necromunda, Necromunda stencil logo, Necromunda Plate logo, Necron, Nurgle, Ork, Ork skull devices, Sisters of Battle, Skaven, the Skaven symbol devices, Slaanesh, Space Hulk, Space Marine, Space Marine chapters, Space Marine chapter logos, Talisman, Tau, the Tau caste designations, Tomb Kings, Trio of Warriors, Twin Tailed Comet Logo, Tyranid, Tyrannid, Tzeentch, Ultramarines, Warhammer, Warhammer Historical, Warhammer Online, Warhammer 40k Device, Warhammer World logo, Warmaster, White Dwarf, the White Dwarf logo, and all associated marks, names, races, race insignia, characters, vehicles, locations, units, illustrations and images from the Blood Bowl game, the Warhammer world, the Talisaman world, and the Warhammer 40,000 universe are either ®, TM and/or © Copyright Games Workshop Ltd 2000-2008, variably registered in the UK and other countries around the world. Used without permission. No challenge to their status intended. All Rights Reserved to their respective owners.