I started playing Dungeons and Dragon at the age of 12, because of my love to the game, and my imagination, me and my best friend spent hours putting cardboard dungeons and playing with legos as if they were miniatures, in my head there was no place to even think that in the future I would get to work with what I loved so much.
Manyof those days passed while thinking about how beautiful it could be to use plastic modules to play, today, this is reality. C506 officially partners with Lefty Games and we are here to talk about them. A company that makes DUNGEONS!
At the moment, the assortment is purely focused on 3D-printed terrain. Pieces are printed in black with a surface that is a bit rough, so it takes paint very well (it’s absolutely perfect for dry brushing). Each tile is one by one inch to fit the standard 1″ grid (with the exception of some 2×2″ and 3×3″ floor tiles made to create larger rooms quicker) and has a magnet in the bottom.
When using a thin metal sheet as a base the tiles snap on easily; strong enough to stay in place (even the sheet is turned upside down) yet they are easy to pick up as well.
There are multiple types of tiles; the regular floor/wall/corner, but also tiles with doors (the slide into a slot in the wall, so they can be removed/”opened”), multiple types of stairs with accompanying height blocks (to keep everything as modular as possible), cracked/broken walls and the recently added pillars which double as height blocks. The odd one in the bunch currently are the torches, they are tiny clips that can be attached to the walls and look like a tiny torch – they’re so simple, but they can add so much atmosphere to the dungeon!
A couple of years ago, me, my wife and some of our friends started playing D&D 5th Edition. Since I’ve always had a knack for picking up rules for a game (and bending them, played a LOT of Munchkin and the likes), I was the DM of the group. We started with just pen & paper, but a couple of months later I gained an extra hobby; 3D-printing. One plus one equals two, so not before long I found some cool looking models online for terrain and started printing. Looked awesome, but there were some things I didn’t like. Either the tiles were loose on the table and went everywhere when you touched them even slightly, or everything was connected with small clips, which made interchanging them during a game a real pain (I enjoy keeping a fog of war during play). Also, for some reason they were always in 2 by 2 tiles, what if I wanted to make a 5 by 3 room?
So, a new hobby had entered the game; making my own terrain models for printing, with something extra – magnets in the bottom. This way they were connected to a thin metal sheet with a grid drawn on it which I used as a base. Each square was its own tile, so it was modular to the max. A couple months of tweaking later (how to insert the magnet, different printing settings for the walls, etc.) and I had something I was proud of. In August 2018 I decided to put some of the tiles in my Etsy shop called Lefty Games to test the waters and not before long came the first order.
A stranger from halfway around the world saw the pictures from an Etsy shop with zero sales and zero reviews and thought “Yeah, I’m getting an XL Pack”. I never expected that, although it made me very happy. Even better, once she received it she wrote such a positive 5-star review, it made my week!
After that it kind of escalated quite quickly, I quit my normal job in IT and started working for Lefty Games full-time on December 1st 2018! So Lefty Games is still in its first year, so I’m working hard on setting everything up. With zero experience in running a business I might add, so everything is learned on the go.
What to get?
That entirely depends on the party and the DM to be honest. Lefty Games offers both larger packs (S, M, L and XL, with increasing bulk discounts) which are composed of enough tiles to create a dungeon and the smaller “four-packs“, which allows the customer to create or expand their own preferred set of terrain. Prefer to create a giant dungeon with large rooms? Get the L/XL pack and Bigger Rooms expansion pack, maybe even add some stairs and the likes. Don’t want the entire table to be covered and want to leave some space for the players, or simply have a smaller budget? You might be better off with just the S or M pack, with which you can build a couple of rooms and keep rebuilding as the party progresses through the story.
I wanted the shop structure to reflect how modular the terrain is.
What will Lefty Games offer in the future
I’m trying to add something new once every while, although it’s hard to find the time for 3D-modeling while setting up the company.
At the moment, I’m working on getting metal sheets laser cut/engraved so customers no longer have to go to the local DIY store and just get them together with the terrain. Aside from that, I’m working on engraving wooden boxes for easy storage of the terrain and the metal sheets, so the entire system can be easily transported. Last but definitely not least, I keep developing new models for both terrain and props whenever I get the opportunity; I’m currently working on a mining cart for example. As soon as I get the company streamlined and organized (perhaps with the addition of staff), there will be less time in between new items entering the store.
Tell us about the master, who is Luuk van Houtum?
Hi! My name is Luuk van Houtum, born in March 1990 and I got married last year to my lovely wife Noor with whom I’ve been together for about 12 years now. Always been a fan of playing and developing games, and as such studied Game Technology at the University of Utrecht, where I got my Bachelor’s degree (it’s basically Computer Science with a slight focus on games). Had a burnout at age 22 halfway through the program due to full-time studying, working two part-time jobs to pay for everything and commuting for four hours a day, but (stubborn as always) I powered through after being out for a month. Continued on with the Master’s program, but felt like I wasn’t learning useful material so I quit University and started working a regular job in IT for a couple of years, where I worked solo on a student administration system (think student information, grading, classes, courses, scheduling, electronic learning environment, etc.). Hobbies such as D&D and 3D-printing entered my life somewhere during my college years, which kind of have gotten out of hand as they’re now part of having my own business!
Speaking of hands, there’s something about me that not everyone notices when they first meet me; I don’t have a left hand! Seriously, it took a classmate of mine in middle school 1.5 YEARS (!) before he noticed – he freaked out so hard, it was hilarious. I’ve had it, or rather NOT had it, since birth, which is for the best I think. I grew up with it, and it has pretty much never been a problem.
My parents taught me that it’s OK to ask for help, but to always try something myself before I do, which in turn taught me to be creative with solutions, so I’m forever grateful for their lesson. So yeah, that’s actually where the name “Lefty Games” comes from, from not having a lefty, and for me over the past few months it has become a bit of a symbol for creativity.
Here in C506 we have the best and the partnership with Lefty Games is going to be amazing, we will be reviewing their sets and also using the dungeons to play live, for the miniatures we paint from Wizkids and Reaper, and obviously to kill some players with our metal dice sets!! I hope you guys can take a look at the store and follow my men Lefty in social media.
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