City of Tarok Kickstarter – Meet the Designer

Antal Kéninger/Black Scroll Games

City of Tarok buildingThe City of Tarok Kickstarter has been cranking out the stretch goals and backer count for a while now.  As it nears the end of its fantastic run, I spoke with Antal Kéninger about this Kickstarter, his gaming, and how he went about creating this terrific Kickstarter. City of Tarok is Black Scroll Games second Kickstarter, but their first 3D Printing Kickstarter.  This gives them a lot of good knowledge about how Kickstarter works and coupled with the great designs, this was pretty a no-brainer that it would do well.  It’s blown away the creator’s expectations and has been a wildly successful Kickstarter.  
  • What miniatures games/RPGs do you play?

    • We started with Dungeon World as it has an easy system and I wanted to involve younger gamers. Now we are getting to know the Blades in the Dark system. None of these use miniatures but I like using them as you can explain a situation or a fight better and I like to set the mood around the table this way. When I started sculpting these new buildings I met many people from the wargaming community and that is definitely something I want to try out in the nearest future.

  • How long have you owned a 3D Printer and been making terrain?

    • I have had a printer for 3 years. I got one when I started my company, Black Scrolls Games, and although our map creations have got more focus in the past years we had a Patreon page dedicated to miniatures and smaller props from the beginnings. I started making terrains 9 years ago when we founded Lord Zsezse Works with a friend, we created papercraft models and I always made my maps in 3D so I have a lot of experience in 3D modeling and sculpting.

  • What printers do you use to print terrain?

    • I recently bought an Ender 3 Pro, I can only recommend that printer. The first printer of mine was a TEVO Tarantula, but that one needed a lot of tweaking and extra work. It is way easier to work with the Ender 3 and the whole printer feels more premium than anything I tried before.
  • What got you interested in modeling 3D Terrain for print? What was your first model?

    • I was always interested in 3D modeling, I worked in a game studio as an artist and I create my maps using the models I sculpted and painted in 3D. Fast Forward and 3D printers were getting better and cheaper. I thought it would be great to see the monsters and buildings from the deep of my mind in a physical form. The first set I created was the leeches miniatures dedicated to my Sewer map-tiles.

  • Do you have a favorite model you have created?

    • SharkmanYes! I always have a model I somehow enjoyed creating more than others. The Hammerhead shark man mini was a great pleasure to work on as I love these sharks, I like the trees with the rats and the mountable Battle Crab, too. And most of the City of Tarok buildings are also something that I love working on.

  • What is your workflow for creating pieces for City of Tarok?

    • I make sketches on a paper first. It is just easier for me, helps me figure out the base forms and how I could make it more interesting. Then we create a blockout in the software we use, and I start detailing it. I draw the cracks on the beams, then make variations to the roof tiles and those kinds of things. We model all the ruined parts of the walls and the cracks individually in purpose to reach a hand-crafted look. While I’m working on the levels I take a few steps back to see the whole thing together and change it if something seems off. Then I merge the parts, make it hollow and start testing it. I make changes on the original model again after the first print when I can see it in its physical form, I usually find or see something that would make it better.

  • What software do you use for your modeling? 

    • We are using Zbrush. This is a must-have if you sculpt in 3D, and this is what big studios are also using for sculpting. This is what made the troll of Moria and the beasts of Avatar so realistic. (Beside the work of many other artists in different areas, of course.)

  • How did you come up with this idea?

    • I remember the time when I sketched my first Tudor style and gothic buildings in my notebook during university, and now I can see the revised versions of them in their full glory.  I wanted to make buildings that have more of a fantasy vibe, cheaper to get than their casted brothers, but still visually pleasing on the tabletop. I just need more time to paint them 😀 (Ed note: Don’t we all…)

  • I know you mainly from being part of your Patreon, how is running a Kickstarter different from Patreon?

    • It is like a movie and a book. Very different. This is our second successful KS. We launched the first one to fund our map-tiles. When you are planning a Kickstarter you have to work months before the launch, you have one shot, and you have to work on the fulfillment after it. This is at least a half year job. On Patreon, you can release things as you go, it works as a monthly, or in our case, a per release subscription. When you have done with something, you can release it to your patrons. I think Kickstarter is better to run bigger projects like these buildings we are creating now. Patreon is great to smaller releases like one or two miniatures when you do not have to work months on one piece and you can release them more frequently.

  • City of Tarok - lighted windowHow did you come up with the window ideas?  It looks really good.

    • Haha, I know, right? 😀 First I thought I should just fill them, but as we used something like this with our papercraft models years ago, I came up with a thought, what if I make a slot to add a picture or even a piece of plastic, will the grid of the windows still be printable? And it was on both of our printers, so I just made it! I’ve got a cheap transparent folder from a pen and paper shop, cut it up and slid it in the holes. And voila, we have got transparent windows with glass.

  • How is your Kickstarter doing, compared to what you thought it would do?  It seems like you have reached the end of your original stretch goals. (I for one love seeing an outhouse added, I think that is totally unique).

    • The outhouse was originally requested while we were running our Map-Tile set Kickstarter, so we made one here, too. Now the miniatures have a nice little outhouse to use, or to visit the cave system beneath it. It is going way better than we expected, which is great because we have got so many suggestions there will be enough even for a second run later. We already have a lot of free rewards unlocked so I’m very happy with it. We recently ran a poll in our Facebook group and based on that plus our original plans we added more stretch rewards to the project. Now we are on to unlock these remaining goals, too. As the project will close on the 23rd of May we do not have much time left. 

I have been a fan of Black Scroll Games for some time.  I’ve been part of their Patreon for 20 months.  I am probably a bit biased, but I think this Kickstarter looks really sharp.  They have some terrific models out there, and I hope he moves some of his favorites over to his website for me to link to.  Between the base set of buildings and all the ones unlocked in the campaign, there are a TON of buildings now available as part of this Kickstarter.  There are a number of furnishings and other items also available make your fantasy gaming world come alive.  I hope you stop by the City of Tarok Kickstarter and see what the fuss is all about. 

City of Tarok Kickstarterf