June 04, 2017

Lands of Ruin Models Available for Free and Open Source

Producing physical products is hard and time consuming especially if you’re doing it for the first time and have no contacts in the field. That was a lesson hard learned in our Lands of Ruin Kickstarter campaign.

Lands of Ruin is a game we have been working on for years. When we wanted to take the game to the next level and make it “legitimate” we felt that having your own range of miniatures was a must. This is a decision I would now revert if I was to do it all over again. The fact is that we are not miniature makers. We had to hire everyone from modeller to casters outside our team. That ended up costing much more time and money than we estimated.

Despite all odds we managed to create and deliver a great and high quality line of miniatures to our Kickstarter patreons. In fact, I believe we are one of the fastest Kickstarters to deliver their miniatures (I’m still waiting to receive many rewards from campaigns I backed long time before we launched ours).

The time and effort spent creating and shipping the miniatures had an impact to the rest of the project that we failed to see. Our development time of the actual game took much longer than estimated. We ended up delivering the game months late schedule.

In retrospective, I feel that embarking to the adventure of creating miniatures was a huge mistake. There are hundreds of miniature games every year on Kickstarter, Many of them with much better miniatures lineup than ours. I would also argue that 90% of the miniature games on Kickstarter have very little substance beyond the artwork and miniatures. Most rulesets are very derived and uninspired. Ours, on the other hand, had its strength in the game design. Unfortunately our Kickstarter did not reflect the fact clearly enough and the wrong focus didn’t allow us to focus to what we’re the best at: game design and development.

I think too many new gaming companies have too strong “not invented here syndrome”. While I’m aware that the miniature design is one of the strongest reflections of the game world I think there’s enough suitable miniatures for almost any new world out there already. We, as the miniatures industry, stare too much to our own feet only. I think that lack of cooperation is a huge missed opportunity. Not all of us are great artists and not all of us are great game designers. We should have courage to admit when we’re out if our depth and rely on rest of the industry to fill in.

So, here we are. We have a line of miniatures but no place to put them. The creation effort of these is too great to let them vanish into thin air.

Today, we’re stopping production of any Lands of Ruin miniatures and contributing all our 3D model IP back to the gaming community and release them as free and Open Source downloadable models. Anyone can take them and print / cast them themselves and even distribute and sell them. Any company or individual is free to use them in their own game or product in anyway they wish. We do wish that anyone using them would link back to our website though.

Lands of Ruin will continue as a game. But from now on we’ll be focusing on what we’re good at: creating the LoR game systems, companion app and the world and story of Lands of Ruin.

Head to our Downloads page to get yourself some juicy 3D models to print / cast! :-)

- Juhani Lehtimäki, co-founder