City Builder Less Versatile Than Expected

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William
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Re: City Builder Less Versatile Than Expected

Post by William » Thu Jan 28, 2016 3:51 pm

Stefan, we love you too.

My biggest love though is my wife and these tax return sucking kickstarters (I know I don't have to, but this stuff is harder to give up than smoking) is a stress every year for the last three in a row. I just wish there were more backers and more time between kickstarters. Like I said before, I know this is a great yearly model for a business, but not our wallets. Have you seen the stock market lately? Could we maybe start later, but advertise more before the start to boost backer numbers? Each successive ks has dropped in backers, but somehow the dollar amount rises. So we die-hards are footing more each year.

Also, the sideways fit problems are not a big gripe to me (still waiting to see them, anyway), things like the exposed v-groove and height do give me a bit of grief. It was so easily seen once you had a chance to sit down and put some building things together. A single post would have solved a lot of those exposed v-grooves. Easy to remedy if a slight more time was invested in play time prior. I know I am not a typical buyer, but you have to know you can really do no wrong in my eyes. I just think a bit more testing time on DF's part could find these tweeky little things before they become a problem to some.

And by stretching to a 15 to 18 month cycle, I could save more $ in the down time and push my yearly stress of begging like a wet dog a few more months each time. I also hope for a two+ year gap one of these times to catch up with other things.

Again, if you didn't make such awesome stuff :shock: I could possibly resist :? , but until then, I'll have to put up with being broke :cry: . Just wish the wife was into it too, so I didn't feel so guilty. :oops: Oh well. ;)
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Audles
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Re: City Builder Less Versatile Than Expected

Post by Audles » Thu Jan 28, 2016 3:50 pm

Stefan! Don't fret! At least for me I've tried to put in a positive comment for every critique. I think criticism is valuable, worthwhile feedback. Please don't take it as anything other than people loving what you do. If I didn't love what you did I wouldn't think about it so much (or spend so much for that matter). KS3 is totes beautiful as a whole!

Also, it may well just be that nerds like to quibble on the internet.

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Re: City Builder Less Versatile Than Expected

Post by LordDust » Thu Jan 28, 2016 3:42 pm

I can certainly see that some folks had unmet expectations. When I hear that something is "compatible" I expect that I can use them together, but I do not necessarily expect them to be flawlessly in sync. Maybe it is the time with computers, or all the time I spent with Legos as a kid, but neither of those was always perfect (and to be honest, Lego doesn't have the excuse of a material as variable as PVC or resin can be) but I am comfortable with small issues. There is no manufacturer of terrain items I have bought from that is flawless. I had to trim some to get one 4Ground piece to go together right. Pathfinder minis have quite literally come unassembled or broken before (and they want me to pay shipping and jump through hoops, it is cheaper to just buy a single off Ebay much of the time than get a replacement). Reaper got my KS items to me, but they shipped my order to the wrong person, took a couple weeks to research it, gave me the wrong tracking number, then finally resent my order to me and acted like I should be thankful that they were willing to eat the cost to reship (both shipping and product cost). I got a cursory apology and not even a sample paint pot for my inconvenience. Don't get me wrong, I will still do business with Reaper, but my expectations are much lower than they used to be. MBA stuff has voids in it now and then and is not always completely square (resin products are often like this). DF has hands down led the pack in both quality and service. The only three that compare to date are Renaissance Miniatures, Turnkey Miniatures, and Johnny Lauck. Between quality, timeliness, and plain old customer service these four have in no way let me down and have set a high bar. I'm not going to say the other companies are bad or that they aren't good to do business with, they just aren't on the same level as these. Most of them are great people trying to do their best. DF has made any issue I've had right.

Even with steel molds every manufacturer plots in a certain amount of production that will be flat out unusable. Pure waste unless the product can be recast. It costs money either way (obviously more when you can't recast). The climate in China is different, any material that can experience warping will be riding in containers on the sea that can get from boiling to pretty much freezing in the same day, hell even trucks in the USA experience some pretty nasty temp swings. The larger a company is, the more of this they can absorb. Most of the big boys cut as many corners as they can to keep costs down too. Hard plastic that is hollow, hard to mod, doesn't take paint well, and isn't as durable as this product is what I would expect from the big boys and at a price that isn't lower by enough to make me okay with it.

I'm not saying you can't feel disappointed, but do understand that not everyone will have the same expectations. Stefan clearly stated that while he doesn't see things the same way as those disappointed he has heard them and he still intends to try to address these things as they move forward. There is no manufacturer that can get me similar quality, fully finished, for close to this price that I am aware of. Everyone else out there is offering solutions that fall outside my requirements.

Would I love it if DF had greater precision in manufacturing? Yes, I would. Finding a climate controlled facility that will do that grade of manufacturing at a reasonable price isn't something I think can be done at the level DF is able to buy at with an 8 million dollar KS. Try pricing this stuff out; make some phone calls and send some emails. Bear in mind there are many manufacturers in China that will not deliver what they promise to. Lead in metal parts they said would be lead free (common problem), leaded or otherwise toxic paints, wider tolerances than the specs they said they would deliver, etc. If you have a large enough account and stay on top of it, you can get better results. Keep in mind that sometimes a ten million dollar contract is not enough to ensure they won't pull that. Hell, my Chinese and Singaporean roommates in college would agree with almost all of that and every person I know that does business over there has some or all of these problems. I would encourage everyone to voice their opinions and concerns, but try to keep in mind this stuff really is the best on the market for the price. You can get better precision from fully hand made Hirst Arts pieces if you do it all yourself (with plenty of waste, IMO), or by paying a princely sum to someone else to do it for you (and either way investing quite a bit of time on top). Personally, I will stick with DF. Best in the world means the best there is overall, not the best that possibly could be. I still think they hold the title. Let's try to stay constructive even if we are disappointed by something. Sorry for the giant wall of text, but I felt the need to say my piece.

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Re: City Builder Less Versatile Than Expected

Post by Undel » Thu Jan 28, 2016 3:09 pm

I purchased only sluiceways with the intent that I could use my dungeon tiles to fill in the walls of the sewer.

I put the two together just now, and I agree that the floor pieces from the sewer set just a tiny bit larger than the basic dungeon game tiles. They don't seem grossly oversized though. I was able to get them to match up fairly well by making sure I was centering each dungeon tile against the floor piece and not against its neighboring dungeon tile. This created small, evenly spaced gaps all along the wall. Pushing them against their neighboring dungeon tile created one large offset given enough distance.

Here's a photo. You can see it's not perfect alignment, but it's not unworkable. I think that they mesh decently together. I hope this helps to show what to expect and to alleviate some fears for anyone else who wanted to merge sewers with existing sets!
mix.jpg
mix.jpg (349.64 KiB) Viewed 1808 times

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Re: City Builder Less Versatile Than Expected

Post by Stormfury » Thu Jan 28, 2016 3:05 pm

Oldent wrote: I don't like the post or the doors on the KS III .I do not want holes in the floors. I did not purchase any. I thought the grid issue was also overblown. I decided to spend my limited funds on streets and sewers. I saw Mark's video and was disappointed that I might have to more work on them than I would like. They are what I paid for.
I was more concerned with the quality of the posts. Fear was they wouldn't stand well, or break easy. Pleasantly I was surprised to find that they included metal posts and sit well in the corners. The holes are not a major eye sore and the majority of them will have posts in them as you build out your structures, etc. I'm sure you could easily make a cover or something for them as well if it's a major issue.

I have to say I LOVE the rubber sliding prevention stickers they put on the bottom of the 4" squares for this KS. It really helps to keep the pieces in place on the table and I wish those were on my original KS1/2 ground pieces.

As to Sewers playing 'nicely' with KS1 & 2, I've encountered the same issues as others have mentioned both with Sewer tiles and KS1&2 pieces. It's most noticeable over larger distances.
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Re: City Builder Less Versatile Than Expected

Post by Law » Thu Jan 28, 2016 3:05 pm

Stefan -- remember, the general tenor of the response to KSIII is overwhelmingly positive. A lot of us are beyond delighted. And remember even the criticisms mean two things: 1) People love the products so much they want to use all of them at once, which is very high praise, and 2) people expect such high quality from DF that they're willing to express disappointment with even the slightest deviation. You've got a well-earned reputation for stellar gaming products. This is just the flip side of that reputation - the "Episode VII was just a rip-off of Episode IV", if you will.

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Re: City Builder Less Versatile Than Expected

Post by Oldent » Thu Jan 28, 2016 3:03 pm

OUR BABIES :!:

I love your work or I would not buy it.

This is not about MM or calculators. I do wish some of you would learn about a square. :cry:

Shrinkage is effected by the environment. It is not always consistent.Distortion of thermoplastic is out side of your control. Dealing with it is not difficult.

Speculation Is pointless :!:

:cry: I want to see the book :cry:
OldmanWillow AKA OldEnt. Customer and fan from 1996 onward!

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Re: City Builder Less Versatile Than Expected

Post by Oldent » Thu Jan 28, 2016 2:47 pm

"Has it been confirmed that the CBS does not mesh well with MBS?"

I am still waiting for measurements, so, no. :roll:

I am frustrated about no delivery notice. However, I don't worry about DF products. They are what they say they are.

I don't like the post or the doors on the KS III .I do not want holes in the floors. I did not purchase any. I thought the grid issue was also overblown. I decided to spend my limited funds on streets and sewers. I saw Mark's video and was disappointed that I might have to more work on them than I would like. They are what I paid for. I also took a chance that I would like the book. I had to choose between that and the set with the wagon.
I have limited resources and can't get everything I want. I do not worry about the value or quality of DF products.
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Re: City Builder Less Versatile Than Expected

Post by Spiropolous the Minotaur » Thu Jan 28, 2016 2:30 pm

Fellow gamers, please wait till you have your pieces in hand and use them before you get too crazy and worried.
I see that there seems to be a small issue in shrinkage between these new pieces and the older dungeon tiles. I experimented with some pieces myself and I don't really think it's a huge issue. Are are talking 1mm? Let's not go insane here. Dwarven Forge has always had slight inconsistencies from piece to piece as they are all hand made. I sculpt every piece by hand and I am not a machine. If there is a mm difference here and there I ask for you guys to take measure of the whole awesomeness of the product you have in your hands:) If there is a piece painted not so perfectly as the piece next to it I also ask for some forgiveness. Dwarven Forge is not some billion dollar car company that can afford months of testing and retooling on hundreds of expensive metal moulds. What you have is our best supreme effort at the most awesome pushing the envelope type of terrain in the world. Please! I beg you to cut me some slack! I think my sanity will finaly give out if you attack my mind with mm rulers and calculators...I am an artist making art for gamers and i am truly trying my best as is the rest of my small team of super dedicated gamers and fans...please stop with the negativity on tiny little things?

So. Let's address it. If there is some shrinkage or rather not enough shrinkage in the new pieces what can we do? I think we see that a slight spacing out solves the problem on the street issue am i correct? To me it still is fine. It does NOT mean that because you need to space a few tiles here and there that nothing is compatible. Are you kidding me? Is this what the world has come to? When we made the prototypes you see in the kickstarter video we had to craft them all in house hand sanding them and dealing with warpage and shrinkage due to the resin on hand...we had no peg system yet...we screwed the posts of each house in by hand and they were wildly variable...ask poor Nate who had to build the jaw dropping scenes in the video how happy he is with these manufactured pieces...he is jumping for joy at how great they are! I am going to toot my own horn now...we knocked it out of the park guys! Focus on the gooood! The city builder pieces are awesome!

OK. so once again, there are a few issues here and there. Like always. Every year for the past 18+ years there have been some small issues here and there. We are hobbyists, We deal with these small inconsistencies because we love our hobby! Remember all those miniatures most of us used to collect? Remember how we had to cut off the flashing on them, and prime them before painting? Not all of them were perfect. Did I give up in disgust? Nooooo, because I still was having fun. I understood the limitations of the craft, of the process...I went about doing what I could to fix it. So please, let's look at this as a whole.

How can we fix this? I promise to look into ways to improve the issues at hand. If the spacing issue is really problematic maybe we can manufacture small "slivers" type of spacers that can be placed here and there to re-align the dungeon tiles with the city builder sidewalks?

Height. maybe some various width 4"x4" platforms that look like wood beams or stone that one can use to slip in between floors? These could be useful in other ways as well, even if not used for this?

I am listening to you guys and I and my team will wrack our brains to continually improve the products we love to make, because we are JUST LIKE YOU GUYS, gamers who want to use this stuff for our own campaigns and gaming session with our friends!

If you have not gotten your stuff yet, please hold off on your criticisms until you have built something. Please. If you have problems, please try to be kind. You may not realise it, but these things we create, they are OUR BABIES! We pour everything we have into this, our wives and girlfriends lament at the long hours we spend in the studio sculpting and crafting...please be kind:)

I love you all.

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Re: City Builder Less Versatile Than Expected

Post by Harneloot » Thu Jan 28, 2016 2:11 pm

AnimeSensei wrote: They did have pictures of CBS and MBS together. Nate posted them. That is why I'm frustrated, as I feel kind of slighted.
Has it been confirmed that the CBS does not mesh well with MBS?

I will echo the call for a black tablecloth underneath the tiles - I always use one when I make my resin builds and the not quite perfect fit is almost never even noticeable.

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