Integrating QR codes, NFTs and 3D-printing

for those of you who are observant, you’ll have noticed my instagram feed, and you’ll already know that i’m a big fan of miniatures and painting. I’ve also been really interested in tabletop wargaming, similar to Dungeons and Dragons. For those of you who are familiar, you’ll know that one of the big parts of tabletop gaming is being able to customise your characters and war band or army.

Generally miniature manufacturers were always limited due to the production process, the most you could do ‘off the shelf’ was to buy plastic kits and piece them together differently. at the extreme end of this spectrum is a community of ‘kitbashing’ where using sculpting and modding on pre-existing kits they customise unique miniatures as one-offs, beyond this and you’re in the realm of full sculpting.

More recently however 3D printing has meant that so long as you have the talents to work with 3D design software and have the technical knowledge and money to afford a printer, you can pretty much print whatever miniatures you like. Seems like a dream until you realise how steep a learning curve 3D illustration actually is, and how technical, messy, toxic and costly 3D printing actually is. Still, there are massive innovations in this area and it won’t be long before the hardware is much more accessible.

As far as the miniature design software, there are already multiple companies that allow you to create your own customised miniatures, they still you standardised pieces but the level of customisation is significant, the experience is similar to customising a Sim in The Sims. And the product is a .STL file, which is formatted for the 3D printer.

These STL files are relatively unique since the designs are relatively unique, the number of customisation options and degree of customisation allows or that.

And this is where i think theres a huge opportunity, part of the tabletop gaming experience is leveling-up and customising the characteristics of the character, if you’ve ever played The Sims you’ll be familiar with this concept as well, determining how the character acts in situations and what advantages and disadvantages it has, generally this is paired, but separate, from the physical miniature, and there are many software solutions that exist to log character and army lists. Some of these are used for competition management as well, with progress being logged within the software as players play.

You’ll notice i made the comment around NFTs, here’s where it becomes relevant, you’ll remember Crytokitties as being one of the big successes in the cryptospace. And this would be similar.

When you design a miniature, the characteristics, and the design are tied to the .STL file and all are tied to an NFT. As you use the character in game play and log its progress, verifying it with your competitor (and possibly an external adjudicator) the NFT is updated, and the value of the character NFT is increased, making the character the tradable asset.

It’s possible for you to still print and use the character yourself, but the progress and stats are tied to the NFT which you may not have access to and therefore cannot influence.

In this way the .STL file, and character stats are the NFT where part of the value is held, and the miniature is a physical manifestation of that NFT.

if you were the owner of the NFT, then you have the edit-rights to the character stats and STL file, so you can influence how the character evolves. Once you trade it, those rights are passed on to the new owner.

Finally, you’d link the physical miniature to the NFT via a QR code, which, again is tied to the NFT exclusively, so in game-play, scanning the QR code will ensure that the right stats and details are linked to the right character NFT.

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