Captain's Log - 001

Star Date - 2021-01-14

Topic: Backstory

I'm not exactly sure what this will evolve into, I intend to hold myself to writing some kind of journal entry or blog post once a day however posts will probably be once a month or so depending on how interesting I think my thoughts are to share. I know myself and suspect that I will have a hard time keeping up with any kind of consistency but that's the intent and I'd like to think I can try. Even if I don't write super consistently I will forgive myself and hope that I will pick this back up. 

With my self forgiveness out of they way I'd like this space to be a resource for myself as a way of maintaining a promise to myself to keep Dead Channel going. I have the dream to run my own successful small business where I can dictate the terms of my life making products I am proud of. My current metric of success is continuing to make progress in building the business. Eventually success will mean that I can devote myself full time to working for myself followed by having enough money to move out of NYC and buying a home with enough space to continue growing the business. 

Now that I've established my intent, the means of which I intend to accomplish those goals is via table top gaming accessories. I feel like I've written the origin story for Dead Channel a dozen times by now but I should codify it here for posterity. 

The idea for Dead Channel started brewing in my brain a few years ago when I saw how successful Wyrmwood is with their wooden accessories, I love the craftsmanship and design of all of their products but I thought there was an opening in the market for similar products with a more modern aesthetic. I'm a D&D nerd but I'm also a science fiction nerd and a designer who is used to working on futuristically oriented products, I can't imagine I'm the only D&D nerd who also likes that sci/fi aesthetic. Plus I love the idea of making real world objects that feel like they could be props in a science fiction move or anime so Dead Channel products scratch that itch for me.

From that impetus I started designing some more traditional hex vaults with geometry that I thought looked good and futuristic. I 3D printed the box, installed the magnets and started using the box for a few weeks. I found that I liked the look of the box but I really wanted to be able to see the dice inside and I didn't want the dice to rattle around when I walked through the subway during my commute in the morning.

A rendering of my first dice box design. Intended to be machined from aluminum

That was the beginning of the foundation of Dead Channel products, windows to see the dice and foam to keep the dice from rattling around. Starting with those goals in mind I started brainstorming mechanism's that I could use to make the experience as tactile as possible, I wanted opening the dice box to feel like you were playing with a prop from Blade Runner or Alien. I brainstormed a bunch of different ideas but landed on the rotate and lift opening experience which is satisfying to open and close, while also making it really easy to imagine that mysterious steam or fog is going to roll out the sides as you open the container. 

Rotate and Lift

My intent with Dead Channel products is to make them as premium as I can which would mean making them machined from aluminum. The intent to machine them dictated a lot of the design process because I wanted to make the parts symmetrical so that I could save money on production by ordering a higher quantity of the same part instead of buying lower quantities of two parts. I'm thinking that design process would probably make its own blog post so I'll table that for now until a later date. 

 

For now I think this will do as my first Captain's Log entry. 

 

-Mike