Video games may take place in virtual worlds, but that doesn’t mean their characters, aesthetics and items need to stay there.
Of course, this is a no brainer. At this point we are all fully aware of the endless reams of merch that companies pump out much to the delight of fans. But a lot of the time that merch doesn’t necessarily align with your favourite parts of a game.
Say in Skyrim your favourite item was always the edgy “Bloodscythe” or the sleek “Nightingale Blade”, chances are you’re all out of luck in bringing those beloved elements of fantasy into reality. That is, unless you’re ready to take on the task yourself.
Equipped with a 3D printer, some knowhow and plenty of time for perfecting models, printing, sanding and painting, you are certainly capable of bringing any element of your favourite virtual worlds into reality.
Here are five of our favourite ways to do exactly that.
At the heart of 3D printing comes the standard figurine. A full, 3D print of a character, location, object or creature.
From developer-made figurines to Nintendo’s infamously pricy Amiibo’s, these 3D figures likely already occupy your mind when you start thinking about 3D printing something from a virtual world. Making them a great place to start.
Of course, 3D figures can get pretty complex with curves, details and faces requiring some of the most finesse when it comes to refining and painting. However, with some practice creating your own figures can be one of the most rewarding ways to adorn your shelves with relics from your favourite virtual worlds.
Let’s face it, gaming is role playing. And when it comes to our favourite titles, I’m sure we wouldn’t mind trading shoes for a day or two. To get a tinge of that feeling, creating 3D costume elements can be a fantastically rewarding experience.
The most accessible and instantly transformative piece in this regard is the mask. Think the samurai masks from Ghosts of Tsushima or one of those intimidating masks from Payday2.
While this can be great for some (relatively) quick mask-based transformations, cosplayers take the 3D printing of costume to a whole other level, printing out everything from trinkets to whole pieces of body armour.
Regardless of whether you’re an aspiring cosplayer or just a fan of some virtual headwear, creating costume can be incredibly rewarding.
While games are littered with excellent character design, the things we spend most of our time interacting with are props. Be it swords, guns, staffs, bows, or even a deck of cards, props are at the heart of most gaming experiences. Leaving the unshakable question: what would it feel like to actually interact with said prop.
3D printing offers another excellent opportunity here, giving you the opportunity to get your hands on video game items for real.
Creating such props have a wide range of applications from cosplay to decoration, making them fantastically versatile and rewarding pieces to craft.
While we may initially think of 3D printing things purely for their looks, that doesn’t mean we can’t do more with them.
Since the beginning of tabletop games, players have been inventing worlds, characters, items, monsters and more. But, for the most part, those inventions have had to remain in the realm of imagination—or at least 2D art.
With 3D printing, you have the option of quite literally bringing a whole new dimension to your tabletop experience, modelling your characters and locales in impressive detail.
While creating a full, high quality 3D model from scratch may seem daunting, if you are a newcomer to the world of 3D printing it can be a great option to start by basing your designs off existing game models—ideally those you can customise. For example kitting out your Skyrim character with specific armour and weapons from the game to capture the essence of your tabletop character and cut down on your modelling.
If tabletop pieces seemed more functional, oh boy we have a long way to go!
It’s important to remember that the vast majority of 3D printing is done for function, printing objects, parts and the like to meet aa particular utilitarian goal. And you can do the same.
Before you laugh this off as one big, boring joke, picture this: that tankard you always loved the look of in Skyrim… you could be drinking from it.
From water bottles to pencil holders to boxes, cases and more, there are plenty of objects within any game which could be functional in the real world, while also transmitting the wonder of your favourite game into the real world.
Here you can go crazy, thinking of any niche you have to fill and finding a way to incorporate your favourite game into that design. Be it translating an object to do it’s same purpose, like a fantasy RPG flagon to drink from, or something wholly different, like a Crash Bandicoot pencil holder.
The sky is really the limit, but when you make it functional you kill two birds with one stone.
3D printing is the primary way of bringing video game models into the real world, and if you have a printer at your disposal chances are you are ready to do just that. So what are you waiting for? Let your imagination run wild.
That said, if you prefer staying in the virtual world, why not fast-track your progress? With Gamecamp.gg you can save up on your favourite video game titles and find the best deals possible.