Hello Wild Gears Fans!
Today I want to give you some initial details about the upcoming Wild Gears Kickstarter and some of the new features that are in development.
I have set an ambitious goal to launch Wild Gears Kickstarter by the end of next week. I am going to try my best to hit that goal but only time will tell.
Wild Gears 3.0 Kickstarter will be raising funds to allow for another round of improvement on existing gear set designs as well as launching some new gear sets. Wild Gears is continuing to grow and I hope that in the future general sales of Wild Gears will support ongoing development and improvement but it isn't there yet so I will once more turn to crowd funding and enthusiasm to help improve and expand on Wild Gears.
Initial work on the Compact Gear Set has been prototyped to test out different design changes and improvements. I am very happy with how well this initial round of prototyping has gone and in working with it I've discovered more improvements that I want to implement.
Some of the improvements that will be made to all the gear sets include:
Little errors on some of the gear sets will be corrected; a misplaced pen hole, a missing gear set name, or a thin weak section of a part will be thickened.
A new type or 'size' of gear set will be introduced. I currently call them Adjunct Gear Sets but may select a better title for the Kickstarter launch. Adjunct Gear Set are the same size as Small Gear Sets and explore a small theme. The two Adjunct Gear Sets that are in development are the Triangle Hoop and Ruler gear sets.
The Triangle Hoop Gear Set explores adding a triangular gear into a set of rings so that one can explore 3 gear systems with a non-circular gear in the mix.
The Ruler Gear Set is two almost strait ruler like pieces. They have a slight wave to them to keep it interesting. Also, yes these prototypes are cut from wood. It is a beautiful option that I am exploring the durability of.
Due to their simpler design and less laser cutting required the adjunct gear sets will be less expensive than Small Gear Sets.
The Wild Gears Kickstarter will feature some new gear set options available as part of the base funding goal or as a stretch goal. Adding new gear sets as a stretch goal has a few desirable features from a designer point of view. My main goal of this Kickstarter campaign is to cover the majority of the prototyping costs for the new version of Wild Gears. I have a good handle on how much that is likely to cost so I can make an ambitiously low funding goal which increases my odds of raising the funds. Making new Gear Sets is more uncertain and takes more iterations on the initial prototype so it costs more and has more uncertainty. Both of those traits require raising more funds.
The reason I am pushing to launch the Kickstarter campaign for next week is that I want to be able to deliver the backer rewards in time for Christmas and working that time line backwards means that I have enough time to complete the project if I start very soon. I could delay by a few weeks but that would cut into the number of rounds of revision I would be able to do. I don't want to rush the design and improvements so I'm buckling down now to get this show on the road.
As with the Wild Gears 2.0 kickstarter all backer rewards will be offered at some discount below regular price. There will also be a limited number of early bird backer spaces that will offer a greater discount on all gear sets.
No-matter when the Kickstarter launches I will send out a short newsletter the day before with launch details so that everyone who wants to get an early-bird pledge level can get one.
Some of the new gear sets / ideas that I am contemplating for this campaign are as follows:
More material options may be available. I experimented with two colour gold-black acrylic. It is gorgeous and shows the engraved writing very well. However it only comes in 1.5mm thickness so I'll have to test it a bunch as I anticipate that it'll be harder to use.
Thank-you for taking the time and interest to read this newsletter. It ended up being way longer than I expected; I guess there is a lot of exciting news :-)
If you have something to say, I'd love to hear from you. Now is the time for any suggestions or feedback to have an impact of the next version of Wild Gears.
Thank-you for your ongoing interest in WIld Gears!
I am in the process of getting ready for another Wild Gears Kickstarter to make version 3 of Wild Gears and have a bunch of ideas about what would be good improvements and additions to make to Wild Gears. I am also looking for feedback from you. You can provide feedback by using this google form
The preparatory work for Wild Gears Kickstarter is underway. Some early prototypes of some of the improvements are being made right now. If everything comes together I'm planning on launching the campaign in 3 weeks.
I'd like to tell you about some of the things I'm working on or planning.
Wild Gears will get several features which will make the gears more usable. Features like: listing the prime factors on the gears along with the tooth count, including some sort of tick marks / ruler marks on the gear teeth to make it easier to count them, more legible numbering, and numbered pen holes.
Have you come up with any cool ways of using Wild Gears that aren't represented in this list?
If yes, please tell me! Or better yet, send me a picture or three.
Around Christmas Ars Technica published this fantastic article about Wild Gears. It was a wonderful experience and a total fluke of luck that I met a person at the right time. I'd love to get more coverage like this
I also am intending to develop an educational Wild Gears bundle with a focus on educational usability. If you are interested in this aspect of the project (or know someone that would be) I am looking for a few educators to work with to make sure my ideas aren't too far off base.
Wild Gears Newsletter #2 will include pictures to break up the enthusiastic wall of text and show off all the new prototype pieces.