Well, I decided I would have a go at making a set of 3D dungeon tiles myself. Instead of square tiles with scenery glued onto them, I'm going with a series of different shaped rooms and passageways based on the ?Hirst Arts' 3D version of the Descent fantasy board game:
It comes with suspension bridge, wooden barrier, chests, gold piles, stairs, rock piles, doors, giant stone throne, pits/wells, room and passage tiles. Without 3D walls, it means tiles can be sat next to each other to make larger or different shaped chambers as well.
However, I'm going to try and paint/flock it up to look sort of like this amazing job this guy did:
scroll down on his photo page to see the flocked tiles, with moss, discarded weapons, bones, helmets and stuff, fallen in the dirty, mossy cracks between the tiles. I won't be spacing my squares as far apart, so I'm not sure how much flocking I'll be able to do on it, but I'll also try to add pools of water and puddles and stuff into the gaps of some of the tiles, etc.
My idea is to play rpg exploration/skirmishing games sort of like the old DOS and early Windows RPGs, where the party moves about a step at a time, through forests, deserts, caves, dungeons, castles, etc - but the whole environment is made up of cubes textured to represent different terrain. If all the scenery was taken away, the game would just be ground squares forming passageways and rooms, like the Descent set.
So my 3D Walls idea is that I'll make free-standing cave, dungeon, castle, forest etc, obstacle scenery pieces, that can be sat at places around the outside of the ground tiles, to make it seem like you're now on a forest path, or this time in the passages of a subterranean cave, etc.
It could be used for wargaming skirmishes, or cooperative or solitaire 'light' roleplaying, such as fighting fantasy style adventuring but with miniatures.
Each adventure to play could be like a gamebook style, with page counters placed on the map to find and discover, then turn to the page in that level's adventure book to see what you discover there - wandering merchant, monsters, hidden treasure, NPC's, etc. By shuffling the page counters each time I play, and putting them face down, I'll never know what the party will be stumbling upon until I uncover that location on the level :)
Anyway, that's the idea.
I've ordered pre-cast Hirst Arts blocks so I don't have to go through the hassle and mess of casting them myself (I tried that previously, and I didn't get anywhere with it). So this time around, all I have to do is glue the squares down, paint them, flock them, and play :) I also grabbed eight 12" cork tiles off of ebay to base all the Hirst Arts stuff onto.
Hopefully the pre-cast pieces will turn up in about three to four weeks time.