West Michigan man’s kick starter pops off the page

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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — A West Michigan man has turned a small idea for gamers into big bucks. Erik Bauer started a business called 'Gaming Paper' a few years ago, but just recently created a kick starter campaign that raised almost $40,000 for the company.

Gaming Paper is a certain type of graphing paper allowing users to draw different layouts on it. A customer came to Bauer asking him to make isometric paper which makes it easier to draw 3-D landscapes on it. Bauer started an online campaign hoping to raise $1,000, but he made a lot more than that. The campaign ended online on Thursday raising more than $39,000.

"You can see how the staircases move up," said Bauer. "It shows multi-level type of situations."

It's a board game you create yourself: what the scene looks like is up to you.

"You get sort of a three-dimensional look," said Bauer. "It's very much like a video game."

Erik Bauer, the owner of Gaming Paper, says the idea for isometric paper came from a customer.

"I'm a big role playing game guy," said Bauer. "I'm a huge nerd in every respect whether it's video games, table top board games, I knew this is something I would use."

Each roll of paper is 12 feet long and 30 inches wide and costs five dollars. The diamond-shaped layout of the paper allows users to dive into the game world. Users can create multiple levels making it a more immersive experience.

"This particular type would be great for any type of table top role playing game," said Bauer. "You can play Star Wars, Dungeons and Dragons or Pathfinder. Pretty much any role playing game."

While Bauer says the target audience is gamers, the paper has had a much larger reach.

"My main target is gamers, people who play table top role playing games, any type of war game or strategy game, but a lot of home-schooled kids and architects have been purchasing it as well," said Bauer.

The isometric paper will be available in January on their store's website as well as on Amazon. A vinyl mat for the paper will come out next summer.

To learn more about Gaming Paper visit their website.

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