Tag Archives: soren

Mobile Frame Ship Zero: High Seas (pt.1)

One of the great things about a simple, elegant rules system like Mobile Frame Zero is that it lends itself so well to other applications. I’ve seen people talking about using it for fantasy battles a la Lord of the Rings; spaceship combat; modern military combat. One thing I haven’t seen, however, it using it for naval warfare.

Escort CarrierThis line of thinking has been inspired by a number of wonderful microscale Lego ships such as those scattered about this article. Most of these aren’t much bigger – or more brick intensive – than your average MFZ frame. Ships also lend themselves to the attachment based system of MFZ: close in defence systems (melee weapons), gun turrets (direct fire weapons), missile launchers (artillery weapons), radar systems (spotting), hydrofoils (movement), and so on.

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The Support Frame Design Contest

To celebrate the imminent release of the Mobile Frame Zero book, we’ve decided to hold a contest! Mechatonic, the MFZ Flickr group, and key people behind the game will be hosting a competition. Oooh.

And here’s what it’s all about…

Support frames: ammo carriers, fuel tankers, medical units. They aren’t things we see very much of round these parts. But that’s all going to change. This contest asks you to design and build a support frame, covering any non-combat role you chose. It can have weapons, but combat MUST not be its primary function.

The contest runs for one month from today and each person can submit up to TWO frame designs. The deadline is midnight (UK time) on February 3rd, 2013. Designs must be submitted to the snappily titled Support Frame Contest Submission thread. Your finished frame must be able to fit into a box with maximum dimensions of 8×8 studs square and 8 bricks high (for the sake of clarity, this means your frame can be up to 8 studs wide, 8 studs long, and 8 bricks high. Or it must at least be able to fold into that space.)

The prize will be a customed designed MgN-333, coloured and equiped as per your individual specifications.* The finished build will be shipped to where ever you are in the world. Plus you also get a piece of custom art showing your frame AND a fully detailed set of PDF instructions. How about that?

The entires will be judged by a shadowy cabal made up of MFZ designers Joshua A C Newman and Soren Roberts, plus long time Mechaton/Mobile Frame Zero enthusiasts Joe Murphy, and myself.

So, get designing!

*I have to place some restrictions on colour choices: for example, old dark grey is ruinously expensive. However, the winner willbe able to have a chat and negotiation the colour scheme and attachment specification that they want.

Mobile Frame Zero: Gone to Press

The good new today is that Mobile Frame Zero has now gone to press. So, well done to Joshua, Vincent, Sebastian, Soren, and all the artists, editors, and contributors who’ve made it happen. Sometime in the next couple of months us lucky Kickstarter backers should be getting our hands on the finished book. Hurrah!

Shit! Spiders!

Multipedal mechs: Not as common in the MFZ community as you might think. In fact, other than a multiplicity of variations on the Scrambler, they’re quite rare. Obviously, there’s a whole bunch of reasons for this. Mainly, bipedal mechs are just easier to build.

In the vein of exploring this underused form of frame design, I’m taking a look at a range of attractive multi-legged frames. Not all of these were built with MFZ in mind, but all have something to recommend them to the the mobile frame builder and player.

Squidwalker Squad
The Squidwalker Squad by Flickr user Trepidacious has a pleasingly unconventional look to it: upright, slightly ponderous, like an abandoned project of the early Cold War. None of that is intended as a slight, you understand. One thing that struck me about this unit was: had the builder ever seen…

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The Vexed Question of Names

If you follow the goings on at the Mobile Frame Hangar. You may have noticed a recent thread where there was a fairly heated discussion of naming conventions, Nazism, and the place of symbolism. I will admit that it was my initial contribution that kicked things off. The debate got a little heated and Mantisking wisely decided to exercise his moderatorly powers and lock the thread for a period.

Some on the forum feel that those of us who point out such things are being mean-spirited, unfair, or accusatory. Others on the forum support the viewpoint that fascist symbolism is a worrying trend in gaming circles. Regardless of which side of the fence you’re on, I would like to use this post to outline why I said what I said, and what I think it all means within the context of what is – after all – just a game.

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Fandom, Fascism, and Frames: An interview with Soren Roberts


Guard Cruiser by Soren Roberts

There can’t be many (if any) people in the MFZ community who aren’t familiar with the work of Soren Roberts. He’s designed the iconic frames for the game, the inspiration for hundreds of other builds. In the wider Lego community, Soren is well known for the outstanding aesthetic – often minimalist – quality of his builds, a range encompassing spacecraft, landscapes, mecha, robots, and much more. Drawing on a range of influences including real world machinery, industrial design, and science fiction art, he’s built an enviable reputation.

Now living in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Soren took the time to have a bit of back and forth on subjects related to Lego, MFZ, and SF fandom. The results are thoughtful, thought provoking, and at times provocative. Enjoy.

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