Thursday, August 21, 2014
Zone Mortalis Board - Alpha Test
My buddy Myles from the blog There Is Only War bought a laser cutter last year and has been working on various projects with it. One was cutting the wonderful Bay Area Open branded Omni-Templates that GSI donated for prize support this year. Another is an amazing Zone Mortalis terrain system.
Myles sent me these early version units many months ago. As with most engineering projects, the folks that design them think, "Wow, this is going to be super intuitive and easy to use!" but in reality when you are building something for some one else to use, your concept of intuitiveness never matches the end users. I had the same problem with the Tentacle Makers in the early days.
After attempting to put these together back when I first got them I realized I needed a set of instructions. Myles put together some for me over the last couple of months.
Instructions in hand, I put all of these pieces together in a night and painted them with a simple dry brush of greys the following night. To be honest, they were pretty intuitive once you understood them... I just couldn't see it in the beginning, for some reason. I'm not that smart, I guess.
I also set one of the columns aside to put another long-delayed test unit inside of it: a PoweredPlay Gaming LED kit I've had for 2 years (I think I signed up to receive one while at the BAO 2012 and after getting it, never had a good place to use it. Until now! Sorry, PoweredPlay!).
The fun thing about putting both of these kits together is that the LEDs cast a torch-like glow on what could be the inside of a dungeon or a spaceship. If I got the upgrade controller board kit I could have made the lights flash. "Red Alert!"
I've never played Zone Mortalis but this kit really made me want to bust out some GURPs or Pathfinder or D&D. It's very well designed and requires only simple tools; glue, maybe a knife, and maybe a sanding block, here and there.
Myles is working on other pieces for the product line, like doors and raised walkways, that he thinks he should be releasing sometime around the end of the year, if all goes well.
These are great little kits and I'll likely be offering them on the GSI webstore when they are ready. Keep your eye out for them!