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AlexandraLive is a Warframe partnered streamer and also a game critic, writer and scholar. Her community is comprised of some of the most fashionable, shade-throwing intellectuals this side of Cetus. Her sidekick is her whippet puppy Biscuit who likes to say hi on stream and eat all of Alex’s props. She also runs a bi-weekly Warframe Ladies Night featuring female streamers and viewers. You can find her on Twitch and Twitter!
In this article, AlexandraLive shares her thoughts on using Fashion Frame as a tool to build community and learn some new creative skills.
More than just Setup
Digital Extremes’ TwitchCon panel this year brought forward the question, “What counts as streamable Warframe content?” Often times “Fashion Frame,” (customizing Warframes and weapons in the Arsenal) is brought up as an element of Warframe that is not considered part of the main game and instead more of a precursor to missions. You make your Frames visually appealing to you, and then jump into missions and get going.
This couldn’t be further from the truth for many players. The Warframe community is full of creators who use the game’s tools to create unique and visually stunning Frames. I have used Fashion Frame in my streams and on my YouTube channel to engage and connect with my community in ways that do not include running missions with them.
In other loot-focused games, owning elaborate accessories and fancy weapons are treated as a sign of cultural capital, or status in the game. Equipping a rare sword in an MMO might signify that the player has accomplished a great feat and therefore must be highly skilled. However, in Warframe, it is not about simply owning and equipping cosmetics. Instead it is how you put them together with the colours and design of the Frame or weapon. Owning the item is one thing, but creating something aesthetically pleasing from it involves a whole other level of skill.
Finding Your Inner Fashionista
Now don’t get me wrong, you don’t need a background in art to pull off good looks, but a basic understanding of colour theory can go a long way in making a good Fashion Frame.
The detailed customization in Warframe was one of the main reasons I was drawn back into the game; these features are always a big draw for me. Once I accumulated a variety of Colour Palettes, Syandanas and armor sets, I began to start my streams off with a Fashion Frame challenge, picking a theme or frame and encouraging my viewers to customize along with me. I try to encourage my community to use colours and Frames they might not normally use. One of my favourite challenges was restricting colour usage to attachments only, creating some really striking designs:
We have also taken the Fashion Frame challenge to the game’s various Relays and have done some in-game meetups for everyone to show off their looks, runway style! The biggest meetup I coordinated was during the 100 Hours of Warframe Charity stream for the National Breast Cancer Foundation. We nearly crashed the relay with all the pink Rhinos that came out to support the event!
I also run a YouTube series called Fashion Frame Corner in which, similar to my stream challenges, I create fashion Frames based on some very weird themes. The inaugural episode for example, features the creation of a Wild Berry Pop Tart inspired Trinity Prime with subsequent episodes delving into The Fast and the Furious, Vaporwave and more. I try to make these videos both entertaining and educational, and all of the Fashion Frame Corner scripts are completely adlib. I take a lot of inspiration from the genre of YouTube fashion and beauty bloggers when thinking about how to structure and narrate my videos.
Playing around with Captura mode and Fashion Frame also gave me the tools to create Warframe music videos. Along with the vaporwave Fashion Frame Corner, I also made an accompanying music video using the Frames created from that episode. I am not an experienced video-maker by any means but the tools in Captura mode simplified the process.
Making these music videos is not only about fashion; it is also about taking advantage of the unique movement controls Warframe has to offer. Capturing the fluid movements of your Frame and matching it with the beat can be a very satisfying exercise.
Fashion Frame Future
My next Fashion Frame project will be focusing on showcasing more community creations.I am currently working on my Fashion Frame Corner Review series, taking user submitted fashions and offering constructive criticism.
Warframe has truly ascended the genre of the loot grind game; it is beautiful with unique and compelling designs. Dedicating a portion of my content towards Fashion Frame has let me flex my creative muscles in ways I haven't been able to in a game for a long time. Spend some time playing with optimal Syandana draping on Frames or Captura lighting for your next big shoot. And If you haven’t entered a Captura contest, give it a shot I highly recommend it! After all, there is no sense in bullet jumping if you can’t look good doing it.