Brickcon 2013, a set on Flickr.
Sorry I am a little late posting these. I’ve been busy with college, anyways here is my collection of photos from Brickcon!
Brickcon 2013, a set on Flickr.
Sorry I am a little late posting these. I’ve been busy with college, anyways here is my collection of photos from Brickcon!
Happy Birthday LEGO Universe! 😀
On October 26, 2010, the official public launch of LEGO Universe happened. It was a joyous occasion for many, as they started a new adventure as a minifigure in a vast Universe of imagination and creativity. For some though, it was just a re-start and continuation of their adventure, for they had already made friends and had adventures in Alpha and Beta. LEGO Universe lived and thrived for just over a year, when the announcement of it’s closure struck, on November 4th 2011: just 9 days after it’s first birthday. On January 31, 2012, LEGO Universe closed. There was much sorrow, but now we can look back upon it and celebrate the great times we did have, and no longer feel sad, as long as we look back on the good things. 🙂
Today, October 26, 2013 is LEGO Universe’s 3rd Birthday (can you believe it’s been 3 years already?)…
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So who has bought it but is going to hold off playing until they get through their stack of other Lego video games? I’m going to actually wait until sometime next year by which point I hope to be caught up.
I am super stoked about the Thing… he’s in scale to the Hulk and with a F4 reboot on the horizon we could be seeing a preview of a wonderful Lego Thing toy:
I have a thing for the Thing you see: http://www.imgur.com/Y0gI2nM.jpeg
That pic is a bit old though, should do an uptodate one
For a bit of extra Lego fun today:
Though not the result I was hoping for I couldn’t be happier for Peter. This is a very deserved creation and beyond worthy of support.
Brick by virtual brick, the team at Funcom has been busy building the upcoming LEGO Minifigures Online. It’s been a quiet fall after the big reveal in August at Gamescom, but that doesn’t mean the game isn’t making progress. Executive Producer Lawrence Poe and Lead Designer Oscar López Lacalle have lots of details to share about the game, and they took the time to answer some questions here at Massively. Read on for a glimpse of the world, the LEGO minifigures themselves, and how this game will appeal to gamers of all ages.
Massively: Funcom had a rough year with downsizing and a team merge that affected all three of its extant MMOs. What made Funcom think now was the right time to tackle a new MMO? What will the impact be on the other MMOs in Funcom’s stable?
Lawrence Poe: We announced and began preproduction on LEGO Minifigures Online prior to the launch of The Secret World. The team needs were outlined before the downsizing took place and were factored into those decisions. The other MMOs are being supported and updated by our talented Live Team in our North Carolina studio, while LEGO Minifigures Online is being developed in the Oslo studio. The biggest impact the projects have on each other is that we all work from the same tech base, which we’ve been building upon and fine-tuning over several years and has powered all of our MMOs, so any improvements one team does to the tech can be adopted by the other, which is a win-win for everybody.
It’s impossible to avoid comparisons to the now-defunct LEGO Universe, which initially sported a subscription fee that was prohibitive to the family audience. How will this new take on a LEGO MMO differ from the earlier on in terms of business model and creative design? On what points is it the same?
Poe: We’ll be revealing more about the business model in the months ahead.
Would you say the game leans more toward the themepark or sandbox style of play? That is, will players primarily be fighting LEGO enemies or freestyle-building with blocks?
Oscar López Lacalle: The game is definitely a themepark, a place where players can collect cool minifigures and take them on awesome adventures with their friends.
Since LEGO is all about building, are there ways that players can piece together LEGOs to make in-game creations and structures of their own? Can other players access these creations?
Poe: Our game is based on the LEGO minifigures toy line, which is all about collecting. Staying true to that, LEGO Minifigures Online is a game about collecting crazy cool minifigures and using them to adventure in awesome worlds while righting wrongs and saving the day. Building will play its part both in succeeding in the world and in PvP. For instance, in PvP you will be able to build turrets that can help you defeat your enemy, while out adventuring you might encounter a river where you have to construct a bridge to get across.
How do players go about collecting the minifigures?
Poe: Players will be able to collect minifigures in a variety of ways like completing missions, defeating bosses and minibosses, earning achievements, and even finding them hidden in chests throughout the world. Players will be able to select three minifigures to have “equipped” at any given time and can freely switch between.
Are there ways to customize the minifigure characters’ outfits, hair, and faces?
Poe: The minifigures themselves are quite iconic and packed with personality! Players are collecting the minifigures from the toy series and using them in their adventures as opposed to creating their own unique characters. Because we want to preserve the iconic nature and personalities of the minifigures from the toy line, we have decided not to allow players to alter the appearance of the minifigures they collect. However, players will be able to customize certain statistics and RPG characteristics of their minifigures.
Can you talk about some of the special abilities that the minifigures have? How do they work?
Poe: Each minifigure will have two unique abilities: a basic attack and a special attack. Don’t get too hung up on that word basic, though. Many of the minifigures will have a basic attack that synergizes with either their own special attack or another minifigure’s. For example, the Fairy fires a magical star with her basic attack. Her special attack summons three sprites that circle around her. The sprites can do two things: They can absorb incoming hits, but they also serve as charges to power up the basic attack, turning it from a direct single projectile into a cone-based attack with three projectiles that can deal very high damage at close range or provide nice area damage from longer range. The fact that you have access to several minifigures at any given time also means you have access to a wide range of abilities, and part of the strategy is figuring out which minifigures and abilities to use in different encounters.
Is there a progression path for the minifigure characters (like leveling, skill trees, etc.)?
Poe: Each minifigure has several levels to progress through. Leveling a minifigure will make it more powerful and unlock new properties for its abilities. The DJ’s Bass Drop, for example, starts out as an area-effect snare; upgrade it once and it does damage in addition to snaring. Upgrade it a second time and it will transition from a snare to an outright root.
What are some of the themed areas that are in the LEGO world? Is it an open-world, or are there instanced areas?
Poe: For the most part we have tried to build out the world with classic LEGO playthemes that both kids and their parents will be familiar with. A couple of the early themes that players will encounter are classics such as Pirate World and Medieval World. We’ve also got some brand-new themes that we’ve worked with LEGO to develop for the game, themes they haven’t covered themselves in the physical LEGO products . The first example of this is the Mythology World, which we revealed at Gamescom, where players travel through areas like the underworld and battle mythical creatures such as harpies and minotaurs. We’ve got a few other themes under development, both classic and entirely new. The game is a mix of open world areas and instances, loosely divided into outdoor/indoor. The Hub (which is probably not anything like what you expect; we look forward to revealing it later!) and the outdoor playfields will be open world where players will encounter loads of other players. The indoor experiences are instances that are private for the player and their group of up to four players.
Lacalle: Most of the playfields are open, using our soft grouping tech that allows all players to obtain progress in their quests and activities as long as they are in the vicinity of the objectives. Players can smash pieces of the environment into pieces and defeat monsters together. They can also build things cooperatively, with all involved players contributing to the speed of the building. Some players will be looking for a more focused, small group experience. Those players can get together in teams of up to 4 and go into epic Dungeon adventures. Dungeons contain more difficult boss encounters and events that will put their teamwork to the test.
How do the player-vs.-player battles work? Will they be kid-friendly?
Poe: We will be revealing more about PvP in the months ahead, so what I would like to do is talk about the philosophies that are guiding us as we design a player vs. player system for children.
Child-friendliness is paramount, and the first thing we rejected is that PvP has to mean two teams where everyone is fighting each other. There’s no fighting in basketball or baseball (most of the time, at least); there are two teams competing against each other. The team concept is a powerful driver. Teams compete and everyone wants to be part of a team. More importantly, they want to feel that they’re able to contribute to the success of the team. So what we’ve tried to do is create a PvP design that provides for those who want to fight other players and those who don’t but still allows both types to contribute to the success of the team.
How did you tackle the issue of making sure the rest of the game is kid-safe (like chat, social interaction, etc.)?
Poe: We’ve been focusing on child safety since we started, and we’ll never stop. Child safety is the first and last thing we take into account for every theme, feature, and system we put into the game. At a high level we’re designing the systems to be collaborative as opposed to competitive. The only loot you see is your own. For instance, if you have a mission to destroy pirate surf boards and someone else on your screen destroys one, you get credit too. From a social standpoint, we are working very closely with LEGO and other partners to ensure that we provide the safest environment possible.
Since it’s a game aimed at both kids and adults, are there mechanics you chose to implement differently than you did in other Funcom titles?
Poe: Straight away you will notice the controls are greatly streamlined, limiting the amount of inputs a player is expected to do in order to be successful in combat. Movement is on the left mouse button, and so is the basic attack for each minifigure. This will enable the youngest players to easily run around in the world and smash things. Switching between minifigures, improving their abilities, and using the special attacks and capitalizing on the synergies between the various minifigures will provide depth for the more advanced players.
If you look at Age of Conan and The Secret World, things can be quite grim and brutal. In LEGO Minifigures Online we’re keeping things light and humorous. There will be no fatalities here; things get smashed, and then they can be rebuilt. I think a lot of people hear Funcom and they think about Age of Conan and The Secret World and wonder how we can go from mature themed hardcore games to a more kid friendly game, but c’mon, we’re game developers — not grown ups!
Lacalle: We understand the need to keep the adults entertained and challenged intellectually. To achieve this, we are adding several different layers of depth and complexity to many elements of the design. At the surface, the mechanics are easy to grasp and straightforward to use. And they need to be in order to make sure that the younger audience enjoys the game. But if you look under the hood, you will see how there are extra layers of depth there. For example, there are pretty elaborate synergies between the abilities of different characters . There are also little details in the handling of abilities in combat that reward players with better motor skills and a better understanding of the capabilities of their team of three minifigures.
Thanks so much for answering our questions!
Lots of Lego news has been piling up in my scratch pad and going to chew through all of it while it’s still at best before date.
Lego Ninjago has been ressurected by it’s rabid fanbase! I have been so impressed with the sets that having been coming out the past year, thinking it was going all flaming phoenix blaze of glory, and it’s still not done.
Here’s a teaser poster, looks like roboninjas? Sounds good.
The binary spells ‘Nindroid’
This is allegedly a fig from the new lineup
Lego Architecture has a lovely new set out, the United Nations Headquarters:
More set details on Brickset:
There is a new series of Lego watches that are coming out geared more towards an adult audience. They have a familiar adjustable link wrist band but the watch faces are all new. There’s a wide selection, some digitial and some pretty complex like this one with week date and days:
The watches you find in the Lego store are $20-30, expect these to be upwards of $80 though.
The Brick Games are happening in Langley ( close to Vancouver ) on October 26th. This is not an official Lego event and I will be going more into this around the date. Robin Sather, Canada’s only Certified Lego Professional ( and former Sector 6 member! ) will be part of the hijinx.
BrickCon looked amazing! There’s lots to fawn about but immediate mention has to be said about Rivendell. I’m still finding out about it, but it was a collaborative piece put together in part by Alice Finch who did the infamous Hogwarts display.
Here are some pics from my friend Michelle:
There is a new Maersk ship coming out…. but not with any Maersk blue! This is curious huh. They are instead using the Friend’s azure blue. I guess Olivia and the gang had a painting bee, did the ship up in a more profitable colour.
Brick Owl is a new second hand Lego market, similar to bricklink. So similar that they are being sued by bricklink.
People were curious how the new shift in ownership would change bricklink and this is an unsavoury demonstration. They are lucky so far that they haven’t attracted the wrath of the mothership and legal sabre rattling just might. Oh hey, thanks bricklink for letting me know about another market alternative, I wouldn’t have known if it wasn’t for the fuss you were kicking up about them.
In related news, bricklink recently moved their servers to Amazon which is a pretty huge shift. They are roomies with Netflix, Instagram, Pintrest, etc now….
Beautiful new Cafe Corner set ( I guess they are not actually called that, but you know what I’m talking about )
10243 – Parisian Restaurant
Was I just recently ranting about nice parts? This set has some nice parts. White croissants… mmm yummy. Those inverted bowls look fab too!
Marvel is celebrating the release of the new TT game ( which I know you’re all jack and jilled about that one coming out ) with Legofied covers of a bunch of titles!
Very funny video from the folks at Play Well who seem to have a bead on what makes afols tick. I can see Play Well Teknologies taking on a life of it’s own… sort of a very happy and well intentioned Aperture Labs.
Guy Himber, of the Pigs and Cows kickstarter that was posted a few months back, has a new kickstarter… Skulls! I got my shipment of Pigs and Cows and can highly recommend it based on the amazing quality and detail of those crazy heads.
There is about a month left so plenty of time to see what sort of stretch goals will be put in place, but I bet it will be pretty great. Expect the custom figs to be in the ~$30 range though. Of note is the custom BrickArms crate, it’s a real neat molding process that gives a 3d relief, the Pigs vs Cows crate has the same effect:
If you missed any of the Pigs vs Cows, they are for sale on Guy’s new site: http://crazybricks.bigcartel.com/
There’s a few other neat items there like straight out arms and stove pipe hats!
Thursday, on the LEGO Message Boards, the moderator WhiteAlligator broke the tragic news to us that the LEGO Universe Creation Lab is officially retiring. After almost 3 years since LEGO Universe opened, the long lived and loved creation lab will officially close too, on October 25, 2013. One day before the 3 year birthday of LEGO Universe. We are told that the creation lab is going to be set to read-only mode for a little while, but we do not know how long before it officially closes. When LEGO discontinues their other set lines, it is usually a couple of years before they finally delete the site to make room for another theme. Well, the closure of the Creation Lab may just mean the closure of the LEGO Universe website also.
To read the entire LEGO Message Boards article, click below:
Goodbye Professor Brickkeeper! We will always…
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Saffron and me are going to start doing some Lego reviews. I was considering eating hot peppers but thought a toddler was a far more entertaining addition to a review. This is my old city hall moc that has undergone recent renovations including 2 new floors, many cosmetic facade changes and a working clock. I’m going to be adding interiors soon but it’s at a stage where I’d like to do some show and tell. You also can get a sense of my building style which has to take into account transportation to and from events, so the build is very modular.