LEGO® Builder’s Journey, the game from Light Brick Studios was updated a couple of weeks ago. It delivers new content to a broader audience – extending from Apple Arcade to Nintendo Switch and PC (on Steam and Epic Games Store). Having completed the game in its first iteration, I sat down to replay it. The game follows the adventures of a father and son, initially hiking together, and playing. Then they get interrupted while the father goes to work.
I decided to extend this metaphor, by engaging the services of Harry, our household games consultant (ok… its my son!), to provide a review. I’m a dab hand on the iPhone, but as far as understanding PC gaming, I’m at a loss.
We subsequently attended a round table discussion with representatives the Light Brick Studios, LEGO Games and other Recognised LEGO Fan Media – Racing Brick, Cafe Corner, Bricksfanz, Blocks Magazine and ADFL.it.
A few weeks ago, the LEGO® White Noise playlist was released on Spotify and other music streaming/digital download platforms. After spending some time listening to the tracks, I found myself with a number of questions: Was this designed to play while building LEGO sets (where the ‘searching sounds’ might be reduced, due to presorting elements?) or as a way to drown out other sounds, to provide that white noise interference to allow your mind to focus on whatever activity you have at hand.
As a recording to listen to, I found the sounds nostalgic, but I did not find myself getting lost in the listening experience. My personal emotional response to the recording was limited: while the sounds are familiar, there is something about it that didn’t get me lost in the experience. BUT I don’t think that is the point of using this playlist. It perhaps serves a stronger role as a source of random frequencies, at relatively unpredictable rhythms – white noise is typically used to try and block out extraneous sounds, rather than elicit a true emotional reposnse.
I reached out to the AFOL Engagement team at the LEGO Group with some questions, and Primus Manokaran, the Creative Director for the Project, was kind enough to send through some answers:
A few weeks ago, I took part in a Media Event with several other Recognised LEGO Fan Media: Brickset, Blocks Magazine, Brick Fanatics, Zusammengebaut, Hispabrick Magazine, HothBricks, twitch streamer Between the Bricks. Other similar events took place around the same time, with other LEGO Fan Media, as well as mainstream media.
We met Jonathan Bennink – the LEGO Digital design LEAD on the Super Mario series, and he took us through a couple of the sets that were unveiled the next week. He followed up by showing us some additional aspects of the new theme, gave us some gameplay hints and set us some challenges… At the end of the presentation, we were able to ask some questions. Some were answered on the day. Some were followed up subsequently… Read on for More.
Jens Kronvold Frederiksen has worked for the LEGO Group for over 20 years: initially as a designer, and more recently as the Creative Director for LEGO® Star Wars™. On Saturday, May 4th – as part of the LEGO Star Wars Day Celebrations, he took part in the Worlds Largest LEGO Star Wars Unboxing at Westfield Chatswood in Sydney with Ryan ‘Brickman’ McNaught. This is his first trip to Australia.
I had the opportunity to speak with Jens on the eve of this event – we spoke about the importance of Community events, the evolution of LEGO Designs, stickers and how he came to one of the coolest jobs in the world.
As I write this up, unboxing has occurred, and the model inside has been completed… the event continues until 5pm Sunday May 5th.
In which I have a conversation with Mette Hansen about the LEGO® Rebrick program: whats been popular, where in the world you can enter from, and the challenges of running contests when there is a seperate owner of the intellectual property. Of course things have progressed since this interview in June, and with the announcement of the new UCS Millennium Falcon, there is a new contest on Rebrick, with the new set as a prize!
I have mentioned some of the contests featured on Rebrick here previously. As the LEGO® Group’s official contest platform for teenage and adult builders, the prizes on offer for the contests can be quite exciting. As part of the Fan Media Days earlier this year, I had a chance, along with Christian Breinbauer from Revistabricks.com, to meet with Mette Frøkjær Hansen, one of the team who has been working with the LEGO® Rebrick platform.
Rambling Brick: So far we have seen competitions covering multiple themes, from Cars to Batman, Technic, Friends and Modular Buildings. The MiniModular competition, however, offered such an amazing prize pack it appeared to have a lot of interest online.[That is to say, the winner would receive the entire 10 year run of modular buildings from Cafe Corner to Assembly Square.] Was it the most subscribed competition that you have had to date?
Mette Hansen:It was actually the second most popular contest that we have had: the one that was the most popular, and got the most entries was actually LEGO® Bionicle, last year. We had that last fall, as an ode to the theme being discontinued.
Had the fact that the theme was going to be discontinued been announced at that stage?
No, at that time it hadn’t officially announced, but we wanted to do something for the Bionicle fans, because they are just so amazing, and so creative. The Bionicle contest got over two thousand entries! It’s sometimes hard for us. We have no idea when we publish a contest: will this get two thousand entries, or a hundred entries? Now, we are starting to get some more learnings, because the Rebrick platform has been around for a bit of time now, but it is still relatively new: we launched in March 2016 with this specific contest platform. We are still excited to see which contests will get a lot of entries, which ones are less popular. But for us it is not necessarily about the volume of entries. It’s also about people being excited about the theme, and if only fifty people or twenty people are really excited about the topic and they build something amazing and they contribute and upload and help to inspire the wider community, that’s enough. That’s Mission: Accomplished! Continue reading →
At the start of June, as part of the LEGO Fan Media Days, I had the opportunity to meet Fenella Charity and Ricardo Silva, who are both part of the LEGO Friends design team. Fenella’s back ground is in industrial design, and Ricardo came to work at LEGO via the fan community. Our conversation rambled over a variety of topics relevant to the Friends line: including storyboarding the sets and animated stories; stickers vs printed elements; gender balance; designing Stephanie’s house and starting the trip down a slippery slope by using tan walls in the pizzeria. But before we started on that path, I had to ask something…
The LEGO Friends sets have be inspirational for introducing buildings around town that aren’t fire stations, banks being robbed or police stations, as are de rigour in LEGO City. But something I have been wondering… Are we going to see a police station?