LEGO Factory. The LEGO Factory allows users to share and buy LEGO designs of that they made themselves (using the same tools LEGO themselves uses) -- a huge community has developed around the application, with users from all over the world creating unique designs that LEGO would never have the time or resources to do themselves. It wouldn't be practical, for example, for LEGO to produce 70 different models of trains: but their users can create them and share them with like-minded LEGO enthusiasts. For example, some of the unique models you'll find in the LEGO Factory gallery includes things such as a bowling alley (complete with pins), an oil platform, Niagara Falls, an articulated Emperor Penguin (with bow-tie), and a street's worth of narrow canal houses.
NetDevil to develop it), the challenge was to decide on a way to convert LEGO's building sets into a vibrant, living world that players can enjoy exploring. For this they're drawing inspiration from existing products, as in the example above. They aren't constructing the universe from exact copies of existing models -- each is re-evaluated to ensure that it's really a fun place to play. From an existing LEGO set, they've stylized it and decided what gameplay elements could be included with it. (Should there be a trap door in the bridge? Crocodiles in the water below?)
drawing and concept art -- they've also used LEGO bricks, building huge tabletops of physical LEGO worlds. (In one example given by Hansen, the team used half a million bricks in 48 hours!)
As far as story goes, LEGO has many different product lines, ranging from outer space to inner city to medieval castles. Just like playing with the toys, each of these worlds will blend together. (Why are you looking at us like that? Are you trying to say that you never played space ninja vs. Martian pirate?) Though all of LEGO's worlds won't be in the game at launch, they'll be adding to it regularly. (Says Hansen, "We won't just be doing it once a year.")
Questions & Answers
Q: How do you explain all of LEGO's disparate environments in a single universe?
A: When you look at LEGO you know there are going to be different play spaces in different worlds. just like our product lines. Though each product line is different, the play is similar: there's always a good and a bad side. Each zone will be a planet with different things.
Q: What are your plans for moderation? (I.e. how will you prevent "naughty LEGO creations.")
A: Everything in LEGO Universe will be moderated, both text and characters. We have technical solutions and we'll also have manpower.
Q: Is this geared towards kids?
A: Yes, this game is for 8 to 12 and all people who love LEGO. LEGO Star Wars is also an 8 to 12 game, but a lot more people play it
Q: Can any player come in and create their own little level?
A: No, that's not the goal. in certain goals you'll be able to make areas and customize, with more options as you advance.
Q: Can you speak to the method of distribution? Will it be retail or a web application?
A: Right now we plan to distribute it through existing LEGO channels.
Q: What's the revenue model?
Q: There's lots of IP in LEGO, with LEGO Star Wars and LEGO Batman. Where are you going with that?
A: Right now there's no IP in the game. This doesn't mean we won't have IP in the future, though!
Q: How do you deal with the kid who wants to knock over your castle... how do you control that?
A: Some constraints will be built-in. You can lock and unlock your creations
Q: When do you expect to launch?
A: We're looking at the next couple of years. [laughter from the crowd] It's coming soon!
Q: if I buy real LEGOS will there be anything for me in LEGO Universe?
A: Yes, boxed LEGO products will definitely be a vehicle for advertising and distribution.
Q: Can you describe the player experience coming into the game, the storyline?
A: There is a connected, overarching story
Q: Is there going to be a content economy? (Where players can design and sell items in-game, similar to Second Life.)
A: No, though you an buy your creations online through LEGO Factory
Q: Can you buy the minifigures?
A: Yes, but not IP product