Monday, April 29, 2013

Weekly Crowd

News

GBR: Updates

Thanks everyone for sticking with me through the format changes.  I have some ideas I am working through.  The new Cuusoo tools I have been hinting at are coming along well but have been delayed by Cuusoo going down over the weekend.  Maybe I will have the first new utility later this week, but it is hard to predict events with Free Comic Book day and Star Wars Day both coming up this Saturday.

 

Cuusoo: Views In Comments Out

Well, Cuusoo has finally done it.  They swapped out Comments for Views in the carousel of projects in the discovery page.    Projects heavy on comments are obviously disappointed and projects heavy on views are happy.  I can understand the move, views represent the projects ability to get people to stop and check it out while comments are largely ignored by people outside Cuusoo and even a relatively small group of fans can generate large comment counts.

Ultimately, Cuusoo is encouraging certain behaviors by rewarding it (a spot on the carousel).  In my opinion comments tend to attract the existing Cuusoo crowd (who have either voted for most of the high commented projects or have chosen not to) while strategies to increase views bring in new users who have a greater potential to support projects.   Of course that is my conjecture, but if I could choose between 100 comments or 100 new views, I would go with the new views every time.

Either way, I would like to see Cuusoo reward this "activity" carousel spot based on Views per X.  Where "X" is some kind of time frame:  Hour, Day, Week, or  Month.  I think my preference would be Day or Week, but right now with it being absolute total, Poptropica is going to sit sit pretty with its 1 million plus views pretty much until it gets retired at 10,000 supporters.  If this was most views in a week, then we would see a lot more versatility up there.       
  

Crowdfunded

 

Remote Control AA Battery

The Tethercell is a fun concept.  This device is a AA battery form factory for a AAA battery.  The excess volume is used to add brains and bluetooth.

The idea is that you put this "battery" into any device that can take a AA battery and then you can turn that device on and off with your smart phone or tablet.   You can also set a timer for the battery and monitory its strength.

As a parent I can think of a few devices I would like to have the ability to turn off at will ;)  but this has some fun applications for Power Functions.  To be clear this is an on/off switch not a polarity control.  So you can turn on lights, audio,  motors, etc...but you can't make the motors go a different way or change their speed.

So, this would work great for the any build you have where you want EL wire or single direction motors were it might be difficult to get to the power supply.  The 10178-1: Motorized Walking AT-AT is the example the immediately springs to mind for me.

What I really see this being ideal for though, for serious Lego enthusiasts, is the Cons.  You can put some nice EL, LED,  audio, and motor effects into your build with one of the these you can turn them on and off without taking the whole thing apart or even getting behind the partition.

$35 will get you one unit.

Short Order Heroes: Light RPG and Character Generator


Short Order Heroes is can be used as a stand alone Light RPG / Story generator or a gaming aid.
 
The content of this project is simple, it is a deck of cards with an adjective and a number.
To create characters you draw three cards to get a collections of adjectives.  NPC's you encounter while threading your tale get from three to one attributes.  When the conflict arises in the tale, the DM and the Player discuss how the attributes of all the characters affect the conflict.  So if your character is "Cute" and "Foolish" and you are trying to get past a guard who is "Clumsy" and "Romantic" you could try straight diplomacy which no adjective affects ( difficulty 4).  You could try to leap past the guard who is clumsy (difficulty 3), or you could try to charm the romantic guard with your cuteness (difficulty 2).  You determine the result of the conflict by drawing a new card and using the number.  If the number is equal to or greater than the difficulty, the character "wins" the conflict.  The adjective of the card adds flavor to how the action is actually performed.  For instance if the player attempts to charm the guard and draws "Wise" with a 6, the player gets by the guard, perhaps by having a disarming conversation about philosophy or maybe just complimenting the guard on their wisdom.

The game looks like it will be a lot of fun for low key RPG activities.  It can also of course be used with more traditional RPGs to add some quick flavor or to more open ended story telling games (like Tell Tale) to give it more direction.

Threadless

Mixer








Cuusoo

Pick of the Week

Pegasus Automaton
by Amida

Support Level: 32

First off this Pegasus is a really great design.  It looks both Iconic and organic  at the same time.  The droid elements are great for the ends of the legs.

The real art, is the dynamism though.  I have made it clear that I am a sucker for animation of Lego builds and this one is mighty fine.

 

Pegasus Automaton from Amida Na on Vimeo.

Honorable Mention

 Nutcracker Figurines
by Mmbace

Support Level: 19

These look amazing.  Nutcrackers are a great subject for a Lego build because even though they are "human" their angular features and cylindrical elements are ideal for the nature of Lego shapes. 


Combinators: Constructors
by Pittstop

Support Level: 21

I like this project concept a lot.  It is a collection of construction equipment micro-builds that snap together to form a single robot/mech all Voltron style.  Not Devastator style because the individual construction vehicles do not transform. This project has a solid presentation and has a very good scale to it.


Tmnt Turtle Blimp
by C3brix

Support Level: 16

Whether you are a TMNT fan or not this is one of the best uses I have ever seen for the Lego Blimp element.   C3brix also did an amazing job of the custom printing!


LEGO Snow and Sand Shapes
by Nickyt13

Support Level: 86

This projects gets some serious points for originality but it is very hard to figure out what is going on from the cover image and title.  The concept is to create large scale molds for packing snow into, to create Snow Blocks. 

The concept is intriguing and quite popular it appears. I don't get the elements Nickyt13 picked though, A 4 x 6 x 2 brick, the dome and the new large cone?  I would have showcased with the ever popular 2 x 4 brick and some more basic elements.  I also think that if this idea is really viable, and Nickyt13 lives in the right climate, they should back up the idea by proving it with....milk cartons or some such then attach the video to the project...or find on the internet.  

Mecanum Drive
by Fex00

Support Level: 23

Mechanum Drives are omnidirectional wheels.  It is effectively a set of wheels organized into a wheel (like the picture above, imagine that!).  This is a "good" idea in that I would love to play with it, but this arrangement above is 137 parts!  And that is a single wheel, granted most of them are tiny but for four wheels you are looking at 548 elements and the creation of three new molds.  That is a lot of investment.

I think fans of Mechanum Drives will be stuck with what we got, or second party wheels adapted for Lego.  

L.M.I.R. - Roman Amphitheatre
by Bigboy99899

Support Level: 52

This L.M.I.R. series is really impressive but I really don't know how well they will transfer to actual sets.  I think this is my favorite to date but when you really get down to it, this is a stadium.  This means you need to stand above it, looking down for best effect and you need to populate it with a ton of figures with Roman-esque elements.  Failing that and the build either looks empty (no figs) or anachronistic (any figs you can find).  The stadium's basic seating holds room for 64 figures.   Even at 80% seating that is still 52 attendees. 

Notables

Crusader
by Laptop1655

Support Level: 5

A very clever build.   High posability with a lot or rare parts.  The black and green also go very well together. I think the main picture could be swapped out with something "easier" to make out though.

L.M.I.R. - Roman Bireme
by Bigboy99899

Support Level: 61

Not the first Bireme but certainly well designed with many nice features.  The figure count, as always for a Bireme, is a little through the roof though.  When is Lego finally going to build an honest Bireme? 


Macross Valkyrie VF-1S: Skull Leader
by Daikoncat

Support Level: 51

I love Robotech/Macross and especially love any transforming Veritech builds.  There is already a definitive build that is well publicized and pushed hard and still only crawling.  I think the big roadblock for these projects is that the serious fans that would go for transforming Veritechs can already own them.  These projects only strongly appeal to the serious Robotech/Macross and Lego fans. 


 Medical Imaging Department
by Goobs_6

Support Level: 22

Wow, this is some excellent work.  A strong variety of equipment for minifigs to lay on while other minifigs stand next to them ;).  Seriously though great work but a little too specialized for the 10k.  That being said, if   Goobs_6 is canny hey might be able to get a movement started in medical circles.


Ian Fleming's Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
by Ipaloosa

Support Level: 11

This is a charming projects and I hope it does well.  In reviewing this project I realized that some new Chitty Chitty Bang Bang books have come out recently.  An image search of Google for Chitty Chitty Bang Bang clearly shows that the the movie version is well locked into people's mindset for what CCBB "looks" like so Ipaloosa has an uphill battle. 



I.M.C.T.B. Module 3: Cleopatra's Lighthouse of Alexandria
by Therealindy

Support Level: 7

See below

I.M.C.T.B. Module 2: Caesar at the Top of his Rostra
by Therealindy

Support Level: 6

Personally I think these builds are very attractive.   There accuracy is also quite impressive, especially in the case of the Rostra.  The anchors are a great idea for the design.

The issue with these builds, like so many in the "notables" category is that they are so specialized.  These builds are not just for fans of ancient history but for fans who know it well enough to know what the Rostra is.



Week of Cuusoo

 After the break is a showcase of all the new Cuusoo projects that came out in the last week.


DC Comics: Minifigures Series
by Marvel-boy

Support Level: 100

Cuusoo has not to date shown any model for production other than sets.  The documentation does allow for code (except MMOs) and parts as well but until I hear otherwise from Lego Cuusoo I have no faith that randomly, individually packaged minifig bags have any chance at production.

Update: Never mind, this project, has been deleted.

LEGO Snow and Sand Shapes
by Nickyt13

Support Level: 86

See above.

L.M.I.R. - Roman Bireme
by Bigboy99899

Support Level: 61

See above.


L.M.I.R. - Roman Amphitheatre
Support Level: 52
Pegasus Automaton
Support Level: 32

Mountain Bike
Support Level: 31
SNOOPY (peanuts)
Support Level: 31
B-Wing Starfighter
Support Level: 23

Mecanum Drive
Support Level: 23
Medical Imaging Department
Support Level: 22
Combinators: Constructors
Support Level: 21

Nutcracker Figurines
Support Level: 19
Tmnt Turtle Blimp
Support Level: 16

Ironman in suit-up-gantry
Support Level: 15
Star Wars Imperial Ice Speeder
Support Level: 14

Ultimate Minecraft Mobs
Support Level: 13
Axemen's 4X4 ATV
Support Level: 13

1960's Batmobile
Support Level: 12


Tumbler (Custom Edition)
Support Level: 10
BiG FOOT the Rock Crawler
Support Level: 10
TMNT Technodrome
Support Level: 9

Stratosphere Exploration HQ
Support Level: 9

Hungarian bus: Ikarus 280.26
Support Level: 7

Bugs
Support Level: 5
The Amazing Spiez
Support Level: 5

Crusader
Support Level: 5

dot-clock
Support Level: 4

Slotcar convertible fun car
Support Level: 4
Muscle car pack
Support Level: 3
Surtees Fishing Boat
Support Level: 2