Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Weekly Crowd

News

Still working on the Cuusoo tools I have been talking about for a while now.  I want to shore up the security in a few of the pages but I will definitely share some of it next week.

In the meantime, please enjoy this pic

Excellent.


Crowd funded

Name of the Wind Deck of Cards

One of the more common "games" you find on Kickstarter are decks of cards customized to a specific theme or subject.

Image-258533-fullIn this example we have Name of the Wind Playing Cards.   The art on these cards are based on the book of the same name which is the first of the Kingkiller Chronicles by Patrick Rothfuss.  Personally I can't recommend the series enough.  The apparently trilogy is currently incomplete at only two books so far, but I have listened to them both (via Audible) many many times. 

As to the matter of the deck, to be sure we are not talking about some new card game, but a standard deck of playing cards. These usually work well with the Kickstarter model as they are a very producible product (effectively 53 images give or take), you can choose themes that appeal strongly to a specific, passionate,  but limited audience, and the price point is usually very accessible.  With this Kickstarter you can get the deck for $11. 

Robotech RPG / Tactics


Link to the current released rules

Palladium games has been producing the Robotech RPG for years and now they are moving into the Tactical market with the assistance of Ninja Division in producing Robotech RPG Tactics.  This is a great Kickstarter because it is really hard to judge the marketability of these mature IP's that don't currently penetrate the market.

From what I have seen the game does a fair job of capturing the feel of Robotech with equivalent though wildly different forces.  The pace of gameplay does seem high and the difficulty to understand low, which is one of the goals of the system.

Probably the biggest issue I see for the game is that the entire series is centered on building up the U.N. Spacey forces as the hero you would want to play.  Games without a strong IP influencing them can develop faction that have different levels of attraction to different players.  In Robotech you can either be the Humans protecting the Earth or the Invading Alien Zentradi, and if you play the humans, you get to play with transforming Jets.  Who will want to be the Zentradi?

As for the details on the Kickstarter, it is going very strong with several days to go.  They have operated it quite cannily by offering a base game package and one with "all the goodies."  At this point some of the named characters that took to the battlefield on both the U.N. Spacey and Zentradi side have been unlocked:  Rick, Roy, Khyron, and Miria.  This leaves a glaring exception being Max.  This stands out even more given that they have a "scenario" in which Max is in the title.  My guess is that in the very last days of the campaign, Palladium is going to put Max as an unlockable at a high though achievable goal to generate that final sprint of funding. 

One final thing about tactical games is that they tend to mesh well with Lego.  


Threadless

Ninja + Lego vs Pirate





Cuusoo


Pick of the Week

Daft Punk Collection
by Jakemeier

Support Level: 113

Daft Punk hm...I am only slightly familiar with their music but it does not seem to have anything offensive I can find.  But the really cool thing about this is that these guys are celebrities with "Robot Head."  They look about as accurate as you can get, with no face printing.  

On top of that though, these builds are really solid.  These do look like some high tech DJ equipment stations. I love the use of the tool as a vinyl disc arm.

Jakemeier not only picked a great subject but also great timing.  With a Cuusoo project you want to get something "timeless" and "timely" at the same time.  Daft Punk has been around for since 1990 (Goodness that was 23 years ago people!), and they are just about to release a new album which will help in generating initial support levels.

Compare this to the Jabba's palace Expansion Kit that was also published this week.  In that proposal the idea is to create a set that integrates sets 9516 and 75005.  My best estimates are that even if this project was taking off like gangbusters, it would be no less than a year before it could see production.  Right now, one of the two sets is retired and no doubt the other one will be before this could come out.  In my opinion Lego is not going to produce a set that allows you to integrate two retired sets.

When submitting projects, it is in your best interest to post something that is either insanely popular and accessible at the moment or has a timeless quality to it will still have people interested in the idea years down the road.  

All that being said, I think it will be very difficult for Lego to make Cuusoo projects based on real individual from the modern era.  The thing about real people is that they have real lives.  Lives can get messy.  Whereas fictional characters are often protected from dramatic changes by the business that own them and their interest to keep their fans happy, real people are entirely unpredictable.  There are plenty of cases of celebrities and prominent individuals being awesome role models one year, and disgraced the next.  It in not impossible, Lego has made entire sports teams into figures for instance, but there is a clear distinction between the burdens of brand fit for a fictional character and a real person.     

Honorable Mentions


The Wolven fighter - Galaxy Command
by Reekardoo

Support Level: 66

This is part of the Galaxy Command series launched by Reekardoo and KitBricksto.  I must admit I had some input into this design as well.   It has all the elements that people has come to expect form a "star fighter" but has managed to stay unique. 

The Crossbow
by Rfonseka87

Support Level: 42

I add this out of surprise if nothing else.  "Working" "weapons" is something a lot of FOLs like to build but I never expected Cuusoo to allow them on here.  I am interested in seeing what happens with this as time goes on.  I DO know that Lego's policy against real war machines would prevent any realistic looking firearms from being considered but who knows about this Crossbow? 

Laputa Robot (Castle in the Sky)
by Speshy

Support Level: 28

This is a solid recreation of the rather unusual robot from Laputa.  I am uncertain of its stability in its current state but it is a solid presentation from a beloved Miyazaki film.  Even though Miyazaki's films are great for Lego's target audience, no Miyazaki project has yet exceeded 100 support.


L.M.I.R. - Roman Merchant Ship
by Bigboy99899

Support Level: 43

This ship needs a bit of work on the transition from hull elements to brick elements but the concept is a good one.  I would like to see Lego pursue some non-military (including pirates in military) ships of old.  Then again, I think any kid getting a ship without a cannon will likely feel swindled if they don't get cannons with a ship so I can't fault Lego for not producing them. 

Notables


Support Level: 22

Support Level: 21

Support Level: 16

Support Level: 10

Support Level: 8

Support Level: 7


Week of Cuusoo

What follows the bump is the showcase of all projects that came out this week.



Daft Punk Collection
by Jakemeier

Support Level: 113

See above

The Wolven fighter - Galaxy Command
by Reekardoo

Support Level: 66

See above

Jabba's palace Expansion Kit
by Emiki

Support Level: 45

As I stated under the Daft Punk project above, this project is a victim of timing if nothing else.  This proposal is to create a set that integrates sets 9516 and 75005.  My best estimates are that even if this project was taking off like gangbusters, it would be no less than a year before it could see production.  Right now, one of the two sets is retired and no doubt the other one will be before this could come out.  In my opinion Lego is not going to produce a set that allows you to integrate two retired sets.


L.M.I.R. - Roman Merchant Ship
Support Level: 43
 The Crossbow
Support Level: 42

the PLATE
Support Level: 34

HOTROD
Support Level: 22

Redwake
Support Level: 21

The Jedi Archives
Support Level: 20
Fire truck Citytech
Support Level: 19
Post Office
Support Level: 18

Battle of Geonosis
Support Level: 17
DRONE
Support Level: 16

The Chronicles of Narnia
Support Level: 14

Combinators: Prototype
Support Level: 13
Batman's Whirly-Bat
Support Level: 13

The Penguin Robin Chase
Support Level: 13

Disneyland Haunted Mansion
Support Level: 11
OWLS DarkStar
Support Level: 10
Magic ball : Red devil
Support Level: 10

GT-Drift
Support Level: 10
Brain Twist
Support Level: 10

Crusader: General
Support Level: 9
Infantry prototype 1.0
Support Level: 9
Stealth Strike
Support Level: 9

CaveMan Lego: The Cave
Support Level: 8

Bio-Reborn Zero
Support Level: 8
Modular Bank Building
Support Level: 8
Compact city car series
Support Level: 8

Crusader: PAWN
Support Level: 7
1947 American LaFrance
Support Level: 7

Rock Band
Support Level: 7
Woolworth Building New York
Support Level: 7

Center of the LEGO Park
Support Level: 7
Cut the Rope
Support Level: 6

Lego Jurassic Park Restroom
Support Level: 5
F1 racing set
Support Level: 4

Lego's 85th Anniversary Kit
Support Level: 3