Saturday, June 22, 2013

Weekly Crowd

News

Still collecting data for my next beta feature but if it works it promises to be the best "value" added features for Cuusoo users and project creators that I have scripted to date.  I will probably start some serous beta testing in two weeks because right now I am getting ready for.....

Brick Fiesta  2013

Brick Fiesta  is the third annual TexLUG Lego convention.  This time it is being held in Dallas and as usual it is over the 4th of July Weekend.  I really enjoyed the first two and look forward to spending a few days with some serious FOLs.  

ATLAS Reaches 10k

(duplicated from my posting on Brickset)

In 19 days the ATLAS model has gone from publication to 10k.

What is ATLAS? Well, I think this excerpt from its homepage sums up its purpose quite well:
ATLAS is a particle physics experiment at the Large Hadron Collider at CERN. The ATLAS detector is searching for new discoveries in the head-on collisions of protons of extraordinarily high energy. ATLAS will learn about the basic forces that have shaped our Universe since the beginning of time and that will determine its fate. Among the possible unknowns are the origin of mass, extra dimensions of space, unification of fundamental forces, and evidence for dark matter candidates in the Universe.

The project has enjoyed a lot of support since its publication on Cuusoo.  That is to be expected for a subject that has over 3000 people working on it. The real key to its success though was the project getting a link from one of my favorite websites, I f***ing love science.  The resulting swarm of support actually, apparently brought down Cuusoo.  Another fine example of the importance of social media on getting projects to the review phase.

....that being said:

Looking at the existing model and the playability factor I am guessing this is another project that, like Purdue Pete, will be panned by the "FOL" crowd.

 


Crowd funded

 

Custom Miniatures (NOT Minifigures)

Anyone who has done RPG's with miniatures knows the frustration of not quite finding the right mini for their character.  Everyone of course wants to be unique.

I used to deal with this problem by customizing the figures using tiny saws and drills, a bit of milliput, and the customization packs that also have their fair share of limitations.

This kind of activity can be a lot of fun but it is hard to get enough practice in to develop a decent level of skill without investing a lot of time and money.  Not to mention it is easy to make fatal mistakes.

Well, as is often the case, technology is finds a way.  This kind of development was only a matter of time with the advent of 3D printers.  It might still be a bit too early but ambition is often what Kickstarters are based on.

Lovecrafted Games is attempting to make a system where you pick and choose you figures features from a library and they will simply print your figure for you.

If they can really pull this off for $13 a pop...they are going to really shake things up in the gaming world.

Just Needed One of These!

One of the great things about the transition to USB is that it is a universal interface for powering devices.  This has openned the door to allow for many devices to be powered or charged by a single product.

There are many replacement chargers on the market and many USB battery packs out there two but this is a great combination of both in one package (given it works as described).

At $50 it is not something I am going to rush out and buy (I probably would have at the early bird $30 though), but it is priced well for its utility.  Its small form factor allows it to be a replacement charger for your device while constantly charging the battery.  That way you have a really good battery on hand if you find the sudden need to have a portable charge.

I realize this product isn't for everybody...it benefits travelers, the forgetful (didn't charge the device last night!), and perhaps those in areas with poor coverage (and thus quicker depleted cell phones) more than the average person but that is what makes it perfect for Kickstarter.    


Cuusoo


Pick of the Week

dialog
Prehistoric World: Ice Age
by Brickwall

Support Level: 47

Lego has done a few brick built prehistoric creatures before in the Creator line but these have their own unique style that is rather compelling.  The slightly organic while still obviously jointed and unnatural look of them reminds me a lot of Zoids.  Which is a good thing in my book.

The Mammoth is by far my favorite of the suggested models.  

Honorable Mention



Modular Mansion
by Andrepsramos

Support Level: 26

There are a lot of Modulars on Cuusoo but most of them just don't understand how to make a building look good  This is a prime example of doing it right.  Architectural elements are repeated but not to the point of it being boring.

Not sure I would call this a "mansion though" I mean, it is only twice a big as a pet store.

Weird Al Performance Stage & Minifigure Collection
by Teamweirdal

Support Level: 13

Wow that really does look like Weird Al

Notables


Star Wars Super Star Destroyer, the Executor by Jfridal
Support Level: 40
Based on the results of the Sand Crawler and the followup in the Knowledge Base it is safe to assume that anything that looks like something you could find in the current line of Star Wars Lego sets, (like a Midi scale version of any standard Star Wars ship) is not going to fly. 

Chibi Lego builds ( CHIBO'S ) STAR WARS - Clones Red, Blue and Orange by Darthky
Support Level: 40
Though I expect them to get terminated by Hasbro's Star Wars Action Figure exclusivity, these are exactly the kind of "out of the box" Star Wars ideas that could actually get produced through Cuusoo as they do not replicate what Lego has already laid the groundwork on. 

Chibi Lego builds ( CHIBO'S ) STAR WARS - Asajj Ventress, Count Dooku, Ahsoka Tano by Darthky
Support Level: 19
See above

AIRBUS A300-600F DHL, scale 1/50. by Brugier
Support Level: 26
This is a soap box moment:
I don't really care for this kind of design.  The process here is literally to run a program that takes a 3D shape and it breaks it down into Lego for you.  The only creativity is in the initial programming.  Once programmed though it is just the same product over and over again.  Brugier is not even expanding the library to include wedges or slopes, just basic bricks and plates.  This is the kind of design that is accomplished with money and time rather than raw creativity.  Now this is still a legitimate Cuusoo project as if one of these reached 10k and Lego designed it, I am assuming they would not use this technique, so more power to him.

I have a few more pet peeves related to this line of projects but I will leave it at that.



Lord of the Rings: Architecture Line by Keeli101
Support Level: 25
An interesting concept but I think the scale has to be a bit bigger to make any sense of it.  I mean, imo, a vignette should still be cool out of context and these just don't have enough going for them without the labelling.  I mean, Arganath looks like two minifigs on either side of a river....that is literally what it is of course, but someone would need to tell me it was Arganath.
Also, I never recommend a black background and thin text.  It really does not help showcase the project.

Pirates - The Bell Tower by Montoumes
Support Level: 16
A pretty good build but really this is a great example of using your background to advantage.

Wall-E Diorama by B.bokslag
Support Level: 15
Now, this is a recognizable vignette and a nice new take of the overplayed Wall-E subject.  I think this might be the first attempt at Eve on Cuusoo.

It is ironic that even though Wall-E (I know it is the favorite of many) is one of Pixar's least successful films, that it is so prevalent on Cuusoo.  The simple answer is that it is easier to make Wall-E out of Lego than any other character in the Pixar Library.  Being able to easily replicate an "unpopular" character from a five year old film is not really a winning strategy though, especially when the field is littered with previous attempts.  The vignette approach is a nice change of scenery though.


Merry-go-round by Colmoore
Support Level: 10
Fun Idea, I imagine Lego would produce some really cool micro scaled (with seat) vehicles for such a ride.