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Lego Universe
LegoUniverse.png
Developer(s) NetDevil
Platform(s) PC
Release date(s) Second Half of 2010
Genre(s) MMOG
Mode(s) Massively multiplayer online game
Rating(s) ESRB: Rating Pending (RP)
Media DVD or download
System requirements * Windows Vista or XP Service Pack 2
  • Intel Pentium® 4 2.0 GHz
  • AMD Athlon™ XP 1800+ or equivalent
  • 1GB RAM
  • 10 GB of HDD space
  • 256 MB 3D Graphics card with Vertex and Pixel Shader 2.0 Capability
  • NVIDIA 6800
  • ATI Radeon X800
  • DirectX® 9.0c and latest video drivers
  • PC Audio solution containing Dolby® Digital audio[1]
Input methods Keyboard, mouse

Lego Universe is an upcoming massively multiplayer online game being developed by NetDevil. It is planned be released in the second half of 2010.[2] It is delayed from original estimates of 2009,[3] late November 2008,[4] and mid-2008.[5] This is the first Lego computer game sold in which players can connect and play online. The game is currently in the Closed Beta stage of testing.

Contents

Plot

Lego Universe takes place in an alternate universe populated by Lego minifigures. Many years ago, a team of minifigures went off to seek the Last Essence of Pure Imagination. Once they found it, Baron Typhonus used the imagination to create a giant chaotic spider. It takes him into the source of Pure Imagination and creates a dark force known as the Maelstrom.[6] Now, great plans are in place to push back the power of the Maelstrom, and restore harmony to the universe.[7] Players will join together to help the people of the Lego Universe battle the Maelstrom and its Darkling army.

Characters

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Early Characters

These characters were revealed on the Lego Universe official website.

  • Professor Brickkeeper - An inventor who runs the Creation Lab of the Lego Universe website.[8]
  • M.U.T.T. (Motorized Universal Technology Terrier) - Professor Brickkeeper's robo-dog. He is intentionally designed to be at real Lego scale.[9]
  • Bob - The plain minifigure seen on the front page and in the dancing videos.
  • Buron - The dragon found on the front page and in the dragon video.
  • Darklings - These are the evil beings that seem to come from the Maelstrom. They can appear in many forms, and are able to turn other creatures and people into Darklings.[10]

My Lego Network

These characters have been revealed through My Lego Network on the Lego website.

  • Captain Jack Knife - The pirate leader of the Black Seas Barracuda, his ship is stuck on land and has not been out to sea for a long time. He is known to trade, drink root beer, and rely too much on his band of pirates.[11]
  • Numb Chuck - A ninja leader whose interests include sparring, reading, and karaoke. He often sleeps when nothing exciting is going on.[12]
  • Friendly Felix - A one-man band. A retired explorer, he lives in a public garden, regularly performing songs based on his adventuring days.[13]

Back-Story Characters

These characters were revealed in The Great Minifig Mission game on the Lego Universe website. [14] As they are only part of the promotion they are not necessarily going to appear in the game.

  • Baron Typhonus- Explored the Lego Universe long ago. He was searching for the last essence of pure imagination.
  • Dr. Overbuild - A colleague of Baron Typhonus who joined him on his quest.
  • Duke Exeter - Famous warrior knight. Knows the location of an ancient structure on Gallant 5 that has significance with the imagination.
  • Hael Storm - A space pirate who is leading the explorers to Duke Exeter.
  • Vanda Darkflame - The assistant of The Baron who is left behind to carry on his work.
  • The Maelstrom - The dark force of imagination that formed when Baron Typhonus fell into the Last Essence of Pure Imagination. Infects creatures and people to turn them into Darklings.

Gameplay

The gameplay of Lego Universe is similar to that of Lego Star Wars: The Video Game and Lego Indiana Jones: The Original Adventures. Its character creator will allow even more character customization than those available in previous Lego games. New parts for customizing can be unlocked as you play the game. There will not be any experience points or character leveling. Instead, statistics will be determined by a character's equipment. Weapons, which can be bought from NPCs and earned from quests, will determine your attack strength, attack speed and give special abilities.

Building and Stats

While playing, there are two major statistic bars: health and imagination. The health bar shows the player's current health. If a player loses all of their health, they become broken and must be rebuilt. Imagination is required to build models.[15][16][10]

The game offers many different opportunities to build with Lego bricks. There will be three building modes:

  • Quick Building, where you automatically construct a predetermined model
  • Choice Building, where you choose from a selection of modular chunks of bricks to arrange
  • Custom Building, where you have complete creative control of the model.[17] Players will have the option of making their creation smashable or not.

All creative aspects of the game that can be seen by anyone are moderated before they are made visible. Once a creation has been made, it is sent to a server, where it is changed from multiple brick objects to a single gameplay object. This allows the creation to be interactive and move about the world. From there, it is moderated, and sent back to the game, where it is instantly available.[10] The exact duration of time this takes is not known, though in demonstration video footage it appears to be less than 30 seconds[10]. Player names are also moderated.[15]

Worlds

It has been confirmed that there will be several worlds, between which the main method of travel will be a rocket ship the player builds.[18] The only worlds currently known are "Avant Gardens", "Gnarled Forest", and "Pet Rock", all of which were mentioned in the CES 2010 videos.[15] In an article about the game that can be found in the March 2010 Game Informer, the editors asked NetDevil if there would the presence of licenced franchises like Star Wars and Harry Potter in Lego Universe, and the team only stated "Not at launch". While there has been no confirmation upon this, it remains a possibility.

Player Interaction

Lego Universe will be cooperatively played with others to accomplish in-game tasks.[19] Each player's account will be linked to their 'My Lego Network' account, where awards, equipment and player achievements will be showcased.[18] The currency of the game will be plastic, which can be used to buy Lego bricks.[20] The game will have both quests and achievements.[10]

Players will also be able to tame pets, which can help you achieve various goals.[16]

There will be two types of competitions: Player vs. Environment and Player vs. Player. Player vs. Environment will allow you to battle creatures and explore the environment, while Player vs. Player will put you against yourself or others in intense games of skill.[21] There will also be certain quests that require many people to cooperate in order to complete.[10]

Promotion

Trailers

The original trailer, leaked around early 2008, showed early concepts of the game. These include character customization using the traditional Lego method, a workshop where a car is created from Lego bricks, a Lego city populated with sets from numerous different themes, and a short theatrical battle between an eye-patched Lego minifigure and a "Darkling". In January 2010, six new gameplay videos, an interview, and another trailer were shown at CES 2010 and released on the internet.[22]

Bradford Rant

In November 2009, a website for the fictional "Bradford-Rant Institute for Cosmic Kinesis" was linked on the Lego Universe web page. The institute was supposedly tracking seven Lego "Pods", which landed in various parts of the United States and Europe. Fans could track and find these pods, all of which landed between November 2009 and early January 2010. Once a pod was found, its data was put up on the Bradford-Rant page. After all of the Pods were found, a new trailer for Lego Universe and the tagline for the game, "Answer the Call: Save Imagination," was released.[7] The Bradford Rant promotion then migrated into "The Great Minifig Mission" promotion in which Lego account holders complete missions in order to help minifigs enter the universe. A player achieves pioneer status when he helps 5000 minifigs, but as of yet this has no consequence. There is also a timer that ends on April 2, 2010, at 12:00pm midnight, GMT, which is April 1 at 8:00pm ET. [23]

Testing

The first stage of testing for Lego Universe was the Alpha Test, which ended in February 2010. Players consisted exclusively of members of the Lego Kids' Inner Circle who got an invitation.

The February issue of the Lego Universe newsletter contained a link to the Beta page of Lego Universe, at which subscribers are able to sign up for a chance to be in the Beta Test. Members of My Lego Network on Lego.com also received a message inviting them to the Beta sign ups. In March, the Lego Universe website posted a link on an article directly to the Beta sign ups.

The Closed Beta test of Lego Universe began on March 4, 2010, with non-Alpha players joining on the 11th.[24] Over the course of this testing round, more, non-Alpha testers will be gradually invited to play[25].

Cost

The Lego Universe official site states that Lego Universe will be based on a monthly subscription model.[26]

The March/April 2010 issue of Lego Club magazine confirmed that a pre-order will open "soon".

See also

References

  1. ^ MLN Team Forums
  2. ^ "Ninja vs. Zombie vs. Pirate: Anything's Possible in the new Lego Universe MMOG | GeekDad". Wired.com. 2009-10-26. http://www.wired.com/geekdad/2009/10/lego-universe/. Retrieved 2010-01-16. 
  3. ^ "A Visit to NetDevil". Kotaku.com. 2008-09-29. http://kotaku.com/5056497/lego-universe-already-in-some-gamers-hands. Retrieved 2010-01-16. 
  4. ^ "The Lego Group announces Lego Universe as official title for branded MMOG". Lego.com. 2007-06-07. http://www.lego.com/eng/info/default.asp?page=productsdetail&contentid=36621. Retrieved 2010-01-16. 
  5. ^ "Lego MMO Screens and Info". Loot-ninja.com. 2007-06-01. http://loot-ninja.com/2007/06/01/lego-mmo-screens-and-info/. Retrieved 2010-01-16. 
  6. ^ The Great Minifig MissionRetrieved 3-17-10
  7. ^ a b "Reveal the Mystery at Bradford-Rant". Bradfordrant.org. http://www.bradfordrant.org/en/reveal_the_mystery.html. Retrieved 2010-01-16. 
  8. ^ "Lego Universe : News Network - Challenges - Form something fun in the new Creation Lab!". Us.universe.lego.com. 2008-06-04. http://us.universe.lego.com/en-us/newsnetwork/Story.aspx?id=70611. Retrieved 2010-01-16. 
  9. ^ "Lego Universe : News Network - General News - Professor Brickkeeper's new pet!". Us.universe.lego.com. 2008-12-18. http://us.universe.lego.com/en-us/newsnetwork/Story.aspx?id=93749. Retrieved 2010-01-16. 
  10. ^ a b c d e f Posted: Jan 8, 2010 (2010-01-08). "CES Walkthrough Part III". Gametrailers. http://www.gametrailers.com/video/ces-10-lego-universe/60648. Retrieved 2010-01-16. 
  11. ^ "Lego Universe : News Network - My Lego Network - Pirate captain sets sail for My Lego Network!". Us.universe.lego.com. 2009-01-28. http://us.universe.lego.com/en-us/newsnetwork/Story.aspx?id=97330. Retrieved 2010-01-16. 
  12. ^ "Lego Universe : News Network - My Lego Network - Ninja leader slinking toward My Lego Network!". Us.universe.lego.com. 2009-02-02. http://us.universe.lego.com/en-us/newsnetwork/Story.aspx?id=97860. Retrieved 2010-01-16. 
  13. ^ "Lego Universe : News Network - My Lego Network - Third new networker revealed!". Us.universe.lego.com. 2009-02-19. http://us.universe.lego.com/en-us/newsnetwork/Story.aspx?id=98752. Retrieved 2010-01-16. 
  14. ^ The Great Minifig Mission
  15. ^ a b c Posted: Jan 8, 2010 (2010-01-08). "CES Walkthrough Part I". Gametrailers. http://www.gametrailers.com/video/ces-10-lego-universe/60652. Retrieved 2010-01-16. 
  16. ^ a b Posted: Jan 8, 2010 (2010-01-08). "CES Walkthrough Part II". Gametrailers. http://www.gametrailers.com/video/ces-10-lego-universe/60650. Retrieved 2010-01-16. 
  17. ^ "Build: Dream Building in Lego Universe". Universe.lego.com. http://universe.lego.com/en-us/gameinfo/About.aspx?category=135240. Retrieved 2010-01-16. 
  18. ^ a b Jon Hamblin (2009-10-23). "First Lego Universe gameplay details News | MMO". Eurogamer. http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/first-lego-universe-gameplay-details. Retrieved 2010-01-16. 
  19. ^ FAQs - More on the Game: Will the game feature player vs. player (PVP) battling?
  20. ^ "FAQs - More on the Game: Can I get all the bricks I want?". Universe.lego.com. http://universe.lego.com/en-us/gameinfo/HelpSupport.aspx?category=75409#Can%20I%20get%20all%20the%20bricks%20I%20want. Retrieved 2010-01-16. 
  21. ^ "Play: Worlds of Fun". Universe.lego.com. http://universe.lego.com/en-us/gameinfo/About.aspx?category=135241. Retrieved 2010-01-16. 
  22. ^ "New CES 2010 videos". Gametrailers.com. http://www.gametrailers.com/game/lego-universe/4954. Retrieved 2010-01-16. 
  23. ^ "LEGO Universe : The Great Minifig Mission". http://universe.lego.com/en-us/helptheminifigs/Default.aspx?domainredir=legouniverse.com. Retrieved 2010-01-26. 
  24. ^ My Lego Network Blog - Lego Universe Beta Starting
  25. ^ My Lego Network Blog -- Comments
  26. ^ "FAQs - General Questions: How much will Lego Universe cost?". Universe.lego.com. http://universe.lego.com/en-us/gameinfo/HelpSupport.aspx?category=71111#How%20much%20will%20LEGO%20Universe%20cost. Retrieved 2010-01-16. 

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