New Lego Line to Import Real Creations into Virtual Worlds
Lego has taken their building block toys in many different directions. They’ve sent them onto the high seas, into the medieval past, and into the far-flung future. They’ve even scattered them amongst several different popular properties like The Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, and The Simpsons. Lego’s next line plans to send the bricks into an entirely new realm; the digital one.
Lego’s newest line Fusion will initially include 4 different sets centered around a new, central idea: to allow players to import their creations from the real world, into a virtual one. Once there, builders would be able to further expand on their creation, and/or use it to compete in different tasks and games. The game would be accessed via a free app that can be downloaded to smartphones and tablets.
In addition to the bricks themselves, the new Lego sets with come with a “Fusion Plate”, and this is the device that builders will use to transer their creations into the apps. The player uses their smartphones camera to capture an image or images of this plate, which features a printed design on the base which helps guide the app to the size and color of the bricks placed upon it, so as to avoid any variance that could be caused by the camera itself, such as distance or angle the picture is taken from, or the color quality of the image.
In one of these Lego Fusion sets, the app Lego Fusion Town Master will allow them to construct and add various buildings based on preset structure types to their virtual town. They’ll then need to watch over the virtual denizens of those buildings and perform tasks for them related to that building. A fire department for example could require the player to go around town fighting fires. By accomplishing these tasks, the player can unlock new structure types and go back to their real world Lego building fun to make them. In this way the app can foster fun experiences that rely on both the real bricks and the app in tandem. The other three sets apps include a racing game, a tower-defense style game, and a resort designer.
It’s possible the new Fusion concept could be integrated into other Lego product lines in the future. Gaming properties would certainly make sense, particularly Minecraft, which seems tailor-made for the combination of real-world and virtual play that Fusion will offer. The first 4 Fusion sets will launch in August.