Dan, Brian, and I have recently been talking about how Lego should offer an service where you can free build using a computer program and then have Lego send you the parts. Wouldn’t that be the best thing ever?
Enter Lego Factory.
With the release of the Batman Lego sets I decided to look around their website to get a sneak peak at the brick version of the Caped Crusader. Then I came across Lego Factory. Essentially it is exactly what we were talking about, on a smaller scale. Rather than being able to use any brick in the massive Lego arsenal you have to pick a master kit (and only one) and can supplement it with additional basic kits. You are limited by the colors available in the master kit, and have only a set number of the really good pieces. It isn’t quite the unlimited brick experience I dream, but it is still easily the most dangerous program ever made. This is because it consumes my time and resources at a phenomenal rate.
The program is fairly intuitive and well designed. There is a bit of a learning curve figuring out what all the different pointer types do (grab same color, grab bricks connected, grab individual bricks, etc) and the help system is not good, but once you get the hang of it, it is a good show. The “snapping together” A.I. could use some work, but it is only version 1.5: regardless, the point is it’s awesome.
I am currently building a spaceship based very very loosely on the Cylon fighters in Battlestar Gallactica (my god I’m a dork). The problem is that it is satisfying enough to build with the program. Really building with the physical bricks is always a better experience, but building with the program is still fun and the bricks are better organized. So I am finding myself obsessed with it. I just build and build and build. I went to bed way too late last night because I was too busy building. When I finally laid down all I could do was toss and turn thinking about how to improve the model. I am becoming obsessed, or, more accurately, am becoming aware of how deeply obsessed I already am.
The best part is you can then upload your models onto the Lego website and other can buy them. They come with instructions and their own box. AN OFFICIAL LEGO BOX! Ahhhh it is too much to handle! I hope it takes off and they just open the gates to the Lego kingdom and let you use any brick as much as you want. Then Lego factory will be Lego Heaven.