Wodanis

What should or should not be on Lego Ideas?

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I can see where you are coming from. We just have different perspectives on how it should work. I realize certain people would just resubmit their projects over and over, but some people at least would stop. And then you would have other people taking their projects back to the drawing board, and improving them for the next submission. This is something I would do, and to me is closer to what Lego would want in terms of promoting creativity and we could learn from our building, marketing, etc. As things stand right now, you might have an ugly project shown on the thumbnail that turns out to be much better now in an update, but few will click on the project to know about the update.

I am also not saying that I would stop looking at new projects, since that is something I am regular at doing. The filter by amount of supporters would just be another option you could look at, and I think would help some projects not drop into obscurity (like many do after they get initial votes when first submitted). Sometimes I am curious to see projects in different phases and I don't want to click through dozens of pages to browse them. After all, it takes viewers to get to 1,000 votes or more and the top couple of pages.

I guess I am looking at it less as filtering out, as you say—more like zoning in on projects with certain amounts of followers sometimes. I would be ignoring most projects on Lego Ideas when I chose to do that, and not just hiding the least supported ones. Also, I agree that most of the votes come from marketing/promotion—but I also think many people get inundated with ideas projects, and sometimes projects will not make it that I think would in the right circumstances. I just think some tweaks and additional features would bring some more projects to light

Edited by ootkaman

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I just wish people would stop posting objectively terrible projects and ludicrously large projects. If only there were filters for that.

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Do you want to write the software that tells a computer how to recognize how large a project is, or how good it objectively is?

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Well of course not. It would be nice if there were some way to filter through it though, you must admit. I'd rather people just not post them, ultimately. Then there would be no need for such software.

These projects are very unlikely to get approval, I don't see why people would think to post them.

Edited by x105Black

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You could hire someone to go through and send you a daily or weekly summary of links to the ones that would interest you. It can be someone in a country where the labor charge rate is very low.

Edited by dr_spock

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Not a bad idea. I wish I had the money for that. Even a low labor cost would add up over time. My pockets aren't that deep, but maybe the pockets of the world's most powerful brand would be?

Maybe there should be a minimum and maximum piece count, and when you post the project it will be automatically denied if it doesn't fit those parameters? That would be a start. And maybe filter by piece count as well.

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They could also set limits such as no more than three active projects, no more than 10 submissions per year and the ability for a user to close their own project down. However, they'd also need to impose the limits properly - one account per person. Although they cannot manage to do that on their main selling site, so I doubt they'd do it for ideas.

Ideas makes them money. Some ideas float to the top and they ultimately choose what makes it to market, and they make money off the sets. Why change it to make it better for users, the end result will be no different to now.

Filtering by piece count may not be a good thing. It will encourage larger models to use larger parts rather than regular parts. If you are building a wall, why use 8 1x2 bricks when you can use a 1x16 and save 7 parts. So if building a 16x16 house for example, submissions will tend towards using 1x16 and 1x14 bricks to lower piece counts. As soon as rules are changed, players change their gameplay to get around the rule changes.

Edited by MAB

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They could also set limits such as no more than three active projects, no more than 10 submissions per year and the ability for a user to close their own project down. However, they'd also need to impose the limits properly - one account per person. Although they cannot manage to do that on their main selling site, so I doubt they'd do it for ideas.

Ideas makes them money. Some ideas float to the top and they ultimately choose what makes it to market, and they make money off the sets. Why change it to make it better for users, the end result will be no different to now.

Filtering by piece count may not be a good thing. It will encourage larger models to use larger parts rather than regular parts. If you are building a wall, why use 8 1x2 bricks when you can use a 1x16 and save 7 parts. So if building a 16x16 house for example, submissions will tend towards using 1x16 and 1x14 bricks to lower piece counts. As soon as rules are changed, players change their gameplay to get around the rule changes.

The idea here is to avoid 10,000+ piece builds that are unrealistic and unfeasible as a product. The upcoming massive Ghostbusters Headquarters is less than half the pieces and will be selling for $350, and it's the biggest they've ever done (to my knowledge). I doubt they will release a $700+ set any time soon, no matter how many votes it gets. Maybe I'm wrong, though.

I do like the other idea you have, about limiting the number of active projects. I think it would work out, as the majority of people wouldn't use multiple accounts. The ability to close your own project would also be nice to have.

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What would limiting the number of active projects accomplish?

It might do nothing. Some designers might be really good, and make several high quality projects.

I was thinking it would cut out the number of weak projects, or make people focus more time and effort on refining their projects since they would have a limited number at any given time.

One thing that upsets me (slightly) is that one person can have their projects chosen multiple times, leaving other people unable to have success, considering the small number of projects that make it to the product stage. Not sure if this is related to my statements above, but it's another concern. I like the idea of spreading the wealth and joy of the Ideas concept around, allowing many talented designers the opportunity to see their projects come to life.

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It might do nothing. Some designers might be really good, and make several high quality projects.

I was thinking it would cut out the number of weak projects, or make people focus more time and effort on refining their projects since they would have a limited number at any given time.

But the weakest projects seem to be principally from people who've submitted only one or two, while many of the most accomplished ones are from prolific submitters. I suspect if implemented this policy would actually have the exact opposite effect of the one intended.

One thing that upsets me (slightly) is that one person can have their projects chosen multiple times, leaving other people unable to have success, considering the small number of projects that make it to the product stage. Not sure if this is related to my statements above, but it's another concern. I like the idea of spreading the wealth and joy of the Ideas concept around, allowing many talented designers the opportunity to see their projects come to life.

Well, that assumes it's a contest with a set number of winners and such, and also that there is always a winner, like it's the Oscars or something. It's not, though. TLG is simply picking projects that it thinks it can profitably produce as sets, and do so without too much interference with its regular production capacity. A few points to consider:

1) Just because a project by X is chosen doesn't mean one can't be chosen by Y. They can, and relatively frequently do, approve multiple projects in a single review batch. It's not like there's a single award for Best Creation or something.

2) TLG is a business, and the Ideas program isn't simply about recognizing and rewarding fan accomplishments (though it is that, in part); it's a means for people outside the company to pitch ideas for things they want to see, and a means for TLG to find out what it should make for the market. If your company holds employee meetings every month to solicit ideas for things it could do to be more profitable, why should the company discard a really good idea this month in favor of a lesser one just because the same employee who had this month's great idea also had a great idea two months ago? The only difference here is that the ideas are coming from outside the company. It's not in TLG's interest to nix a terrific Ideas project just because the submitter previously had an Ideas project approved.

3. Just like disallowing projects from previous "winners" wouldn't benefit TLG, it wouldn't benefit most fans, either. The second and third and fourth projects that go up for review by creators of previous projects that got approved do so because those later projects also have their own fans.

Look at The Big Bang Theory. Now, I'm not particularly a fan of the show, but looking around in Licensed it's clear many people are. If Alatariel had been allowed only one Ideas approval ever, it would have gone to her Female Minifigures (which became the Research Institute) and that would have been it. Everyone who wanted an official LEGO set for The Big Bang Theory would have been out of luck. Sure, someone else might have (and indeed, probably would have) submitted one, but would it have been as successful in getting voted and making it to review? The fact Alatariel already had a big following from her other projects undoubtedly helped. So, too, did the build; perhaps somebody else's TBBT project would have been cruder, and not as appealing (and hence not gotten as many votes).

Note, too, that the approval of The Big Bang Theory didn't keep other projects didn't get approved. On the contrary, it was just one out of three projects ultimately approved from a single batch of six - fully half the projects made it. That was the one with TBBT, Birds, the Back to the Future "Jules Verne" Time train, the modular Apple Store, and two different Doctor Who projects. Of the three that weren't approved, one of them (Doctor Who) was essentially a duplicate of one of that batch's three approved projects. That leaves just the Apple Store (which was not only large but also needed a license that almost certainly wasn't happening, since Apple's current approach to managing its brand involves a distinct lack of the sort of brand merchandise it used to have back in the '90s), and the Time Train, which was both large and also a project from an existing licensed theme. I find it extremely unlikely that any of them would otherwise have been approved but werent because The Big Bang Theory was.

And The Big Bang Theory is literally the only single instance so far of an approved project from someone who'd already gotten one. In other words, it's really not a problem, and doesn't require a solution.

Edited by Blondie-Wan

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Interesting points, and I agree with aspects of what all of you say. I think even here is a good illustration of why Lego Ideas is how it is, since there are so many views on what would work and what wouldn't—and of course business no doubt trumps them all. One thing I probably get the least on Lego Ideas is how they run the Staff Picks, and if there is an area I think they could make changes that is it. In the house rules they say that getting Staff Picks does not influence final decisions on products, but I have seen time and again where obscure projects will get viewed that way and continue to pick up momentum from there. And of course there are other projects that get Staff Picked but then fall back into obscurity.

I just wish there was some sort of consistency with the timing of Staff Picks and variety in what they choose. I have seen some projects basically be Staff Picks for five days (from the beginning of Thursday to the beginning of Tuesday), and others for less than a day. Some projects have also been chosen as Staff Picks multiple times. While this is their decision, I think it would be nice to get even more regularity in switching the picks and then more people would have a chance to be recognized. Staff Picks doesn't guarantee success, but is a nice way for the supporters to easily see a project and decide on it.

I also wish there was more variety there, since most Staff Picks are especially colorful and digital, and often include logos. That does make the product more marketable and appealing, but there are some great products on there without that. The way things are now I guess is another argument for being able to edit your cover photo, so you can compete with other successful models and improve over time.

Edited by ootkaman

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I recognize all of those points, you're very right.

Many of the worst projects are indeed one-offs, and some of the best do come from prolific designers.

Alatariel is a good designer, and even has another very popular project right now. I feel that if this designer is so good that you will approve multiple projects from them, it might be better to offer them a position as a designer. Then again, maybe they have.

Either way, I'm glad that LEGO has the Ideas program, and that so many designs have been successfully made into products. I'd really like to see something Castle / fantasy / medieval get through their process, but that's just my personal feelings. It seems most approved products are modern or science fiction.

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Ideas makes them money. Some ideas float to the top and they ultimately choose what makes it to market, and they make money off the sets. Why change it to make it better for users, the end result will be no different to now.

If you want my opinion, Lego Ideas doesn't exist/wasn't bought for Lego to make money from ideas - they can do that themselves. Lego Ideas = a lot of people marketing their pet project everywhere on the internet, and that's precious advertisement for Lego. Isn't that worth more than the few sets per year?

..so how would it be Lego's best interest to filter anything? 5000+ parts projects look impressive and they're the ones that are blogged the most. Ok, they would be blogged anyway, without Lego Ideas, but not this actively, and not pointing directly to Lego's own page.

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If you want my opinion, Lego Ideas doesn't exist/wasn't bought for Lego to make money from ideas - they can do that themselves. Lego Ideas = a lot of people marketing their pet project everywhere on the internet, and that's precious advertisement for Lego. Isn't that worth more than the few sets per year?

..so how would it be Lego's best interest to filter anything? 5000+ parts projects look impressive and they're the ones that are blogged the most. Ok, they would be blogged anyway, without Lego Ideas, but not this actively, and not pointing directly to Lego's own page.

Interesting comments. I like your perspective. As silly as it sounds, I think I might post a 7,000+ piece MOC of mine for a social experiment and catharsis :) That way too if it does well it can send a message to Lego that people are interested in such a theme

I don´t like when people post a little mod on a existing set and submit it.I just don´t see the logic there....

I don't either—perhaps they are hoping that Lego brings back old sets with more modern pieces, although it looks like that is against their house rules anyway and can be flagged

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The idea here is to avoid 10,000+ piece builds that are unrealistic and unfeasible as a product. The upcoming massive Ghostbusters Headquarters is less than half the pieces and will be selling for $350, and it's the biggest they've ever done (to my knowledge). I doubt they will release a $700+ set any time soon, no matter how many votes it gets. Maybe I'm wrong, though.

I don't think ideas is full of 10,000+ piece builds that are getting in the way of other projects though. They are easy to skip over if you don't like them. It's not like you cannot find anything due to the number of 10,000+ piece builds on there.

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I don't think ideas is full of 10,000+ piece builds that are getting in the way of other projects though. They are easy to skip over if you don't like them. It's not like you cannot find anything due to the number of 10,000+ piece builds on there.

Good point, but those are pretty unrealistic and unlikely to be made into a product due to size and pricing. In my opinion, it would be better if they weren't there, if only so that people don't get their hopes up and vote for something that is probably never going to be made.

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But then that rule could be applied in many ways. If it is not going to be made, then don't let people get their hopes up. Whether it is on size, or licensing, or parts usage, or product overlap, etc. Dr Who was unlikely to be made at one stage, since a rival had the license. Big Bang Theory was unlikely to be made due to the more adult nature. But lego did the diligence and decided it was financially worth doing both. The same is also true of large sets. If they are large, they are unlikely. However, if a business case can be made, then they will do whatever works for them.

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I recall that the Minecraft submission on Cuusoo was a bunch of bricks and a mini-fig in the middle. But what Minecraft did have was a strong business case and a rabid fan base. And look at how much Lego was willing to milk out of that idea!

If Ideas submissions are not great build wise they can progress if they have a real business case at least.

Edited by xboxtravis7992

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I recall that the Minecraft submission on Cuusoo was a bunch of bricks and a mini-fig in the middle. But what Minecraft did have was a strong business case and a rabid fan base. And look at how much Lego was willing to milk out of that idea!

If Ideas submissions are not great build wise they can progress if they have a real business case at least.

That original Minecraft idea was also submitted by the creator of Minecraft if I'm not mistaken, so I'm sure that helped. So if you're the creator of a popular IP, you may be able to get away with a less than stellar set on LEGO Ideas.

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That original Minecraft idea was also submitted by the creator of Minecraft if I'm not mistaken, so I'm sure that helped. So if you're the creator of a popular IP, you may be able to get away with a less than stellar set on LEGO Ideas.

It also helped that that proposal was made back when the requirements for an Ideas proposal were more nebulous. IIRC, that project included a lot of examples of what a Minecraft set COULD be like, rather than a definitive proposal for a single set. Since then Lego has clarified the rules to try and cut down on vague and unpolished projects.

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My feeling is that Ideas is not just for "ideas" but for displaying a new expression of an idea using LEGO parts : consequently, the model matters a lot and only completely original models (not necesseraly original ideas) should be there. Of course, having an idea can take a few seconds and most of the work is devoted to propose a functional model in good agreement with the standards of the LEGO sets.

Example taken from the last Star Wars movie : a minifig scale Luggabeast ( https://ideas.lego.c...h/q:Luggabeast/ ). The 3 projects correspond to the same idea but displays 3 different ways to build it and are welcome on Ideas.

Unsuccessful projects can also be the starting point of a new project base on the same idea with a better (and of course original) model : this is why, I think, that keeping all submitted projects on the Ideas website is a good point.

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Personally I love Lego Ideas it is a great Idea to actually fulfill your dream.

But I do agree that some things should not be on Lego Ideas.

Tv replicas and such I can accept as it is always fun to have it in your room in Lego form but you can also build it yourself.

The issue I have with Lego Ideas is the people that make magnificent projects that have about 5000 bricks and expect it to actually sell.

It won't sell simply because Lego will not spend the money or the amount of bricks on such projects. Also I do not want to spend that much money on a set which just looks cool and has no deeper meaning to me.

Those are the sets or ideas I think should not be on Lego ideas.

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