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About Vorkosigan

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  1. Vorkosigan

    Super Mario 2020 - Rumors & Discussion

    I don't see anything standard-ish about this new set. Near human scale models are pretty rare for LEGO. Though with the vintage duck toy, and upcoming ideas typewriter are making it more common.
  2. Vorkosigan

    Super Mario 2020 - Rumors & Discussion

    This new TV and console set is bonkers. Not what I'd expect most people to want to spend $250 on, though very well done. I saw some rumors claiming there will be add on levels and putting interactive Mario on top will play the different level music...
  3. Inspired by the new LEGO Art line, I made a mosaic of my own. It is based on part of the box art for The Legend of Zelda - A Link to the Past. Images below, followed by an explanation of how I developed the design using GIMP (open source equivalent to photoshop). This is the source of the artwork. This shield is not as widely seen as the Ocarina of Time blue shield which became the standard, but I like the more classical color scheme. Below is a progression of images showing how the design was developed. The steps are as follows: Original image, cropped, and with some areas that were covered by the Z cloned to visible areas on the other half of the shield. I didn't fully fix up the shield because I realized it was not worth the effort, it would be edited at the lower resolution anyway. Reduced resolution image, at the size I intended to use: 36 pixels wide by 74 tall. Indexed color image. This is a function in GIMP made for old style limited color space GIFs and similar. You can define a palette of colors and then convert the image to what most closely matches for each pixel. This allows you to define a palette of available LEGO colors that you want to use and see what it would look like if converted directly. Probably more useful for a photograph like the Beatles art sets, but a good function to have. Final concept design. I ended up redrawing most of the image pixel by pixel to make the design more stylized and representative in only a handful of colors. I used Light Gray, Dark Gray, Flat Silver, Pearl Gold, Black, Reddish Brown, and Dark Red. The resulting LEGO mosaic. I am mostly happy with it came out, but continue to debate if the black line to the right of the sword was a good choice. It is meant to represent a shadow from the sword being in front of the shield. Note I also made the sword one plate higher than the shield for a slight depth effect. Lastly the below image shows a histogram of the colors of the final concept (step 4 above) in GIMP. This is useful for counting the number of pixels in each color. In this example I am highlighting Pearl Gold, and see there are 483 tiles needed. Thanks for looking, comments appreciated!
  4. Vorkosigan

    Lego 10277 - Crocodile Locomotive

    The crock I ordered on the 1st just shipped, ahead of the July 17th original estimate.
  5. Vorkosigan

    Super Mario 2020 - Rumors & Discussion

    Someone posted a picture of the Mario sets on the shelf in a Target, on Instagram. So they are definitely not following street date fully at the moment. My pre-order is now estimated for July 23rd so I'm not too confident I'll actually get it early.
  6. Vorkosigan

    Super Mario 2020 - Rumors & Discussion

    Thanks for the tip, the price is not bad but 3 boxes is just too much. 1 box would be nice. On another note, something strange is going on with the Starter Course on Target's website. They had it up for preorder after LEGO sold out (and before LEGO started having preorder again without the special freebie). So I preordered it there. Then less than an hour ago I got an e-mail saying my preorder date had changed, to today! I looked at the page for the item and it now shows sold out. So I'm wondering if they put it up for sale early by accident. My preorder hasn't shipped, but it shows delivery estimate of July 15th. Very weird, I'm just keeping an eye on it. https://www.target.com/p/lego-super-mario-adventures-with-mario-starter-course-building-kit-71360/-/A-78929934
  7. Incredible scale! Great job getting it stable. Gives a taste of the undertaking to build the real thing. I hope you don't have to I move it much.
  8. Vorkosigan

    MOC Trolls World Tour Guitar - Kid Sized

    Cool idea, and it looks great!
  9. Vorkosigan

    LEGO Ideas Discussion

    Seinfeld is one of my top 5 shows of all time, so it's disappointing to see so many people on here don't like it or aren't familiar. That said, it is not something I particularly craved as a LEGO set. But I'm sure I will enjoy it. The other two have no interest for me, in the Ideas world I'm mainly waiting to see how the blacksmith turns out.
  10. Vorkosigan

    Super Mario 2020 - Rumors & Discussion

    I don't think the usage of imagination negates the purpose of the interactive Mario. Sometimes users will play with it according to the "rules," and try to get a high score. Sometimes they'll pretend things go wrong, Mario gets foiled by enemies etc. Other times they'll "cheat" or even turn Mario off and just do whatever. All are legitimate ways to play with it. I don't think you are correct that nothing prevents you from flying and climbing. Mario has gyros / accelerometers and reacts to being spun on a platform based on how much you spin him, and reacts differently if he falls off. I expect he will get "dizzy" or otherwise apply some mild penalty for flying/climbing when he doesn't have the right suits. Of course it won't be a full proof prevention of cheating, but it is not a complete free for all either. It is guided play.
  11. Vorkosigan

    Super Mario 2020 - Rumors & Discussion

    Now that we've seen all the sets of the first wave I'd like to summarize with pictures, and provide my opinions on each. 71360 Adventures with Mario Starter Course 59.99 USD Obviously, you need to get this one if you want to try the interactivity that drives the design of all these sets. This gives a little bit of everything which is good for a starter set. This one of only two sets that include the warp pipe piece, the other being the Guarded Fortress. It is also the only set with the flying cloud. Bowser Junior is unique but I'm not that interested in him. I don't think the price is bad given Mario seems pretty sophisticated. Regardless this is the point of entry, I have mine on pre-order. 71361 Character Packs $4.99 USD I think these are the highlight of the series for many people and I am excited for them. The brick built enemies look quite adorable. The little bits of scenery are really nice both for displaying these and for incorporating into a level for the interactive play. I'm thinking to order 10 on release and follow up from there to complete the set. Certainly it doesn't hurt to have multiples if you're going to incorporate them into a level. 71362 Guarded Fortress Expansion Set $49.99 USD To me this is one of the best expansions, along with Bowser's castle. The castle makes for an impressive level finish, the Koopa is good to have and appears in only two sets, and this is the only set with a piranha coming out of a pipe, one of the most icon enemies in Mario. I see this is as a day one purchase. 71363 Desert Pokey Expansion Set $19.99 USD A nice smaller expansion. The mechanism to knock the segments out of the Pokey matches fairly well what happens in the game, although I don't know why they couldn't put a shell on the end of the arm instead of a hammer. The only set with a Monty Mole. I am planning to get the two smallest expansions on day one. 71364 Whomp’s Lava Trouble Expansion Set $19.99 USD A nice smaller expansion. The Whomp looks great, the Lava Bubble is cute, and a shell is included. I am planning to get the two smallest expansions on day one. 71365 Piranha Plant Power Slide Expansion Set $29.99 USD The see-saw mechanism is somewhat odd looking on this. It does include a Koopa, only one of two sets to do so. Seems more like a $20 set. I'll wait for a discount on this. 71366 Boomer Bill Barrage Expansion Set $29.99 USD The Boomer Bills look great, and the mechanism is interesting. Shy guy is also unique to this set and looks very accurate. Unless I am missing something, this is the only set that includes a stand alone mushroom power up (instead of a mystery block), but that seems strange. I'll wait for a discount on this. 71367 Mario’s House & Yoshi Expansion Set $29.99 USD Yoshi looks great and is only in this set. Otherwise though the house and hammock don't do much for me. I'll wait for a discount on this or maybe pass and figure Yoshi will be in more sets later on. 71368 Toad’s Treasure Hunt Expansion Set $69.99 USD To me this is the worst looking expansion. The 2D houses just look weird. It'd be nice to get Toad, and the bridge with the Cheep Cheeps is probably the best part. Wouldn't mind the treasure chest either. I don't really care about Toadette, I'm not familiar with her. Overall what I like doesn't add up to nearly $70, or even a discount from that, so I'll pass on this. 71369 Bowser's Castle Boss Battle Expansion Set $99.99 USD One of the best expansions I think, but unsurprising as it is the largest set. The castle looks great with the imposing Bowser statue. Bowser himself is impressive and fairly accurately realized. It's also nice to get Dry Bones, and a smaller Boo. I definitely want to get this one, but being the largest set I'll wait for a discount. 71376 Thwomp Drop Expansion Set $39.99 USD Twomp looks great, as does the skull platform. The mechanism looks interesting and you get two more Lava Bubbles. Still I'm thinking I'd rather get the two $20 sets than this, so I'll wait for a discount. 71377 King Boo and the Haunted Yard Expansion Set $49.99 USD I've never really been a fan of the Haunted House areas in Mario games. This looks suitably spooky, but doesn't really match the interior environment of the Haunted House levels. The only set to get Swoops and it has 4 of them, but that isn't a big draw to me. I wouldn't mind getting King Boo, but I'll probably pass on this one. 71373 to 71370, Power-Up Packs $9.99 USD It has been discussed at length that these are pricey for what you get. The body pieces are unique molds and three of the hats are different molds from the base Mario. But it is still $10 for about 10 pieces in each one. I'm mainly interested in getting the Fire Mario but will likely wait for a price drop. Well that is my perspective on these sets, I am definitely excited for the theme but don't want to go too overboard as there are a lot of other great sets coming out in August. I hope to see ice, underwater, forest, and other interesting locales in future waves, as well as more chances to get some characters. I like the idea of the interactive elements more than some people clearly do, even though it is not really a game but a sort of imagination augmentation. It'll be fun to see how levels can be customized. I expect my 3 year old son will quite enjoy playing with the talking Mario, probably in ways that don't align with actual Super Mario gameplay at all, but that's just fine.
  12. Vorkosigan

    Super Mario 2020 - Rumors & Discussion

    I'm pretty excited for these sets. Most of the brick built characters came out well. Seeing everything the overall aesthetic is charming. And the blind bags look excellent. For once I will just buy a group without feeling the bags, because I'm not overly concerned with getting some duplicates. With these and Harry Potter August is going to be an expensive month.
  13. Vorkosigan

    Super Mario 2020 - Rumors & Discussion

    I think there is a little more formality than what you're saying though. They talk about the slide between the fireball flowers, and how there is a final score from each round of play. So the sets at least start with a set of rules and scoring, it is not just imagination plus lights and sounds. What I still want to know is how interaction with other enemies work, is there dieing? Or just getting less coins. I also thought it was interesting that Nintendo is involved in manufacturing the electronics. A Switch integration with Powered Up would be interesting
  14. Vorkosigan

    Super Mario 2020 - Rumors & Discussion

    FYI they each include a themed stand so like 12 pieces.
  15. Vorkosigan

    Super Mario 2020 - Rumors & Discussion

    I agree that more traditional minifigures would be preferred for myself as well and most adult fans. But I think at some point we need to judge the theme for what it is and not what we would have preferred it to be. I don't see a value to having a smaller set with Mario in it, because you need some decent amount of "level" for him to interact with for it to be worthy anything. If Mario was available stand alone, he'd probably cost $25 to $30, and then you'd have to buy a $20+ set for him to interact with. More generally, I think there is a tendency among LEGO fans to try to argue that a product they don't like won't sell well, for various reasons. Probably happens in other fandoms as well. But to me it is not really that productive of a discussion, because we consumers never have that much data on what sells well. And it tends to start from a place of justifying an opinion of the product. For myself, I am cautiously optimistic about LEGO Mario and will get at least a couple sets to try it out. If nothing else, it is introducing some interesting parts.