New iPhone app: Bricasso

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Another excellent LEGO-related app has turned up in the AppStore. Bricasso is similar to LEGO Digital Designer in that you can create virtual models from a wide range of parts and colours using just your finger.

What sets this apart from many similar apps both on the iPhone and other platforms is the user interface. A lot of thought has gone into it and it really is very intuitive and easy to use and you'll be building great looking models in no time at all.

This really is a very impressive piece of work and while there's a lot of functionality in this first version, future versions will undoubtably add to its feature set to make it even better. In fact the developer tells me there's an iPad version in the works which will really up the ante and make it a truly useful piece of software for virtual modelling, rather than the 'fun toy' that is it now.

It's available from the AppStore for the princely sum of $0.99 or 59p, however the developer has given me 15 promo codes that I can give out to the first 15 of you to contact me! Note that these are only good for the US iTunes so you'll need to be resident in the USA to use them. [Update: all codes have now gone]. All I ask in return is that when you've installed and played with it you leave a comment here to let us know what you think of it, and maybe also rate it in the AppStore.

26 comments on this article

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By in United States,

youve got mail

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By in United States,

from me too!

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By in United States,

do emails count from the contact HUw part?

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By in United States,

I'd try it, at least I would if I had an iPhone.

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By in United States,

I hope I'm one of the 15!

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By in Canada,

5 issued so far, if all 5 of you emailed you should have received it. My Outlook 2010 has a tendency to mark good email as junk sometimes, but it doesn't appear to have done so to any requests yet. I'll keep an eye out though.

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By in United States,

I have sent e-mail

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By in United States,

Just sent mine...

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By in United States,

I've sent too :-)

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By in Australia,

Ok, so I'm in Australia, so I just bought the app. With such a good wrap by Brickset how could I not. It was only AU$1.19.

This is very user friendly interface, and once you're used to it, you can build rather quickly. The only drawbacks are the size - 12 x 12 base maximum and the limited number of pieces.
No corner bricks, no arches, no inverted slopes...

I know this is just a small (and inexpensive) app but I expected more.... This does not come close to being a Mobile LDD. Considering some apps out there are huge (LEGO Harry Potter is almost the same game as PS3/XBOX 360 versions) they could have made this one a little bigger to include more space and pieces.

May keep kids busy for a little while but not deep enough for an AFOL.

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By in United States,

what does the promo code actually do?

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By in Australia,

Hi everyone, my name is Wade and I'm the developer of Bricasso!

Thank you for the kind words Huw. It's very nice to hear that after spending so long working away on something like this...

To Birgoyle: I'm sorry you feel it is too limited, but I can assure you this is only the beginning! When working on a project like this for the App store, it's tricky to draw the line between adding more and more features and finding out whether anyone even likes the basic premise.

I decided to test the waters with an app that contained the type of bricks you'd see in a typical 'Basic' set from when I was a kid. The little kids I've watched play it love it and seem perfectly happy with the part collection available, but I knew from the start that AFOL's would expect a lot more. The best way to find out what they expect is to get them to try it and give feedback!

So that's where we are now. I'm getting lots of positive feedback from AFOLs and parents from different sources, and am building a list of all the suggestions and desired pieces so that I can add them. Arches and corner bricks are a new request, but you're not the first to ask for inverted slopes. They're coming!

Anyway, I appreciate any feedback (good or bad)!

To Legobob: A promo code allows you to download a game off of iTunes free. For every game we release on the iTunes App Store, we are given some codes to give away to people so that they can try our game without paying for it.

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By in United States,

are the 15 the first 15 or is it random

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By in United States,

you have mail...

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By in United States,

ding, you've got mail:)

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By in Canada,

I've now sent out all 15 codes and did so on a first-come-first-served basis. Sorry if you didn't get one: please go ahead and spend the 99 cents, it's definitely worth it and doing so will encourage the developer Wade, who as you can see above is a Brickset member, to continue enhancing it.

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By in United States,

@Whup thanks

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By in United States,

Just tried out Bricasso, thanks to Whup we have a great app to test our imagination. Looking forward to seeing more element but as a start this app shows great potential and is very addictive.

Thanks again and also thanks Huw for the code!

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By in United States,

@Whup where do you enter the code

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By in United States,

@Whup - I would like to see an iPad native version as well as the iPhone/iPod version. A wider variety of bricks, and a way to save builds for tinkering would be nice as well. I'm sure that if it were possible to import or export the LDD files, that there would be those who would love that. Maybe it could export a list of bricks, instead of the full LDD file? For myself, I think the ability to creatively "sketch" a build and keep it in a library would be pretty darn good. The ability to set scenes that stick, or are just simple color fields would be handy too.

It's a good start, easy and intuitive. Keep up the good work :)

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By in United States,

Hm... Some of you might of heard of "Doodle Buddy". I'm thinking why not use DB and make a custom background,then import it into The app. I like the bricks, and the zoom in and out, but have the bricks have the colors on them. Make a LOT more parts. But have them come in at different times.

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By in Australia,

I had a good play with it just before... couple of ideas/comments:
- I find rotating a bit awkward... holding down 1 finger, while moving the other.. maybe just a tap/double tap to rotate?
- Annoying that you can't build *under* overhanging bricks.. I built a nice house, with a veranda all the way around.. then at the end, I thought it'd be nice to add some tiles as pavers... but couldn't! I'd have to tear apart the whole top half of the house first!
- It seems to need an awful lot of clearance to place bricks over the wheels
- It would be nice if colours stuck.. I changed bricks a few times, and started placing, only to find it had defaulted back to white
- I'd like to be able to tilt the model back a bit more... and building a house, it didn't take me long to run into the height limit!! :)
- And yes.. saving would be nice too.
But all in all, a great first version!

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By in Australia,

@Legobob: I've never been able to redeem a code since I use the Australian version of iTunes. I think somewhere in iTunes there must be a 'Redeem Code' button or something like that.

@ZADL: The iPad native version is on it's way! Saving/loading will also be included, as are a lot more bricks/parts. Opening LDD files would be a huge change to the way Bricasso works, so at this stage it is unlikely, sorry. Exporting for LDD would be doable though if there was enough interest.

@Bobafettissocool: Are you suggesting you'd like to be able to choose your own photo as a background? That wouldn't be too difficult.

@RohanBeckett: It's funny you should mention tapping to rotate - that's how I originally had it working. To me the extra finger version just felt better, but if I can enable both methods without them feeling like they interfere with each other I will.

To allow you to build under existing pieces, I was thinking about including a 'lower' button. Whilst dragging a piece, tapping 'lower' would move the piece to the lowest valid position underneath where it was being dragged.

The clearance over wheels is mathematically 'correct', but they'd look much better with bricks that allowed you to follow the contours better (such as inverted slopes). I'll see what I can do!

One reason for the height restriction is to put an artificial limit on the number of pieces that can be used. Would it be better to scrap that?

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By in United States,

@ Whup
I also think that a way to make your own bricks.

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By in United States,

Ive finally had a chance to play with this app. My 8 year old did also. He gives it 8 out of 10,thinks it needs more types of bricks. He also was having a little problem roatating the bricks to place them where he wanted. Both of these I agree with. Very nice app overall! Im sure like most apps do,it will get better with each update.

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