Hyperborea, the Review, League of Legends and a New View on Cuusoo

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We are doing something a little different this week. There are four "news" items related to Cuusoo this week instead of showcasing a single project. No, nothing about BttF or the next review reveal, but it is some interesting Cuusoo items none the less.

First I wanted to share Nick Royer's latest project which just got published. You may recall that Royer is the creator of "Space Troopers," one of only three Cuusoo projects to reach 10,000 without a popular IP backing it up. Now he introduces "Hyperborea."

This is another "theme" type project (yes we all know it will have to whittle down to one set when it reaches 10k) but instead of outer space this time, it's inner space with a pulpy hollow earth adventure. From what Roy is showcasing, the project looks like a lot of fun but he is already promising more. I for one am really looking forward to what he has to show.

 

Cuusoo Review Update

Tim Courtney has posted to the Cuusoo blog with a notice that the Summer 2013 review deadline is June 3rd. There is a nice showcase of the top five projects and an "update" on the review status. Not really anything juicy or new, just a reminder really about the complexity of the task. There is however this great little graphic of the projects currently under review.

 

League of Legends

Speaking of Summer review deadlines, League of Legends needs a little more than 750 support to get it to 10,000 in time for the review.

It is not an impossible range of support, especially considering the nature of League of Legends (LoL). It is an online, free to play, arena battle game with apparently 12-million players worldwide per day. This project has experienced extreme surges of support in the last few weeks but is currently at a lull right at the finish line.

This project is obviously going to get to 10k, it is just a matter of when, but it could certainly use your support to get into the Summer review.

 

A New View to Cuusoo

A lot of people complain about the quality of projects on Cuusoo. I have given Cuusoo a lot of feedback in this regard but of course they are dealing with the bigger picture and as any of you with project management experience can attest to, scope creep is something to be avoided at all costs. So I decided to do something about it on my own.

I have created four new pages that actively find Cuusoo projects that are trending up, both mature projects and new ones. Using these pages you can leave sifting through the projects to the people like me and just get a look at the best Cuusoo has to offer.

Daily Support showcases the top 60 projects of the day. It also has a table showing the top 25 projects of the day and their performance on the previous two days to help spot trends. This page is a mix of new projects and old as well as projects which have caught the attention of the media.

Weekly Support is similar to Daily Support but it collects the support over the last seven days. This page showcases the "work-horses" of the Cuusoo projects as well as the stand out new projects that might go the distance.

Latest Projects showcases the latest 54 projects in descending order based on support. Nearly every day projects cycle in and out of this page.

Top New Projects is for people who really just want to see the best of what is new in Cuusoo. The top row of projects collects the very latest projects and shows the top three. The following five rows show the top 15 of the latest 54 projects.

All of these pages are in Beta at the moment. The technical side of them is pretty well developed but they could use a bit more shine and polish. I have a lot more plans for the pages though so the technical aspects are going to trump the visual elements for a while longer.

 

A Week of Cuusoo

This week, my pick was the "new" Micro Hogwarts Castle. This is the third one on Cuusoo but I think it manages to pack the biggest punch in the smallest package. This scale should find easy appeal with the part-time FOL / full-time FOP's (Fan of Potter's) budget and display options. The light brick also adds a lot of charm and life to the structure.

A UCS speeder bike, a Micro Galaxy Explorer μ928, and an aircraft carnival ride fleshed out my top picks for the week.

My review of these projects, a showcase of all the projects that came out in the last week and a few other ramblings about Cuusoo and crowd sourced / funded projects (including one for new "Lego" Tank Treads) can be found here.

25 comments on this article

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By in United States,

Y'know what (might be) stupid about CUUSOO? People like NickRoyer, who had a project that got 10,000, will always be the users who get those votes. If another user posted this project, it would likely never get off the ground. Personally (and I just realized this) I think CUUSOO might go down the drain. I'm not condeming CUUSOO, i'm saying it might have problems that appear.

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By in France,

It already has gone down the drain, hasn't it?

Nearly all the stuff on there is licensed, very little original work. How many iron man suit halls are needed? Many expansion kits for existing sets. Many minfigures packs, or tiny sets designed to be tiny to pack in large numbers of minifigs as a way of getting rarer figs cheaper. Designs that are meaningless if standalone, and only work as part of a theme.

And when outstanding projects do make 10,000 Lego takes way too long to make decisions and update.

I don't bother looking very much these days.

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By in United States,

The reason that licensed projects make it more often is because more people are familiar with it. CCC, I do agree that there are to many "battle packs" just to get the rare figs. However, lego613master, I don't feel that a monopoly will form, though it goes without saying that the designer of the UCS Sandcrawler did have two projects that made 10000. However, his first project didn't succeed. All of both of your concerns are very valid, I must say though.

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By in United States,

You may have noticed the great amount of Star Wars Battle of Kashyyyk projects, including one with the Republic Commandos from Delta Squad.

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By in United States,

I would love if this delta squad project made it I loved the game and I love lego but it doesn't have a chance im afraid between some new molds and all and few supporters. I for one don't like cusso...

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By in United States,

I'm sorry if I may have worded my origional comment wrong, although I think you got my meaning.

Basically, I though to myself when I viewed Hyperborea, "You know, I'll bet that if someone else posted this project it would have 1/4 of it's popularity." So, now that users like NickRoyer are famous (I mean, almost everyone on CUUSOO knows who he is and what he made), those famous users will get more votes. And when there comes a user who makes 2 projects that are passed, that users basically has a monopoly. All they need to do is let a few influential people (who they already know from previous projects) know about their new project, and there's 5000 votes right there.

I think a way to (possibly) solve this problem is to have a randomly-generated username. That way, nobody remembers you "as that guy who got that one project that made 10,000."

Because, people use their popularity for more votes, whether they try to or not. I am not at all saying this is wrong; but;

>>CUUSOO is for the models, and we vote for the best one, not the most advertised one.<<

I think the statement above is the Key to CUUSOO. What do you think about that?

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By in Germany,

I stopped voting on CUUSOO, it just does not seem worth it anymore. Too many video-game or other licensed stuff. It is a great place to get ideas for my own projects, though.

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By in United States,

Well, this is the first time I've ever been called famous.
I would take issue with the fact that people think Hyperborea will zoom to the top thanks to my previous success. True, there are a lot of people who will vote for Hyperborea because they have a sort of affinity for the Nick Royer style, or simply like me on a more personal level.
However, I would say that several people are pretty well-known on Cuusoo for being successful- Team Jigsaw (the Portal people), for instance, and I think that people who tend to get more votes on Cuusoo are, in general, the ones who submit a higher-quality project. I know there's a glut of video-game and cheap little licensed set ideas out there, but most of those don't ever break 100 supporters; on the flip side, I put a huge amount of effort into Space Troopers, and now Hyperborea, and the end project is more polished than a simple LDD screenshot. That being said, there are a lot of really great projects out there that languish in relative obscurity. Personally, I think the solution would be to have some sort of automatic weeding process for underperforming projects- if a project doesn't break a certain threshold of supports in, say, a month, it will likely not go much further, and it could be pulled. Then again, this might deter some people with slow-starting ideas or original IP (which not many people are familiar with.)

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By in United States,

I don't mind the licensed sets; I think the main problem with Cuusoo is the flood of sets that won't make it ever, drowning out the sets that could make it. I think every Star Wars, Batman, Iron Man, Bionicle, Spiderman, Lord of the Rings sets should just be removed. Even IF they made it to 10,000, they would never be made. LEGO has these themes well in hand and would not consider a cuusoo run of them. And although I'm very familiar with the cuusoo site myself, I find their search mechanics clunky.

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By in United States,

@behemothjosh,

One of my long term plans it to implement better a better search engine of the Cuusoo projects. It is simple enough. The bigger issue it cataloging the projects.

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By in United States,

The problem I see with Hyperborea as it relates to Cuusoo is that it is not a single set, but rather (a very good) idea for a theme/line of products. That makes it hard to answer the Cuusoo question, what would you pay for it? I really like this idea though. It would be a great successor to Pharaoh Quest.

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By in United States,

Cuusoo does say that themes are OK; I think the cost question for a theme project would be the (maximum?) amount you'd be willing to pay for a set in the theme.

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By in United States,

I think it started going down the drain once they began approving college mascots. There's more than enough sports merchandising, to push school pride on lego seems strange to me.

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By in United Kingdom,


There are plenty of high quality, polished projects out there, the problem is having to sift through a lot of project that are... sub-par (a brick box with 10+ minifigs). It seems that some people are using Cuusoo as a MOC Gallery rather than the overcrowding, Kickstarter platform it is, uploading 20+ project of questionable quality, maybe implementing a cap on projects per profile, this might promote quality over quantity? Or if the Cuusoo Team used their digression a tad more to filter out these projects, and redirect them to other LEGO Services, like Re:Brick or their themed galleries?

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By in United States,

So much negativity in some posts about Cuusoo.

The way I look at it, is there are many sets that would never have been made otherwise without Cuusoo. It is an experiment and is still evolving. I see Cuusoo as something positive that has its ups and downs.

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By in United Kingdom,

I have to agree with lego613master this wouldn't get of the ground if Nick Royers hadn't already got 10,000 supports on his last project so this is sort of a problem for Cuusoo.

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By in United States,

@hjmediastudios- I take it you are NickRoyer. Take in mind I have nothing against you or your projects; they are both awesome, have supported both, and I'm sure you're an awesome guy to know. I have noting against you or other users.

I am against the popularity of users who can get more votes, which, in and of itself is not a bad thing, but it's a rather unfair advantage, IMHO.

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By in United States,

@behemothjosh- Yes, same here.
@Concore- I agree, they should only let through projects that look as if they have some real effort in them. Other projects will never get over 1000 votes, and you can take that to the bank.
@xj550- I suppose. I'm not condemning CUUSOO, just pointing out flaws.

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By in United States,

I hate how long the reviews take...

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By in United States,

Despite my love for Portal, I don't think it will pass, nor will the Sand crawler, even if it is better than most Lego models. Hey, at least we get a new Mars Rover.

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By in United States,

Of course it has its flaws. It is a new platform. Everyone has to start somewhere. But I will agree that many projects will never get made. However, it's the same concept as the app store. There are multiple versions of similar apps that different people have made. Some work great, some are terrible. But they still came up with their own and released it even though there were others on the market. As overwhelming/frustrating as it can be with multiple bad models to every one good model, you still need a little bit of competition to help drive it. Just because you (read: anyone/everyone) think one model isn't very good doesn't mean it won't reach the threshold, while others that may appear as better quality not make it. It's all personal perspective.

I am not particularly interested in any of the sets that have been released or in review, but obviously people want them. I like this Hyperborea idea, but I never paid attention to the Space Marine one. So his popularity may work in his favor in some instances, but it won't change anything for people like me who didn't pay attention to past successes, but are willing to vote for the new model/theme.

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By in United States,

I agree that the big problem with Cuusoo is that most of the projects are just put up as a MOC showcase, not as a serious project. I think a big part of that problem is an easily circumvented age filter. (I personally believe the filter should exclude those under 16 or so, as I've seen plenty of talented TFOLs who can keep it classy, but there are just too many projects whose creators cannot possibly be over 13.)

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By in Portugal,

I see many people criticizing cuusoo because of most projects being IP owned. Well it's a fact that having an estabilished fanbase makes it easier to reach 10k. However I must agree that cuusoo shouldn't be about marketing and PR but mainly about the models. That's why LEGO should intervene and advertise cuusoo fully. There are many non IP projects that have their own value and probably will haver a harder time reaching the goal.

I leave you with a project of my own (totally original story and sets) many might already be aware -
GALAXY COMMAND http://lego.cuusoo.com/ideas/view/31711
and a few more have derivated from it
http://lego.cuusoo.com/ideas/view/36847
http://lego.cuusoo.com/ideas/view/40309
http://lego.cuusoo.com/ideas/view/37829
http://lego.cuusoo.com/ideas/view/39032
http://lego.cuusoo.com/ideas/view/40714
Allfrom the same universe.

So please don't give up on CUUSOO. Just support those projects you feel really are justified either by their originality, excusivity or purpose. There are some projects that even having IP's wouldn't be produced by LEGO, and here they have a chance, just like this another example

http://lego.cuusoo.com/ideas/view/29643

LEGO would never take STARWARS this way but who wouldn't want an official DARTH REVAN minifig?

There are dozen of more examples.
Sorry for using only my projects but I wouldn't to incorporate projects in this comment without consent.

So... final statement: don't ive up on cuusoo, just waste abit more time finding the good projects lying there. We sure could use all of your help!

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By in United States,

^^ @Rekardoo, Do not worry... For starters, there are probably five times as many people on Cuusoo as there were just several months ago. It is going viral just by word-of-mouth already, and it will only be a matter of time before Cuusoo resolves all the issues in the Beta Phase, goes fully "live", and starts advertising it out with a great fanfare and a net-wide ad blitz... Oh, but when they do, people will start to complain that "It is just a million kids now!" XD

^ and @Graallll, Yep... If one person creates a pretty-good-but-not-perfect rendition of an idea, then there are bound to be a lot of weak "me-too" projects, plus several solid honest attempts to improve on the idea. Remember that there were originally 9 BTTF Projects, with one clear winner... Then 12 Ghostbusters projects, with just 2 breakout contenders... And at least 8 Apple Store projects, with two clear contenders in the lead... etc, etc... It will continue!

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