The public's first demonstration of LEGO Universe has finally occurred. Read on to find out what the ZAM staff found out!
The time’s come to bust out those old LEGO kits and start touching up on your construction skills. LEGO Universe is on its ways and will be arriving on gamer computers in a relatively short amount of time. Dates have been announced and demonstrations have been given to the industry press. Most importantly, the game is fun.
How does ZAM know all this? Our staffers, along with other members of the press, were invited to a special demonstration of LEGO Universe that featured the game’s first ever live demonstration, along with extensive time to ask our own questions of Creative Director Ryan Seabury.
Although we’re still digesting all of the information that the LEGO Universe team dispensed, we couldn’t wait any longer in getting all of the pertinent facts put down on paper. You can expect a fairly lengthy preview and interview in the days ahead, but for now, here’s a quick cheat sheet on what we know about LEGO Universe.
We apologize for the sheer amount of raw information in this story, and we'll be sure to continue to make this list easier to read and add more information as it's discovered. If you have any questions, be sure to log in and leave us a comment below.
Important Facts Revealed About LEGO Universe:
- Set to Release in 2010
- Interactivity is a major goal for the LEGO Universe team. Stationary objects in the game will be clickable and/or interactive with player equipable items. Even the log-in screen features a minifig that performs various actions when inputting your username and password.
- Individuals with a LEGO ID (received from the LEGO official website) will be able to use that username and password in LEGO Universe.
- Players will create their own minifig at character creation, choosing from an assortment of facial features, hair styles, and clothing. However, many more options are available for the player as they advance and collect outfits and objects.
- Minifigs are filled with a “creative spark” and it acts as the character's essence. It can never be extinguished so it keeps the characters from truly dying. When a player is “smashed” they are simply “rebuilt.” Some of the destruction scenes are quite humorous.
Combat and Equipment
- Combat in LEGO U will be active, similar to LEGO Star Wars, Batman, etc. Like those games, players can opt to use melee or ranged weaponry.
- Equipment helps determine the type of character someone is trying to be. The game is classless, so donning a armor and a longsword allows them to act as a melee fighter even though it isn’t specifically spelled out. However, players can certainly mix and match, like wearing wizard robes, a pirate hat, and a katana at the same time.
- Equipment also determines special attacks and provides players with other abilities; like stealth.
- A vast assortment of weapons and equipment can be found in each LEGO Universe area. Everything from pirate hats to pith helmets to katanas to muskets were all on display. We even witnessed a “Fish on a Stick.”
Exploration and Environments
- Lots of individual LEGO Universe worlds will be explorable for players at launch and the team plans to continue to create and introduce new content regularly. During the demo we saw four unique worlds with areas for high and low level players alike.
- High and low level player interaction is an important part of the LEGO U experience. The developers want players to wonder how a high level player got a piece of equipment or simply stare at their awesome minifig.
- There will be platforming elements in the game. Examples of “double jumping” were included in the demonstration.
- Players will go on missions / quests received from NPCs. Text in these is obviously kept to a minimum and is very straightforward.
Power Ups and Consumables
- Health is tracked via hearts that can be increased through a variety of means, including finding special items.
- The players will also have to watch their “Imagination Meter.” (This was not the official term used by NetDevil.) Imagination is what drives many of the special abilities in the game and can be enhanced much like a players’ health.
- Players restore health and imagination by killing enemies, opening chests, and destroying objects. Heart and imagination power-ups appear along with the coinage from the game’s currency.
- Like almost all MMOs, players will be able to buy items from in-game merchants. Auction houses were not discussed.
Pets and Social Interactions
- Players can tame certain animals in the game to acquire them as pets. Examples of pets on display: lions, elephants, alligators, turtles, buffalo, triceratops, warthogs, and Doberman dogs.
- Pet parts can be manipulated so players can make their own unique pet creations like a Liowartagator.
- Pets will feature prominently in solving puzzles, reaching new areas, and finding hidden items. Pets might dig up a hidden treasure or jump on a launch pad button.
- NetDevil has created a system that allows them to easily create and implement new pets, so they will be frequently added.
- LEGO Universe will feature a multitude of emotes, from a simple wave to actions as complicated as a pirate jig. Since minifigs are the same size / shape, the animation team was able to create a vast assortment of emotes.
- In-game chat will be allowed, but there will be varying levels of filtration to keep younger players safe.
Building LEGO Models
- Every LEGO brick – all the unique shapes and structures – will be in LEGO Universe.
- Players will be able to create their own LEGO objects using the bricks that they collect and showcase them to other players in the game. High levels of moderation will be in force whenever a player tries to make something for public consumption, so don’t expect to see inappropriately shaped objects in the world.
- Each player will have their own areas where they can showcase their in-game trophies, collectibles, and their own creations. Social networking tech will insure that friends will be able to show off content to other friends. Think Facebook with LEGOs.
- The devs hope to be able to allow players to “give life” to their creations. It was not revealed whether this will be implemented for release or not.
That's all we have for now, but keep checking back in at ZAM to see if we've unearthed any more details about LEGO Universe!