Students build video games powered by LEGO® Technic™ motors and MINDSTORMS® sensors
LEGO® Games team hosted their first-ever LEGO Games Game Jam event, resulting in super creative games made of physical and digital LEGO bricks.
About a year ago, the LEGO® Games team announced a partnership with Unity Technologies, the world’s leading 3D content development platform, to launch the Unity LEGO Microgame. The idea was simple: a creative tool, that allows you to quickly get started making your own LEGO game, with interactive LEGO bricks, minifigures and even import your own models from Bricklink Studio.
Now, to test the limit of the creative tool, LEGO Games hosted their first-ever LEGO Games Game Jam event, resulting in super creative, even humorous, LEGO games made of physical and digital LEGO bricks, powered by Technic™ motors and MINDSTORMS® sensors – all in 36 hours.
The participants were 43 students from the Master of Science in Games program from the IT University of Copenhagen.
“It was amazing to see their high level of ambition and enthusiasm,” said Sr. Marketing Manager Sandra Tækker Andresen. “Already from day one, the students had so many ideas and within 36 hours all nine groups were able to present a playable digital-physical LEGO experience. To give you an idea, almost every team asked for a second Technic Hub, so that they could connect even more motors and sensors and make two-player games. We were all very impressed by that!”
Besides Unity Technologies, LEGO Games also invited Creative Play Lab (CPL) and LEGO MINDSTORMS teams, who were present at the event, helping out, getting inspired by the students and taking away learnings for potential future product ideas. The three winning creations (see below) were recently displayed at Innovation House, in Billund, where colleagues could experience the games first-hand.
The Behavior Bricks System is a hit
The purpose of the event was to explore the boundaries of digital and physical LEGO play, and one of the biggest enablers was the so-called Behavior Bricks – interactive virtual bricks that allow you to code, just by building with bricks inside Unity. For example, if you want your LEGO model to rotate, you add a Rotate-brick to it.
“All the students managed to connect everything with a bit of help, and we learned so much for our next iteration of the Behavior Brick system. From what the students told us during the event and based on what they created, we could really see that our Unity LEGO project, with Behavior Bricks connected to our physical LEGO System-in-Play, was something super fun and unique for them."
She concludes: "Over the last year, we have seen a real appetite among our fans to create digital LEGO Games, using the Unity LEGO Microgame. This makes us very excited as this tool provides a fun way to develop a whole range of 21st-century skills, such as collaboration, creativity and critical thinking.”
The winners of the 3 categories
Best Overall Digital/Physical Gameplay: EGLO
They created a unique cooperative game, where one player was playing through a digital world and the other player was interfacing with the physical robot EGLO, that could change the digital world. This provided a unique physical – digital game where the players needed to communicate with each other to help and guide each other in order to succeed in the game.
Most Innovative Experience: Haunted Maze
They created a LEGO lantern with light bricks inside and a dagger. The lantern was 100% steered by a physical model – which made this experience stand out from the others. To progress in the dark maze, the player had to turn the lantern around and the dagger to solve puzzles and open new paths.
Most Humorous Experience: Life through LEGO [bricks]
They created a fantastic cube-shaped LEGO model with a minifigure head on the front and a wheel on top that allowed gamers to navigate and complete missions in the game. The game was inspired by a “LEGO life journey” and "really tapped into the LEGO humor" – starting with a LEGO DUPLO® world (with easy and fun tasks), evolving to the teenage years and finally to an adult world with more sophisticated, even bureaucratic missions.