Thursday, June 19, 2014

Lego bridges reality and the virtual world in Fusion

Lego have announced Fusion, a new range of construction and virtual play sets which build upon the strengths of the Lego brick and video games. Launching in August and September will be four building games: Town Master and Resort Designer (the latter based on the Friends theme) allow you to build up virtual cities from your creations, having to look after the citizens of your settlements. Battle Towers is a castle-theme defence game, and Create and Race, a racing game. Each comes with a specially designed base plate which can be recognised by the Fusion mobile and tablet app, allowing players to build a set and then capture it and recreate it virtually.

The real world models must be 2D facades, within a 16x16 brick block to be captured. But once in the virtual world the software extrapolates a complete 3D building from the design. Once captured, players can then go on to build more models in the real world, with their creations now part of a growing virtual world. The game also comes up with tasks and challenges to keep the player engaged.

On top of that different players can interact and compete with each others virtual realities over the internet.

Continue after the jump for a closer look at each set:

UPDATE, but first here's a video from Lego demonstrating all four:



21204 Town Master
In this simulation game, players create and rule their own LEGO town, first by building it with LEGO bricks, then by capturing it and importing it to the game. Children build everything from houses to a pizzeria, fire station and bike shop while completing errands and missions like catching robbers, fighting fires and skateboarding. To keep the minifigure citizens happy, players solve problems through physical building and earn points to gain access to more structures, and even run additional towns.

21205 Battle Towers
Players build a tower and defend it against attack so they can rule the kingdom. First, players design the Battle Towers with real LEGO pieces, then capture them and import them to the game. Next, players choose tower defenders like wizards and archers and battle against evil warriors, skeleton armies, and more. If a tower is damaged in battle, players can repair the damage with a timed build with the game's real LEGO bricks.

21206 Create and Race
In this racing game, players get behind the wheel and virtually drive the cars that they create with real LEGO bricks. Once a custom vehicle is digitally designed, physically built, and imported to the game, it can be optimized for success in racing, demolition or stunts. Players learn that every brick shape and color on the vehicle matters for performance. Three themed courses offer endless challenges unlocked by physical LEGO builds, and children can even ghost race against friends to top the leaderboard.

21208 Resort Designer
Players help the LEGO Friends design new vacation houses, shops and activities for Ambersands Beach. After building 2-D facades, capturing them and importing them to the game, players can design the interiors of 3-D digital structures, such as an aquarium, surf shop and beach houses. Children can unlock new levels and build more resorts by completing missions like rescuing dolphins, riding horses, surfing and other resort activities.

You can see a little of the game in action in this video form TechHive:



And here's another sequence of images demonstrating the tower set:


Sources: Engadget and Reuters.

PS. If these just sound too cool and you can't wait until August, you might want to check out Life of George, the precursor to these games.

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