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What would YOU ask a designer?

HuwHuw Brickset Towers, Hampshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 6,357
edited May 13 in Everything else LEGO

Next week, Chris/CapnRex101 and I will be attending the annual Fan Media days in Billund, along with representatives from many other fan media sites. We will have the opportunity to interview designers from various franchises and we invite you to suggest questions that you'd like us to ask them.

Before you do so, bear in mind that they are unable to answer questions about future products and plans so we will not be embarrassing ourselves, and them, by asking.

We'll be taking to designers from the following teams:

  • Creator Expert
  • Technic
  • Overwatch
  • Star Wars Boost
  • Jurassic World / Harry Potter
  • Speed Champions
  • Powered Up!
  • LEGO (digital) Games

We will record the interviews, transcribe them, and publish a series articles over the summer.

Please let us have your suggestions!

stluxBumblepantsMr_CrossLego_StarFowlerBricksBaby_Yoda

Comments

  • Koolbrix2018Koolbrix2018 North CarolinaMember Posts: 19
    When you interview the Creator Expert designers, you could ask Mike Psiaki what the hardest part of designing the Ford Mustang was, and how long it took to design.

  • BumblepantsBumblepants Sofia BG/Dallas TXMember Posts: 5,554
    I would like to hear about how they work with auto manufacturers on the speed champions line. Do the car makers give input on what cars they want made or color or design details or is the Lego designer free to make those sorts of choices on their own?
    gmonkey76
  • LyichirLyichir United StatesMember Posts: 661
    If the Games people can answer it, I'd be curious to know a little more about the development process for a theme like Hidden Side with physical/digital interaction.
  • Mr_CrossMr_Cross East Anglia (UK)Member Posts: 909
    What is your favourite ever set? or Which set are you most nostalgic about from your childhood?
    Which set that you've worked on are you most proud of and why?
    What is your favourite beverage?
    Do you like a good curry?
    Are sausages as important to you as they are to us?
    Do you have a "signature component" that you like to try to use in all your models?
    Baby_YodaLittleLoridmcc0PolyphemusGothamConstructionCo
  • OscarWRGOscarWRG Member Posts: 11
    If we have to pay a premium price on licensed themes like Jurassic World or Harry Potter, why TLG keeps using stickers on those sets?

  • pxchrispxchris Oregon, USAMember Posts: 393
    Like @Mr_Cross, I would love to hear about the "signature component".

    Or perhaps to word it another way, "is there a favorite piece(s) that you try to use in any set you design."

    Along the same line:
    • Have you ever specifically included pieces in sets knowing that it makes them desirable parts packs for AFOLs.
    • If you've been able to work with the element designers, what's the new element you're proudest of having a hand in creating and bringing into the part portfolio?
    LittleLoriCymbelineAstrobricksstarwars4ever
  • PaperballparkPaperballpark UKMember Posts: 3,379
    What's their most obscure part usage?
  • ChrisBricks81ChrisBricks81 NetherlandsMember Posts: 9
    edited May 13
    I would like to ask the Star Wars team the following question; "If you could choose a never before released Star Wars vehicle/spaceship, which one would you like to create and why?"
  • FowlerBricksFowlerBricks USAMember Posts: 1,566
    I would ask the Speed Champions designers what their opinion on using lots of stickers is and if they wish all prints were possible.
  • CharmiefcbCharmiefcb SydneyMember Posts: 87
    Just a general for all designers. What was the first set they worked on/designed?
  • The_RancorThe_Rancor Dorset, UKMember Posts: 585
    I’d like to know a little more about who decides which Star Wars ships or scenes get made? I would assume TLG are obliged to release things to tie in with major releases, but otherwise what is the push and pull on what gets made? I got some inside knowledge on the licensed process for the Batman Movie but I expect Star Wars is a little different. (sorry, didn’t mention this in the main Brickset site thread)
  • hleonffuhleonffu USAMember Posts: 228
    For the Powered Up team:

    1. How can we get 2 train motors working using a single Powered Up Hub? This is easily done using Power Functions, but cannot be done at the moment for Powered Up.
    2. When will they make Powered Up components available at [email protected]?
    3. Any possibility of a change log/release notes for Powered Up Hub firmware updates?
  • blokey9blokey9 MelbourneMember Posts: 100
    i would like to know why they sometimes use parts that have no apparent purpose. e.g. there are 4 x 4143005(connector with knob) used on pages 15 & 19 of the instructions for #75244. i cannot work out why they have been used.
  • Baby_YodaBaby_Yoda The world's backsideMember Posts: 1,090
    Do established fans/followers of licences (e.g. Star Wars) tend to work on those more than not?
    And
    Did you ever hear the tragedy of Darth Plagueis the Wise? 
    BumblepantsThe_RancorAanchirgmonkey76dmcc0Switchfoot55starwars4ever
  • BumblepantsBumblepants Sofia BG/Dallas TXMember Posts: 5,554
    edited May 14
    I would be curious to hear if the Overwatch team were familiar with the game and if they played it any to become more familiar with the property. If they were not familiar, how do you approach the research process to become intimate with a new IP. (That last bit could apply to any theme really)
    Baby_Yoda
  • AanchirAanchir United StatesMember Posts: 2,749
    For the Powered Up team:
    • When did the development process for a system to replace Power Functions begin?

    • What other LEGO themes or categories did you work on prior to Powered Up?

    • What were some of the specific goals of the Powered Up system/shortcomings of the Power Functions system you wished to correct or improve on?

    • How does the development process for electronic or programmable LEGO sets and parts vary from the development process for other sets and parts?

    • How do legal regulations and safety consideration impact the development process for a new system of electric parts?

    • What sorts of feedback have you gotten from LEGO Powered Up users so far via surveys, LEGO Ambassador Network, LEGO Customer Service, etc?

    • Are there plans for more "standard" sets to be made compatible with the Boost Creative Toolbox, similar to #70652 Stormbringer and #60194 Arctic Scout Truck?

    • Is there a reason for the specific order in which new branches of Powered Up have been rolled out (i.e. WeDo 2.0 -> Boost -> City Trains and Super Heroes Batmobile -> Spike Prime -> Technic Control+), or is it simply up to the teams in charge of each individual theme?
    For the Technic team:
    • In the late 90s and early 2000s, there were lots of Technic sets with a science-fiction flavor — for example, the Competition/Cyber-Slam sets, the Slizer/Throwbots and Roboriders sets, #8437 Future Car, and #8213 Spy Runner. But lately there has been much more of a focus on real-world, modern-day vehicles, with only occasional exceptions such as last year's #42081 Volvo Concept Wheel Loader ZEUX and the alternate model of #42063 BMW R 1200 GS Adventure.

      Do you feel like there's strong potential for a wider variety of sets based on imagined futuristic or fantasy subject matter? Or are these types of builds at odds with what buyers currently expect from LEGO Technic?

    • A trend we've seen in recent years in themes like City, Creator, and Ideas has been the popularity of sets related to real-world space exploration technologies such as NASA's Robonaut 2 and R5/Valkyrie or Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity. Have you considered exploring similar ideas in the Technic theme? If not, why?

    • We've seen with themes like LEGO Friends that girls can be interested in toy vehicles and can enjoy building at the same building level as comparable boy-oriented themes.

      So far, Technic remains one of the more heavily masculine-coded themes in terms of subject matter, branding/marketing, and design language. But we've seen some attempts to use branding, aesthetics, and subject matter more palatable to a female audience in other Technic-based product lines like LEGO Forma and LEGO Education Spike Prime.

      Have there been any thoughts about or attempts at making the Technic theme itself more gender-neutral? Or are there concerns that would risk alienating the theme's current audience?
    Have to go to lunch now but I may have other questions to add later.
    LittleLoristluxLyichirhleonffuBaby_Yodasid3windr
  • Lego_Lord_MayorcaLego_Lord_Mayorca H-Town, USAMember Posts: 497
    My question:
    When the Creator Expert line (back when it was still just "Creator") started including realistic display models of cars (like the VW Camper Van) and even planes (like the remake of the Sopwith Camel), was there ever any talk about reviving the Model Team branding just for advanced display models of vehicles? It seems like Model Team would be a great way to differentiate the non-minifigure scale vehicles like the recent Ford Mustang more clearly while leaving the Creator Expert branding to landmarks, the modular buildings, and the large fairground sets.
    Brickchapsid3windr
  • HuwHuw Brickset Towers, Hampshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 6,357
    Great suggestions everyone, especially @Aanchir, thank you.
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 17,324
    Why no brown sausages? Some real sausages are brown, and the clever use of attaching leaves to the tree in Stranger Things uses a black sausage - brown would have been better.
  • BumblepantsBumblepants Sofia BG/Dallas TXMember Posts: 5,554
    CCC said:
    Why no brown sausages? Some real sausages are brown, and the clever use of attaching leaves to the tree in Stranger Things uses a black sausage - brown would have been better.
    Surely the answer is the obvious one.
    Mr_Crossgmonkey76dmcc0Baby_YodamsanderspxchrisPolyphemussid3windr
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 17,324
    CCC said:
    Why no brown sausages? Some real sausages are brown, and the clever use of attaching leaves to the tree in Stranger Things uses a black sausage - brown would have been better.
    Surely the answer is the obvious one.
    Not when they already gave us these:
    Baby_YodaAstrobricksMr_Crosssid3windr
  • SjaackoSjaacko The NetherlandsMember Posts: 2
    My question is this: On what basis is chosen to cover a 1x5 distance (plate or brick) using a 1x1 and 1x4 or a 1x2 and 1x3? And regarding that: what is keeping the 1x5 plate (or 2x5) or 1x5 brick coming out?
  • SjaackoSjaacko The NetherlandsMember Posts: 2
    I have a few questions on element choices in the Corner Garage (set 10264), but these kinds of questions would go for other sets too. I'd like to know on what bases these kinds of choices are made.

    Corner Garage Specific:
    • In step 1 a dark grey 1x2 tile and 1x1 tile is used to “make” a 1x3. Why not use a 1x3 there? On what basis are these kind of choices made? In other places in the model, a 1x3 is used too.
    • Another example of question no. 2: in step 5 the baseplate is nicely covered with tiles. Why is one dark grey 2x2 tile “made” with two 1x2 tiles in one instance?
    • Step 96: 2x plate 1x3 earth green instead of one 1x6 (which is in the set too)
    • Step 96: Why 1x4 plate with 2 studs instead of a normal 1x4 plate
    • Step 97: Why 2x medium stone grey tile 2x2 instead of one 2x4
    • Step 128: Why 2x dark stone grey 1x3 plate instead of one 1x6
    • Step 128 / 2: Why dark stone grey plate 1x4 with 2 studs instead of a normal 1x4 plate
    • Step 220: Why two 1x3 dark stone grey plates instead of one 1x6 plate
    • Inconsistency in step 157 vs 227 with the use of 1x1 round tiles and 1x1 tiles with a rounded end.
    • Step 237 submodel step 3: Why jumper plate instead of regular 1x2.
    • Building technique of wall pieces in steps 164 and 191 vary in 250 and 251, using 1x1 bricks and 1x1 plates vs 1x2 plates
    • Step 274 no brickwork using 1x3 tiles > 1x4 and 1x2 tiles would maintain brickwork
  • BumblepantsBumblepants Sofia BG/Dallas TXMember Posts: 5,554
    Sjaacko said:
    I have a few questions on element choices in the Corner Garage (set 10264), but these kinds of questions would go for other sets too. I'd like to know on what bases these kinds of choices are made.

    Corner Garage Specific:
    • In step 1 a dark grey 1x2 tile and 1x1 tile is used to “make” a 1x3. Why not use a 1x3 there? On what basis are these kind of choices made? In other places in the model, a 1x3 is used too.
    • Another example of question no. 2: in step 5 the baseplate is nicely covered with tiles. Why is one dark grey 2x2 tile “made” with two 1x2 tiles in one instance?
    • Step 96: 2x plate 1x3 earth green instead of one 1x6 (which is in the set too)
    • Step 96: Why 1x4 plate with 2 studs instead of a normal 1x4 plate
    • Step 97: Why 2x medium stone grey tile 2x2 instead of one 2x4
    • Step 128: Why 2x dark stone grey 1x3 plate instead of one 1x6
    • Step 128 / 2: Why dark stone grey plate 1x4 with 2 studs instead of a normal 1x4 plate
    • Step 220: Why two 1x3 dark stone grey plates instead of one 1x6 plate
    • Inconsistency in step 157 vs 227 with the use of 1x1 round tiles and 1x1 tiles with a rounded end.
    • Step 237 submodel step 3: Why jumper plate instead of regular 1x2.
    • Building technique of wall pieces in steps 164 and 191 vary in 250 and 251, using 1x1 bricks and 1x1 plates vs 1x2 plates
    • Step 274 no brickwork using 1x3 tiles > 1x4 and 1x2 tiles would maintain brickwork
    I think the answer to these types of questions is often just that the set/bag already contains the component in question so it is easier to add more of that part than to add a different element into the mix. It would be interesting to see what they say though as sometimes it really does seem like an odd choice is being made.
    Sjaacko
  • HuwHuw Brickset Towers, Hampshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 6,357
    I believe the answer to the majority of those questions is that it's to reduce unique element count and thus costs. Two 1x2 plates may well be more expensive to produce than a 1x4 but if only one of the latter is called for in the set, and two 1x2s would suffice, then presumably it's cheaper to use them than to produce, store and pack an additional element type.
  • MrJacksonMrJackson Member Posts: 308
    ^ Unique elements, or lack thereof, was a major factor in rereleasing the Taj Mahal - despite almost 6k parts, there is a comparatively low number of disparate, unique elements, and all of those elements are still in production, either with the same mould or modified moulds (hollow studded dishes vs. full studs, redesigned 1x2 jumper plates, etc.).  This is major reason we don't see many reissues, so no matter the clamoring for an updated Cafe Corner, that won't happen. 

    However, I would like to know why Sand Green 1x2 bricks with groove haven't shown up in any set besides the Green Grocer......
  • bookmumbookmum londonMember Posts: 1,178
    Could we have a Creator Expert Friends set please! 
  • BrickchapBrickchap AustraliaMember Posts: 93

    We already have one, Downtown Diner

  • AdzbadboyAdzbadboy London, UKMember Posts: 2,613

    My concerns and questions are regarding stickers. Firstly I’m not one against stickers in products, they allow that diversity and creativity to flow through fan creations by repurposing them instead of being limited to a printed brick.

    The LEGO Group uses two types of stickers in majority of their products: white and clear backed. I’m in possession of a couple products released over the recent years using the white backed stickers and they are not designed well for long term use, pealing off surfaces and falling apart! By using the clear backed stickers would that not ensure long term use? Can we gain some insight into the purpose of using one or the other? What’s the decision behind choosing what’s printed vs stickers.

    Brickchap
  • Baby_YodaBaby_Yoda The world's backsideMember Posts: 1,090
    ^ I much prefer the stickers with coloured backs. The clear ones look grimy and the air bubbles are a pain to get rid of. The slightest imperfection on the sticker is as obvious as the design itself, and I don't think it's possible to avoid leaving at least a small portion of a fingerprint without using tweezers or something, which shouldn't be necessary.
    Aanchir
  • Mr_CrossMr_Cross East Anglia (UK)Member Posts: 909
    Can you sneak the Classic Space logo into your next model please?
    PJ76ukpxchris
  • jumalichijumalichi Member Posts: 53
    In the future could we get an entire model imagined and designed by Jamie Berard or is he now managing projects and theme ?

    BrickchapLego_Starsid3windr
  • GeordiePaulGeordiePaul Glastonbury, CT, USAMember Posts: 463
    I’d like to know why Lego stopped using doors on their train carriages. And I’d also like to know what theme each designer would like to see return one day (mine would be Classic Space).
    Brickchaphleonffusid3windrMr_Cross
  • CharmiefcbCharmiefcb SydneyMember Posts: 87
    Are there any building techniques banned in certain themes? For example something is allowed in Creator/Creator Expert but not allowed in City.
    AstrobrickshleonffuBaby_YodaBrickchapAanchir
  • Lego_StarLego_Star ... in a galaxy far, far away.Member Posts: 1,897
    edited May 19
    From sets that have already been released / that you can talk about:

    What's the funniest or most surprising reaction or comment from a kid during playtesting of a set you have designed or been involved in the design of? What was the set?

    What's the most satisfying design problem that you have resolved, why that one and how did you resolve it?


    I also just wanted to say 'Thanks' for all the great sets to all the designers. :o)
    BrickchapstluxBumblepantssid3windrMr_CrossAanchir
  • MaffyDMaffyD West YorkshireMember Posts: 2,431
    Overwatch: How did you decide on scale - minifig to brickbuilt?
    Were there any design avenues you went down before you realised they were cul-de-sacs?
    Finally,I don't play the game, so don't know if it's all part of Blizzard's backstory or if Lego put it in there, but was the functionality of the separating space rocket in #75975 a homage to old school Classic Space ships that separated? I'm thinking #6891 #6931 #6980 and of course #6780
    Edit: I'm a bit late, aren't I?
    Aanchir
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