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Are official sets optimized for building instructions?
The 2021 Bricklink Designer Program Round 1 building instruction had some issues where steps were not clear. This makes me wonder:
designs optimized for clarity of instructions along with piece count,
I'm assuming that instructions have a certain set of standards which make them consistent across the decades. They seem to minimize the number of times the model must be flipped or rotated. Thus, they can't reasonably show pieces being added deep within an assembly or hidden behind other parts.
During development, could sets be changed specifically for clarity of instructions? Or are good instructions simply a byproduct of efficient part usage, stability, etc?
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Recent discussions •
This is definitely factored in sometimes is just a case of building things in a different order than you would 'naturally' if you were making a moc, or creating subassemblies.
I'm starting to think that the LEGO designer are going a bit overboard on trying to make building models more complex than they really should be.
Take for example the 2015 introduced LOUVRE 21024 model. The famous I.M. Pei glass pyramid in the courtyard of the Louvre is a smooth 4 sided clear glass pyramid. All it really required was 3 types of trans-clear 45 degree slopes (2x2, 2x2 convex, and a pair of 1x2 triple slopes for the peak). Did they do that? Nope... they made it so complex that you really do need a set of instructions to just build a 45 degree sloped pyramid.
The result is something that looks more like a trans-clear Chichen Itza Mayan pyramid temple than it dues a 4 sided simple glass pyramid.
With so many of these tricky builds... it appears that LEGO toy has stopped being a construction toy (architecturally speaking), and just turned into a sculptural toy... which is one reason why more detailed instructions are needed.
Is that good or bad? Probably a little of both... it keeps adult builders interested in a challenging build... but in some instances at the cost of a realistic looking final product.
And one last thing... complex builds shouldn't compromise the sturdiness of the final product. It's no fun if you pick the model up and it falls apart when you do!
I'm working on some instructions for a complex 2'400 piece MOC at the moment, and really enjoying the puzzles of finding the best placement order, choosing when callouts are more appropriate, preventing situations where pressing a piece into place can lift up the other end of a plate, using internal colours to differentiate between left and right mirrored sections. Along the way I've tweaked a couple of bits of the internal design to make the build go smoother but the exterior is finalised. It's been fun to build it more like a set, knowing where all the pieces go this time (although the 2 year design phase was fun too). I'll be getting them beta tested next, and looking forward to watching someone else see it come together!