by the LEGO Universe News Network

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by Brian Booker, LEGO Universe Design Director

The potential for NetDevil's upcoming MMOG, LEGO Universe, is enormous.
Over 20 billion LEGO bricks are produced annually, and millions of
consumers ache to get their hands on the latest LEGO sets. Since its
announcement, the developers behind LEGO Universe have remained fairly
quiet, yet every time a piece of new news finds its way onto the
internet, people flock to the news with a frantic fervor. Recently, Ten
Ton Hammer happened upon a recent Q&A done by the LEGO Universe
team for their own design director, Brian Booker. The Ten Ton Hammer
staff was happy to publish the story, and we hope you enjoy it!

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Brian Booker, LEGO
Universe Design Director

Hello Brian. Tell us a
bit about your role in LEGO Universe’s development.

First and foremost
it’s my job to ensure that people will have a great time when
they log into LEGO Universe. I’m crafting the
game’s features on a high level with a focus on the kinds of
experiences players will have. I also guide the entire design team.

Do you play with LEGO?

I’ve played with
LEGO since I was a kid. My current favorites are the Castle and Star
Wars sets… Do I get a free death Death Star for doing this

What are your interests
outside of LEGO Universe?

I love playing all kinds
of sports - most recently roller hockey and basketball. I enjoy
exploring the mountains and traveling. I’m also a fan of
science fiction, fantasy, metaphysics and the “unknown."

Are you a gamer?

(Laughs) I'm totally a
hardcore gamer! I've been into role-playing games and board games since
I was 10 years old. Back then, my friends and I would go to the local
library to play the original Dungeons and Dragons game. I also played
the very first video games, like Pong and Space Invaders, and the very
first MMOG’s. I’ve never stopped gaming since I was
a kid, and I've been designing games for about as long as
I’ve been playing them.

What do you like about
designing games?

It’s just very
powerful to develop an idea into reality. I can also be creative and
tell a story, and hopefully my work allows thousands of people to have
fun and enjoy themselves. So to me, it's an ideal way to spend my time.

Is a game
designer’s focus on the look of the game?

No, my team’s
responsibility is the gameplay.

How do you design

By providing entertaining
answers to questions like these: When you create your minifig and enter
LEGO Universe, what do you see? What point of view do you have in the
game? What can you do as your minifig? What’s the story of
the game; what’s the fiction behind it? What kinds of social
interactions can players have with each other? How do players interact
with the game from a control standpoint?

is the experience that results from my team bringing all of these
elements together-- and it’s our primary concern that it be a
fun experience!

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Brian's team is
responsible for LEGO Universe's minigames.

So, your team is kind of
like the fun police!

(Laughs) I like that! In
fact I might start wearing a little law enforcement badge that says
“FUN” on it!

Do you create LEGO
Universe’s minigames?

Yes, that’s part
of my team’s responsibility.

Does LEGO Universe
include a fantastic story?

Yes! My team has
collaborated on an overarching epic storyline about the origins of LEGO
Universe and the minifigs that inhabit it.

I can’t tell everything about the game just yet, but maybe I
can give you some hints… Aside from just playing games or
trading and socializing, the story allows minifigs to team
up—and that’s when the real adventuring begins. If
the teams of little LEGO people are successful in their endeavors,
they’ll uncover new zones where they can have new and
different experiences…

That’s all I can say for now, but I’m really
excited for the time when I can share more details with everyone!

Which of the
game’s features are you most excited about?

I’d say the
systems that allow users to generate their own content—things
like original, highly customizable creatures as well as static models.
It’s just amazing to be able to build your own creation,
deploy it and have it come to life in the game world, and then show it
off to your friends.

Are there limits to LEGO

imaginations are the only limit on how big LEGO Universe can grow. Over
time, it will be entirely possible for teams of minifigs to keep
opening new areas, or even entirely new worlds…

But an individual minifig may have to scale back their dreams if they
haven’t collected or earned enough bricks to build their
creations. There’s an economy at play in LEGO Universe, so
you’ll want to make friends and work together!

Finally, can you tell us
more about LEGO Universe’s economy?

OK. Essentially, new
minifigs enter LEGO Universe with nothing: no money, no bricks, no
stuff. Then they go through the world completing challenges, defeating
enemies, gathering goods, discovering treasures and unlocking secrets.
Along the way, the minifigs find bricks and collect a highly valuable
currency— plastic.

Using plastic, you can buy and sell goods to do things like customize
your minifig; all the shops and vendors in LEGO Universe take plastic!

Since LEGO bricks are actually made of plastic, your minifig can also
use it to create the bricks they need for their models or pets. But you
could also trade with other minifigs for the bricks you need
—so you can conserve your currency by cooperating!

That’s an outline of the economic forces at play in LEGO
Universe… I’d love to divulge more details as the
game develops!

To read the latest guides, news, and features you can visit our LEGO Universe Game Page.

Last Updated: Mar 29, 2016