Developer’s Perspective: LEGO Universe

April 2, 2009 Written by Draisey

Ryan Seabury, the creative director of upcoming MMO “LEGO Universe”, was able to sit down with MTV Multiplayer and discuss the development process of this recently delayed title. The developers over at NetDevil have actually had a pretty rough time making LEGO Universe, mainly because they lack a significant advantage that Travellers Tales have, which is the ability to use Movie Licenses.

Every LEGO title so far as been based on popular movie franchises, and all future LEGO titles from Traveller Tales will continue this tradition. This leaves NetDevil at a serious disadvantage since it’s been forced to give players a sense of purpose within the game world. Rather than playing as Luke Skywalker or Indiana Jones, they play as themselves. Seabury offered his team’s solution to this problem:

“We provide this pretty epic story and this conflict, a good-and-evil type thing where there’s some dark chaotic forces that make different things across the universe come together, battle and save the day. Battle and build, with creativity at the core. Then you make your community bond, and the creative possibilities open up from there, which leads to you having much more of an investment to stay in that world and continue building.”

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But as Seabury revealed, Travellers Tales actually opened a lot of doors for his team. LEGO was originally very adamant about breathing much life into the minifigures represented in LEGO Star Wars. Seabury said that LEGO’s stance at first was, “Things can’t be too different then the bricks. If the plastic is bending in weird ways someone will freak out.” But after TT gained their trust and showcased the game’s progress, they were able to apply much more animation to both the characters and environment.

NetDevil and Travellers Tales have a very strong relationship, and TT has even been able to play-test LEGO Universe and provide some critical feedback for the development team.  Seabury revealed it was possible for the two companies to collaborate on a LEGO project in the future.

“They do those kinds of games extremely well, and we have a lot to learn from the, but on the other hand we have a lot of online MMO experience. We’re looking at ways we can collaborate long-term, strategically.”

LEGO Universe is set for release in 2010. 

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