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LEGO CUUSOO Guideline Updates


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#1 Offline Hapori Tohu

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Posted Dec 14 2013 - 10:56 AM

LEGO CUUSOO
LEGO CUUSOO <a href='http://blog.lego.cuusoo.com/2013/12/12/updates-guidelines-house-rules-terms-service/'>has introduced</a> new House Rules, Terms of Service and Guidelines to projects you can submit. The most notable changes should be in the latter, as from now on, projects must not feature new custom molds, consist of company, team or organization logos and mascots, and new projects must feature only one set and not a concept for an entire theme. Also, suggestions such as minifigure collections, "battle packs" and the like are no longer allowed either. Now I can't say I've been the closest follower of how LEGO CUUSOO has been developing over the years, but these certainly sound like big changes and I can instantly think of a couple of projects that the new guidelines don't allow anymore. What do you think of these changes? Do you think they will harm the site, or will they do good and allow for better realizable projects to get more votes? Share your thoughts in the talkback!

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#2 Offline Kopekemaster

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Posted Dec 14 2013 - 12:04 PM

Well, from what it sounds like, this actually "bans" a few of the projects that they have accepted and made. (Minecraft, Back to the Future, etc.)

 

I'm not entirely sure if these are good steps to be taking or not.


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#3 Offline Taipu1

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Posted Dec 14 2013 - 12:41 PM

Seems a little counter intuitive to me, the most successful CUUSOO set I think was minecraft, and thats a theme, not a set.  As far as I know the individual sets that were released, the Curiosity Rover and others, weren't nearly as big sellers. 

 

(Based entirely on impression I've been given, I haven't actually seen any sales figures).


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#4 Offline fishers64

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Posted Dec 14 2013 - 12:51 PM

I applaud the move. Some of the original projects on the site will actually get a chance now. 


Edited by fishers64, Dec 14 2013 - 12:51 PM.

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#5 Offline Aiwendil

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Posted Dec 14 2013 - 01:21 PM

I'm just sitting here laughing at how they just now figured out that "wait a second, people can make multiple accounts and vote for their own stuff! We gotta do something about that!"


Edited by Sheogorath, Dec 14 2013 - 01:22 PM.

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#6 Offline CHTrilogy

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Posted Dec 14 2013 - 02:02 PM

Nope! Harms the site! Definitely! It gets worse on Saturday the 14th!


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#7 Offline Aanchir

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Posted Dec 14 2013 - 03:24 PM

Well, from what it sounds like, this actually "bans" a few of the projects that they have accepted and made. (Minecraft, Back to the Future, etc.)

I'm not entirely sure if these are good steps to be taking or not.

Seems a little counter intuitive to me, the most successful CUUSOO set I think was minecraft, and thats a theme, not a set.  As far as I know the individual sets that were released, the Curiosity Rover and others, weren't nearly as big sellers. 
 
(Based entirely on impression I've been given, I haven't actually seen any sales figures).

Nope! Minecraft is not in violation of any of these things, since it was originally a single Cuusoo set. The Minecraft theme emerged later, and not through the LEGO Cuusoo platform. Similarly, ANY set (licensed or non-licensed) produced through LEGO Cuusoo that sells as well as the Minecraft set has the potential to become a full theme in the same way. But it has to be proposed on LEGO Cuusoo with the understanding that only one set is going to come out of that platform, and that others will be entirely at the discretion of the LEGO Group and any licensing partners after seeing sales results for the original set.

The BttF project would arguably have had to change since it originally included non-LEGO molds in some of the product images (specifically, new hair for Marty and Doc Brown). But the final set was produced without a need for any of these new molds, and nothing else about the project was in violation of any of these new terms.

Overall, the main thing these new guidelines do is keep people from getting their hopes up about projects that are now understood to be incapable of passing review. I see that as nothing but a good thing. I'm sad that some of my favorite projects (LDD for mobile platforms and the LEGO Tape Measure) will be unable to meet these new guidelines, but it seems like even if these hadn't been put in place, they would never have made it through review for these very same reasons, so better to get that out of the way sooner rather than later.

In the meantime, new projects that are created with a clear understanding of the LEGO Cuusoo guidelines will no longer have to compete against projects that seem artificially superior due to things that will never be able to manifest in the sets, such as new and unique molds or a full theme at launch. Again, a good thing, as it will help provide a "reality check" for supporters, and genuinely viable projects won't be seen as half-hearted just because they don't have a bunch of new and specialized minifigures.

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#8 Offline Click

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Posted Dec 14 2013 - 03:32 PM

I can see why they did this. This will actually make it much easier to get accepted, although it does seem like it will stifle a lot of creativity in project design. Does this mean Portal is denied though, because that would be tragic!
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#9 Offline Baltarc

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Posted Dec 14 2013 - 03:59 PM

I can see why they did this. This will actually make it much easier to get accepted, although it does seem like it will stifle a lot of creativity in project design. Does this mean Portal is denied though, because that would be tragic!

 

Portal had already failed the review before these guidelines were published.


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#10 Offline Kopekemaster

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Posted Dec 14 2013 - 04:00 PM

Oh, for some reason I was thinking that the update said that licenced things weren't allowed anymore.

 

consist of company, team or organization logos and mascots,

 

I guess that's where I got confused?


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#11 Offline Gatanui

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Posted Dec 14 2013 - 04:19 PM

Oh, for some reason I was thinking that the update said that licenced things weren't allowed anymore.
 

consist of company, team or organization logos and mascots,

 
I guess that's where I got confused?

That's referring to projects like the Android bot.

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#12 Offline Kopekemaster

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Posted Dec 14 2013 - 04:48 PM

 

Oh, for some reason I was thinking that the update said that licenced things weren't allowed anymore.
 

consist of company, team or organization logos and mascots,

 
I guess that's where I got confused?

 

That's referring to projects like the Android bot.

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Ah, that makes sense.


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#13 Offline Aanchir

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Posted Dec 14 2013 - 06:41 PM

Oh, for some reason I was thinking that the update said that licenced things weren't allowed anymore.
 

consist of company, team or organization logos and mascots,

 
I guess that's where I got confused?

Yeah, the guidelines themselves explain things a bit more clearly than the blog does. "Ideas containing a logo or mascot must be in the context of a meaningful LEGO model." So a model of a real-life retail store with that store's real-life logos could be acceptable, but a simple mosaic or sculpture of a company logo or mascot, where the logo or mascot makes up the entire contents of the project, would not.

It's still a bit fuzzy how this would apply to mascots that are themselves established pop-culture characters, like Mickey Mouse. I'd say that as long as a character is a part of an intellectual property of some kind (i.e. a book series, comic series, TV series, or movie series), not just an anthropomorphized symbol for a franchise, you're in the clear. That's just a guess, but I am fairly certain a sculpture of Mickey Mouse is a LOT safer than a model of a team or company mascot who has no other pop-culture significance.

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#14 Offline Tanu Toa of Earth

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Posted Dec 14 2013 - 06:59 PM

Well, there goes what made me like CUUSOO... Fan-suggested themes and Minifig battle packs are two things that LEGO really needs, apparently, considering the amount of licensed or cruddy original stuff coming out of LEGO. And, though of course I understand while new molds are now ruled out, it kind of ruins a few other things as well...


Edited by Tanu Toa of Earth, Dec 14 2013 - 07:02 PM.

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#15 Offline Five O'Clock P~M

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Posted Dec 14 2013 - 07:03 PM

Personally I think that this is a turn for the worse, but it's not as bad as if they banned licensed sets or anything. It's silly that you can't suggest a theme though.


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#16 Offline Aanchir

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Posted Dec 14 2013 - 07:51 PM

Personally I think that this is a turn for the worse, but it's not as bad as if they banned licensed sets or anything. It's silly that you can't suggest a theme though.

Not really. A LEGO theme requires exponentially more planning than a stand-alone set. Plus, there's the big question of royalties: if a theme were made for LEGO Cuusoo, and it were successful enough to continue for more than one initial wave, would the LEGO Group have to continue to pay royalties for every new set that's a part of that theme? The platform can't really support it.

However, any successful project can lead to a theme if it sells well enough, as Minecraft has done (just one LEGO Cuusoo set, but two non-Cuusoo sets and a larger theme including minifigures and new molds lying over the horizon). If it's a theme that would require a licensing agreement, LEGO Cuusoo is still a GREAT way to pave the way for that kind of theme, as producing even a single set will be enough to get the LEGO Group into a working relationship with the other company. And if it's a non-licensed theme, that's yet another roadblock out of the way.

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#17 Offline BobaFett2

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Posted Dec 14 2013 - 11:09 PM

Most of these new rules were things they already wouldn't do for projects, it's now just explicitly stated.


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#18 Offline ~garnira returns~

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Posted Dec 15 2013 - 02:31 AM

I'm sorry, but Cuusoo just shot themselves in the foot. Some of the best, most intriguing projects subscribed to those categories, and it's a shame to see them out ruled.  Honestly, I don't tend to care for the "one moc only" ideas that they usually accept, so this is kind of disappointing.


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#19 Offline BobaFett2

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Posted Dec 15 2013 - 08:51 AM

I'm sorry, but Cuusoo just shot themselves in the foot. Some of the best, most intriguing projects subscribed to those categories, and it's a shame to see them out ruled.  Honestly, I don't tend to care for the "one moc only" ideas that they usually accept, so this is kind of disappointing.

Most of these were already criterion. Unless the new mold thing refers to parts requests (which are separate from set submissions), then none that I'm aware of are new (although I'm probably forgetting something).


Edited by BobaFett2, Dec 15 2013 - 09:03 AM.

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#20 Offline The Puppeteer

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Posted Dec 17 2013 - 06:52 PM

I'm personally glad they got rid of non-set topics, like custom pieces and battle packs. Some themes were worth supporting, but I agree that the platform wasn't designed for that. With the "new" rules, they're basically restating the site's founding guidelies: post sets with actual lego bricks, be nice, and don't cheat to get your projects voted for. The new rules are to make the site run smoothly the way it was intended to.


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#21 Offline bonesiii

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Posted Dec 17 2013 - 07:15 PM

Aanchir's posts seem to clarify things for me (being too lazy to try to actually read legalese :P); they do seem like reasonable rules they would have to do.


I especially disagree with the idea that it's bad for them to ban suggesting entire themes. Chances are slim that an entire theme that would be a hit either doesn't yet already exist (like the general themes of pirates, space, etc.) or couldn't be later inspired by a single Cuusoo set if there would be no royalty problems, and it seems unfair for so many people to be using Cuusoo how it wasn't intended, crowding out the people who are making single set proposals as they were supposed to. Besides, doing a whole theme is a big gamble; one set can serve as a trial balloon, and if that sells great, LEGO could then decide if it's worth making a theme out of (though I'm not 100% sure of how that would work in all cases).

 

 

BTW, is anything actually stopping people from proposing multiple single sets as different projects that would happen to work as a theme?

 

For example, a "theme" I would love to see is Legends of Zelda. Forget the review process for this example and assume that it could work -- couldn't someone propose a set of the lion boat character from Wind Waker, have that approved, and then propose a set of Hyrule Castle and have that approved too? If so, I'd think this could only improve the "theme" possibility, not harm it, since bad individual sets in the theme would be easier to remove via the voting process among fans versus the LEGO modifications stage.

 

Am I off the mark there?


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#22 Offline Takhamavahu

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Posted Dec 18 2013 - 12:17 AM

That stinks.

 

That really hampers everyone's creativity a lot. Especially after they've already accepted and made things that don't fit these guidlines in the past.


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#23 Offline bonesiii

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Posted Dec 18 2013 - 02:39 AM

That stinks.

 

That really hampers everyone's creativity a lot. Especially after they've already accepted and made things that don't fit these guidlines in the past.

But of course they had to accept things that fit the old rules; that doesn't prove the allowances in the old rules were wise...

 

Although, did they actually accept anything that break these rules? How so? I'm not saying I know, but curious what you're referring to and whether that's accurate. It sounds more like clarifying some things they basically intended but hadn't really thought of, and now that the issues have come up they're putting them down "on paper" to avoid future confusion. Did they actually make custom molds, for example? Or company logos? Surely not...


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#24 Offline Lyichir

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Posted Dec 18 2013 - 08:58 AM

 

That stinks.

 

That really hampers everyone's creativity a lot. Especially after they've already accepted and made things that don't fit these guidlines in the past.

But of course they had to accept things that fit the old rules; that doesn't prove the allowances in the old rules were wise...

 

Although, did they actually accept anything that break these rules? How so? I'm not saying I know, but curious what you're referring to and whether that's accurate. It sounds more like clarifying some things they basically intended but hadn't really thought of, and now that the issues have come up they're putting them down "on paper" to avoid future confusion. Did they actually make custom molds, for example? Or company logos? Surely not...

 

The Minecraft model was kinda sorta a theme proposal. And even it only resulted in one set through Cuusoo (the others came later).

The Back to the Future set proposal also used custom hairpieces, but that too failed to make it into the final set.

Really, this is just the Cuusoo staff applying what they've learned about the limits of the system. Now that they know they can't use new molds, there's no reason why projects should be allowed to use them, since all it can do is artificially make them more appealing in a way that can't be replicated in the final set.


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#25 Offline Watcher on the Walls

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Posted Dec 19 2013 - 10:50 PM

Hmm...maybe these rules could result in less people submitting sets.


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#26 Offline Aanchir

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Posted Dec 20 2013 - 01:04 PM

Hmm...maybe these rules could result in less people submitting sets.

Possibly, but in that case the sets those people WOULD have submitted probably wouldn't have stood any chance in review, so nothing has really been lost.


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#27 Online xccj

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Posted Dec 20 2013 - 01:57 PM

For "themes" I see it this way.  Take the bird model project, which has dozens of amazing bird scultpures, any which one would be an awesome stand alone model.  And even though the intention is that only one gets pick, how would that be decided?  Somebody voting for the robin might not want the parrot instead, but if the parot is the chosen model then the robin fan is out of luck.  So instead there would be a different project for each bird, and you would know right from the start what you would get if the set did pass.  :shrugs:  I'm fine either way, really.

 

But yeah, none of these rules pop out as "unfair" to me, so there's really no surprise or disappointment on my end. Just Cuusoo clarifying everything.

 

Although something I am curious about is part recolors.  I don't know the cost it takes to make an existing mold in a new color, or if it is something that would work for Cuusoo.  Something like that would be an extra incentive for me, anyway.  And considering they're willing to make new printed elements, I would guess it wouldn't be too out there.  (I think some of the second MineCraft sets have new recolors, but they're not nessessarily the same as regular Cuusoo projects...)

 

:music:


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#28 Offline Aanchir

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Posted Dec 20 2013 - 03:00 PM

For "themes" I see it this way.  Take the bird model project, which has dozens of amazing bird scultpures, any which one would be an awesome stand alone model.  And even though the intention is that only one gets pick, how would that be decided?  Somebody voting for the robin might not want the parrot instead, but if the parot is the chosen model then the robin fan is out of luck.  So instead there would be a different project for each bird, and you would know right from the start what you would get if the set did pass.  :shrugs:  I'm fine either way, really.
 
But yeah, none of these rules pop out as "unfair" to me, so there's really no surprise or disappointment on my end. Just Cuusoo clarifying everything.
 
Although something I am curious about is part recolors.  I don't know the cost it takes to make an existing mold in a new color, or if it is something that would work for Cuusoo.  Something like that would be an extra incentive for me, anyway.  And considering they're willing to make new printed elements, I would guess it wouldn't be too out there.  (I think some of the second MineCraft sets have new recolors, but they're not nessessarily the same as regular Cuusoo projects...)
 
:music:

Part recolors are not a major issue for LEGO Cuusoo — in fact, the very first LEGO Cuusoo set had a part in a new color. All that a recolored part requires is for both the mold, the color, and a molding machine to be available at the time of production. The cost of that is no more than the cost of producing many parts in colors they have already appeared in — after all, just because the LEGO Group produced a part in a certain color at one time does not mean they still produce that part in that color, even if both the part and the color are still in use. Printed parts are not an insurmountable issue for LEGO Cuusoo either, and those might cost even MORE to develop and produce than recolors.

A new mold, on the other hand, can easily cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. The LEGO Group has never publicized the cost of their molds, but they have stated that it is very expensive for reasons like longevity and precision. Set designer Mark Stafford DOES say here that an estimate of $100,000 per new mold "is seriously underestimating mold costs at the precision required for LEGO elements".

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