Tag Archives: Valve

Finally, a nemesis worthy of my vast intellect

Following his amazing GLaDOS from Portal 2, Brandon Bannerman (Catsy) miniaturizes a turret to minifig-scale (or near enough), alongside an adorable custom Chell fig, complete with ASHPD.

Chell, ASHPD and Turret

For all of you out there who’d like your own turret to keep you company during the long twilight of civilization, Brandon has kindly posted instructions.

Turret Breakdown

Another interesting thing about Brandon’s design has been watching it evolve based on feedback from fellow builders. See the earlier iterations here and here, together with the comments that inspired the final version.

Portal 2 – ATLAS, P-Body, and the latest Aperture investment opportunity

My lovely wife pre-ordered Valve’s Portal 2 for me, and I’m looking forward to playing it tomorrow. In the meantime, I’m enjoying the Portal-themed LEGO models emerging from talented builders like Tyler Clites and Ryan (LDM).

EDIT: Of course, these are so timely and cool that we blogged them twice. Well, at least you can watch the video in my post:

Bionicle Portal Turret wonders if you’re still there

It appears we’ve found another Valve fan in Arkov, whose Turret from Portal captures the whimsically terrifying nature of these nasty little robots.

LEGO Bionicle Portal Turret

If you were looking at an Aperture Science Military Android from this angle, there would be blood on the wall behind you. Just sayin’.

Zombie Apocafest 2009: After-Action Review

Zombie Apocafest 2009 has come and gone. The undead have been blown up, shot up, and mulched to oblivion. The humans stand victorious among the ruins of their civilization. Fortunately, that civilization was, by good fortune, built from LEGO, and it can be rebuilt, brick by little plastic brick.

LEGO Zombie Apocafest 2009 combines

Check out the full gallery of Zombie Apocafest 2009 photos in Thanel’s photostream on Flickr.

The display this year was more than double the size of last year’s, with 17 tables covered in all manner of buildings and vehicles, ranging from little mini-tanks to a fig-scale tanker. Once again, we had the organizational genius of LEGOLAND Master Model Maker Gary McIntire laying out the city, with major contributions from other LEGOLAND staffers, including Ryan Wood (Port ChiefLUG) and Joel Baker (awesome zombie head).

As announced before BrickCon, we had four prize categories. Here are the winners:

A huge “Thank you!” to BrickArms for their awesome contributor’s weapons packs, and to Valve for a batch of wicked Left 4 Dead 2 T-shirts!

So, how do these things work? What does it take to pull together a collaborative LEGO layout that covers a couple hundred square feet of display space? What have we learned after running a display at a LEGO convention for two years? Off we go…

It’s not as easy as it looks

Soliciting “cornerstone” LEGO creations, recruiting lots of good builders, and working with sponsors and partners is hard work. Similarly, planning for enough space with convention organizers takes time.

Know your audience

Despite my rather chirpy online persona, I have a subversive streak a mile wide. This manifests itself in my political vignettes and the occasional snarky comment. Before BrickCon 2008, a large-scale collaborative display of undead LEGO minifigs overrunning a Cafe Corner city, built by the adults who read The Brothers Brick, seemed like a reasonably subversive idea. I think last year’s display worked so well because that’s precisely what it was.

As cool as I think this year’s display turned out to be, it was a little spread out, and it was rather heavy on the small vehicles with spikes and ladders. The world really needs to be a nicer place than the purely ironic perspective some espouse, but really, some measure of self-referential irony would’ve been welcome.

I’m not a parent, and I don’t judge others’ parenting styles (okay, I do, but only a little bit). But it’s hard for me to imagine encouraging interest in the hyper-violent world of flesh-eating zombies and brain-smashing survivors. The subversive and ironic aspects of a zombie apocalypse built out of LEGO are likely lost on the 11-14 set.

A good idea is better than free stuff

Let’s be honest: The kiddies like the BrickArms, and will do just about anything for prototypes.

We’re big fans of the high-quality custom accessories produced by Will Chapman and his team, and can’t believe how generous they are. Will donated 35 packs of weapons for contributors, including hand-produced cricket bats at our request. Wow.

Nevertheless, we’ve all seen the “wil U trad wit me? kthxby” mentality on display in recent months, and I have to admit that the display this year seemed to attract a bit more interest from the 11-14 set than I’d anticipated.

In fact, there were at least two kids who leaned over the barricades during the public hours, asked to put one minifig on the display and asked for a contributor’s pack. Seriously, kids? The answer to both questions was — and will remain — a firm “No.” (I did let them take a picture of their figs on the display. I’m not a total jerk.)

Overall, I’m happy about how things went with Zombie Apocafest 2009, but it will be the last Zombie Apocafest, and I don’t plan for us to repeat themes from year to year. I’m even happier to report that we’re changing things up for next year. We’ve run our BrickCon 2010 display idea by a few attendees, and we’ll be announcing next year’s theme shortly. Plans are already underway…

Your entire life has been a mathematical error

I promise, we are not in fact contractually obligated to blog all Portal or Valve-inspired LEGO creations. But this Spontaneous Portal Generator Prototype II (aka Aperture Science Handheld Portal Device) by Neaku (also on Flickr) definitely caught my eye:

Via BioniBlog, where Ean has a nice overview of the latest Bionicle Building Contest over at BZPower.

“This chamber has been replaced with a live fire course designed for military androids. The Enrichment Center apologizes for the inconvenience and wishes you the best of luck.”

I am admittedly a Valve fanboy, and I especially love Portal, the acclaimed puzzle game originally bundled with The Orange Box. When I saw this vignette my Mister_007 featuring one of those child-like (and lethal) turrets, I had to blog it immediately. And remember, the turrets don’t hate you.