Back again already?! Today we have a rather unique and exciting submission in ESCAPE GAME: CARTER'S SECRET, by none other than BRICK PROJECT. Those of you who love escape rooms/games, will love this one. How much would you like to see this as the next LEGO Ideas project?
- Where are you from?
I’m from Switzerland, but I grew up in Paris.
- How old are you?
- What do you study or do for a living?
I will start my 6th year of Medicine this year.
- What hobbies do you have?
I have plenty of hobbies: drawing, sports (cycling, swimming, running), and watching movies.
- Do you have a personal LEGO portfolio website that you can share with us?
I’m mostly active on Instagram (@brickproject_lego). You can follow me there.
- How and when did your interest in LEGO products come about?
Since childhood. It was initially about building the sets proposed by the LEGO Group and then playing with them. I started with the Castle and Knights Kingdom lines which were great ways to boost my imagination. I also remember loving the sets around Johnny Thunder, especially those from the Orient Expedition (for example the one containing an elephant, 7414). Thanks to the rise of the LEGO Ideas platform (initially LEGO CUSSOO), I started in 2008 to create my own creations (MOC). This is the reason why I continued to build throughout my adolescence. Being now an adult, the passion for the bricks is still here and it’s not ready to stop!
- What is your favourite official LEGO set ever? Why?
Undoubtedly the Hogwarts castle (71043), designed by Justin Ramsden. This is both the best building experience of my life and also the best set to display in the living room. With countless references to the movies and a solid, plus interesting, construction, it will remain in my top 1 for a long time I think.
- What is your favourite LEGO element? Why?
I think it's the 1 x 1 round tile with pin holder (2048). It's a piece that I discovered recently, and I must say that I now use it almost all the time. It allows you to get connections that other bricks can't. And this is all that I love; using new techniques and original connections while being all legal.
- Is there a LEGO designer (official LEGO designer or fan designer) who you are inspired by and look up to? Who and why?
Official LEGO Designer: Justin Ramsden will forever be my favourite LEGO designer. Recently, I find the sets designed by Wes Talbott excellent (notably Hedwig 75979, Medieval Blacksmith 21325 and the Typewriter 21327). I'm really curious to see his next creations. Finally, Sven Franic with his latest creation DeLorean DMC-12 (10300) did a great job!
Fan Designer: On the fan designer side, Jonas Kramm (jonaskramm) remains an absolute legend with his fantastic and very colourful universe. His construction techniques are truly incredible, and it is always a pleasure to contemplate each of his creations. My brother, Nicolas Carlier (nicolas_builds) is also a huge source of inspiration, with his work on light and visual effects which makes his creations much more lively and very realistic. I'm also a big fan of bricksnaps, Nicola Stocchi (serialbuilder), Ayrlego (ayrlegodc), LEGO nuts (lego_nuts) and Jeff Friesen (jeff_works).
Is there one or more particular LEGO-related websites (not official LEGO websites) that you visit often and/or are inspired by?
Hothbricks.com is my favourite French site. One of the best ways to keep an eye on LEGO news and reviews. Stonewars.de is also a German blog I enjoy visiting: the articles are incredibly well-written and detailed. Then there are the classic websites like brickset, brickfanatics and the brick fan in English. I also regularly use bricklink, to check the availability of parts when I build on stud.io.
ABOUT YOUR PROJECT
- Where did your interest in this particular model come from?
I have always been fascinated by Escape Games, not only because I like to solve mysteries and play board games, but especially to live a unique experience through a fantastic universe that differs from the daily routine. I also wanted to set myself higher goals while designing product ideas, because I felt like I was going around in circles with my MOCs. I was looking for something that would drastically increase the player experience, something new that has never been created before. I wanted to produce something interactive, something that would extend the playing experience beyond the construction of the set itself. And the theme of the escape game was a perfect choice! Creating a MOC that is both pretty to display but also functional (containing a multitude of mysteries, gears and hidden parts) - that was the challenge I set myself.
- How long was the process of making the project, and what did you have to research as well? What kind of prep, research and design phases did you go through to produce your creation?
The most challenging part was to mix both aesthetics and functionality. I have to say that I knew very little about the technical side of automated LEGO sets. Until now, I had only built exhibition MOCs and very few playable ones. I had to look everywhere on official LEGO instructions, YouTube videos and WIP MOCs from other builders to learn more about how to connect technic elements with bricks and how to incorporate functional elements.
During the whole part of the process, I must admit that on several occasions I wanted to stop all that because it was something very complex. But I persevered and I'm quite happy with the result. I believe that the scenario and the mechanisms are now strong enough to avoid any failure during gameplay.
- How long did it take to complete the model? Did you finish it fairly quickly, or did it take a long time? And how did the build time compare to the time you spent promoting your Product Idea to reach 10,000 supporters?
The aesthetic aspect of the build was quickly done in 3-4 days. But the mechanical part and story creation took me approx a full month to do. So I would say a total of 4-5 weeks. I'm generally much faster, but I have to say that I got stuck a lot of times and sometimes needed to start from scratch to make everything look fine.
- How did it feel when you reached the magic 10,000 votes and how long did it take?
Well even after a third time, it feels always so magical to reach the final milestone of 10,000 supporters. This time is a bit different because for the first time, is not based on an Intelectual Property. So I keep thinking that this time, 100% of my supporters voted for my work and not for the IP. And that makes me even happier!
- Approximately how many LEGO bricks did you use to create your model?
There is a total of 2919 bricks (just below the upper limit)!
ABOUT LEGO IDEAS
- Do you have any useful advice about creating a successful LEGO Ideas project?
I don’t think there is a secret formula. There are so many projects that reach 10,000 supporters in so many different ways! Passion is to me the element that stands out the most. If you are passionate about your idea, you will spend many hours behind your creation to correct every little detail, polish all the glitches and promote your idea everywhere. Before trying to convince others, you have to convince yourself. Somehow supporters take that into account.
More specifically, I think that a good cover image is probably a major factor, because it's what makes users click on your project rather than another. Indeed, a good image is a million times more important than a good description, so don't skip this photography/rendering step.
- What (if any) methods did you use to advertise and attract support to your Product Idea?
Having the chance to turn ideas into an official LEGO set is an incredible opportunity, and it is the primary motivation for all fans who publish their project on lego ideas.
LEGO IDEAS is definitely the best place to learn new skills and presentation techniques. I was able to learn a lot of things in terms of LEGO construction, and I will always be grateful for that.
- Are you already planning further projects?
Being a huge Ratatouille fan, I’m still hoping to see (one day) a set based on this movie. I'm thinking more and more about submitting a third version of Gusteau’s kitchen, but it's still uncertain.
- Which upcoming LEGO Ideas set are you looking most forward to?
Definitely the A-Frame cabin by Norton74. Being a huge fan of the LEGO Old Fishing Store, I hope this set will have the same energy and the same attention to detail.
Also, I'm quite curious to see how the designers at LEGO will produce Hsinwei Chi's Jazz Quartet*. But I’m sure it’s going to look fabulous and also be a very unique set.* set has since been released.
- 10k club
- 10k club interview
- product idea
- escape game
- escape game carters secret