Product Idea

Sonic Mania - Green Hill Zone

THANK YOU ALL

On


You're my number one

On

Congrats to Bricks & Blooms for reaching the 10k mark. Now we are number one (hey!) on the most supported list! It's not QUITE the credits sequence, but I was listening to this and realised it'd be appropriate for the situation, if you want a Classic Sonic jam to listen to ^u^

I've been saying "not long to go" for a while, but now it's a matter of days, not weeks. (EDIT: Turns out it was hours instead!!) Thank you all - this truly is way past cool. <3


FANART!? (by Dave Lite)

On

Something different today. I just got this exceedingly wonderful, downright GORGEOUS piece of art, and I'm bamboozled. Someone loving the project enough to put this much care and attention into a traditional painted yet digital artstyle... it's MAGICAL and I'm screamin' over here, and y'all have absolutely gotta see this too!!

His name is Dave Lite, and he's a very creative member of a Sonic community I frequent - so it was very appreciated when he showed up to surprise me with this. Thank you, Dave!

If you're wondering where the 95% supporter update is: After the 90% update, I'm not sure I have anything else to contribute. The project's so close to the final goal, with less than 333 people to go. Things have been rocketing up with Sonic's trademark speed, and I dunno what to say about that except thank you all so very, very much, and I love you all. <3

PS: congrats to the Indiana Jones Trilogy vignette for reaching 10k (we'll be joining you soon...) and special thanks to just2good sharing the project on Twitter! ^u^


What does the scouter say about its power level..?

On

It's been one year since this all began.

So much has happened, hasn't it? It's incredible. And, at risk of resurfacing ancient internet memes, over nine thousand people have come together to help make the concept real. This is the futhest any Sonic concept has gotten on the Ideas platform, and I am so thankful for the love and support that has been shown for it - but it wasn't the first. As we look forward, let us also look backwards - to see how far we've come.

In some interviews, I've said that there was only one project before this one came along that got anywhere substantial - but I didn't realise that when LEGO CUUSOO became LEGO Ideas, some projects' data was lost, damaged, or otherwise made inaccessible from the site's Search function. The truth of the matter is that the first project to appear on the platform based on the Sonic series, as far as my research has shown, is 2012's "Sonic the Hedgehog (Green Hill Zone)" by user @gtrocks1111. This project is so old that it doesn't even show up on their account page's personal list of entries! It predates the LEGO Dimensions partnership, and this is evident in the brick-built construction they employ for Sonic himself. Unfortunately, the age of this concept works against it - it was made during the era in which another company held the building toy license, and so was archived at 1,003 supporters.

The rejection of the above concept must have really put a damper on things for a while, because projects only start appearing again in June 2016 - the year of the Dimensions partnership coming to light, removing the conflict! There are a bunch of small concepts with lots of love put into them - several Green Hills, but also a gorgeous-looking action figure, a solid rendition of the Tornado, and a number of boss battles and character-focused pieces quickly created and iterated upon by JackSparrow5432 in short order!

Unfortunately, none of these projects ever really set the world on fire in a way which had a chance to reach 10k until 2017's "Sonic The Hedgehog: Green Hill Zone Modular Level Set" by megaMit. I voted for this project under an account I lost the login information and email account to in the years hence, and was very sad to see it expire at 1,367 supporters. It was a little parts-count heavy, but was dripping with character and had the visuals refined to polishing point.

I've often been requested to include a loop running mechanism and a spindash in the Sonic Mania concept, but having seen megaMit's concept before working on my own, I avoided doing so because I didn't want to potentially fall afoul of plagarism. However, since starting this, I actually found out he was a friend of a friend - it's a small world! We've offered each other tips and suggestions on how to refine our builds, and for the 1 year anniversary he's generously donated some ideas from his own work to be adapted to fit with the Sonic Mania concept's world. If you want to thank him for his generosity, you should check out his current project, the Earthbound-themed "Brick Road & Dungeon Man" build! It's toastergrl approved ;D

Since megaMit's project, there's been a few others in the Sonic sphere. The one that's most worth mentioning is victorvey300's expired "Lego Sonic the Hedgehog vs. Dr.Eggman concept", which had a few weeks left at around 800 supporters when my project came on the scene, and basked in the halo effect to get the current high score for expired Sonic-themed projects at 1,536. It was a solid concept for sure, and they've iterated upon it with a new rendition with the same basic conceit. If the Sonic Mania project somehow doesn't get selected for review, I invite you to rally around their "Sonic the Hedgehog UCS Dr. Eggman’s Death Egg Robot" idea as a back-up! DivingFaces_5018's "Sonic the Hedgehog - Mini Play-Set" is also worth your attention should the worst come to pass.

But of course, we shouldn't be preparing for the worst... we should be hoping for the best! The Sonic Mania - Green Hill Zone project has come the furthest out of all of these, and is so close to the final goalpost. I *know* we can do it - especially for the Second Review Session of 2019 deadline, which is coming up around May 7th. Thank you all so much for lending your support, and to all the people who've helped promote it. Rob in the SRB2 server, Chris McFeely and DisapprovingOwl and all my pals on Twitter... It's wonderful! <3

What are my plans for the immediate future? I've been promoting the project really hard to get to the 9k mark before the yeariversary, and I succeeded - so methinks after today it'll be time to take a break and recuperate. Remember, kids - working hard to achieve your dreams is important, but it's always worth treating yourself with compassion! That's why they call it a work-life balance ^u^

PS: congrats to the Retro Bowling Alley project, which has also entered this review session! It'll be a packed one for sure... but I look forward to the final battle ;D


THE BIG SCREEN

On

Happy Valentines day, everybody! The Sonic movie is out now, so you should go watch it. Congrats to everyone who worked on it for a certified fresh movie!!

It's been interesting watching the movie develop alongside this project, so I feel a sense of pride-by-association just thinking about it. I can't wait to see it (EDIT II: I loved it!), so just to say that I'll be reporting any comments made in the next week that contain spoilers for it!

Hope you have a goodn', everybody - whether you're alone on a Friday night or having a fun time with the people you care about, know that we're all in this together. It's exciting knowing we're almost to the home stretch - just a little further... ^u^

Also, 10 days until the anniversary!! See you then~


Proud of that pun

On

EDIT: Much thanks to Neo Hazard at fansite Sonic Retro for doing a project spotlight on this concept! Take a look if you're curious as to some of the stuff behind the scenes of the project, or wanna see some of my earliest working shots I took while developing this!

Somehow, we pretty much immediately jumped up from 80% to 85%, and it's totally my fault that I was completely unprepared!

So, here's a piece of art I've been working on since I passed it that I actively challenged myself to render in a visually interesting fashion! Pure filled in outlines may be quick to do, but the closer we get to the end, the more fine detail I think is appropriate to indulge in. Yeah, it's not a build - we're so close to the finish line and I'm so happy with how the January 2020 update turned out that I don't think it'd be right to suggest any further changes unless I think of something particularily essential and refined. You understand, right? I don't wanna muddy the waters now we've truly found our footing.

In any case, I'm very thankful that not one but two members of the 10k Club, Brick Project and Ben Alder, both chose to share my Idea onwards, along with over six hundred people on Twitter - AND the Ideas team, who had this and my very first Activity entry both visible in the most recent Platform Update blog post's images!! The more this looks like it's going to happen, the more I am in debt to everyone around me who's chosen to back this concept. Thank you so, so much TuT

This project has a few events coming up. One is an interview and spotlight with a certain Sonic fansite, and that should go up any day now (EDIT: See the top of this post!) - then I'll take a bit of time to hibernate cuz of the Sonic movie's advertising blitz. But you know what happens once that all dies down? It'll be the ONE YEAR ANNIVERSARY of this project's publication. What do I have in store, you ask? Well...

You'll have to wait until February 24th to find out <3

Of course, I'd be foolish to leave this Update off without shouting out all the Ideas that have reached 10k since the last one. The UCS Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, the SpaceX Falcon 9, the Studgate train station, the minifig-scaled Gemini capsule, and... oh, the humanity! It may be a wonderful day, but a horrible goose has broken into the LEGO Ideas offices and is knocking over all the completed projects! Will Sonic be fast enough to stop them, or will the dastardly bird cause a world of trouble for him too!?


I make zero apologies for the reference

On

Eight thousand supporters, huh? Absolutely wild. Thank you SO much, everybody!

No new builds because I kind of expected it to take a little longer than literally two weeks since the 75% update, and also because I exhausted all my build energy making sure the January 2020 update was as good as could possibly be, so I hope you enjoy this throwback... both to the early days of the project when I didn't know what to do for updates and just did sketches instead, and to vintage memes. :P

Congrats to the Mary Poppins and Cybertruck projects for reaching 10k! Hope to join you soon ;D


75% + the January 2020 Update!

On

Yeah, that's right. After about 10 months of minor Updates, I figured it was high time to incorporate what I've learned into the main face of the project!

The LEGO Ideas team have been working very hard this past year, and the ability to update Product Ideas directly with new images and descriptions rather than simply adding to an embedded blog is quite frankly a lifesaver. Over time I'd become less and less enamoured with some of the decisions encapsulated in the original pitch for this concept, such as Sonic using short legs, the fact that the modules conncted with plus axles rather than frictionless pins, and the blocky shape of the Egg Robot - so I'm happy to report that all of those things have been fixed!

The Egg Robot now uses twin Technic Panels 87080 and 87086 to provide a more graceful shaping and sturdy construction to its front panel, rather than Curved Windscreen 41751 and a collection of plates and slopes attached only by a few studs and clips - plus a brick-built moustache! And as much-requested, Sonic uses the coveted medium length legs I was worried that would be restricted to a handful of licensed themes, now that they've been showing up in more and more sets since their introduction in late 2018. But that's not all...

Due to my improvements to the Eggman Robot seriously reducing the number of parts needed by about 100, there was plenty of room to expand the set concept without going way over budget. The big appeal increase comes with the introduction of the Heavy Magician and Heavy Gunner! Some compromises have been made to their designs since the Hard Boiled Heavy team-up in the 55% update in order to make them not require too many specialised (recoloured/stickered/printed) parts each, but they're recognisably themselves and maintain their fantastic play value.

Slightly less glamorously, there are also now four modules instead of two - the spring and palm tree module has been split into two half-size, more flexible modules, a very popular bridge module has been included from one of my minor updates, and the loop-de-loop module has gotten a major aesthetic makeover. And that's not where it stops...

People really, really, really loved my Hard Boiled Heavy and additional module Updates, and I wasn't sure how to work them all into a design update of the main project without making it way too expensive or parts-heavy. Then it hit me - much like Creator sets, it's totally possible to incorporate them into an alternate build with only about 20 more pieces!

To that end, I introduce to you all the "Encore mode" build - featuring all three remaining Hard Boiled Heavies (including the Rider, now with Jimmy the Motobug!), four more modules, the Master Emerald, the Tornado, and an Eggman Bomb with catapault - together using about 70% of the parts in the main design. Quite frankly, that's an absurd amount of play value in one set, isn't it? If this project gets approved, you might even want to get two copies just to get the full experience ;D

Of course, the impetus for this update definitely shouldn't be forgotten: we're 75% (well, almost 77% now!) of the way to the goal. That's incredible; thank you all so very, very much for helping this project out, and it couldn't be anywhere near as good as it is now without your love and support.

I hope you enjoy the redesign as much as I did working on it! For those who want to look at the old version to see how far we've come, check this Flickr album! <3


PLEASANT SOLSTICE

On

Just a small Update to let y'alls know I haven't forgotten about this project.

Yes, I have noticed what milestone we just hit - but I'm not going to draw too much attention to it right this second. I've got a big thing coming for this, don't you worry - but it won't be ready until early January. In the meantime, here's a teaser~

I hope you all have a wonderful winter tidings, whatever you celebrate <3

(Congrats to the Winter Chalet, Toronto Subway Train and Clockwork Aquarium projects for reaching 10k, too!)


THE TRUE BLUE

On

Remember when I did a mini-build for the first trailer? I had to for the second one now they're no longer using that demon as the model. :P

Congrats to the BIONICLE and Huascar projects for reaching 10k, by the way! <3