Product Idea

Sonic Mania - Green Hill Zone

Attack its weak point for massive damage (EDITED)

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Sidling into the scene crabwise, the Crabmeat is here to pinch that pesky blue pincushion!

Yep, the third Badnik to be designed for this project is obviously one of the most iconic in Sonic 1. While it's not completely associated with Green Hill (I personally think of it as a Spring Yard badnik myself), it does appear in the zone and therefore is fair game for me to design.

One thing that's interesting about the Crabmeat is that you were able to build it with 71244-1, the LEGO Dimensions pack that gave us our first taste of the world of Sonic the Hedgehog in bricks - and it's a pretty good rendition given that it also had to be rebuildable into Sonic's biplane, the Tornado. If the Ideas team chooses not to include this Badnik in the end product, there's no shame in keeping this one around. However, there's obvious ways in which it could be improved - it's definitely more of a giant enemy crab rather than the almost-too-cute-to-be-evil 'bot we'd known. That's why I considered it worth my while to design up a potential competitior!

This little fellow, much like the Buzzbomber, contains no unique pieces that have never been available before (er, almost - I had forgotten modified brick with studs on two adjacent sides ID 26604 has not been available in Light Bluish Grey since being introduced in 2017, but that's ultimately unimportant to the final build's appearance and could easily be swapped out). Unlike the Buzzbomber, however, this one can be built right now, even without a Motobug to clear the way - its eyes are 1x1 round tile ID 98138pb066, a pre-existing print that has previously been used for the eyes of a crab in Creator set 31088-1!

This was probably the first build in which scale was actively difficult to achieve, as opposed to a natural consequence of what I saw in my mind's eye. Part of the issue is that the eyes on the sprite are definitely smaller than the size of a stud, relative to Sonic - but having the pupils for recognisability was definitely more important than nailing the scale 100%, so this Crabmeat errs a little on the large side. It frustrates me a tad, but I know most people won't mind - and this is already way smaller than most people's attempts at the Badnik so I should probably learn to deal.

I might do a Module for next week, but the pickings get slimmer every time I make an update. I'll keep you updated on if I manage to make something worth your while during the week, or if I'll have to showcase another Badnik design to buy myself more time to make something up to my quality standards for the project. I appreciate your patience.

Anyways, thank you so much for caring about this project! We're a hair under 41% at this moment, and everyone who's supported so far has my gratitude. <3

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EDIT: Someone said this comparison wasn't fair because there were two Crabmeat designs in LEGO Dimensions - the alternate build of the Tornado as pictured, but also an in-game enemy model pictured below, which as you can see looks a lot better.

So what gives, Viv? Are you giving your design an artificial advantage by hiding the Dimensions design that's way more accurate? Not intentionally - but they were right that I should have at least mentioned it in passing. There's a simple reason why I didn't consider it a fair contender - it's literally impossible to build!

It has a bunch of appropriate-looking parts in the right places, but there's three major problems with it that I can point out just by looking at this picture alone that prevent you from ordering all the needed parts off BrickLink and snapping it together.

  • Its mouthplate is 1x2 cheesegrater slope ID 61409, which appears to be intersecting with the front bar of 2x2 octagonal bar plate ID 75937, so it can't be in that position. In addition, it's only held on by one stud at the thin end, which results in unreasonably low clutch (test it yourself! It'll come off if you do so much as put your finger against it).
  • The assembly holding its mouthplate on has a solid stud on it front surface and two studs on each side. This part does not exist; its closest relatives are ID 32952 (which only has studs on two surfaces) and ID 47905 (which, if stacked directly, cannot have a plate attached to both studs at once), and even if it did, it would not be able to connect to the underside of the octagonal bar plate above it as it has no studs on the top surface, let alone ones appropriately offset without any apparent jumper plate present to sit in the middle of it.
  • Its eyestalks appear to be minifig weapon hilt ID 61199, inserted into a standard 1x1 round plate ID 85861. The diameter of this part increases slightly at the very bottom, which is generally fine for the minifig hand it was intended for but places stress on the round plate - which leads me to believe this is not a legal build. If you look closely, you can see a bit of Z-fighting with the 3D model here - which suggests the pieces are clipping into each other, confirming my suspicions.
  • The Exo-Force arms ID 98313 as the arms and the front legs don't have enough clearance to both be connected at the same time. It might just be a consequence of the specific pose in the screenshot, though.

I hope this criticism of the existing design was interesting. Thanks for hitting 4,100 supporters last night, by the way!


FOUR THOUSAND

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Four thousand. Wow. I'm still too sleepy to write this, but I didn't want to keep you guys waiting. ^^;;

It may have taken another two weeks and change since the last round milestone, but it's quite frankly incredible that the number is still rising. But the word "number" implies a bit of a detached tone: That's four thousand individual human beings, each who decided that they wanted to support my project.

Sorry to those who wanted the update to be immediate - the number rolled over just as I was heading to bed, so I didn't have any time to prepare the customary image or text that I'm currently writing. I like to leave it as close as posssible to the publish time to make these things, to make it as relevant as possible.

As promised, the 4k update contains the Heavy Magician! It's difficult to represent her illusion dust without the ability to create new tooling, but I hope that you'll enjoy her design all the same. She's definitely my favourite!!

I asked you guys to vote on what I'd make for this Friday. Since nobody chose between the two options I gave, I kept on putting this off a bit. Long story short, it's looking like I'll put up a Badnik on Saturday. Thanks for your patience and kindness!

Anyways, I am continually awed. Thank you <3

PS: Congrats to the Kākāpō project for reaching 10k! Much luck in review.


TOP O' THE EVENIN' TO YA

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Quick bonus update today. I was going to wait WAY longer to show this guy off, but I realised the Heavy Shinobi is pretty topical. Let's say I'll show a new Hard Boiled Heavy off every 500 supporters (treating this as the 35k Heavy), and make a nice big render of them all for 6k..? How does that sound? I see you, all nodding in agreement. Fantastic, then, it's a deal.

(I MAY be a tad late in my timezone, but I'm Irish so it's St. Patty's Day when I say it is. ^^;; )


[25th anniversary stream buzzing]

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Egads!! It's the Buzzbomber, here to zap Sonic with its stinger!

Yep, that's right. As promised, I've designed a new brick-built Badnik to give Sonic more foes to smash. This one has a little hinge for its stinger tail, so it's ready to fly or fry at a moment's notice. What's extra special, though, is that thanks to having a 3.18mm hole at the tip of 1x1 cone ID 4589b, the Buzzbomber is compatible with LEGO Super Heroes Energy parts ID 35032. I'm personally partial to the trans-orange ones available in 76097-1 Lex Luthor Mech Takedown and 76108-1 The Sanctum Sanctorum Showdown, but any colour will do when you're an evil flying wasp robot.

One convenient aspect of the design is that the Buzzbomber's head is basically identical to that of the Motobug, which means its head gets to be represented by a printed part without adding to the set design budget - and even if the LEGO Ideas team decide that they only want to include one Badnik with the set, you can still build the other!

You've probably also noticed the printless Eggman to the left. I actually made a few Bricklink orders last Sunday, and today was the day I managed to get some time to put it all together! I've had to make a few substitutions, unfortunately, but it's most of the way there... the only replacement parts that actively look wrong are bigfig hands IDs 10126 and 10127, which surprisingly haven't once been available in white since their introduction in 2012.

In addition, did you know that 1x1 clip plate ID 61252 is only available in Reddish Brown in two sets, one of which is a US-exclusive BrickHeadz two-pack and the other a LEGOLAND California exclusive from 2011? That part is WAY too expensive for its size, which is why I've used 4085d in its place.

Anyways, the reason I share this is that now I'll be able to make comparison pictures, should people want me to take them. Let me know what you want to see the brick-built Eggman compared with! Plus, tell me what you want to see next. A fourth module? A third badnik? I'll be checking the comments to see what people are interested in, so make your voice heard and I'll design one or the other over the next week.

Finally, thank you so much for all the help in getting this project so far. It still needs about 250 til the next milestone as of counting, but I'm confident we'll get there soon enough. <3


An interview with the SONIC STADIUM

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Just a quick update to say that I've been interviewed by the Sonic Stadium for this project! If you're interested in a behind-the-scenes look at this project and my background, check it out at the link in the previous paragraph.

Hope everyone's having a lovely Saturday! ^u^

EDIT: Thanks to this, we reached 35%... Thanks, everyone!! Elected not to make a big milestone update for this one because we hit 33% pretty recently, and I don't want to bump the interview away from the top of the Updates tab too early if I can help it...


HE'S JUST A FALL GUY

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As promised, here's the new Green Hill Zone module with some shiny new renders!

I dub it the "Crumbling Platform & Starpost" module. It's composed of 93 pieces, has three modular connection points, and a fancy totem pole that blends elements of Act 1's small ones and Act 2's large ones.

In addition, much like the very popular "Spring & Palm Tree" module, this module has an action function! You can tilt the totem pole over to release the crumbling platform, sending anyone unlucky enough to be standing on it into the waters below! Sonic was so close to the next Starpost, too...

Notably, this module went through three seperate redesigns before I settled on the current concept. The first used a removable Technic axle to hold the platform in place (but I figured little ones might misplace the axle), while the second involved a complicated sliding mechanism that ended up being way too fragile. I'm very happy with the triple frictionless-pin build we ended up with!

I hemmed and hawed about adding to the build because I wanted the existing project to stand on its own, but in the end I decided that it was worth creating additional concepts - both to flex my building muscles a bit more, and to hopefully keep people interested on the road to 10,000.

Again, thank you all so much for your support. Special thanks to The Brickshow (LEGO fansite) for making an article about this, and TheEscody and CERO (Spanish YouTubers), for featuring this project on their channels. These were a while back, but I didn't know about them until this morning! If you have your own channel, why not give this a showcase and I'll shout you out too!

Next Friday or at 4,000 supporters (whichever comes first!), I'll show off a new mini Badnik build...


ONE OUT OF THREE

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Three thousand, three hundred and thirty four.

That's how many people have supported this project so far. It's a BIG number. It's already a bigger number than I can picture. Can you even cram that many people into an auditorium? I legitimately don't think so, unless it's one of those world-class opera houses.

Thank you all so, so very much. Your help getting this towards its goal is legitimately invaluable.

You deserve an update on the additional Green Hill Zone module: I completed it yesterday, but I need to create some renders to put my best foot forward with it - so you'll see it tomorrow for sure!

<3

PS: Congratulations to Bricky_Brick and their "The Pirate Bay" project on reaching 10,000 supporters! Ideas may be a large website jam-packed with creativity, but it's not too big to be courteous to your fellow designers on. All the best in review!


ONE WEEK

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I started this campaign last Sunday. In seven days and a few hours extra, three thousand people have elected to support the Sonic Mania - Green Hill Zone project. Thank you all so very, very much.

I don't have anything new to showcase - the additional module design I mentioned previously will be ready by Friday or Saturday - so I think this is a good opportunity to thank a few individuals who really helped me out with this campaign so far.

  • @olivebrinker on Twitter - Olive's early support and sharing was downright foundational to helping spread the original tweet, and her kind words as the project was developing helped keep my spirits high. A cartoonist by trade and a passionate Sonic fan!
  • /u/_pixel_perfect_ on Reddit - a kindly supporter who was instrumental in helping get the project to reach a big audience, submitting a more eyecatching and upvotable post to not one but two different subreddits I had failed to capture the imagination of.
  • @built_with_lego on Instagram - As the curator of a popular, LEGO-focused feed, they helped expose my project to a site I hadn't even thought about sharing to.
  • Neo Hazard on Sonic Retro - After he initiated contact because of a fangame project I'm a part of, I showed Neo my in-progress work. The positive comments really helped, and he almost posted a news article in support before his colleague beat him to it!
  • Broadside, Jalaguy, wadapan, Ikky, Tyranno, sheepytina, TheDanaAddams, Prom, Saishy Kitty, Whackjood, Tinki, RoyKirbs, SeventhSentinel, MonsterIestyn, Charyb and VelocitOni on Discord - all established pals with multiple mutual interests, they were very supportive when I began chronicling the development of this project for them. Their patience with my nervousness is eternally appreciated.
  • Colette - Happy 1 year anniversary. <3

 Again - thank you, everyone. Even if you weren't listed here, know that your support is appreciated - these are just the ones that I either know personally or were very visible in their support!!


This is the Eggman (GOO GOO G'JOOB)

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Hi, everyone! No major milestones since the quarter mark, but that doesn't mean I don't appreciate everyone's support in that time. Thanks to Gamereactor Spain for their coverage. I promised y'alls a look at Dr Ivo "Eggman" Robotnik's prototype builds on Saturday, so I'm here to deliver! I also have some commentary to make on each of them...

The one marked "V1" wasn't the very first Eggman I had thought about including in this project, but considering the initial one was just spending 20 minutes in LEGO Digital Designer sifting through potential minifig mustaches and didn't result in anything getting built, I have nothing to show for it.

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V1 - When I realised doing a rendition at minifig scale was infeasible, I decided to take a page from the Unikitty! line's Hawkodile and build a larger figure construction out of bricks instead. My initial concept used printed round tile ID 98138 (here shown blank) for his glasses, and modified plate with ball joint ID 14417 to represent his nose, not even thinking about how they don't make that piece in any alternate colours.

In addition, this concept has a particularily esoteric construction to give him his big, bushy mustache, relying on modified plate with handles ID 3839, modified plate with tooth ID 49668, and round plate with open stud ID 85861 - a construction that LEGO Digital Designer recognised, but likely one that wouldn't be considered set-legal (or at least appropriate for children to construct).

Finally, his body is very blocky and bland, and I don't imagine anyone would really want to look at this one for too long other than to laugh. I got some tough criticism from my friends and went directly back to the drawing board for V2, the only structure kept being its arms.

V2 - This concept is MUCH more recognisable as a predecessor to the final version. Interesting developments include a new focus on Studs Not On Top technology to allow for a more gracefully curving body, the introduction of arch brick ID 18653 for a more organic representation of the good doctor's legs and feet, and a much less pained attempt at his head by turning his nose and eyes into prints (not pictured) and using clip plates ID 6019 to built up his mustache. Unfortunately, this removes the design's neck joint - but the improved stability is more than worth it. One unexpected benefit is that thanks to the introduction of dome top ID 553, this Eggman shares design DNA with the standard Minifigure, meaning he wouldn't appear too out-of-place with a regular collection.

A notable difference is the continued usage of round tile ID 98138 to represent his buttons, and a unique-to-this-version usage of curved brick ID 6091 as an alternate, printless take on his pantaloons. This makes for a more "Modern Eggman" shape, which was not particularily appropriate for a concept that was centered around recreating a game starring Classic versions of the characters, but can be used if you want to build your own take.

This design also posesses a waist swivel. More on that in the next description...

V3 - The one present in the published version of the concept. In an effort to be as polished and representative of the character as is possible with built bricks, this one takes multiple details represented previously through parts usage and replaces them with prints, such as the "walrus teeth" edges of his cape being printed triangles on curved slope ID 11477 instead of yellow versions, and the buttons being more ellipse-like prints on the same piece. Notably, this helps enhance symmetry, contributing to the illusion that Eggman's build is perfectly round despite only curving on one axis.

Some stability improvements have been made to the design. Instead of having the top stud of the leg piece inserted into the stud-accepting back of headlight brick ID 4070, an intermediary piece is used; the pin on top of round tile ID 20482 can instead be inserted in the front of the previously mentioned headlight part, making for a design that is less likely to lose its legs when rotation is applied. In addition, the arm construction is slightly more self-supporting.

Two minor changes I made which wasn't necessarily for the benefit of the design was that I changed the arm hinges to grey, and replaced towball plate ID 3614 with its modern equivalent ID 14417 without keeping the design in red. Some have said this hurts the concept, but it was actually me correcting an oversight - since their introduction in 2014, these parts have only been available in that one colour, even when circumstances would have called for a new colour to be introduced for that part. Therefore, this compromise makes Eggman releasing in this form significantly more realistic.

I mentioned that V2 posessed a waist swivel. Actually, this was not removed for V3 - the design I have built can have its waist turned for extra play value. However, when rendering the images for the campaign, I elected not to showcase this. "Why, Viv? Why would you intentionally limit your design in what's meant to be a showcase of every feature it has?" The answer is that I decided this feature was not likely to survive the conversion into a real set.

Even if the LEGO Ideas design team believed the compromises made to the build for this were not enough to damage its stability, the rotational swivel makes inserting Eggman into his Egg Robo mech more complicated for little ones who would otherwise have a lot of fun with this set. Even the slightest twist would prevent the sides of his in-robot chair from properly gripping the body of Eggman, for instance. This could be improved with alternate chair designs, but I doubt the problem could be eliminated entirely.

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I have one more design to showcase based on a middle concept between V2 and V3. A friend asked me what Modern Dr Eggman would look like in this style, so I opened MSPaint and scribbled a few prints on the screenshot from LEGO Digital Designer.

As you can see, he shares most pieces with his classic predecessor. In fact, aside from one recoloured curved slope ID 11477, the only differences are in the prints. His nose is printed onto dome top ID 553 in this image, as I had not yet decided to split it amongst the two clip plates ID 6019 for a more even mustache appearance.

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I hope you found this look at Dr Ivo "Eggman" Robotnik's design history interesting! Next time, I'll have another Green Hill Zone module for your consideration...


ONE OUT OF FOUR

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Y'alls are so fantastic. Do I need to say anything else?

As far as I'm aware, no major outlets featured us today, but that's okay. Not everything can be super explosive growth like our first three days, and getting five hundred people interested in a day and change is still accumulating supporters faster than basically every other project on the site right now, so THANK YOU!

I don't expect daily updates to be a thing now we've hit this milestone (unlesssss we keep on hitting milestones daily, which would be, quite frankly, magic) but I definitely know I'm going to get some concepts up for you on Saturday for sure. Who wants to see an exceedingly ugly early version of Eggman? ;3c