Lego Creator (video game)
|Developer(s)||THQR Inc., Superscape|
|Release date(s)||October 26, 1998|
Lego Creator was initially conceived of as an 'Evergreen' replication of the physical toy. Starting with the 'Town' range it would expand at each release with the addition of further product themes. Functionality would also be enhanced with each 'content pack'.
Ultimately individual ranges remains independent and emphasis shifted to a play experience, with reduced emphasis on freeform construction. Originally it had been hoped that sheer scale of unlimited bricks might offset the loss of tactile merit - but such hope was compromised by the computers of the day. Plans included being able to build content that could be seamlessly dropped into separate LEGO games. This was dropped as the complexity of doing so was further explored.
By Harry Potter, the series had shifted far from the original premise of freeform LEGO construction. Instead the product moved toward a more limited build environment but with superior gameplay.
In addition to the regular bricks in an assortment of colors, there are specified "Action Bricks" that move or make noise. Such examples include a Hinge, Propeller, and Siren. There is also a "Destructa Brick," a no-stud 1x2 tile brick with an image of dynamite superimposed. This can be used to destroy models in Play Mode, although the player's creations will automatically rebuild when returning to Build Mode. Minifigures can also be used, and can stand, sit (for controlling vehicles), or walk, and can be set to drive vehicles set to a path or road. In play mode, environments can go from day to night. LEGO documented the means and encouraged open editing of the sounds they made when bumping into others or in random chatter. Their default speech was a form of jibberish, simplifying localisation.
Some people have uploaded custom (Lego) model creations for others to download into their version of Lego Creator.
In the original development concerns were expressed that the greatest fun came less from 'Creator' building values but from the 'destructra brick'. LEGO Creator in its first form used the Town content. Game play grew in emphasis in the subsequent Knights Kingdom and Harry Potter sequels and destruction diminished.
The flame bricks first included in Knights Kingdom originally turned into real animated flame effects when entering 'play mode' but concern that this encouraged playing with fire removed the feature prior to release.
Once 'game play' included arrows and other weapons, the ability for software implementation to hold to LEGO values became complex. The conflict is not unique to LEGO but they are perhaps the most globally recognised brand for positive play values.
Windows XP/Vista compatibility
Older versions of Lego Creator CDs do not work in Windows XP unmodified. When installed from an original game disc, overwritten with a third party patch and run in Windows 98/Me compatibility mode, the game will play on some Windows XP computers. Lego has released a newer edition which is XP compatible and has also released a patch to allow it to run on Windows-NT based operating systems, such as Windows 2000, XP or Vista. Lego creator is compatible with Windows Vista Home Basic and Windows Vista Business.
Lego Creator received 4 awards:
Computer Game Developers Spotlight Award, Best New Children's Game
CODIE Software Publishers Association Excellence in Software Awards, Best New Home Creativity Software (US)
"Top 100 Family Tested", Family PC Magazine
PIN Quality Mark Gold Award, Parents Information
It was also nominated at the 2nd annual interactive achievement awards for computer children's game of the year.
Lego Creator has been given two sequels. The first is Lego Creator: Knight's Kingdom, a medieval based world released in 2000 and Lego Creator: Harry Potter, based off the movie Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone.