Mojang Starts an Official LEGO Minecraft Project

Minecraft

 We’re happy to share that Mojang has caught LEGO Minecraft fever and is beginning their own project in hopes of crossing the LEGO CUUSOO threshold of 10,000 supporters.  They are happy to collaborate with koalaexpert and suparMacho, the users behind the original LEGO CUUSOO Minecraft project, currently the most popular project on the site.

Since there was dispute on ownership, rights, and collaboration on the original project, we’re happy to see this positive solution emerge.  The new project will be a collaborative effort between Mojang and these builders, and all have agreed that if the threshold is reached and the kits are produced they will donate the LEGO CUUSOO royalties to charity.  Updates are to follow on on Mojang’s LEGO Minecraft project.

LEGO CUUSOO Site Performance and Opportunities for Improvement

Minecraft

On Thursday, we began receiving unusually high volumes of traffic from dedicated Minecraft fans checking out and supporting the Minecraft project on LEGO CUUSOO.  The traffic was greater than our servers were prepared to handle, and the site ground to a halt.

First, a big thank-you to everyone for the interest and enthusiasm.  Here at LEGO, we’re also excited about the possibility of a Minecraft product line.  Keep the votes rolling in!

Through this process, we gained some experience, so now we’ll share with you a bit of what we’ve done and address your questions and concerns. 

LEGO CUUSOO is in Beta
If you’re new to LEGO CUUSOO, please understand that the site is currently in “Open Beta” and we’re still making significant improvements.  We’ve decided to allow the community to grow during this time so people can share their ideas and gain support while we continue to test and improve the site with actual traffic and users.  That said, we know there are still some bugs and that the experience is not entirely optimized.  We’re thankful for your enthusiasm and your patience.

Server Maintenance
We took the site down twice for maintenance to expand the number of servers hosting LEGO CUUSOO so that the site can handle loads like this.  Our team will also be making some improvements to the database so it can better handle the volume of requests.  You should see that overall site performance remains strong, even if we’re experiencing high volume. 

Improving the Support and Sign-Up Process
For the amount of traffic the Minecraft project received, it didn’t gain nearly as many actual supporters (votes on CUUSOO) as one might have expected.  We know this frustrated more than a few Minecraft fans, and we’re sorry for the inconvenience.

Here is why we believe the number of supporters was lower than expected:

  1. The high traffic slowed the site’s response time and prevented pages from fully loading.  As a result many users could not sign up for an account and gave up.
  2. The landing page can be more clear on what to do.  Facebook and Twitter are able to generate high volumes of traffic, but users will only take action if the page makes it clear what they need to do.  The page as it stands may cause people to think that a Like or a Tweet is all that’s needed to register support.
  3. The sign-up process itself is cumbersome.  There are more clicks and screens than are necessary, which will naturally lead to users “dropping off” or failing to complete the process.
  4.  The social sign-in buttons aren’t working properly (“Sign in with Facebook” and “Sign in with Twitter”).  This improvement alone would yield more successfully created accounts.
  5.  Some users are not receiving the activation email.  We have received several support emails and Get Satisfaction posts about this, and are looking into the issue.

We’ll be fixing the obvious bugs, and prioritizing the changes that we believe will have the greatest impact at improving the ratio of site visitors to project supporters.  You might not see improvements overnight, but this is one of our highest priorities at LEGO CUUSOO and we are actively working on it.

Why don’t Facebook Likes and Tweets count as Support?
LEGO CUUSOO is not just about seeing how many people like an idea, but it also helps the LEGO Group learn about who the audience is for a particular idea and gather some feedback from them so we can make smarter decisions about the ideas we decide to produce as products.  We also believe that supporting a project requires some small commitment on the part of the user.  By creating an account and answering our questions, you show us you’re seriously interested in the idea becoming a product.

For this reason, Facebook Likes and Tweets don’t count as actual Supporters for a LEGO CUUSOO project.  However, we know that there are improvements to be made to the new user signup process and the process of supporting your first project, and we are confident that tackling these things will increase the conversion rate into an acceptable range (in our experience, typically 4-7% of visitors).

Issues?  Feedback?  Use the Feedback Tab
We hope that this post addresses your questions and concerns around the LEGO CUUSOO experience.  If you have any other issues, please don’t hesitate to contact us directly using the Feedback tab at the right of any page on LEGO CUUSOO.  We collect all user feedback, feature requests, and bug reports using Get Satisfaction, so we can see them all in one place, prioritize, and respond accordingly.

Thank you again for your interest in the possibility of LEGO Minecraft products.  We’re thrilled to have you as visitors to LEGO CUUSOO and we’re looking forward to improving the experience for you.

The LEGO CUUSOO Team

LEGO CUUSOO has been experiencing high volume

Maintenance

Thanks for your continued interest in LEGO CUUSOO.  You may have noticed the website being slow at responding recently. We’ve been experiencing a high volume of users trying to connect at once, thanks to the popularity of the Minecraft project.  We conducted temporary maintenance on the site to expand our capacity around 6pm UST, and the website is again fully operational. We apologize for any inconvenience and thank you for your understanding.

About Plagiarism

What if someone uploads my model and calls it their own?

This week, a user set up an account on LEGO® CUUSOO and uploaded several Projects with stolen images from other LEGO builders’ Flickr accounts.  The builders whose models were stolen complained, so we investigated the issue and removed the models.

LEGO® CUUSOO is all about giving you an opportunity to share your original work in hopes that it might qualify to become an official LEGO® product.  It isn’t fair when users directly steal designs.  Luckily, the LEGO fan community is well connected and spotting these attempts will not be difficult.

When you submit a project to LEGO® CUUSOO, you agree to the Guidelines, which say:

By registering to this service, you are agreeing that you are the originator of the content you are submitting. If you are not the original author of the content, you must clearly refer to where it originates from.

We reserve the right to remove models that violate this guideline, and suspend or ban the account of an offending user.

How do I report someone stealing my work?

If someone steals your work and uploads it as their own, use the gray “Feedback” tab on the right hand of the website.  Submit it as a Problem, and we will investigate the issue and address it promptly.  Be sure to include the URL of the offending entry and URL(s) of your original work online.  Links to your original work should identify you as the author (name or username).

What about submitting a model of a trademarked item?

A more complex issue is that of submitting models of someone else’s intellectual property (IP) to LEGO® CUUSOO (for example, Star Wars™ models).  People have repeatedly asked about this, and we don’t yet have a clear policy for how these will be handled.  We will discuss this over the weeks to come throughout the beta process and keep the LEGO® CUUSOO community updated as we make decisions on this.

Pardon our Beta Dust

LEGO® CUUSOO is still in beta.  This means we’re still refining the features on the site as well as the processes for nurturing the community and enforcing rules when necessary.  The experience with the offending account has given us has yielded some ideas for how to handle this and how we can discourage people from doing this in the first place.  Rest assured, we won’t let someone collect votes and steal credit for original work.  It’s as important to us as it is to you that you receive credit for your original work.

With that said, get building and submit your best ideas to LEGO® CUUSOO!  We grow more excited by the day seeing the quality and quantity of idea submissions.  Happy building!

There are three world firsts in the LEGO® Shinkai 6500

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Product name: Shinkai 6500
Product number: 21100
Standard retail price: 4,600 yen (4,830 yen including tax)
Sales date: Feb. 17, 2011
Product size: 262mm x 191mm x 72mm
Pieces: 413 pieces
*For sale only in Japan. Will not be sold overseas.

“I want a set that I can play with and learn while feeling closer to the bottom of the sea.”
The LEGO® Shinkai 6500 was born from that user idea.
Also, the LEGO® Shinkai 6500 is a 1/60 scale reproduction in LEGO® bricks of the Shinkai 6500, a manned expedition diver that boasts the deepest diving depth in the world (6,500 meters), under the supervision of the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC).

There are three world firsts in the LEGO® Shinkai 6500.
1. It is the first product born from the LEGO® CUUSOO Web site.
2. It was created after a regular Japanese user posted the idea and it was voted on by consumers.
(Regular products are developed in LEGO based on consumer data.)

3. It comes with an explanatory pamphlet explaining the product package, development background, JAMSTEC, the Shinkai 6500, submarines, undersea life and product development background in Japanese.
(Regular LEGO® products only come with English-language instructions.)

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What is the Shinkai 6500?
It is an expeditionary diver that can dive to depths of 6,500 meters, owned by JAMSTEC (the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology).
It boasts the highest navigational depth in the world among operating manned expeditionary divers, and with more than 1,200 voyages over 20 years, it has produced many incredible results.

 

Are you interestedin the other LEGO® CUUSOO products?

Hayabusa-to-be-sold-online-at-shoplegocom

The second LEGO CUUSOO, Hayabusa, will be available exclusively online via shop.LEGO.com in spring 2012. Find more detail from here.

Legocuusoo

LEGO Minecraft Micro World is available for pre-order exclusively through Mojang retail partner J!NX for $34.99. To pre-order yours, become a fan of LEGO Minecraft on Facebook. You’ll also be able to buy the sets this summer via shop.LEGO.com and select LEGO brand retail stores.

The Second LEGO® CUUSOO Product : Hayabusa

Following the February 2011 release of LEGO® Shinkai 6500, we decided on July 15, 2011 to commercially produce LEGO® Hayabusa. We want to honor the triumphant return of “Hayabusa” with LEGO® bricks.

Hayabusa

※The inserted image is a prototype model made by the LEGO team. They will be making modifications.

It’s an ambitious project and one that Japan can be proud of. We want to spread this word to the children as well. They were the ones who inspired this idea.

Message from LEGO:
“We are very encouraged by the strong support this model has from the voters, and I hope that we will be able to reward your support with a new Hayabusa LEGO product. We wish to thank all voters for their great interest and enthusiastic engagement.”

Moving forward, we will be brushing up on the model and examining the specs in preparation for its launch.

 

Find more projects that you like at LEGO® CUUSOO to support for the third LEGO® CUUSOO product!

 

New Updates on LEGO CUUSOO

We’ve made a few major updates on LEGO CUUSOO today. Now we have updated Project page and Discover page for better browsing experience and displaying your project. Please try the new layout and tell us what you think from the “Feedback” tab on the right side of the webisite.

New things on Project Page

Lego_cuusoo_project_top

Now you can upload a bigger image of your project to appeal other users to get more supporters. On the right side, the number of supporters is much obvious and it is easier to share the project with your friends via Facebook and Twitter. The fanction is the same, but “Follow” a project is now called “Bookmark.” When you bookmark a project, updates of the project will appear at your “My Page.”

Lego_cuusoo_project_bottom

The description area is updated. Instead of having small thumbnails on the top, you can add more images into the description area. So, you can display your project with bigger images and write detail explanation specifically to the image. 

Tags and Related Projects are moved to the bottom of the description area.

The right column is also updated.

 

New things on Discover Page

Lego_cuusoo_discover_bottom

The bottom part of Discover page is updated. Now there is a big search box, so you can quickly search for specific projects.

There are also new two tabs, Right Now! and New projects.

[ Right Now! Tab ]

Now you can see what other users are doing right now on Discover page. When users do some action for peojrcts, it appears in this tab. 

[ New Projects Tab ]

This tab is self-explanatory. This tab shows the newly created projects. You can check more new projects from this tab.

 

On the right side, now we have Top 10 column. This column shows the projects that had most supporters in last week. Every Monday, this Top 10 gets update. Keep eye on it to see what projects are popular.

 

Migration of Japanese projects from old LEGO CUUSOO

We originally started LEGO CUUSOO in Japan. Now all of the projects on the old LEGO CUUSOO are now moved to this site.

 

We value your feedback

We are working hard to make LEGO CUUSOO better everyday. Please don’t hesitate to give us feedback. You can post your idea from the “Feedback” tab on the right side of website. We look forward to hearing from you about the updates and what we can make improvements.

The First LEGO CUUSOO Product : Shinkai 6500

110316_shinkai_en

LEGO® Shinkai 6500 is based on Japan’s proud creation of the world deepest diving manned research submarine.Enjoy learning about the wonders of the ocean, Shinkai’s construction and deep sea life forms in this LEGO® Shinkai 6500, 1:60 scaled set.Includes instruction booklet directed by Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC)

Let’s continue to support it until we are all standing in line and happily holding the actual box!

LEGO® CUUSOO Creations
“Shinkai 6500″ by @guy

Product Name: Shinkai 6500
Product Number: 21100
Price: 4830 yen
Size: 262mm x 191mm x 72mm
# of Pieces: 413

(From @guy)
We gathered around the fascination of the ocean, voted and supported this common dream to make the LEGO® Shinkai come true. Finally it has! I want to thank everyone from the bottom of my heart.

 

Introducing LEGO CUUSOO International (Beta)

With the introduction of the Design-To-Order process in 1998, CUUSOO.com has become a pioneer of user innovative product design. Since 2008, CUUSOO.com has been partnering with The LEGO Group to create a user innovative design system for people to create and market their own LEGO sets in the Japanese market. This revolutionary business model allowed an amateur user with a passion in deep sea exploration to create the world’s first official LEGO set not designed by a professional – the Shinkai 6500.

So far, the LEGO CUUSOO service has been available in Japan only, with sets produced by LEGO for sale in Japan only. While we are pretty happy about our accomplishment in Japan, we know fans of LEGO around the world are eager to use our system to create their own sets, perhaps even a new series! This is why today, we are extremely excited to present to the world the new, international version of LEGO CUUSOO! (in Beta!)

Lego_cuusoo_beta

We’ve worked pretty hard on this for a little over 2 months, putting in just the basic required features that will allow you to create and share your LEGO ideas and creations with others. From here on, we’ll be working closely with all of you, listening to all your feedbacks and improve the system to better suit your needs. So, if you haven’t yet, go and check out the site at http://LEGO.cuusoo.com. Registration is by invitation only for now but please leave us your e-mail and follow us on Twitter and Facebook, so we can send invites to you when we’re ready. We can’t wait to see what you can create for LEGO!