Updates to the Guidelines, House Rules, and Terms of Service

Today we’re introducing some updates to LEGO® CUUSOO’s Guidelines, House Rules, and Terms of Service based on things we’ve learned over the last two years. These changes will help focus the contents of your projects toward what we’re able to commercialize through LEGO CUUSOO. We’ve seen a lot of great ideas and models from you, but not everything fits what is practical or possible to make and sell.

Now that we’ve been through a few LEGO Review periods, it’s easier to decide what types of submissions work as potential sets and what kinds don’t. In order to nurture a pipeline that’s more in line with what is possible to produce, these changes narrow the scope of what we’ll consider.

What’s changing?

The new Guidelines, House Rules, and Terms of Service clarify and refine what types of submissions we’ll consider as potential LEGO sets. Our goal is to make review decisions more quickly, which means new CUUSOO sets will get into your hands sooner.

Highlights

Here are some changes we would like to highlight:

New Guideline What This Means 
Brick-Based Construction Toy Projects Only Please only create projects suggesting standard LEGO sets and not new parts, software, websites, apps, or non-LEGO brick based products (backpacks, mugs, etc).
One Project = One LEGO Set Projects should only suggest single stand-alone LEGO sets, and not a series of products or a playtheme.
No Minifigure Series or “Battle Packs” We no longer allow projects suggesting solely minifigures, minifigure collectibles, “battle packs,” “character packs,” etc.
Only Use Authentic LEGO Parts Please do not include non-LEGO brand bricks in your projects, whether from competing brands or after-market customizers.
No Company Logos or Team Mascots We no longer consider projects consisting of company, team, or organization logos or mascots.
Please Don’t Use Our Logos You may not use the LEGO Logo (or represent it), or any of our other logos in a way that could imply we endorse your project. See this guide for clarification.

CUUSOO Sets and Potential Playthemes

LEGO CUUSOO is set up to evaluate and release single LEGO set concepts that reach 10,000 supporters, and not playthemes, product ranges, or parts. The LEGO Minecraft concept proved so popular that the LEGO Group decided to release more sets as a continuation of our license agreement with MOJANG. This is really exciting because even more people will be able to celebrate their love for building, both with LEGO bricks and in the Minecraft universe!

While this naturally gives hope that your concepts could also make it to “theme status,” our team still sees future scenarios like this as incredibly rare. Nevertheless, it is a possibility, so we’ve also added Guidelines language that clearly states we don’t offer credit or compensation for any potential follow-up sets, since those are developed by us outside of LEGO CUUSOO.

New House Rules

It’s occasionally necessary to remind people of our expectations of respect, etiquette, and fair behavior, so we’re adding these two House Rules:

  • Respect Privacy. You may voluntarily link to your social media accounts on your profile but please do not share your email address, phone number, or other contact details. Never share someone else’s personal details that are not readily available on their LEGO CUUSOO profile.
  • One Account Per Person. LEGO CUUSOO is designed for creative people who play fairly and honestly. Secondary accounts will be removed when discovered and users who operate multiple accounts risk being permanently banned from participation. Please refrain from creating “team” or group accounts.

Guidelines, House Rules, and Terms of Service, oh my!

We refer to these a lot, but what is the difference between them? Here’s how these documents relate to each other:

CUUSOO Guidelines House Rules Hierarchy - Cropped

Moving Forward

Our team has learned a lot over the last two years of the LEGO CUUSOO Open Beta. We’ve browsed your great projects and ideas, and have had the privilege of evaluating those that make it into the LEGO Review. We’ve learned volumes about what’s possible to produce and what isn’t within the CUUSOO framework.

As a result of these changes, there are now many existing projects we won’t consider anymore. Many projects that no longer fit will soon be removed and their creators notified. Owners of projects that can be modified to fit the Guidelines will also be contacted. To simplify the administration of this change, projects with over 1,000 supporters will have until December 31 to make the necessary changes, and projects under 1,000 are asked to make the necessary changes before they reach 1,000 supporters.

Know that we can’t express enough how much we appreciate the passion and energy that goes into each and every one of your submissions, even if we’re not able to make them. Thanks again for enthusiastically sharing with us the things you would like to see made into future LEGO products and we’re looking forward to making more LEGO wishes come true as we grow.

New Blog Address, Please Update Your Links!

Some of you may have heard that our blog host, Posterous, has decided to close down at the end of April. Oh no!

So, we’re happy to share that we’ve found a new home for the LEGO® CUUSOO blog on WordPress. We’ve also given the blog a snazzy new subdomain: http://blog.LEGO.cuusoo.com. Woohoo!

Please Update Your Links!

All links to the old LEGO CUUSOO blog will stop working on April 30. If you own a LEGO fan site or blog, we encourage you to update your links to the new LEGO CUUSOO blog. Now, there’s a little twist, so pay attention; WordPress adds in date stamp directories on all of their articles. For example:

So, you will need to visit our blog and get the new links manually (sorry about that, there wasn’t a way to change this).

Our team is updating all links to the old blog in your comments on LEGO CUUSOO, and we will also update links within blog posts and the Knowledge Base over the coming week.

Errors on users’ My Page and Activity Feed

Today we have received reports that users’ My Page is not displaying their activity feed or project lists. Our development team is aware of the problem and working on a fix.

In the mean time, please log out of the site, clear your web browser’s cache, and log back in. In some cases this may fix the problem. If it does not fix things for you, we appreciate your patience as our team works on a solution.

We apologize for the inconvenience.

4 Questions to Improve LEGO CUUSOO

We’ve hidden something on your LEGO CUUSOO profiles. Haven’t noticed it yet? That’s okay, we’ll guide you…

  1. First, go to your profile by clicking either your username at the top of the page or “My Page.” 
  2. Click “Account Settings” on the right below your profile image. 
  3. Click the “Profile” tab. 
  4. And scroll….
  5. And there it is; a fan survey!

Help Us Understand You Better
Help us improve LEGO CUUSOO by telling us a bit more about what kind of LEGO fan you are. Please take a moment to answer these four questions on your profile. It’s nothing too personal, and we handle the responses anonymously. By taking 2-3 minutes, you’re helping us improve the LEGO CUUSOO community and better understand your needs as fans, thus helping us support you better!

It’s really a win-win situation, so please help us out by following the steps or links above and saving your responses on your profile.

Here’s a Screenshot of the Survey Questions

Profile-fan-survey

 

LEGO fan GlenBricker interviews Tim Courtney at SXSW

Last week my colleagues Peter, Signe, Sara, and I had the privilege of meeting LEGO CUUSOO user and blogger Glen Bricker at the SXSW Interactive conference in Austin, Texas. Not only does Glen create his own high quality projects, he can be seen tirelessly answering questions and helping others with their projects. Glen blogs a lot about LEGO CUUSOO at GlenBricker’s Review, so we turned our meet-and-greet into an interview opportunity.

In the interview I talk about:

  • Our team
  • The roadmap to leaving “beta”
  • How your LEGO model factors into the LEGO Review
  • …and give my single biggest piece of advice to project creators

LINK: Read the “Interview with Tim Courtney” on GlenBricker’s Review.

 

Check out the LEGO® CUUSOO Spring Review Qualifiers

As of 12:00 a.m. GMT on March 4th 2013, the Spring Review Deadline has come to a close. This time around, the qualifying projects have a long-standing history on LEGO CUUSOO, with a determined and loyal fan base. The LEGO CUUSOO team extends congratulations to our four qualifiers:

  • Exo Suit – After close to a year on LEGO CUUSOO, the Exo Suit has crossed the 10,000 milestone. Pending the review, LEGO Minfigures everywhere may yet be able to protect themselves in style!
  • Andy/ Bugdroid the Android by Google – Google™ Android™ and LEGO fans have united to support this project. And who could blame them, this model is adorable!
  • The Legend of Zelda Project – Legend of Zelda™ lovers have rallied together once again to back this fantastic project. Let those of us who spend many painstaking hours blowing into our old gaming systems rejoice!
  • Land-Rover Defender 110 – This supercar just barely made it in time to qualify for the review! If you haven’t seen this baby in action, check out the video link shared in the project’s description, you won’t be disappointed!

What’s the Spring Review Exactly?

On that lucky day when a LEGO CUUSOO project reaches 10,000 supporters, they enter into the “LEGO Review”, where we as a company look at their potential as a LEGO product. For further details, read: Projects Reaching 10,000 Supporters Will Now Be Reviewed Quarterly, The Quarterly LEGO Review: How does it work?, and Cheat Sheet: How to Pass the LEGO Review with Flying Colors.

What about the Fall and Winter Reviews?
It’s hard to gauge how long a review process will take since there are so many factors at play, so we’re not yet ready to communicate a timeframe for the results. Please be patient with us!

Next Review Deadline: June 3rd
Didn’t quite reach that 10,000 milestone this time around? Well, you have three months to get there to quality for the Summer Review. The deadline is June 3rd at midnight, GMT. Get out there and gain support for your project now!

Fixes to the Image Uploader

For several months there have been issues with uploading images when creating a project. This was especially noticeable with projects created using LEGO Digital Designer as jagged edges would appear on the models in many of the images.

Unfortunately the images with jagged edges did not meet our quality standards and we could not post them, even though the edges were not the user’s fault. This wasn’t fair to you, and we apologize for the poor experience.

Our technical team has found and fixed the problem by changing the module that the site uses to process your image uploads. There is no visible difference; the fix is behind the scenes. When uploading, you might experience a slight delay as the site processes the image you upload, but this normal.

If you have had difficulty before with your LDD image submissions being rejected, we encourage you to try again now that the problem has been addressed.

 

Congrats to the LEGO® CUUSOO Winter Review Qualifiers

Midnight last night, December 3rd 2012, marked the end of the Winter Review Deadline. The team here at LEGO CUUSOO extends congratulations to our two qualifiers:

  • Purdee Pete – This project had a strong start out the gate with 500 supporters in its first week, but really took off when word spread on the Purdue campus and it gained the rest of the 10,000 needed in a 36-hour sprint to the finish!
  • Space Troopers!* – Another reminder of how “slow and steady wins the race.” Space Troopers has been a long time favorite and an entirely original idea, reached 10,000 just days before the deadline.
Thumb640x360Thumb640x360_3

But wait, what is the LEGO Review?
After LEGO CUUSOO projects reach 10,000 supporters, they enter the “LEGO Review,” where the LEGO Company evaluates their potential as an actual LEGO product. The fastest way to come up to speed on the review process is to read our three part blog series: Projects Reaching 10,000 Supporters Will Now Be Reviewed QuarterlyThe Quarterly LEGO Review: How does it work?, and finally  Cheat Sheet: How to Pass the LEGO Review with Flying Colors.

Why don’t we know the results of the Summer Review yet?
Yes, the Summer Review has been going on for many months now, and we’re just as impatient to share the details as you are to hear them. We’re wrapping up the last details of this, so please bear with us.

Next Review Deadline: March 3rd 4th
If your project didn’t reach 10,000 this quarter, don’t be discouraged – you have another four months to reach the 10,000 votes needed to qualify for the Spring Review.  The deadline is March 3rd 4th at midnight, GMT, so start rallying your supporters now!

* The project was re-named from its original, user-submitted name, as it originally mentioned a trademark owned by another company, who  requested we cease using the trademark. For more information, see this blog post.

New LEGO CUUSOO Knowledge Base

We’re excited to announce the first version of our Knowledge Base. There you can find answers to common questions about how LEGO CUUSOO works and about creating your projects. With this, we are moving our support from Get Satisfaction (the Feedback tab on the right hand side) to UserVoice, and will be retiring our Get Satisfaction account. We appreciate all of the suggestions and recommendations you’ve given us there, and we’ll refer to them when working on our future roadmap and improvements.

Our goal is to address some of your most common questions about the LEGO CUUSOO process, the site, and the community. There are some questions we won’t answer, though, especially specifics about how decisions are made in the LEGO Review beyond what we have explained on the blog to date.

Special thanks goes to community members GlenBricker, lizardman, mopeydecker, and TheNerd, who who helped us pick the most important questions to include from the beginning, and also volunteered their time editing and proofing the articles!

What you see today is the first version, and we’ll be improving the articles over time and adding more as we see fit. Enjoy!

Status of the Summer and Fall LEGO Reviews

Just as you’ve been anxious to hear the results of the Summer LEGO review, we have been chomping at the bit to share the news with you about the results for EVE Online Ships – RifterBack to the Future DeLorean Time Machine, The Legend of Zelda, and the Modular Western Town.

Summer-eveSummer-deloreanSummer-zeldaSummer-westerntown

The LEGO Review board is still working on some of the final details of the Summer Review, which must be complete before we are able to announce any of the results. Projects in each quarterly review happen in batches, so we announce the results for each project at the same time. We’re sorry that we cannot yet commit to a date where we will share the news.

Fall Review has Begun
In the mean time, we have begun the process of the Fall Review, which includes the UCS Sandcrawler, Thinking with Portals, and the Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity Rover.