The Creative Director of LEGO Builder’s Journey says that the game offers a gaming experience closer to the physical act of building.
Light Brick is a studio that the LEGO Group has established internally, as the company looks at news way to provide digital experiences around the brick. Its first game, LEGO Builder’s Journey, launched last December on Apple Arcade. Karsten Lund is the Creative Director of the studio and its projects.
“LEGO games stand for a lot of different kinds of play,” he told GamesIndustry. “We have a big action-adventure part of Lego play. But brick-by-brick building, one brick at a time, is something that we haven’t explored a lot in recent times, and especially for touch screens, [we wanted to try and] see if we could mimic the physical feeling of building the bricks.”
In the case of Builder’s Journey, the game is all about solving puzzles using LEGO bricks. Some of the puzzles have multiple solutions, allowing the player to use their creativity, others have more specific solutions that the player must figure out.
Compared to the fast-paced action of the console games, LEGO Builder’s Journey is a calmer experience and seeks to emulate the tactile experience of actual elements.
“One of our early breakthroughs, especially on touch devices and phones, was the haptic feedback of actually clicking bricks together,” Lund says. “You get haptic feedback when that happens, and that’s very satisfying. We even supported 3D touch on the devices that had that feature, which means you can press a little bit harder on the screen, and it’ll go a little faster. So you feel like you’re really pressing bricks together.
“But other than that, it’s the deliberate picking up a brick, deciding where it’s going to go, rotating into its right angle, and snapping it right in place where you believe that it fits, that’s the core mechanic of the game. And that is what is so satisfying about building with bricks, right? You recognize the shapes, and some of these shapes are actually 60 years old and still classic in design. The brick tells you so much about where it’s going to go, how it’s going to fit, and how it needs to be rotated and put together by just by the way it looks. So that’s a strong language, I would say.”
The studio is working on new projects that seek to look at the brick in different ways, although Lund is staying tight-lipped for now.