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BrickFest 2005

Discussion and planning of large-scale Castle Themed displays and events

BrickFest 2005

Postby Magnus » Mon Apr 18, 2005 1:54 am

Lords and Ladies, knights and peasants,

As you may have seen, BrickFest 2005 has been officially announced for the 12th to the 14th of August. I'm as excited as I know many of you must be! I hope to see many familiar faces as well as new ones. You guys helped making the Castle Room last year a GREAT success and the high standard we set last year only serves as a great springboard to keep taking it to new heights!

I'm honored to have been asked to once again be involved with the Castle Room but before we start planning in detail, I wanted to get some ideas and feedback from the community. And maybe throw some ideas out there myself.

Those of you who attended last year, what were you general impressions? What was cool, what could have been done differently? Don't be shy with constructive criticism, there is definetely stuff I know of that I want to do a little differently this year, but there is also stuff I didn't necesarily catch on to last time.

BrickFest 2004 aside, how have Castle Rooms been handled at other conventions and what sort of thing seems to be succesful?

Lets try to do a little brainstorm session here I'll start out by throwing out a few key words, ideas and questions:

-How can we expand and improve the Classic Castle City display EVEN better than it was last year. (aside from most obviously, making it bigger)

-What stuff did non castleheads seem to like the most last year? (both AFOLs and the general public) What can we do to make the Castle Room a highlight of the event for everyone not just us diehard castlers?

-Do you guys have any suggestions for new building challenges, themes, competitions etc?

-Think micro. That's all I'll say for now.



Finally, I'm not in this trying to lord it over the Castle Room with a fist of steel like some kind of medieval warlord, I need some help! Last year there were lots of people who spontaneously helped out with everything from the 3Cs layout to helping keep an eye on stuff during the public day and I hope you guys know I couldn't have done it without you. But I'd also like to have other people on the actual Castle Room Coordinator team - helping me plan everything in advance and run stuff throughout the weekend. (Lenny Hoffman helped out last year and was particularly instrumental in getting the 3CS together.)

Working on coordinating a BrickFest room does involve some work in advance (think creative and organisational type work) but it's all good fun. During the weekend itself it would mean spending a fair amount of time in the Castle Room but by no means would coordinator duties take up the whole weekend. I'd be happy to hear from anyone who is interested - both longtime members of the community and newbies too. If this sounds like something you'd like to do, do get in touch with me by email - thunder_road@hotmail.com.

cheers

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Postby HenrytheV » Mon Apr 18, 2005 2:08 am

Where is Brickfest?
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Postby plums_deify » Mon Apr 18, 2005 2:32 am

Arlington, VA, if I remember correctly.
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Postby JPinoy » Mon Apr 18, 2005 3:10 am

Oh good, so the renovation thing will be done by the time BrickFest starts?
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location

Postby Magnus » Tue Apr 19, 2005 3:32 am

BrickFest 2005 is indeed being held at good old GMU in Arlington, VA (just outside Washington DC).

I'm not sure what the deal is with the "renovation thing" but if it is still going on I hope and anticipate that it won't get in the way too much. Castle will of course have its own room as always.
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Postby architect » Tue Apr 19, 2005 6:25 am

I have several thoughts for improving the castle room for the 2005 BrickFest:

We should probably have fewer tables if we are in the same room. The crowds were too large during the public display and it was hard to keep an eye on them.

Perhaps having a defined walking path for visitors around the room work well. Three to four castle people should be watching the room at all times during the expo and moving people through the line.

Last year we had alot of green space with houses/shops spread out. I think that using fewer walls and compacting the square footage of the town would be great. This would be more realistic and would look good.

We may have to limit the number of wall sections (or even shops) that each person can display. Of course extra mocs/walls could be brought out at show and tell.

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re: suggestions

Postby Magnus » Fri Apr 22, 2005 3:33 am

Ben,

Thanks for your suggestions, hope to seeyou again this year.

Good idea about how to make the CCC display take up less space and also look more realistic, thanks!

Last year one of my few genuine disappointments was the way the public day got a little out of control. Thinking about how to arrange the tables so as to create a better flow of traffic and also ensuring that there are AFOLs at every table is something we should think more about. In terms of planning where to put tables, I can't overemphasize how much easier it is for the organizers if MOC cards are filled out in advance.

Any other ideas from people?
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Postby Glencaer » Mon Apr 25, 2005 3:21 pm

I'd agree with Ben that a smaller 3CS (at least in wall section terms) would be a good idea. I'd recommend that rather than a large square that is something like 5' x 5', we could do something longer and skinnier, like 3'x8' - which would make it easier for people to see into the details of the city.

An idea I'm working with for the space room is to get a small shelf to place small, detail-intensive MOCs (like vignettes, micro, etc) on, so that they are closer to people's eye level - and thus able to appreciate them better.

I think it might also help traffic better.

Also, an idea I had, I spoke to Magnus about it back at BF04 - would be to build a giant LEGO Chess board. Instead of one troop = one pawn, it would be 6 or 8 troops = one pawn, and would give the appearance of a large, impressive army. On public day, two people could play an extended game of chess, taking time to show pieces taking each other as two units doing battle, etc. Another version of Magnus's evolving battlefield from BF04.

A standard battle field with 8x8 squares (rather than the typical 4x4) would just be 4 baseplates. Hmm.. I think I'm gonna do this even if by myself.

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chess

Postby Magnus » Mon Apr 25, 2005 5:45 pm

Lenny, very nice idea! I have a bunch of figs and could help with creating armies for this kind of thing. Do stay in touch as this idea develops. Any chance of that jousting idea of yours to happen this year?

I was also thinking of the possibility of doing some kind of gaming in the room if there is space for that. I'll start a thread on the gaming form for anyone who wants totalk about that kind of thing.

One of the things I think I learned last year was that having a developing/interactive display in the Castle Room really helped make it fluid and fun. I don't want to rehash exactly the same from last year (which was a sort of developing siege display) but if anyone has more ideas how to keep the Castle Room "moving" so to speak, do share.

thanks

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Postby Glencaer » Tue Apr 26, 2005 10:58 pm

I had two problems with Jousting: first is the mechanism of getting the two horses to charge each other, and the second is getting the knight to fall off.

I had been using pull back motors with a greentop that the horse is placed on, but that never really looked good. I tried the idea of building up greenery around the motor to cover it up, but it added so much extra friction that they didn't go very fast.

I'm thinking maybe I should have brick built horses, like Wag's or Mara's. I might be able to get the motor 'inside' the horse and still have it look cool. Then the knight would site on top on a tile, and whoever's knight fell off lost a point.

If the motor isn't in the horse, then I need some external way of propelling the horses. What I want to really avoid is that horribly ugly KK2 Tournament set.

Anyways, just talking to myself here.

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Postby Lord_Of_The_LEGO » Tue Apr 26, 2005 11:27 pm

Glencaer wrote:I had been using pull back motors with a greentop that the horse is placed on, but that never really looked good. I tried the idea of building up greenery around the motor to cover it up, but it added so much extra friction that they didn't go very fast.


What about rasing the entire joust scene up a few bricks and imbedding the entire track and motor? I think it would only take a decent amount of 2x4s.

Glencaer wrote:Then the knight would site on top on a tile, and whoever's knight fell off lost a point.


I think a minifig would simply slip off the tile on any occasion, hit or not. What about sitting the minifig on a tile and then surrounding it with a one-plate level of tiles?
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jousting

Postby Magnus » Wed Apr 27, 2005 3:34 pm

How about using technic chain link or something to run the two horses towards each other kind of like this:


_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
(M _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ )




M - motor

Just attach the horses to the track, and embed this with a motor in the ground a few bricks deep?
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Re: jousting

Postby Lord_Of_The_LEGO » Wed Apr 27, 2005 4:11 pm

Magnus wrote:How about using technic chain link or something to run the two horses towards each other kind of like this:
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
(M _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ )

M = motor

Just attach the horses to the track, and embed this with a motor in the ground a few bricks deep?


The problem is, if the chains are hooked up to a standard motor and not a pull-back one, the chains would revolve at the same rate. That would mean the knights would race toward at one another at the same pace, giving neither any advantage.

I think pull-back motors are the only way this jousting could work -- besides the KK2 jousting set approach, of course :wink:
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Postby architect » Wed Apr 27, 2005 10:05 pm

Magnus wrote:Thanks for your suggestions, hope to seeyou again this year.

Good idea about how to make the CCC display take up less space and also look more realistic, thanks!


No problem. I love realism :) I hope to be able to attend this year but I do not know yet due to work.

I like Lenny's chess idea and Magnus' interactive displays. Perhaps instead of a castle under siege, we could have a castle under construction where periodically each day new segments are added from a stash of towers and wall sections.

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Postby Glencaer » Fri Apr 29, 2005 2:33 am

architect wrote: Perhaps instead of a castle under siege, we could have a castle under construction where periodically each day new segments are added from a stash of towers and wall sections.


Thats a GREAT idea Ben! Altho I couldn't do it, it would be really neat.

Nathan wrote:What about rasing the entire joust scene up a few bricks and imbedding the entire track and motor? I think it would only take a decent amount of 2x4s.


heh, I did try that. Problem is the built up scenery causes friction on the wheels - often the knights didnt even hit each other. When I made it, it looks like a Wheeled horse on a knight in the middle of a trough.

And ya Nathan, I was gonna build up around the tile they sit on... of course ;)

I'm thinking what I am going to do is to use the pull back motor, brick built horse, and a built up scenery for when the knights are at rest.

Hmm... I think this will do it.

Also, I've been getting into BrickQuest, and it is a pretty fun game. I've been preparing a battlefield battle area. It will be an orc attacking the knights stronghold.. or something like that. Cool stuff, and it would be easy to have a fun BrickQuest game that lasted a few hours. We could even split it up between teams of players and do capture the flag or somethin'.

-Lenny
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