Please separate real LEGO builds from digital builds during Contests
When submitting entries for Contests, I believe there should be two categories: one for creations using real life LEGO bricks, and ones created digitally using LEGO simulation software. When building digitally, builders have access to infinitely more parts in a much wider variety of colours, putting physical builders at a significant disadvantage. And while digitally rendered entries are often extremely impressive, I do feel it provides a somewhat unfair advantage to digital builders over builders using real bricks. Hence why I feel there should be two categories (and thus two prize pools)- one for entries built using physical LEGO bricks, and ones built using computer software.
Randall Zeller commented
I 100% agree with you. Multiple times I have made physical submissions that could easily win if digital builds were a separate prize category. It makes it so much more boring to have these absolute mammoth digital builds outshining what a normal collection can do. Yes, I understand why digital building is useful for people with small collections, and this concept isn’t about banning digital models, just separating them from physical. It also challenges the mind more.
Peter Zieske commented
I would say that this should apply to product ideas too. LEGO IDEAS is seemingly the only LEGO community that's dominated by creations not created with real bricks. There needs to be an incentive for people to build models that have economical use of parts, respect gravity, and have actually demonstrable functionality.
While I don’t think there should be any distinction for ideas product concepts, I do see where it makes a difference for contests. I think it would be fair to award two contest prizes, one for best physical and one for best digital build. I don’t think we need completely separate categories upon viewing them, but a checkbox upon entry should suffice for assigning awards.
Yes. I agree. But maybe also separate computer edited entries, as a lot of people, though they have a decent camera, still don't have good editing programs. But exactly. I hate losing all the time because I don't enter a digital model. XD
You brought up a good point Tarik. There are many other contests that incorporate actual real builds using real pieces. LEGO ideas is more about designing in order to create something that is marketable and in agreement with the LEGO brand values. It's true it can be more work to design a digital version of a set, but it can be done if you have access to the technology. You can't really play test something that is designed digitally, so there are advantages and disadvantages either way. Also, no two people have the exact same number of LEGO bricks to work with. Some have less than 100. A digital designer opens up the playing field to those who have a limited real piece collection.
I understand where you're coming from, but I don't agree. Many people don't have the opportunity to build with the full array of available LEGO bricks, or even many at all. I don't think that discriminating based on that would be fair at all. I LOVE building with physical bricks, especially the constraints that it adds, but when you are trying to build a specific thing for a contest entry, it is a lot harder. Anyone with access to LEGO Ideas could for free get a digital design software. When making a physical entry, you need to have enough of the right LEGO bricks, which can be very pricy, as weel as at least a decent camera, which is also not cheap. Virtual designs allow anyone to enter with any number of bricks for free.
Totally agree. I understand if its for Lego Ideas submissions but in a contest it would be more challenging using your own bricks. Encourage creativity too. Sadly it seems like this will not happen sooner.
Michael Daugherty commented
TOTALLY AGREE. There is a creative opportunity to take the parts you have and make something from them.