Virtual Reality

Google's Lego toy, Build with Chrome, is now available for browsers worldwide

Google's Lego toy, Build with ...
Build with Chrome brings Lego to Google's maps and asks what would you build, and where
Build with Chrome brings Lego to Google's maps and asks what would you build, and where
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My model to test out Build with Chrome is obviously expertly crafted
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My model to test out Build with Chrome is obviously expertly crafted
Build with Chrome lets you browse cities and see models that have been built "nearby"
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Build with Chrome lets you browse cities and see models that have been built "nearby"
By unlocking training challenges based on The Lego Movie you may obtain additional types of Lego bricks
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By unlocking training challenges based on The Lego Movie you may obtain additional types of Lego bricks
Lego challenges help teach how to use the web client and build structures
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Lego challenges help teach how to use the web client and build structures
When zoomed in enough within the model map, you can choose new parcels of "space" in which to build
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When zoomed in enough within the model map, you can choose new parcels of "space" in which to build
Build with Chrome not only lets you build your own models but browse geographically other models
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Build with Chrome not only lets you build your own models but browse geographically other models
The new release of Build with Chrome includes a training academy to teach how to build with Lego
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The new release of Build with Chrome includes a training academy to teach how to build with Lego
Build with Chrome brings Lego to Google's maps and asks what would you build, and where
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Build with Chrome brings Lego to Google's maps and asks what would you build, and where
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Last year we reported that Google and Lego had released a browser-based Lego building experience that sprawled over real-life geography – well kinda, if you didn’t mind only placing your models in Australia, where the location-based tool was first released. Build with Chrome has now been released everywhere, in honor of Lego’s anniversary yesterday of obtaining its first patent. With the newer version we have an extensive building academy with promotional tie-ins to the upcoming Lego movie, and you might see Lego models popping up all over your virtual Google map.

The build process is much as we described last year, with two piles of Lego bricks and different keyboard and mouse commands for controlling the layout. This time Lego and Google have added a detailed build academy to teach you the process of not only using the website, but to give tips on building with Lego. The “instructor” is a character from The Lego Movie and completing challenges will unlock additional bricks.

By unlocking training challenges based on The Lego Movie you may obtain additional types of Lego bricks
By unlocking training challenges based on The Lego Movie you may obtain additional types of Lego bricks

Online Lego building experiences have existed in the past, so other interesting features are due to the Google connection. You’re initially asked to share your location and are assigned a geophysical plat of space which resembles a Lego baseplate upon zooming in, but you can also choose any geographic area in which to site your Lego model.

You're also able to navigate the world map and look at local models. Browsing the physical location of my alma mater I discovered the school’s logo, while by the stadium in Colorado I found a logo for the local football team, the Denver Broncos. Apparently even in Lego, location matters.

Because you can pick and choose where to build your models, theoretically with enough builders your town could obtain a virtual Lego representation of its real-life architecture. Or a group of friends could choose an isolated area and collaborate on an imaginary town or installation sprawling over multiple assigned areas, keeping in mind that models can’t technically overlap pieces from one “baseplate” to the next, and each baseplate can only have one designer.

When zoomed in enough within the model map, you can choose new parcels of "space" in which to build
When zoomed in enough within the model map, you can choose new parcels of "space" in which to build

You’re also able to share your own models or those of others through G+, and all models are public and can be “+1”ed. Bear in mind that creators’ G+ names are shared with their model along with the geographical address where the model was placed, in case you decide to build a model of your house ... where your house really is.

Build With Chrome can be accessed on any browser enabled with WebGL, including Safari, Firefox, and mobile browsers. WebGL’s site will tell you if you if your choice of browser supports it. In practice the tool was more responsive for me in Firefox, but if I tried to build after selecting a geographical space instead of just clicking “Start Building," I was told that I needed to download Chrome.

The video below depicts Google's geographical imaginings of Lego.

Source: Build with Chrome

LEGO® Build With Chrome

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4 comments
christopher
Shudder. Anyone else find it creepy how monsters like apple and google invest such huge amounts into sneaking their way into the minds of our kids?
coresnake
Probably forces you to join Google + to use it.. lol
BigGoofyGuy
I think that is really neat. I want to give it a try. I recently bought a Chromebook.
Jon Smith
I've been playing around with this for two days here is what I've found.
Will not load in IE. Allows you to open in Chrome but you can't build because the base plate is missing (I downloaded Chrome just for this so it is the most recent). Firefox works just ok, I'm able to start a project but I have not been able to finish one as Build has so many bugs spend any time with it and you will encounter a critical bug that will not allow you to continue.
In short it is VERY buggy!