The [Brick] Abyss is a collaborative project. This is a peek into how we work together over the Internet because we live rather far away from each other. Mostly we use digital planning and building software such as BlueBrick, LDraw and LEGODigitalDesigner to make sure everything fits together.

The Abyss has a cable car that runs across the entire layout. After all, the minifigs need an easy way to get from rock to rock. One person was supposed to design the gondolas while the other person solved all the technical aspects of the cable car motors. Instead of building the gondolas and shipping them across the country (and them possibly falling apart), we just did a digital build – this was a lot faster too and nobody had to wait for the mailman for constructions to resume! Below you’ll see the gondolas built in LEGODigitalDesigner, there are views from at least three sides, one highlighted view to show how parts fit together and one exploded view to create a parts list. Of course, if both have LDD installed on their computer you can just send the digital building file.

By the way: Sometimes collaborating over the Internet feels a little like a game we sometimes play at conventions. It’s called Building by Announcement and works like this: You need two people, a small LEGO creation (or a very small set) and either twice the parts of your creation or the parts once and one building instruction (or the parts and a very good memory).

You build your model but your friend must not see it! Now you give him the parts needed to build the model. It is your goal to verbally explain to him which part needs to be placed in which way. This can get quite complicated if there are multiple options! You will have to express yourself very precisely and your friend will have to use his imagination to envision what the build might be. You must not point at anything, only describe with words. This is most fun if you cannot see what your friend is making out of your instructions. Will your model look the same as the one your friend built? Afterwards you can take turns. If you play this in a larger group (e.g. at a birthday party), you can make teams of two people. The team that is the first to have two identical models wins.