| This page contains information about content from the Alpha Test Phase or Pre-Alpha Development Phase. This did not appear in the final game.
|Main Location of||Order of the Shield/Vanguard|
The Vanguard Outpost, also known as the Order of the Shield Complex, Order of the Shield Outpost or Vanguard Castle, was a world early in the development of LEGO Universe. While not the first world to be worked on, it was the first to be significantly playable. Previously, some conceptualization work had been done on Nexus City, and Port Plunder had been worked on somewhat, but deemed too large to act as a first prototype, so focus was shifted to the Vanguard Outpost.
At that point in development, players would have chosen a faction immediately, and each faction would have had a unique intro zone. The Order of the Shield - soon renamed to Vanguard, and eventually, to the Sentinels - had the Vanguard Outpost as their intro.
The other three intro zones didn't get very far: Content designer Chris Floyd vaguely remembered designing an intro zone for the Assembly faction, which he described as a "clean, white, future city or something" - "Might have been floating in the clouds? Maybe a robot factory? Boy... it's hazy." No concept art of the other three intro zones is known to exist.
The Vanguard Outpost was part of the wall that surrounded Nexus City. An opening cinematic would have shown normal life in the castle, before a Maelstrom Shard crashes through the castle, leaving a huge crater in the ground. At the end of the world was a portal to Port Plunder, which was then expanded to about 5 portals, so players could choose from a variety of zones to visit in a non-linear fashion (though the developers still only anticipated having Port Plunder available at that point in development).
After the Vanguard Outpost was scrapped/put on hold, the team started work on a mash-up zone containing a variety of themes: Wonderland. Some of the models created for the Vanguard Outpost were to serve as inspiration (if not be directly reused) for the ruined castle wall in the Creepy Crawly Forest pocket of Wonderland, though Creepy Crawly Forest was ultimately cut as well. Some models from the Vanguard Outpost still appear on the final game's key visual/box art.
While the environment models for the Vanguard Outpost no longer exist in the game data, references to physics files for a fountain, pillars, and various plants can still be found. There are also complete and functional objects for several NPCs, enemies/creatures, and smashables:
- Sergeant Maxx
- Sentinel Guard
- Vanguard Vendor
- Grumpy Darkling
- A gargoyle smashable
- An obelisk smashable
- An Imaginite rock smashable
- ↑ Concept Art - Castle wall scene
- ↑ Concept Art - The Castle Tower Attacked
- ↑ Imagining LEGO Universe: Map Quest