The first Bug. Built primarily by Joed in 1.5 days. Was supposed to be a firefly insect, but looked more like a mosquito.
The same basic mosquito design, but this time much larger, and with a face and more effort on the wings.
Joed didn’t like how the last two Bugs needed a fire built under the belly, so made a new design that was already cone shaped since it seems like fires like to be that shape.
We started getting fancier, adding burlap wings for the first time. The wings could also raise and lower for the first time. We invited people to hang out inside the belly, but it was not climbable yet.
Hey, this land looks familiar! Similar design to 2008’s Bug, but this time with a ladder and a seat that could hold two people (although some people challenged that number and managed to squeeze in three butts). Head was enlarged to fit the human visitors. And new homemade burlap eyeballs were created.
Same idea as 2009, but now with an even larger head, a bit more height, and room for five or six people on the benches up top.
The B.U.G. (Big Unexpected Grazer), aka The Mammoth. Only six people knew what we were building. It wasn’t until the last Bug work weekend when we attached the tusks (welded by Doug Russka, and sewn up by Ampersandy) and the fully articulated trunk (created by Joed and Threespeed in his basement shop) that members of the Board and other organizers realized it might be Firefly’s first extinct megafauna. We even somehow convinced helpers that they were building an insect right up until the end.
Back to a firefly Bug. Added a new glow belly-butt thing and interactive pinching mandibles. Made the wings so large we could barely raise them. We think it was named Pinchy.
The 2013 and 2012 Bugs are such twinsies, that we often mix them up. They were pretty similar in every way. The main difference was that 2013 was Mudfly 2: The Muddening, so everything was more work at the event. We think this Bug was called Squeaky due to her squeaky mandibles.
2014’s mantis even had pneumatic powered moving mantis arms that people could use the controller to move left to right and up and down (thanks to Michael Dewberry!). Each movement made a noise and shook the whole Bug. Her name was Ms. Mantis.
We borrowed the things we liked about the mantis – the long neck, and the insect’s abdomen extending out the rear (instead of the front) – and made ourselves a new firefly bug. This one had a handy “tool chute” out the back, so you could slide tools down to the ground to save time. We have no knowledge of any people accidentally going down the tool chute. That would be crazy.
A bloodsucking doom tick, complete with a blood pump from the mandibles that flowed into the “blood tower” where you could hear it all splash back down. Nobody wanted to save this Bug. The ground level mandibles were fun for pinching your friends though.
We weren’t sure if we would learn anything from the Tick, but we did. Having a nice deck to hang out on makes people want to visit the Bug and linger a bit, since the wet or dewy field isn’t always nice to sit on. So we made a firefly bug again, this time with a bottom, middle, and top deck. Bottom deck had a catwalk out the rear end. And finally we made the entire back end light up like a real firefly insect instead of having a weird glowing orb.
And then there’s this goofy dude! New features were the rotating googly eyes, the tongue that could go in and out, and the little springy hugging arms. We’re a personal fan of the red benches and the first deck in general. We reused concepts from other years (decks are nice, we are good at connecting sticks to each other, burlap works well), but the design was 100% new stuff. So we were kept very busy.