3rd Em Leader, Hf Villain Creator, Name Suggestions, & More Updates
2) Hero Factory site villain creator is fun. I made four.
3) Am working on Cipher Chronicles Episode 4. Quick, can yall throw random made-up Bionicle character names at me? I need one for a secret purpose in the story. Shorter the better. Cred to the suggester will be given. Suggest as many as you want. I'd like to pick one by this time next week.
More EM updates below, but first:
4) Recently some questions came up about the reasons the Multiverse is being done, and in the way it's being done. Any melodrama that may have came up along with these questions aside (and please do not comment on that here, if you saw it), they are good questions. So Swert and I wanted to take a moment along with the above announcements to clarify our reasons for doing this.
The questions include, why was a fanon collection project like this thought of by staff of reference sections (S&T forum and BS01 wiki), instead of Library staff?
Answer is, really, I do not know, because we were not the originators of the original (failed) Expanded Universe project, which was started by my predecessor in S&T. And as you can see above, we are indeed involving Library staff. As far as we are concerned, we thought the idea of a fanon collection was a good idea, and we applied lessons learned from the canon Bionicle story to attempt to make the new incarnation of it successful, unlike its predecessor.
So more or less, it's just how it happened, I guess. Also, both Swert and I are and/or have been fanfic writers. It isn't surprising that fans of story got involved in a story project. If I was to make a guess, psychologically speaking, it would probably be that the Library's focus has traditionally been on individual fanfic writers of their own universes, whereas we are more used to something (the Bionicle canon) that has had many authors and contributors and is designed on a larger scale than the typical fanfic. So I suppose it's a natural fit.
A related question is, why is the EM IN S&T and the BRC, rather than in the Library?
The answer is, it's actually in both, and it is also in BBC, Artwork, and any number of similar creative expression forums. The EM is about much more than just fanfiction, and more to the point, it is intended to act as a freeware collection that anyone can submit content to, and anyone can freely use the content without the need for express permission from the creators. In other words, "fanon". As such it makes sense for the collection and the major two topics (Discussion and Story Submission) to be in more visible locations so it is easier for fans to reference content they would like to use. However, the Cipher Chronicles, and the Submitted Stories, are indeed in the Library.
Why do we report on the EM, and specifically the Cipher Chronicles, on BZPower's front page, even though, for example, it is non-canon? Why don't other fanfic works get frontpage recognition?
Well, part of this is easy to answer. The EM's content is usually added to via an official S&T series of contests, and for several years now, the administration's policy has been to advertise official BZPower contests on the frontpage, to encourage involvement. So just as a BBC, RPG, Art, or Library contest (among others) will be reported on the frontpage, the EM contests are as well.
What about the Cipher Chronicles, and other major EM updates? Generally speaking, they are either basic reference updates that are ONLY done along with more important updates, and all EM updates are done with Black Six's express approval each time. The Cipher Chronicles, the PDF downloads, and a few other things are the prizes for the winners of the contests, as well as serving to inspire others' creativity in fanfics.
Remember that in the original plans to revamp the EU, the main thing we felt was needed is some kind of reward, and contests to earn them. Before we had come up with the Multiverse, we had planned to add a fanon side to our S&T canonizing contests. Later we realized it would be far better to make our own universe that we could tell our own adventure mystery story about, rather than just contests, since Bionicle's success was so much about its story. So, S&T canonizing contests became a separate series, and the Multiverse's prize became the featuring of the winners in the Cipher Chronicles, etc. Also, in the future we do plan to do story contests, as CC episodes that will get frontpaged.
As for other people's fanfics getting frontpage recognition somehow, that is an excellent idea I would fully support. Up until now, nobody had thought of it and nobody has volunteered to do the work necessary to make such an idea come to fruition, but is the EM meant to compete with other fanfiction; in fact, it is meant to encourage and help inspire it. Also, we will be choosing guest writers based on what they have proven themselves capable in past works (aside from the story contest option I mentioned), and we may also advertise those past works as part of that process (at the very least, they would be able to do so in their sigs in the Cipher Chronicles story topics).
Who runs the Multiverse? Who decides what gets featured majorly in it?
The short answer to this is you guys run the Multiverse. The vast majority of content is created by anybody who wants to enter the contests, and voted on by the membership in contest polls. Also, most of the lesser basics besides the stuff in the Multiverse guide is decided as a collaboration in the Discussion topic (for example, what the Clysmax Shard Moons are like, or what elements we should include, mask powers, etc.), with only the final decision being made by us.
But in order to have a framework within which to set the content, and have a mystery adventure story that we could hopefully thrill readers with, we did need to create the basic settings, background, and mysteries ourselves. Although, we did ask for some others' advice on some of those things before we launched the 100 page guide.
Finally, since any project needs leaders and of course, originators, the Multiverse was invented by Swert and myself, and now we, along with Takuta-Nui, are in charge of it. There are some things that we have to make executive decisions on in the Multiverse, similar to what Greg does in the canon -- and yet, they are much fewer and far between than in Bionicle canon. A normal fanfic, of course, is ruled totally by its single author; the EM is ruled much more by anybody who wants to get involved.
(However, we introduced the concept of reality shifting so that even our final decisions can be reinterpreted or sometimes even ignored outright in others' EM fanfics. We have also purposefully designed "gaps" in the story and world to avoid painting EM fans into corners.)
Does the EM have anything to do with the canon? What about canonization?
The short answer is no. The concept of a fanon collection was invented in S&T long before anyone thought of, or I and Greg approved, the original canonization contest, Treespeak in Metru Nui. That was during my time in charge of S&T, but the EU was thought of by my predecessor, as mentioned above.
Now, for the long answer, when we were planning out how to revive the concept of a fanon collaboration, we did consider involving canonization ONLY for the winners of the contests, and that was actually done with the first EU contest, Xian Weapons (later this contest was modified to be called the EM Industrial Weapons contest, although the Xian part still applies to the 15 winners).
The only other involvement of the canon was 1) simply to make sure Greg was not going to use the canon Olmak that Takanuva dropped in the space between universes, which we are using in the origins of the EM, and 2) the ten Sayger/art masks that had canon appearances as listed on BS01, but their powers were unknown. Since we needed to come up with mask powers for the EM guide, since those masks were being neglected by all others, and since several of them inspired EM mask powers, we decided to try to kill two birds with one stone.
If we had not involved the EM with those masks, we were already planning to attempt to resolve the issue of the unidentified masks via something like a contest -- but we would not have had room in our schedules for a mask contest for a long time. In the interests of time management, we opted to try for the "kill two birds with one stone" approach, and Greg approved. Also, a mask contest that may involve the remaining unknown canon masks among other possibilities may still be on the table in the future for S&T. If so, it might also involve the EM for the non-winners, similar to the Weapons contest, but this has not been decided at this time.
Those are the only three instances of canon involvement with the EM; the rest of it is intended, at least for now, to be strictly non-canon. We think it simply works better that way. However, let's also keep in mind that canonically, Greg has said that all fan fiction stories exist in alternate universes, and the EM's alternate universe status is clearly stated. So in a sense, the EM is entirely canon as an alternate universe -- and so can your fanfics be.
(Also, for purposes of simplicity, we have begun to use terms like "EM canon" to refer to those things definately approved to exist in the EM, which should not be confused with Bionicle canon; this is simply for lack of a better term.)
Why isn't it in its own subforum?
Basically, if it actually became so active as to warrant existing, it might become to busy to fairly moderate. For the moment, it works better where it is. Also, if it was in a subforum, that would imply that all creations for it would have to be stuffed into it, so for example, a MOC topic could not be in BBC, which is confusing and redundant -- let alone would rob the creators of those MOCs easy visibility to reviewers of MOCs in the place those reviewers are used to going. Similar issues would come up with Epics versus short stories, let alone that they would be redundantly placed anyways. So most likely a subforum will not happen.
5) In other EM news, the wiki Kanohi page has received major updates, including new art for my Paracosmos masks that were submitted to the EM (especially noble versions of Greats and vice versa). Some of the canon masks have new angles drawn to make it clear what they (noncanonically) look like in the EM. A handful of the fan-created masks also have images now, and more are hopefully to come soon.
6) Well, I had been hoping to have the organizations announcement ready for this, but failed lol. That and Tyrants Powers results, plus new Tyrant details, I hope we can work on this week. And yes, I'm preparing a reply to the (many) new questions/suggestions in the Discussion topic, but that may get delayed for a while...
7) Somehow or another, we plan to open up authorship of the next Cipher Chronicles episode after number four (so episode five) to a guest writer. What method to decide who, though, hasn't yet been decided. There are a lot of pros and cons to every possible method. I am leaning against a literal story contest at this point if only because I will have to judge the ATYU story entries very soon anyways, so that would be a bit much. That probably leaves a volunteering system, a picking based on the best Submitted Stories, and/or a picking based on stories in general, or some combination of these... or something we haven't thought of yet lol. Hopefully yall should hear an update on that soon.