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Site Update

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Binkmeister

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Although it's a week and a half late, the last major update to BIONICLE.com has gone live. After a few hours of bug-fixing, it seems to be working properly now. Sorry for the inconvenience of the Mata Nui Saga not loading.

 

Here are a few details about the site update, what's there, and what's coming.

 

Mata Nui Saga:

This was a tough one. When LEGO decided not to continue the BIONICLE product line, we were stuck in the middle of a planned story arc. The movie was already in production, and the cliffhanger ending wasn't going to be changed. But BIONICLE wouldn't have another movie, so how to solve this?

 

On the web, obviously. No pressure.

 

So, within my budget limits, we had to brainstorm how to end the story, as well as sell products. We had two major points to focus on: the Stars (specifically the Golden Armor), and the conflict between Mata Nui and Makuta Teridax. The story serials, story information on BIONICLE.com, product info, and upcoming book sufficiently tell the story on the ground, with explaining why Tahu looks the way he does, why Toa and Glatorian are elbow-to-elbow, etc. So how to address MN's spat with Makuta?

 

One of the options was to create high-quality 3D CGI animation, but I could only afford a handful of seconds of that. It's expensive. Plus, we'd be competing visually with the full movie just released. Another option was Flash-based animation, but that's kind of 2003, and would be going backwards stylistically. The other option I initially favored was using the technology of the Unity 3D "Glatorian Arena" games to create machinima episodes, a la "Red vs. Blue." We could've gotten a lot more for the money. But again, that type of animation would look cheesy compared to the nice animation done for the Legend Reborn, so reluctantly, we shelved that idea.

 

Time to think outside the box. What haven't we done that fans would like? Well, some way of tying into the movie is key, so we hired Michael Dorn, who voiced Mata Nui in the Legend Reborn, to reprise that role for the web. I wrote the story for the web, and he read it in chapters (see previous blog entry about meeting him). So now we've got cool audio... what about visuals? It turned out that one of the former set designers for BIONICLE is an excellent artist, who was already familiar with the BIONICLE graphical style, and so we contracted him to come up with all the different visuals.

 

Since we've announced we're wrapping up BIONICLE, obviously we need story closure or everyone will be left hanging. Even though one chapter closes, another remains open... and we decided it was most important to tell the entire story of Mata Nui, from 100,000 years ago to the present. So we'll see flashbacks (like the Core War image you've already seen) and then focus on what the story is now. The Mata Nui Saga will be updated twice weekly, Monday and Thursday, for the next four months or so.

 

That, essentially, is how the Mata Nui Saga came into being. It was actually quite a large project to coordinate.

 

Robot Showdown

The site's background was done by Advance, based on the information we had at the time. This was before the comic came out, with a different design for the older Bara Magna robot. I anticipate complaints about whey they look the same, but you'll just have to live with it. It's a very cool graphic and I'm using it for my wallpaper.

 

Agori Defender Game

The other major addition hasn't been done yet, the final BIONICLE web game. You've seen screenshots, and it looks and works really nicely. I'm very pleased with it, it's a "sticky" game... I keep coming back. The graphics are really well done, and I can't wait to get it out there for you all to play. I'm hoping for January, but it all depends on resources.

 

Comics

They haven't been updated online due to resource and budget constraints. Sorry, but they've been ignored for a while. I don't know when they'll be online.

 

Scale of the robots

Yeah yeah, I know. But you've got to take artistic license, right?

 

Great Beings

Do you see them? Are they Christmas trees? Rocks? Dementors? Or GBs? I'll leave that up to you to decide.

 

The future

Local language sites will be updated in the next few weeks, and the Agori Defender game put online. You may also see some more story stuff on the site, but you'll have to look for it. After the MNS is done, that's pretty much it for BIONICLE.com. You'll continue to see story serials on BIONICLEstory.com, but for the most part, I'll be concentrating on the Next Big Thing which you all have seen now but I can't talk about because it isn't officially announced (nice timing).

 

I'm glad you all seem to like the site update, I'm pleased with how it turned out. Leah started it, I'm ending it. It's kind of a big deal, for a fan to slide into this position and end up writing the webisodes that helps close out the franchise. And it was a personal high point to see a Big Hollywood Star reading my script.

 

Now, on to the next big thing...

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While I did notice that the robots were the same (when they should be different) that is still one of the most epic Bionicle images ever. I think this easily beats "Mata Nui Rising" from 08. And Bi-Weekly Mata Nui saga updates... awesome! (Gives me stuff to use as a news reporter. ;) )

 

:music:

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Good job of pre-emptively addressing the inevitable complaints, Bink. :P

 

This looks promising. Thanks for all your hard work.

 

little-heart.png

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It's a great update, Bink. The robot scale is fine by me - BM is a big planet in my book. I'd have quite liked a 3D animation of the final battle, but obviously cost does get in the way of that.

 

I'd have sacrificed the entire TLR movie for it, actually. But not to worry. :)

 

- Tilius

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Yeah, I guess thanks to you and Leah for everything these 9 years, even though there's still 2011. Thanks again, and can't wait for the MNS to be fully done!

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Bink, the site update is well worth the wait

I can't wait for The Game to be released, just so we can see what it is

Also: RvB RULES!!!!!!

Which side you root for Bink? Sarge or Church?

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The site's background was done by Advance, based on the information we had at the time. This was before the comic came out, with a different design for the older Bara Magna robot. I anticipate complaints about whey they look the same, but you'll just have to live with it. It's a very cool graphic and I'm using it for my wallpaper.

 

Hey, I am as well! I agree with several of the other posters...It was one of the best BIONICLE graphics made.

 

So will there be a site for 2011? or just BIONICLEstory.com?

 

Oh yeah guys...Think about where that image represents....the Core War....What do we know of that looks like Christmas Trees....Rocks...Dementors....and, yes, Great Beings.....Anything it wants to....

 

Um...Did somebody suggest Baterra?

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The only complaint I have about the website is that the top image of the DTV section still has blue and not grey on it and looks horrible and that the UK and DE sites still say when the TLR movie is to come out although it has already been released. Also, the "Play from start" text on The Mata Nui Saga is translated as "Play game again". But all those things are so minor that they don´t prevent me from thinking this is the best BIONICLE.com ever. Please don´t delete it even after the end of The Mata Nui Saga. :)

 

Great job, Bink! Thanks again to you and also Leah for the great BIONICLE online stuff we have got over these years! I am glad to know you will make the website for the replacement line- that is already a guarantee for it being awesome.

 

~Gata. ;)

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Not gonna lie, I am loving the standoff banner. Also the Mata Nui Saga is epic so far. Loving that too.

 

Kohaku

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I'm using the robot fight as my background tooooooooooo. It's so awesome.

 

You did a fantastic job updating the site Bink, it looks amaaaaazing. I had completely forgotten about the game, what with all the new stuff =P.

 

While RvB style animatics would have been fun, I like how you got it now, especially with the awesome illustration (and color!). And running for the next four months is a dream come true.

 

Also, I say they're rocks >=(. More fun that way.

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Great Beings: Dementors?

*gaaaaaaaaasp* I KNEW it!

 

Or, maybe they're Death Eaters.

 

Makuta+Voldemort=ohmygawdohmygawdohmygawd. The Order of the Phoenix needs to get there soon.

 

In other news, the illustrations are fantastic! Nice job with the site, Bink!

 

-Nukaya

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Thank you for all you have done for the official site. You are a truly great webmaster and have ascended through the ranks considerably. I congratulate you.

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Wait a second, I just counted, and there's nine of them (unless the thing above the Thornax Gelu fired is one too), so that means they're the Nazgûl! zomg.gif

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We all love you Bink! (And Leah!)

 

Personally, I want to thank both of you for the most awesome website ever...all 10 years. Unlike other sites, you guys stuck with the times, so as technology evolved, BIONICLE.com did too. It was quite the journey. So, again, Thank You.

 

And the TeridaxVMataNui Images is the BOMB! I'm currently using it as my desktop image, its AWESOME.

 

Oh, and you guys made the best decision ever when you hired Michael Dorn. The Mata Nui Saga is EPIC.

 

-Z-

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Binkmeister, is there going to be a version of the background picture that is specifically for a desktop? I want to use it for mine, but the little part that's there as background for the text doesn't look good.

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I would have loved it if MNS was done in flash animation, it would be kinda of like a closing, we started with Flash animations/games in the first years, and then we could end with them. But I won't complain, the artwork is awesome and the narrations are great!

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Don't know about everyone else, but I'd have loved flash animations, I'm quite disappointed that option was skipped over.

Nevermind though, we got new artwork and more official voicing for Mata Nui, so I that's good

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