Well, I like this idea. So where would the design be starting from?
The first thing to do for any Magic set is to create a design skeleton; a rough skeleton showing what cards are needed in the set. It is a very, very rough idea, and can be fluid when necessary, but gives you a basic structure for your set.
So with the design skeleton, you start with the commons first, as they are what the majority of players will be interacting with and are quite often the hardest (well, perhaps second hardest, after uncommon) rarity to design for.
Mark Rosewater (Head Designer for M:tG) has an excellent series of articles he posts annually about designing sets (particularly aimed at helping others design their own custom sets) that is worth a read. Link to the latest one here which in turn has the links to all the previous ones (strongly recommend giving them a read if you want to help out with this )
I'd go with the first one, no need to change rules, which would put a less less effort into the hands of people who are new to it and making it easily accessible to folks who wanna play with their non-Bionicle friends. New mechanics are invented all the time to match the themes of sets, but I guess renaming them would work just fine as well. I think that Magic has sooo many mechanics and abilities and stuff that if you looked through them all (There's like around a hundred last tiem I counted), you could easily pick and choose a couple to fit any theme and atmosphere. The basing blocks off years is a neat idea which I like, 'cause I can totally see the Mata Nui stuff as like, Kamigawa or something, and then Metru Nui is definitely like Mirrodin or Ravnica, with all the technology and the metropolis and all, and basically the different locations in Bionicle are definitely unique enough to be their own sets and there are a lot of characters that can definitely be Planeswalkers. Now that I think about it, besides planeswalking itself, Bionicle and the worlds of MtG have a lot in common
Only thing I wanna contribute at this time is to remind ya that, as far as I remember, the card designs are gonna change with M15 so you should look up the new style and incorporate it into your Bionicle cards, 'cause it would be nice to have them match what's gonna be the new norm and also I think the new frames looks great ^^
The main differences on it are a new font called "Beleren" which is still very similar to their old font so it's fine to use the old one too, a smaller black border meaning more room on the card itself, and room for both collector info and space to credit the card's designer, which I think would be great for fan projects like this!
I would love to help work on this, it sounds like fun and I looove the whole design process, Making Magic is my favorite segment on their website I'm really great with graphic design and photo manipulation and drawing programs and stuff so the look of cards is also something I can help out with when it gets to that stage after flavor and balancing and stuff.
Oh my Mata Nui, there are sooo many mechanics to choose from! Like I said before, I'm also designing a more customary Magic set with some of my friends at the moment, so yeah I've trawled through all the keywords there I don't think we'd need to rename any of them (aside from things like Bushido, which has been stated as unlikely to return unless it gets a name change) unless it feels better flavourfully.New mechanics, however... New mechanics can be tough. I know from experience. It's always good to try and incorporate something new mechanically within a set and that's something I'll be striving to achieve here too
I most definitely agree with you, locations in the Bionicle universe are most certainly diverse enough to constitute their own sets They are very similar, except for the planeswalking (well... anyone with a Kanohi Olmak... and Takanuva... ). I'm actually rather hesitant to put planeswalkers in, because of their strong ties to Magic flavour and their seeming lack of counterparts in Bionicle. Still something I find myself debating...
And yes, I'm aware of the new designs for M15 (really looking forward to it XD). With the other sets I've been making, I've relied on the Magic Set Editor for actually producing the final cards. It produces a very good final product and I'm just hoping they update it for the new M15 boarders and font
I might add, MaRo is my favourite writer for M;tG and I absolutely love Making Magic It'll be good to have you on board
From what I understand, option 1 is the best. Changing rules would be confusing and difficult.
Although option 3 will give a bigger leeway to mix and mATch characters and settings as the creators see fit. So it's a choice between staying to a faithful storyline or allowing the setting to diverge as the creators see fit to.
I would not want to touch Option 2 with a ten-foot pole, not yet anyway. I put it up to because all options should be considered, and if someone can think of a simple enough way to make it work then I'll be interested to see it.
I'm very torn between Options 1 and 3. On one hand, I love the idea of trying to go through the Bionicle storyline with Magic, faithfully representing the characters and source material, but on the other I love creating new worlds and characters, taking existing ideas and giving them a twist, and the idea of a sprawling, biomechanical multiverse just makes me so excited. XD
The problems I'm finding with Option 1 are trying to fit characters to colour philosophies and magic associations. If I were to simply base the Toa Mata's colour identities on elemental power alone, I could probably sum it up in Red and Blue (red dealing with fire and rock, and blue dealing with water, ice and wind. Earth could be either red or green depending on interpretation). But colour identity is so much more than that; colour determines a character's beliefs, goals, personality quirks, driving instincts and so much more, and it can be quite difficult to fit both their powers and attitudes to the right colour or set of colours.
This is part of the reason I suggested Option 3. Without taking away any of the already established rules and structure of the Bionicle universe, we could have a lot more freedom with a relatively blank slate, giving us room to create characters who are distinctly Bionicle, but with Magic philosophies intertwined with them.
I'm not saying that Option 1 is not viable, just that it may be more difficult to execute while trying to stay faithful to the universe. That in itself may not be a downside either. As Mark Rosewater always says, "Restrictions breed creativity."
Of course, we could to both, alternating between the two as we go along. Could give us some refreshing changes of pace I'm not sure yet. Hence why I asked