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Magic: the Unity

homebrew project Magic the Gathering

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#1 Offline Astris Janus

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Posted Apr 12 2014 - 02:25 AM

You want to know what four of my biggest passions are?

Bionicle

Anime

Magic: the Gathering

Creating things

 

Now, lots of people have tried their hand at Bionicle anime (myself included), however, after a bit of searching I've found only a few attempts at Bionicle themed Magic cards. I wanted to push this further. I wanted to do whole sets, blocks and expansions for Bionicle styled Magic the Gathering. Mata Nui knows I've read all the articles and materials for creating Magic sets and I'm in the process of making one for just standard Magic. I wanted to apply it to Bionicle.

 

For a while now I've been thinking about how to represent Bionicle in Magic: the Gathering (hereafter referred to as MtG) and it's been difficult; the elements and their associations (which are a core part Bionicle) don't quite mesh with the philosophies and associations of the Colour Pie (the core of MtG). I came to the conclusion that I needed help if I wanted to make this set. Unfortunately, the vast majority of my friends, while very into MtG, aren't into Bionicle. And my friends who are interested in Bionicle aren't interested in Magic (yet :devil: ).

 

So, I thought I'd pose the idea to BZPower. I want to start a project called Magic: the Unity. Bionicle fused with MtG to create cohesive and playable Magic: the Gathering sets. And I want to see if any one would be interested in helping me with this project :D

 

Because of the slight incompatibilities between the elements and colour pie, I've come up with several approaches to doing this:

  1. Bionicle Through the Lens of Magic: that is, creating cards that are fitted to the structure of M:tG. The storyline would be the Bionicle Saga, with each year as a block of three sets.
  2. Magic Through the Lens of Bionicle: similar to the above, however, we stay more truthful to the flavour of Bionicle by altering the rules of Magic a bit (ie. changing the flavour of specific mechanics, possibly adding a sixth colour, ect). The storyline would remain the same as above.
  3. Bionicle Inspired Magic: the Gathering: in this case, taking aspects and themes in Bionicle and creating new planes/worlds using them. (This would probably be the best way to go about it, as it gives us the most free reign to do what we want without having to alter rules too much. Flavour is easier to bend than mechanics)

Well, that's my proposition. Please reply and/or PM me if you're interested in this idea or have any suggestions :D

 

Astris Janus


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Right, new forum, new signature. Or, at least, a reboot.

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Dual Sides; An Expanded Multiverse Epic

Bionicle Anime: Toa Mata

"If at first you don't succeed, redefine success."
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#2 Offline Toa Onaku

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Posted Apr 12 2014 - 07:37 AM

This is a pretty good idea, but I think the rules of this forum is that you have to present something more than just an idea. A proof of concept if you will... At least that's how I think it works. Mind you, I could be wrong. 


Edited by Toa Onaku, Apr 12 2014 - 07:38 AM.

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#3 Offline Astris Janus

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Posted Apr 12 2014 - 08:41 AM

This is a pretty good idea, but I think the rules of this forum is that you have to present something more than just an idea. A proof of concept if you will... At least that's how I think it works. Mind you, I could be wrong. 

 

Hmm, I haven't seen anything in the rules, however I'll run it by a moderator to check :3

 

Astris Janus

 

EDIT: Just rechecked the rules and yeah, this probably falls under the "no preview topics" rule. I'll have a mod move it :)


Edited by Astris Janus, Apr 12 2014 - 08:44 AM.

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Right, new forum, new signature. Or, at least, a reboot.

20795.jpg

Dual Sides; An Expanded Multiverse Epic

Bionicle Anime: Toa Mata

"If at first you don't succeed, redefine success."
- Anonymous


#4 Offline Hahli Husky

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Posted Apr 13 2014 - 04:06 PM

Moving to General Discussion since it's a planning topic. :) Good luck!!


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#5 Online Just Norik

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Posted Apr 15 2014 - 07:00 PM

Well, I like this idea. So where would the design be starting from?
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#6 Offline Hahli Husky

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Posted Apr 16 2014 - 12:20 AM

Ha okay Emzee and I noticed a couple other topics like this popping up in FCM and think it would be perfectly fine for them to be a part of the forum. :) Soooooo I'm moving you back per our recent rule update. I'm moving this topic back now. Sorry for any confusion!


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#7 Offline Pomegranate

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Posted Apr 16 2014 - 12:30 AM

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 :D

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 ^^ 

229fjk2sdalkfeatwk01_en_card_wastenot.jp   aiwesdfkw9242featwk01_en_card_walloffire

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.


Edited by Pomegranate, Apr 16 2014 - 12:56 AM.

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#8 Online Just Norik

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Posted Apr 16 2014 - 12:46 AM

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.

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#9 Offline Astris Janus

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Posted Apr 17 2014 - 03:11 PM

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 :D

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 ^^ 

229fjk2sdalkfeatwk01_en_card_wastenot.jp   aiwesdfkw9242featwk01_en_card_walloffire

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! :D 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 :P 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 :D They are very similar, except for the planeswalking (well... anyone with a Kanohi Olmak... and Takanuva... :P ). 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 :D 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. :D

 

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 :P I'm not sure yet. Hence why I asked :P

 

Astris Janus


Edited by Astris Janus, Apr 17 2014 - 04:19 PM.

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Right, new forum, new signature. Or, at least, a reboot.

20795.jpg

Dual Sides; An Expanded Multiverse Epic

Bionicle Anime: Toa Mata

"If at first you don't succeed, redefine success."
- Anonymous


#10 Offline Akavakaku

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Posted Apr 26 2014 - 05:16 AM

It's an interesting conundrum. Magic is elegant because it has just five colors; the eight major elements of Bionicle may get messy. Maybe Shadow and Light could work differently from the other elements somehow? 


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#11 Offline Astris Janus

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Posted May 02 2014 - 10:10 AM

It's an interesting conundrum. Magic is elegant because it has just five colors; the eight major elements of Bionicle may get messy. Maybe Shadow and Light could work differently from the other elements somehow? 

 

Interesting how you bring that up. I was only going for adding a sixth colour and redistributing stuff around, but you make a point...

 

Like I've said before, trying to bend the mechanics of the game to fit the flavour isn't the option I see myself going with. It just becomes really messy when you get down to it. Really I would be more interested in trying to find overlaps in card mechanics and Bionicle flavour and making that work instead ^_^

 

Astris Janus


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Right, new forum, new signature. Or, at least, a reboot.

20795.jpg

Dual Sides; An Expanded Multiverse Epic

Bionicle Anime: Toa Mata

"If at first you don't succeed, redefine success."
- Anonymous


#12 Offline Pomegranate

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Posted May 02 2014 - 06:40 PM

 

It's an interesting conundrum. Magic is elegant because it has just five colors; the eight major elements of Bionicle may get messy. Maybe Shadow and Light could work differently from the other elements somehow? 

 

Interesting how you bring that up. I was only going for adding a sixth colour and redistributing stuff around, but you make a point...

 

Like I've said before, trying to bend the mechanics of the game to fit the flavour isn't the option I see myself going with. It just becomes really messy when you get down to it. Really I would be more interested in trying to find overlaps in card mechanics and Bionicle flavour and making that work instead ^_^

 

Astris Janus

 

There was an article on the MtG site a while back about how they were gonna add a sixth color to magic for Future Sight or one of those sets, but it was canceled right before they were gonna do it. They went into detail into how it was going to work, so if you can find that article it could help make adapting in a sixth color a lot easier :)


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#13 Offline Akavakaku

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Posted May 05 2014 - 07:27 PM

I guess lands would be Wahi or Metru (Koros could be special lands) and the Light land Kini-Nui and Shadow land Mangaia could allow you to use your other lands to produce Light or Shadow mana energy?


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#14 Offline CrunchbiteNuva

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Posted May 07 2014 - 11:08 PM

Curious. How would you distribute this? Will it be printout or will you be programming it as a game/using LackeyCCG?


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#15 Offline Astris Janus

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Posted May 13 2014 - 06:24 PM

 

 

It's an interesting conundrum. Magic is elegant because it has just five colors; the eight major elements of Bionicle may get messy. Maybe Shadow and Light could work differently from the other elements somehow? 

 

Interesting how you bring that up. I was only going for adding a sixth colour and redistributing stuff around, but you make a point...

 

Like I've said before, trying to bend the mechanics of the game to fit the flavour isn't the option I see myself going with. It just becomes really messy when you get down to it. Really I would be more interested in trying to find overlaps in card mechanics and Bionicle flavour and making that work instead ^_^

 

Astris Janus

 

There was an article on the MtG site a while back about how they were gonna add a sixth color to magic for Future Sight or one of those sets, but it was canceled right before they were gonna do it. They went into detail into how it was going to work, so if you can find that article it could help make adapting in a sixth color a lot easier :)

 

 

I have read that article (the Colour Purple :P ) and that was part of the reason I suggested adding to and changing the colour pie :) It does make for some distinct options if we were to head down that path, however I wouldn't want to push it past six colours-- more colours means more complexity-- which limits us to basically the six main elements (not too bad actually)

 

I guess lands would be Wahi or Metru (Koros could be special lands) and the Light land Kini-Nui and Shadow land Mangaia could allow you to use your other lands to produce Light or Shadow mana energy?

 

Depending on how how we were to do it, yes that would the case. I mean, if we were to add extra colours then yes, but if we just stick to normal Magic rules we might have a harder time. I'd recommend making them legendary lands and giving them an ability related to their flavour in addition to producing mana

 

Curious. How would you distribute this? Will it be printout or will you be programming it as a game/using LackeyCCG?

 

I hadn't thought about that actually. If I were to seriously distribute it, a printout would probably easiest way to go about it, though it might be quite large...

With other custom sets, we have thought about printing out proxies to place in front of cards, and even printing directly onto cards. Those options could be made available easily

 

Astris Janus


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Right, new forum, new signature. Or, at least, a reboot.

20795.jpg

Dual Sides; An Expanded Multiverse Epic

Bionicle Anime: Toa Mata

"If at first you don't succeed, redefine success."
- Anonymous





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