Posted Jun 16 2014 - 04:35 PM
I'd love something like many of the Legend of Zelda games — a new, fresh story taking place in the same universe and featuring many of the classic characters, but not directly tied to the last version. This new story would be in the same universe that previous adventures happened in, and might even have a Tahu, but it won't necessarily be the SAME Tahu — it could just as easily be a character named Tahu to honor a hero of the past.
The Great Spirit Mata Nui and Makuta would still very strongly influence the story in some form — perhaps a league of evil Makuta worshippers could be planning new evils in his name, or planning to revive his consciousness in some way. And the new elemental heroes would have to seek the aid of the Great Spirit Mata Nui, whose consciousness resides within the legendary Mask of Life. Boom! You've got your heroes, you've got your villains, you've got the conflict between the forces of Mata Nui and the forces of Makuta, you've even got a mask quest! All the core components of a timeless BIONICLE story.
Certain aspects of the storyline could be simplified, naturally. It'd be great if the Matoran race and the Agori race could be consolidated in some form, so keeping track of so many coexisting and culturally congruent races and tribes would no longer be essential. Also, obviously, you want to ensure that new fans do NOT have to research previous storylines to fully understand the current one. A short recap of what came before is fine, as are occasional callbacks, but the focus should be on telling a new story, not on pandering to older fans.
As far as sets are concerned, it should use the current building system or whatever the next evolution of that might be. Going back to an obsolete building system wouldn't make a lick of sense — if the designers didn't think the new building system offered superior building opportunities they would never have introduced it in the first place, especially since many of the same designers were involved with both BIONICLE and Hero Factory.
An adventure game like the Mata Nui Online Game to set the scene and promote the sets would be a dream come true! And with its simple controls, simple learning curve, and colorful graphics, it could be fantastic in this era of mobile gaming.
The overall tone should be mythical, mysterious, and adventurous, but not too dark or gritty. Look at the Mata Nui Online Game, the LEGO Ninjago TV series, or the TV series Avatar: The Last Airbender for examples. You don't want a storyline that alienates younger fans, nor one that is too wrapped up in its own pretensions of maturity to be lighthearted or fun, but obviously you also don't want a storyline that has no sense of emotional depth. A:TLA and Ninjago also demonstrate how you can have an episodic storyline with a clear lesson for each installment without abandoning any sense of continuity.
The target age range should be more or less the same as what BIONICLE originally targeted: ages seven and up. Smaller sets could be ages six and up, larger sets ages eight and up, but the theme as a whole should be catered to the same audience as the mid-size sets which form the backbone of the theme. Incidentally, this is also basically the same as the target age range for today's Ninjago and Hero Factory sets, so this isn't the old codger in me talking — this is what has been proven to work time and time again. Now, when I say "and up" I don't mean the sets shouldn't have an upper limit to their recommended age range. Either 14 or 16 will do. It really doesn't make a big difference as far as set design and storytelling are concerned, I don't think — the goal should still be to make the sets and story understandable and enjoyable for kids as young as seven.
Annnnd I think that about sums it up. It goes without saying that this is all personal preference, of course.