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Year 21

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About Binkmeister

  • Birthday 09/18/1964

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    Portland, OR, USA

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Binkmeister's Achievements

Battling Makuta!

Battling Makuta! (24/293)

  1. were you the previous owner? Yeah, I was the original winner. I held onto it for several years, but had to sell it for financial reasons.
  2. I miss my mask. But I'm glad it's in the hands of a BZP member who can appreciate it.
  3. Wow, I hadn't realized it was so long ago. Seems like so long ago that Dimensioneer, Bionicle Rex, Mike from Kanohi Power, and I got together to discuss creating a BIONICLE mega-site. I had no idea it would last this long, that makes me feel good - when basically everything I did while at LEGO is no longer on LEGO.com. BZPower is much more my legacy than working at LEGO ever was. P.S. I see even B.Rex logged on. Long time no chat...
  4. Relaunching BIONICLE is great news, if true (and it certainly seems that way, although I was initially skeptical). I hadn't heard anything when I left the company a year ago, but stuff like this does sit and ferment in small pockets of creativity deep in the heart of Denmark. IMHO, I believe the original BIONICLE was successful due to four things coming together in just the right proportion. 1. Biomechanical robots on a tropical island. This mysterious dichotomy was enough to immediately create tension and make people want to know more about the story. 2. The design of a completely new type of building toy. The Technic-based ball-and-cup socket design allowed for new, organic shapes that were completely unlike anything produced by LEGO before, and appealed to people wanting to break out of the rectilinear toybox. 3. Mystery. Pure and simple: put out the premise and make people guess where it would go. It took at least three years to really get across the basics of the BIONICLE universe, which was finally revealed in a climax that deserved far more pomp and circumstance than we had budget to execute. But throughout its life, Mystery was a huge part of the franchise. 4. Building a universe kids could own. The Polynesian-themed terminology was custom-made for boys to glom onto: Toa and Tohunga, cowrie shells, the names of the various Kanohi masks, the names and abilities of bad guys and their minions. The language provided a framework for kids to be in the know about something cool, and be able to find like-minded LEGO fans. And not least, be able to frustrate their parents with this extensive, confusing litany of words. A fifth critical element was MNOLG I and II. Those really helped. If LEGO can recapture at least some of that old magic, they'll have a hit on their hands. I'll be interested in seeing how they pull it off. - Binkmeister
  5. And I found it, put it online: http://kellyjmckiernan.com/matanui/
  6. I need to dig that out and put it on my site... as soon as I do, I'll put a link here. Glad you remembered my little project!
  7. Wow, 12 years... I've worked for LEGO for half that time, but now that I'm a free agent again, I can post again! I started working on BZP when I was unemployed, after 9/11, and now I'm unemployed again, at least for a short time. So I have a feeling I'll be coming back more often now. - Bink
  8. Binkmeister

    Free Agent!

    So, it's been almost six years (!) since I started working for LEGO. Yesterday was my last day with the company. So now I can actually post on BZPower again! I'll probably be posting some reminiscences about my life in Denmark, and what I found it to be like to work for one of the best companies in the world. A year and a half in Denmark, four and a half years back in the US, and frequent travel. It was really the most excellent job I've ever had, and the BIONICLE portion of it was by far the best. Short answer to "why I'm not with LEGO anymore": the position was relocated to the East Coast, and for various personal reasons (family mostly) I decided not to relocate. So we parted on amicable terms, LEGO and I. Obviously I won't be posting any confidential, non-public info about the company, or talking about future products or anything like that. Mostly just my experiences working there, the friends I made, and what it was like for me to be able to do things like take tours of the molding halls, packaging areas, and so on. I also recently moved, and discovered just how MUCH memorabilia I've collected in the last few years. I think it might be a good idea to take some pictures and share with people who'd be interested. I was also thinking of doing an AMAA (ask me almost anything) thread later, when i have some time. I'll announce that later. - Binkmeister
  9. Dude. Halo totally rocks. But not so sure about your taste in Doctors. Anyone after Tom Baker is lame.

  10. Sorry for the delay, had a technical issue yesterday so I couldn't push it live until a couple of hours ago. It's worth the wait. - Bink
  11. Binkmeister

    Yesterday Quest

    Sorry for the delay in getting this online, I've had a bit of a rough week, travel-wise. I'll try to be more timely in the future. But it's online for you now. http://www.bioniclestory.com/LatestStory/S...dayQuest_1.aspx - Bink
  12. It seems that for the most part, the Mata Nui Saga is being well accepted. I agree with most of the people saying the cool art, coupled with the excellent voiceover by Michael Dorn, really lends BIONICLE an epic feeling - which is exactly what we wanted. I'm pleased that for the most people are enjoying it. There are two things that come up regularly, which I'd like to quickly address: Scale of the robots, and timing of all story media. First, the scale. Yes, the scale is difficult to portray, especially when we want to get other smaller characters into the foreground. If it were done exactly to scale, all you'd really see would be a big old foot towering into the sky, and then maybe the robot's eyes glinting high in orbit. Hard to get the epicness you're going for with that scale. So, in order to really get the message across, the robots are portrayed the best way the artist could find. Personally, I think he did a great job of getting across the hugeness of the robots. You look at the artwork, and think, "Those things are frigging huge." So yes, there are some liberties taken with the scale, but I don't think it necessarily negates the story or epicness of what we're portraying. Also, please remember that a majority of people looking at this will be relatively younger, and probably won't be thinking about scale. The important thing is to show two big robots and how they interact (in this case, forcefully). In that, I believe the MNS images are a success. Second, the story. We have the story being told in several venues: the BIONICLE.com "Story" page, the BIONICLEstory serials, Journey's End, the comics, and the Mata Nui Saga. When deciding how to portray the 2010 BIONICLE story, we had two ways of going with story in multiple media. One, we could've had multiple sub-stories in different media leading up to a single resolution in one place. That broadens the story for those who are able and willing to follow it from book to comic to web, but not everyone is going to be able or willing to do that. It's easy for somebody (who doesn't get the comic, for instance) to miss something. Two, we could tell the overall story in different media, and focus on different levels of detail. This is what we chose, for several reasons: We have a single epic tale to finish. I think it has more impact being told in multiple media.Marketing message: we have a couple of messages to get across. One is the golden armor on the Stars; another is the giant robot battle in the sky. We needed to convey these messages across as many media as possible, so we couldn't fragment the storytelling.Time & budget: of course, it would've been nice to have some really nice video for this, but we didn't have the time or budget to do that. We could do text and images, so we tried to do those the best we could.Multiple storylines mean having to tie up multiple plot threads. In essence, 2010 is wrapping up the biggest story threads for the entire BIONICLE story (basically, Mata Nui's story). This is so important it didn't need to be fragmented.So yes, you've now seen the "end" of the story in the comic, but you haven't seen everything that led you there. Journey's End will give much deeper detail in how our robotic protagonist and antagonist have gotten to where they are, and how everyone else fits into the picture. The Mata Nui Saga will continue to detail not only the current story, but will do three more flashbacks so you can see the entire path Mata Nui took to get where he is today. The serials on BIONICLEstory will actually give you most of what you're looking for, by filling in some of the gaps from other perspectives. Telling the story in this manner is a conscious and well-planned decision. While not everyone may be happy getting the "same" story in different venues, it does fulfill our marketing goals of spreading the story as widely as possible, and helps tie up as many loose ends as we can - for now, of course, since Greg will continue writing about BIONICLE. If you'd only gotten the comics, or only gotten the book, or only gotten the MNS... you wouldn't have gotten the full picture. Together, they create a whole that's more than the sum of their parts, a montage that presents a detailed picture of one of the most important chapters in BIONICLE's story.
  13. Binkmeister

    Site Update

    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...
  14. You guys are getting more patient. I've only gotten a handful of anxious "When will BIONICLE.com be updated???" PMs lately. I'm working on getting the site updated as soon as I can. All my stuff is done (and has been for a month), I'm just waiting for others to have the time to work on their parts. There are some good things for you to get, including a really nice desktop image you haven't seen yet. The game is done but won't launch at the same time as the product updates. With luck, it'll be online within the next couple of weeks. I'll let you know when it's getting close... but I won't be able to tell you exactly when it'll be live beforehand. There are too many variables. So you'll just have to keep checking.
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