Alternate Universe

Over the years, BIONICLE has told tales of alternate universes, explaining how the future changed in response to an event happening differently.  Here, we will do the same, offering Auron’s perspective of how events in the BIONICLE community affected the formation of BIONICLE fansites like this one.

What if BIONICLE.com never removed its earlier content?  What would have happened if it was removed after 2004?

If BIONICLE.com never removed its content, Crystal Matrix would never have had to restore it.  If all the content was retained, Biosector01 and the BioMedia Project would not have existed.  And if Biosector01 never existed, neither would the BS01 Wiki.  Even though the BS01 Wiki would not exist, a BIONICLE wiki would come to being eventually, even if it would have been created much later.

If the content was removed from the BIONICLE website after 2004, I think that Crystal Matrix would still have picked up the task of gathering it all together.  However, if was removed very late in the game, like 2006 or 2007, the effort would have become monumental(as it is now) and Crystal Matrix might never have attempted to bring it together.  If he didn’t, I wouldn’t have either, and the BioMedia Project would never exist.

What if Crystal Matrix never left?

The entire fansite community would look different if Crystal Matrix never left.  BS01 would remain on its own and not affiliated with BZPower.  Truth be told, I was only months away from wanting to join the revamped BS01 site under Crystal Matrix’s direction, and if he never left I would be a staff member there and not here.  If I was a staff member when Crystal Matrix left and Swert took the lead, I would have remained a staff member when Swert created the BS01 Wiki, and by now I would probably be in a position of senior management if I stuck with them for all these years.  I still would have continued with Crystal Matrix’s work, trying to incorporate it into the BS01 Wiki or doing on my own though.

Due to Crystal Matrix’s web design abilities, his site would also grow much bigger than the BioMedia Project, even bigger than it is now.  The whole BIONICLE community was watching Crystal Matrix when he launched his revamped site, and by all accounts it was headed quickly for mainstream popularity and success.  It was so huge that I believe it would have grown to become larger than BZPower, perhaps even acquiring it in the process.

What if Biomaniac never left?

If the legendary Biomaniac never left, then I would probably have ended up working with him on his BIONICLE Encyclopedia project.  He did seem to work on his own and enjoy it, but I would have proven it to him that I could be of use.  I believe that project would have eventually expanded into a website, even if it was just initially a flash wrapper.  The flash wrapper could be brought online easily.

In that case what you would see is something similar to the BioMedia Project, but focused primarily on streaming rather than downloads, and it would be all flash based.  Other than that, the same people would still be there; I think JMMB and Tronec would have joined him too if he gave them an opportunity, for Biomaniac was one of the premier flash coders and flash artists of the BIONICLE community.  Working with him would have been nothing short of exhilarating, with a person with his level of charisma.

What if Crystal Matrix and Biomaniac never left?

If both of them stayed with the community, my, my, the possibilities!  Crystal Matrix would have continued with his relaunched BS01, and then Biomaniac would still have showcased his BIONICLE Encyclopedia flash wrapper project.  I could see it happen that Biomaniac would join Crystal Matrix and integrate his work into the site, and of course JMMB, Tronec, and I would have joined them.  The potential for something incredible was there.

I can imagine it now: a wondrous BIONICLE fansite with a beautiful flash interface for streaming and downloading of all the BIONICLE web content that ever existed, with extensive streaming games that would save; BIONICLE.com site videos in their highest resolutions streamable thanks to Tronec and his collection; a site layout more spectacular than even the BIONICLE.com site made possible with Crystal Matrix’s and JMMB’s graphical prowess.  This collaboration would be the best BIONICLE fansite bar none in my mind.  What’s frustrating is how close it was to actually happening.  If the two most influential people in the BIONICLE community had not left, what a gift would have been bestowed upon it.

What if Auron never met JrMasterModelBuilder?

If I never met JMMB, then the site’s game selection would not be even one third the size it is now.  There’s simply too much work on the media side and the website side to be done for me to focus on games as much.  JMMB has been instrumental in sticking with me even when the going got tough, and after I joined up with him, I started working only on the media.  Even when I found myself swamped with schoolwork and unable to work on the site, JMMB has always held up the fort, continuing to post updates when I was unable.

JMMB’s abilities working on games are irreplaceable today.  This site is able to offer the games catalogue(streaming+downloads) that it does and is as comprehensive as it is today due to JMMB’s work.  I wouldn’t have been able to do it without him.

JMMB’s talents aren’t just limited to tinkering with game content.  If you visit his website, you can see that he is also a skilled and prolific MOCer, and wrote the CSS for our Metro UI implementation, which he is fluent in; he also created the winning entry for the site’s favicon contest, our current Nuva Cube Favicon.  It is crystal clear that it is a much higher quality art piece than the BS01 Wiki’s generic BIONICLE UDD symbol favicon.  For all the work I do on the pictures archive and the site graphics, I must say that JMMB’s art skills far surpass my own.  We are very fortunate to have a person with as many talents as JMMB.

What if Auron never met Tronec?

Through Tronec’s decision to donate to our efforts a dedicated server and domain, Tronec played a crucial part in making this site as known as it is.  We were able to gain much more credibility with our work due to having our own space on the internet, and chances are you would never have known of our project had Tronec never made that donation.  To be able to take the mental and financial leap to donate monetary resources to an effort led by a staff of less than five people requires serious confidence in those you believe in, and Tronec has never stopped believing in us and our effort, even today.

That’s worth recognition when you offer resources to those you have known for only two years, which is why we have always been grateful to Tronec.  He gave us a framework to work on the site that would ensure reliable operation and a chance to gain recognition doing it.  It’s tough to find friends like these.

What if Auron quit?

If I quit the site then, I would not have come back, or even cared about BIONICLE content any more.  I was at the point of feeling pretty hopeless with the project, with very few supporters or people who even cared about the site or its content at the time.  I would have been fine with leaving and not coming back, but it would have been a failure and a breach of trust to have Tronec support us financially with such confidence in us only for us to quit a year after we started.  When you work on something regularly, it becomes a hobby, and then you continue to work on it even when things are more difficult than they used to be, simply due to habit.  Habit is what saved the site from being ax(onn)ed.

What if Nat had never left?

Then the site would look much better in terms of layout, we wouldn’t be using the default Drupal theme, we would be able to work so much faster, and the Metro UI layout probably wouldn’t exist on the site, so many things.  The site would look loads better.  It hurts when you lose your website manager and graphic designer at the same time, and that was what Nat represented to us.