Updates and Future Plans in 2023

by Planetperson
A screenshot of the map of Mata Nui.

Hello there! I realize it’s been a year and a half since the last blog post, so I thought it would be a good idea to give a recap of additions I’ve made to the Great Archives website, and ideas for the future. Sorry for the long wait!

Info Box Images

If you browse around the Great Archives encyclopedia a bit, you will see that most pages now have proper images in their info boxes! For example, the page for Nuparu now proudly displays images of his Toa Mahri, Toa Inika, and Matoran forms. Over the course of several months in 2022, I quietly populated as many pages as possible with the highest-quality images available, focusing on official artwork for the LEGO sets. The style guide CD-ROMs and the BIONICLE Image Database proved very helpful in this regard. Using a custom-made GIMP plugin, I re-cropped all of these images so that they are as square as possible, with a visually pleasing amount of space left between the character and the edges of the image. For many pages, including Nuparu’s, I was able to get ahold of images with transparent backgrounds, which look very snazzy, if I may say so. Also, if you look beneath many of these images, you will see buttons that give you the option to view the character in multiple styles – including images with background artwork, movie style, and comic book style. Here are a few more pages, selected randomly, that show these new info box images off:

This project is still not complete; you may notice that Nuparu’s page still lacks an image for his Metru Nui Matoran form, even though this is available from the 2004 CD-ROMs. In general, as indicated on the wiki, I still need to add images from Templar’s Flash games and animations, video games, many of the CD-ROMs, movies, and comics. I especially need better images of combiner models. To address this, I hope to take high-quality photos of the actual LEGO models (not just for combiner images, but all physical sets as well, but that’s a whole other project). I am also hoping to get much better scans of the Rahi Beasts and Dark Hunters books. Help with any of these tasks is welcome!

BIONICLE Image Database

I’ve made quite a few new additions to the BIONICLE Image Database, including a glut of high-quality images from the 2004 style guide, lots of newly-discovered concept art from professional artists, photos of canonized fan-created models, and more. I also uploaded some handy Python scripts, including one that automates downloading Brickshelf galleries!

Sneak Peek: Maps!

Something I hope to add to the site soon is a set of high-quality maps for the various fictional locations in the BIONICLE universe, namely Mata Nui, Metru Nui, Voya Nui, Mahri Nui, the Matoran universe, and Bara Magna. This is a great opportunity to combine location data from multiple sources in one place. Did you know that no two maps seem to agree on the location of Ko-Koro?

You can see previews of three of these maps right now on the wiki:

  • Mata Nui (using a high-quality image from the 2003 style guide)
  • Metru Nui (using a high-quality image from the 2004 style guide)
  • Bara Magna (created by cleverly combining the high-quality map from the Faber Files with lower-quality versions that don’t have text obscuring the landscape)

Sundry To-do Items

Here are a few things that are on my to-do list:

  • Implement a light theme for the Great Archives website (requested by a user).
  • Add a search box to the main site.
  • Add a random page button.
  • A new addition to the Official Greg Discussion Archive, maybe? Hmm, I wonder what it could be…
  • Add links to a bunch more archived BZPower topics found by Dag to the Official Greg Discussion Archive.
  • Add transcripts of audio interviews with Greg Farshtey provided by Gonel to the Official Greg Discussion Archive.
  • Add inline images and image galleries to Great Archives encyclopedia articles.

You’re Done Reading, Now Say Hi!

As always, I encourage you to chat with us at our Discord server. See you later!