Oct 272016
 

Happy Thursday Everypony!

Novel Idea here with a very special surprise for you! As many of you know, last Saturday, October 23, was Fallout Day! (October 23, 2077 was the day the bombs fell in the Fallout Universe). Well, we didn't want to let this special day pass without something for you. So now, we are very proud to present the next two Environment Preview Trailers for Gardens of Equestria: This Coming Storm!

Before we get to that, though, I have a special announcement!

The Manehattan Project is currently looking for a few good folks to come and help us! In particular, we're looking for the following positions:

  • Musicians (specifically orchestral in the same style you've heard in our trailers)
  • 2D Texture Artists
  • Vector Artists

If you're interested in becoming a part of The Manehattan Project, creating an epic game and having something truly awesome to put on your portfolio, please let us know at our Recruitment Center!

Now, we have a new piece of art for you! Another gem by Blue Nova, this is the official artwork for everypony's favorite breakfast cereal: Sugar Apple Bombs!

sab-clean

This one was fun. Blue and I had a long discussion/argument about who should be featured on the poster. Originally, it was going to be Pinkie or AJ, but they just didn't work for a multitude of reasons. So finally, we decided we needed an Apple on there! We played around with the idea of Babs Seed, but since I don't think her fate has ever been covered in FO:E (or even mentioned, since she appeared after the 'canon lock'), we decided to go with everypony's favorite Appleloosan Resident: Braeburn! 

Now seriously, how epic did Blue do on this? Details as fine as the shape of the cereal pieces? And by the way, yes that is indeed the box you'll be seeing in This Coming Storm!

Now, onto the mane event!

I am delighted to announce that this is the debut of our new Cinematics Lead, Scarlet Moon. A talented mare with years of experience working cinematographic magic, Scarlet Moon was simply critical in putting these together. I know they look similar to the previous ones, but they are indeed quite different. While I did the game capture and we used the intro and outro I had designed for the previous trailers, she did all the editing and clipping, including working Corvus's wonderful music into the pieces!

First, we have the GoE: This Coming Storm Environment Preview Trailer #3.

In this special preview trailer, you'll get a sneak peek at the Stable 207 Living Quarters as well as the brand new version of Appleloosa Valley!

Stable 207 Living Quarters is a vast complex containing an apartment for the Courier as well as rooms for Littlepip, Velvet Remedy, Calamity and Steelhooves. Use it as your base of operations as you put an end to the threat against all reality! Plus, you'll get pictures of the new and improved Appleloosa Valley, carefully reconstructed and expanded for maximum epic output! This is most likely what you will end up seeing in the final game folks!

Finally, we have GoE: This Coming Storm Environment Preview Trailer #4.

In this special preview trailer, you'll get a sneak peek at the new exterior of the Rock Farm, as well as the sprawling Sector 2 - Administration Wing, the Security Bunker player home and a sneak peek at the top-secret Sector 3 - Labs!

That's right folks. For the very first time, you get a tiny glimpse at the Sector 3 - Labs. What you're seeing is the Pegasus Rifle Testing Range and the "Soft Words" Testing Facility, as well as the Sector 3 - Level D Utility Control breakroom and control room! I've kept Sector 3 under tight wraps because it's going to be a shocker at just what's waiting for you within, but I decided it can't hurt to show you a little, eh?

Well, that's it for this month folks from The Manehattan Project! Within the next couple weeks, we hope to have a major announcement where you might get a chance to meet us in person if you happen to be going to a particular convention! (How's that hype train coming?)

 

Now a tiny little bit just from Novel!

As some of you know, I've been writing a brand-new series of MLP stories available on FimFiction. My fourth story, The Cloudsdale Report just went live last week and managed to climb its way to the #3 spot in the Featured Box for four and a half days! If you haven't had a chance to check out these stories, go read them! I think they're pretty good (and apparently, some people actually agree with me! How weird is that?).

Until next time, this has been Novel Idea, have fun and stay safe out there!

Mar 172016
 

Happy Thursday everypony!

Novel here with something really cool.

Appleloosa Valley Worldspace Map

We’ve been cooking this up for a while now. Blue Nova has been slaving away at this for weeks and from what he told me, it was a bloody nightmare. Who knew that setting up a Fallout-style map would be so blasted hard? Well, it was, but Blue pulled it off with flying colors.

So I am thrilled to present to you the in-game map of Appleloosa Valley!

appleoosavalleymapnoroads

Now, I know that it looks like a fair amount of empty space on there, but there’s still a few adjustments we need to make to get it fully ready to use in-game. Hopefully in the next couple of weeks, you’ll be able to see it on the PipBuck itself!

And in case you’re curious, this was done by taking screenshots from within the GECK and then stitching them together by hand. Nightmare fuel. Seriously.

Here’s another version of it that’s much more like the classic New Vegas PipBuck Map, complete with roads and railways!

AppleoosaValleyMapWithRoads

To mark a few highlights here, the large white mountain contains the massive structure of the Rock Farm South Complex. To the far northeast is the sheltered town of New Appleloosa, while the short road sticking out in the middle of the curve to the southwest of New Appleloosa is the Overlook. Finally, on the far west of the map is the Visionary stronghold of Topaz Lake and the Rock Farm Western Complex, which will be featured prominently in the first act of Gardens of Equestria: Dances of Light and Shadow.

But that’s not all I have for you today! No indeed! I am very proud to announce that we’ve had some promotions on the team!

Team Promotions

Blue Nova, the one behind that awesome map up there and so much of the cool custom artwork such as the Ministry of Peace and Steel Ranger poster, has generously agreed to become our new Creative Asset Director. He will now be leading the charge in making sure that our artwork and models are top-notch. His commitment to quality and drive will help tremendously and take an enormous load off of me.

In addition, EgoJonathon has agreed to take on the position of Technical Director and will be taking the lead of our scripting and technical aspects. With his extensive programming experience, Trench and I agreed he was a natural choice for the position.

Finally, everyone’s favorite Scripting Consultant, Red Kat, has taken up the mantle of QA Lead for still-forming QA Team. While she will not be doing any of the actual testing, she has a tremendous amount of experience in both active QA and managing QA tasks. This is in addition to her position as a consultant with the Manehattan Project.

In fact, it was her expertise that allowed me to finally break through the roadblocks that were preventing me from creating a unique vendor in GoE called the “Exchange Terminal.” The Exchange Terminal is based on the Lonesome Road Commissary, which allows players to repair gear and sell/buy items without having to leave the worldspace to find a NPC vendor. Makes a lot of sense because just about everything in the Divide is psychotically hostile. You aren’t going to find any shopkeepers in there. Just like that, the automated systems of the seemly deserted Rock Farm are still in effect…allowing you places to buy, sell and repair your gear (though you’ll always be able to ask Calamity for help repairing your gear. 😉 ). There may even be a way to hack the system to allow the terminals to store goodies that you don’t want to carry at the moment! (But I’m still working on that little trick). Oh, and don’t worry, you don’t need ED-E to unlock the terminals. 😉

But don’t worry, all this was done using scripting techniques, none of which were exclusive to Lonesome Road. So for now, the only DLC required remains Old World Blues (and that is not going to change. We’re simply using too many assets to make a non-DLC version).

QA Team

Thank you to everyone who’s applied for our newly forming QA Team. Red Kat will be with in the next several days and help you go through the “test experience.” If you’re interested in helping us out and getting to see the ever-evolving form of GoE, head on over to our new QA Team Recruitment Center!

YouTube Audiobook

Finally, I am so very happy to announce that we completed unlocking the last chapters of the Fallout: Equestria (The Manehattan Edition) audiobook on YouTube on Monday! You can now listen to the entire novel on YouTube!

That’s it for this week folks. Until next time, stay safe out there!

-Novel Idea

Feb 182016
 

Good afternoon everypony!

Novel Idea here with your weekly Manehattan Project update. Today we’re introducing the newest member of our technical team: EgoJonathan!

I am a puzzle solver/collector.  This has generally taken the form of coding and mathematical concepts. I am looking for new challenges to conquer to perfection.  I will make sure the scripts run and run smoothly.

While not directly experienced in GECK Kung Fu, EgoJonathan brings a wealth of scripting experience with half a dozen different programming languages. We are very excited to have him on the team. With his help, development of the story scripting of GoE should increase quite a bit!

Speaking of which, things are booking along quite well. We’ve deep into the voice over recording for all the characters of GoE, artwork is turning out fantastic & level design is back up to snuff. Speaking of which, I wanted to share the latest bit of artwork from Blue Nova below!

This one was a tough one. Originally based off the “Help Uncle Sam” poster, doing this with ponies turned out to be tremendously difficult. The body posture was quite the nightmare. But after some back and forth, Blue Nova definitely came up with a winner.

lunabillboard4

Luna Recruitment Poster

Original Fallout Inspiration

Original Fallout Inspiration

 We’re very happy with the final result. 🙂

Finally, it’s long past time that we get that YouTube Audiobook thing updated, eh?

Well, guess what? We’re doing things differently this time!

First of all, we’ve already uploaded everything up to Chapter 21: The Heart of Twilight Sparkle. Make sure to check out the new introduction. It might remind you of a certain series of trailers!

Second and most importantly, we’re going to be releasing a new chapter every day until the book is complete! 

That’s right! No more waiting. No more three a week. And since we’re starting on Chapter 21, we don’t have very far to go!

Now we won’t be doing a post every day for this of course, but we will be updating our Twitter account: @Manehattan_Proj. Or you could subscribe to us on YouTube. So you’ll want to stay tuned for when those update. I’m aiming to post them every night around 8PM. Or you can always just check the playlist!

We’re looking forward to finally getting this out and done. But remember, you don’t have to wait for the YouTube version! We have both M4B and MP3 versions of the full audiobook complete right now!

By the way, if you happen to run into any errors, repeated lines or anything else, please feel free to leave a comment on our forums. Like I mentioned before, I don’t intend to do another big launch, but I’ll likely do another small update after I listened to the entire thing for the ninth time. (Yeah, I’m doing all the QA for it. 😉 ).

That’s it for this week folks. Have an awesome day and we’ll see you next week! Same Pony time, same Pony channel.

-Novel Idea

P.S. A special thank you to our webmaster RedBeard for installing our new website Favicon. I know it’s a super-small thing, but you know what I say: “If you’re going to do something, do it right and do it with style.” Looks pretty, huh? 😀

Feb 112016
 

A very happy Thursday to all of you!

Novel Idea here and I cannot tell you how happy I am to be writing this post.

I will, however, attempt to demonstrate with the following picture.

Yes yes yes yes yes

Corvus and I are both in this state. To quote him, “There aren’t enough yesses in the whole world” to express our joy at this day.

That’s right folks. It’s happened.

At long, long last, the final revisions to the Fallout: Equestria (The Manehattan Edition) Audiobook are complete. 

FOE Manehattan Book Cover Square Logo V5

 

Here’s a list of the changes we’ve made in this version:

  • Repeated Lines Removed: 7 (Chapters 8, 24, 15, 21, 33, 38 & Epilogue)
  • Flubbed Lines Removed: 6 (Chapters 22, 25, 39, 40, 42, 2 in 44)
  • Removed “Footnote: Maximum Level” from Chapter 37 & remastered Chapter 37
  • Re-recorded & remastered Manehattan Edition Opening and Finale, now set to the instrumental version of “This Coming Storm” by Corvus Productions. These were designed in the style of Audible audiobooks complete with the “The Manehattan Project hopes you’ve enjoyed this broadcast” at the end. 😉
  • Added full vocal version of “This Coming Storm” to the end of the Epilogue, as was originally written into the novel.
  • Completely revised Cover Art by Novel Idea & Blue Nova, using the Steel Ranger from Gardens of Equestria’s new Steel Ranger Recruitment poster. This will also make it easy to differentiate versions of the audiobook with the new dark background.
  • M4B version is now in 10 7-hour parts instead of 8 8-hour parts to allow for faster downloading and easier control.
  • M4B & MP3 Audiobook Chapter Titles now show properly when using iTunes or the iOS iBooks Audiobook App for iPhone and iPad.
  • MP3 version is now preconfigured to be set as an Audiobook with correct metadata (description, date, narrator, other details) and updated album art.
  • Both the MP3 Version and the M4B version are mirrored now on MediaFire and Google Drive.

I even found a repeated line I missed at around 1 AM this morning, so I dove into the file and cut it out and rebuilt all the archives just so you folks have the best possible experience.

Is this over the top? Probably. It is OCD? Definitely. But as I’ve said before, I’ve come to live by my own personal adage, “If you’re going to do something, do it right and do it with style.”

I’ve even tested the audiobook thoroughly in both the Audible App and the iBooks App on the iPhone. I tried to find a way to get chapter titles to show up properly in Audible, but just wasn’t happening. I did have a friend do some QA using the Smart Audiobook Player and found that chapters work just fine in there.

By the way, if anyone has a favorite audiobook player that we don’t have listened on our Audiobook page, please speak up!

I’m going to leave the specific details about the correct way to update your version of the audiobook (if you have one of our older versions) on our Audiobook Page here. So if you’re interested in downloading our new version, head on over right now!

As for GoE news, we actually have a new member of our Technical Team, but I want to give that person their own introduction post, so I’m going to wait to introduce him until next week.

In addition, since I’m having to upload 22 different files, which is essentially 32GB of data to online servers for you folks, we’re not going to start the YouTube updates until next week. This will give me the time I need to get the movies slammed together and ready to go.

Now, to be honest, if I find something more, I will update the book, but we have no intention of doing another full version again. This is it folks. The penultimate and definitive unabridged audiobook of Fallout: Equestria!

We hope you find it worth the wait. 😀

Until next week, have fun and stay safe out there!

-Novel Idea

Jan 142016
 

A very happy Thursday to all of you!

Novel Idea here with some very exciting news. Last week, we had a couple awesome applicants for artists looking to join The Manehattan Project in the creation of Gardens of Equestria. Well, one of them decided to throw himself into a test project and ended up with lightning-fast results five days earlier than requested! It took me all of about ten seconds to make the call to bring him on board, and that’s eight seconds longer than I needed.

So I am utterly delighted to introduce the newest member of the The Manehattan Project: Blue Nova! In fact, you may actually know his work already! I’ll let him introduce himself in his own words:

Nova, also known as on sites such as DeviantArt by the handle “Droakir“, is a professional freelance illustrator and independent comic artist.

An avid fan of both the MLP and Fallout franchises, it was only natural that eventually he would discover the perfect blend of the two known as Fallout: Equestria. Now he is joining the team and lending his talents to make the rich history of the world come to life in the form of faded billboards, worn out old posters and musty book covers.

Nova spends his free time reading, drawing, writing music, tinkering with electronics, and building artificial superintelligences. 

Now, they say that a picture says a thousand words. Well this one probably rivals Fallout: Equestria’s word count. So today, I’m am ever so happy to reveal our new Ministry of Peace Recruitment Poster for Gardens of Equestria: This Coming Storm and Racing Apotheosis. Based directly on Kkat’s original description from the novel, I like to think this is the most FO:E-accurate poster revealed to date (though I may be a bit biased).

All of the work was done in about two days by Blue Nova, including a new custom version of the MoP logo based on Brisineo original logo.

Ministry of Peace Recruitment Poster - Distressed Version

Ministry of Peace Recruitment Poster – Distressed Version

Ministry of Peace Recruitment Poster

Ministry of Peace Recruitment Poster – Clean Version

We actually have another potential artist in the pipeline too and I’m really looking forward to showing off his work next week!

We still have plenty of openings if you want to join the team. The more folks we get, the more we can do! (Well for a lot of things. There’s a few positions that would end up with “too many cooks in the kitchen.) If you’re interested, head on over to our Recruitment Center!

That’s it for this week folks! Things are booking along here at The Manehattan Project and we can’t wait to show you what we have in store.

Until next week, have fun and stay safe out there!

-Novel Idea

Nov 052015
 

We edit this post with the very freaking epic Fallout 4 Launch Trailer!


 

 

Good afternoon!

NaNoWriMo!

So the first question on your mind is probably “Did Novel actually start NaNoWriMo? Is he really that crazy?” Well, I’m 9,592 words in as of this morning. Which means I’m actually nearly 3,000 words ahead of the target.

So yes, I am just that crazy. I have to say that this is probably the most challenging story I’ve ever attempted. Having to figure out how much to inform our heroes about what happened in Equestria is difficult. I feel like I’m waking several tightropes at once. However, this is not my first foray into a pre-existing universe. I’m happy to say that I’ve won some serious awards for previous engagements in other people’s worlds.

It also helps that I am a devout fan of J. Michael Straczynski, the creator of the beloved science fiction epic, Babylon 5. And as many know, Kkat is as well. So interestingly enough, the stories seem to make sense to me.

Cool news for those participating in Equestria Daily’s NaPoWriMo (National Pony Writing Month): We are offering up three “beta keys” to people who pass the 50,000 word mark! So if you want to see GoE: This Coming Storm early, get crackin’!

(BTW, the picture for the cover is a temp version. I plan on totally redoing it).

Anyway, enough of the story (though expect update throughout the month!). Let’s talk GoE: This Coming Storm!

Staff Updates

First of all, I’m happy to announce that our former Technical Director, Red Kat, has decided to return to the Manehattan Project as a technical consultant. Thankfully, some of the real life assaults have lessened somewhat, giving her a bit more time. In addition, Wolfie will continue as one of our primary scripters, having moved over from modeling to help us make this game possible.

In addition, I’m also very happy to announce that we have yet another new member. This one is a personal friend of mine who’s decided to go under the name of Trench Broom (Trench Broom, in case you were wondering, is one of the nicknames for the famous “Thompson Machine Gun” better known as the Tommy Gun.). He’ll be joining us on the scripting side to help make this game happen, working directly with Wolf and myself.

Here you can find out a bit more about Trench Broom:

Trench Broom is a master of desenrascanço, his abilities honed over years spent in the trenches, cleaning up other people’s messes.

After being fed up with the war, he retreated to a stable (which one, he refuses to say) and spent his time in silent contemplation until he heard the call of the Gardens of Equestria crew.

He has been able to do a surprising amount of things, considering he has no hands or fingers, and the only magic he knows is “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up”.

In his spare time, he likes to:

– Build things out of spare parts he has laying around. Widgets, gadgets, any kind of –dgets, really.

– Play games where choices matter; half playing and half reminiscing, but always thinking, “What could I have done better” either way.

– Read self-help books due to stress from his choices always mattering.

I have yet to update the Staff page as things have been a bit busy, but I’ll be doing it soon. We’ve decided to merge the technical team in with the design team, making things a bit easier. At the moment, we have two teams: Design and Audio. Art, modeling, scripting and level design all fall under design, while sound effects, music and voicework fall under audio.

I’d also like to officially introduce Clanky4’s bio, who I mentioned a bit ago as being the epic modeler and animator behind the FO:NV Pony Mod recently released.

I have enjoyed the Fallout franchise since I was first introduced to Fallout 3. I can honestly say after meeting Trouble Man of The Pitt, my life was never really the same. At least until encountering Mr. House. He is truly the single greatest character in the entire Fallout franchise. I have modded a few other games such as Fallout 3, Star Wars: Battlefront 2 and Civilization 4 (clearly the best one). Generally converting and rigging meshes onto various skeletons. Even if they obviously weren’t meant to be there.

Remember folks, we’re always looking for new talent. If you’re interested in helping out making GoE a reality, be it in scripting, voice acting, level design, artwork or PR, drop us a line at our Recruitment Page.

New Audiobook Chapter

Only one chapter this week folks. I’ve had a lot of trouble lately with iMovie not uploading correctly to YouTube (and making sure to take about an hour before actually erroring out). This week, Xenith enters the fray. I also apologize for the different pronunciations that I use instead of Crazed Rambling’s. You can find the latest chapter here.

Fallout 4 and GoE 2 Story

As many of you know this is going to be an eventful week. Many of us here at the Manehattan Project are huge Blizzard fans and several of us will be going to BlizzCon. (I for one cannot wait to see the full trailer for Warcraft. This movie is going to be freaking amazing). And you all know what happens next Tuesday: Fallout 4 is released!

Sadly, I had to get my PipBoy edition from France, so I’ll have to wait two weeks to play the dang thing. So I’ll be hiding in a “write-only” bubble to avoid spoilers. 😉

Speaking of spoilers, I recently discovered something about Fallout 4. It’s the only bit of information I actively sought out. However, I’ve decided to put it at the end of this post so (because at the moment, I can’t get the spoiler scripts to work right to hide it properly and the color trick isn’t working either). You’ll also get a little preview of some of the story planning for the end of GoE 1 and the beginning of GoE 2, plus Dances of Light and Shadow!

Tiny Fallout 4 Spoiler Alert: all it concerns is when the events of Fallout 4 occur in relation to New Vegas and Fallout 3. For those who are avoiding all spoilers, you should skip the next section.

—— Continue reading »

Oct 292015
 

What? What by Celestia does National Novel Writing Month have to do with Gardens of Equestria: This Coming Storm, Fallout: Equestria or the Manehattan Project? Well, I’m here to tell you the answer to exactly that question.

For the last five years, I have successfully won National Novel Writing Month, nailing 50,000 words in the month of November. I have done this through convention, the birth of two daughters, Black Fridays (though thankfully no more of those) and the general chaos of November.

This year, I have most of that with the addition of Gardens of Equestria: This Coming Storm and the release of Fallout 4 (Though I need to wait two weeks for my French Pip-Boy edition to get here).

So why in Celestia’s name would I attempt something as insane as NaNoWriMo now of all times?

Well, as many of you know, I sustained an injury back in January. I’m still feeling the effects of it, but one of the major ones has been pain while reading or writing. I normally wrote most days (or at least tried to) and haven’t in a long time. I want to change that…and no better way than jumping in the deep end. In addition, it helps keep my mind in the world of GoE.

So today, I’m announcing the upcoming novella “Gardens of Equestria: Dances of Light and Shadow.” (Name is subject to change). This story will bridge the gap between the events of Gardens of Equestria: This Coming Storm for Fallout: New Vegas and Gardens of Equestria: Racing Apotheosis for Fallout 4.

This story will also explain how they traveled all the was from New Pegasus to Boston (anyone got a good Pony name for Boston yet?). You’ll actually get hints of this in Chapter 3 of “This Coming Storm” when you face Topaz Lake among other places.

Now I hear you asking, “Really? Aren’t you just copying what Kkat did and doing it on Earth? And isn’t that essentially the story of Fallout 3 anyway?” Not quite, my friends, not quite. I could tell you why it’s different, but I don’t want to spoil “This Coming Storm” for you.

Another thing…this story will not be released until after GoE: This Coming Storm comes out. (Which also gives me enough time to give it the proper polish).

For more details, you’ll have to just stay tuned. ^^

Don’t worry, that’s not all we have for you today! We’ve got the next three chapters of FO:E (The Manehattan Edition) up for your listening pleasure on YouTube! Check out the link to the main playlist below.

 

Until next week folks, stay safe out there!

-Novel Idea

Aug 062015
 

Greetings from the Manehattan Project!

We’re all extremely busy in getting “This Coming Storm” ready to go, so we have a short entry for today. First and foremost, I want to thank the members of the Fallout Mod Authors on the NexusMods forums. They have been instrumental in helping us isolate and fix issues with Appleloosa Valley.

First special thanks go out to Zilav, the creator of FNVLODGen, who’s helped us figure out a lot of issues and make things so very much easier…even if his answers will result in some pretty big overhauls. ^^

The second goes to one of the creators behind the amazing “Project Brazil”, RickerHK. This individual has been amazingly supportive, answering every single ridiculous question I’ve thrown at him!

Finally, we want to thank the one and only Kkat for her incredibly kind plug on July 31, 2016 for Fallout: Equestria (The Manehattan Edition), Corvus’s “This Coming Storm” and Gardens of Equestria in general!

But don’t take our word for it. Go check it out for yourself!

That’s it for today! Back to work for all of us!