Jun 252015
 

So I’m just going to sneak through the fourth wall right now and hopefully not crack it again. Think of it as the end of “Magic Duel” where Twilight and Pinkie Pie come back on screen at the ending.

I just wanted to say thank you from all of us at the Manehattan Project for your amazing support of Gardens of Equestria: Smuggler’s Run. We have 37 endorsements, almost 750 downloads and nearly 8,000 views on the GoE: Smuggler’s Run NexusMods site. All of that in the last seven days. That simply blows my mind. Especially the wonderful feedback we’ve received on Equestria Daily and the Nexus site.

We’re all thrilled that you have been enjoying this special preview. Don’t worry, we have much, much more in store for you. Everything you saw and read in Smuggler’s Run links directly into the story and environment of “This Coming Storm.” We’re just getting started folks. You’ve only scratched the surface.

I’m happy to report that the Manehattan Project development team had a meeting last night and we’ve ironed out a lot of details that will allow us to move forward much more quickly. We have a goal date, but we’re not ready to release that just yet. However, be assured that “This Coming Storm” will launch before Fallout 4. So it’s only a few months away!

Also, a special shoutout to Corvus, our in-house musician and Music Director. It was his awesome work that you heard in the Safehouse. We’ve released the Smuggler’s Run Theme on Soundcloud as it is right now, directly from the game files and we’ll be releasing a full version of it at a later date. But if you can’t wait, go ahead and head over to Soundcloud to download it! Or if you want to just rock out to it on YouTube, check it out below. Don’t forget to leave some feedback for Corvus!

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e6nXYvcaDjc]

We’re finalizing details on GoE: This Coming Storm at present. But there is one thing you should know about “Racing Apotheosis” for Fallout 4… it will be a continuation of the story we’re starting in This Coming Storm. This is all one interwoven story across years, miles and dimensions.

We’re still looking for some folks to join the team, especially scripters and individuals familiar with the GECK. The more help we get, the more we can deliver to you in GoE 1 & GoE 2!

We’re in this for the long haul folks and I’m sure you won’t be disappointed.

Until next time, have a great day!

-Novel Idea

Jun 172015
 

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—From the Terminal of Novel Idea—

The Manehattan Project is proud to announce the unique preview experience of “Gardens of Equestria: Smuggler’s Run!”

Last night, there were sounds of explosions and minigun fire in the hills to the northwest of Goodsprings. Residents of the quiet town reported seeing something like a Steel Ranger slowly plodding through the foothills to the south. None of them have dared to investigate…but something definitely happened.

Discover the truth in the hills of Goodsprings and uncover the beginnings of something much greater in this special preview of the upcoming story-driven experience “Gardens of Equestria: This Coming Storm!”

Here at The Manehattan Project studio, we’ve been hard at work on this special project. It is our gift to you in celebration of the revelation Stable-Tec’s “Fallout 4” post-apocalyptic simulation experience. While we’re not fully ready to release our plans for Stable-Tec’s latest installment of the Fallout franchise, we are happy to announce that aside from releasing this new story-driven experience, we’re also releasing the new titles of Gardens of Equestria projects!

Prologue – Fallout: New Pegasus

Gardens of Equestria: Smuggler’s Run

Part 1 – Fallout: New Pegasus

Gardens of Equestria: This Coming Storm

Part 2 – Fallout 4

Gardens of Equestria: Racing Apotheosis

That’s right folks, you’re not only getting one story-driven experience from the Manehattan Project, you’re getting two! We’re already working on what we’ll be doing in Racing Apotheosis with the all new Creation Engine. We can wait to show you what we have in store for you. It promises to be unlike anything you’ve ever experienced before from Stable-Tec!

But we didn’t want to make you wait any longer. It was time to put our bits where our mouths are. So check out the list below to see just some of what we have in store for you in “Smuggler’s Run!”

  • A hidden safehouse deep in the hills outside Goodsprings holds many secrets and few answers.
  • Locate some of the most advanced weaponry the Ministry of Wartime Technology ever developed and wield these fearsome weapons through your travels throughout the Mojave Wasteland!
  • Three unique sets of armor, each with their own special trait, await you.
  • Find a way into the depths of the safehouse and discover a virtual treasure trove for those skilled enough to get to it.
  • The distortions in reality have already started. Nuka-Cola has become Sparkle-Cola and Sunset Sarsaparilla has become Sunset Shimmer Sarsaparilla! And the changes aren’t limited to just the Safehouse.
  • Many other items have changed as well, but you’ll have to discover the extent of the changes yourself. Who knows how far they have spread?
  • Know that for every lock, there exists a key for those with keen eyes and nimble fingers.
  • Custom music by Corvus Productions, made specially for Smuggler’s Run. (We’ll be releasing this for download on our SoundCloud site at a future date).

But why read all about it when you can experience it yourself? Head on over to NexusMods.com and to the new “Gardens of Equestria: Smuggler’s Run” site and download it today! Don’t forget to leave us your comments either here or on the Nexus to let us know what you think!

Until next week folks, have fun and stay safe out there (preferably using one of The Manehattan Project’s unique weapons!)

-Novel Idea

Jun 112015
 

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—From the Terminal of Novel Idea—

Hello everypony!

I have a couple news items for you today. Our wildest dreams came true and we’ll be able to implement the main plotlines of Gardens of Equestria in Stable-Tec’s recently announced Fallout 4, as we had hoped. What have we been showing so far, then? I’m glad you asked!

There will be changes to the Gardens of Equestria experience, including settings, environments and overall story. We plan to have a tentative course of action in place by this time next week. But don’t worry, we have exciting things in store for you. And we’ll let you sneak a peek.

Speaking of exciting things, after some discussion within the development team, not only will you know some of the Manehattan Project’s plans for the newest Fallout, but you might just get to see some of our material a lot sooner than expected. We have a surprise for you. However, we are all under Pinkie Pie Swears not to spoil it until next week. Trust me though, it’ll be worth the wait.

I also wished to address any concerns about the “Fallout: Equestria” audiobook. I know many of you are eager to know about this new version. Our newest addition to the Manehattan Project, Corvus, has graciously decided to lend his incredible talent to the Manehattan Edition of Fallout: Equestria. The new audio experience promises to be fantastic and we’ve also made some effort in fixing some issues in the later chapters where our files ended up being corrupted, causing the narration to repeat itself in places. We want to get you the best version we can do and that takes time. Until then, hopefully the current version will tide you over.

Lastly, I wanted to mention that we are still recruiting! Specifically, we’re looking for some talented scripters with experience in any of Stable-Tec’s Fallout titles or even the popular Elder Scrolls series. We’re also looking for some texture artists, modelers and someone to handle our PR and website. If you’re interested, head on over to our Recruitment Center and one of our friendly staff will be in touch with you!

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

-Novel Idea

Jun 042015
 

–WARNING: FOURTH WALL BREAK DETECTED–

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GE2BkLqMef4]

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So it’s official. Fallout 4 has been announced. That being said, the only thing that’s really confirmed for certain is that it’s set in Boston. There are a great many implications made during the trailer, from a potential voiced main character to it being the Railroad vs. The Institute. But we can’t count on anything until the E3 Press Conference. So we’re holding off on speculation until then.

That being said, you’re likely wondering what The Manehattan Project is planning with the announcement, since we’re already fairly early into development of Gardens of Equestria. We’re still talking about the details and I don’t want to give anything specific away yet (as we haven’t made the ultimate decision). A great deal of the decision will depend on when Fallout 4 is slated to be released (and even more so when the Creation Kit/GECK will be released).

That being said, we have plans. But do know that no matter what, the Manehattan Project will be there for Fallout 4.

We’re just getting started.

So stay tuned for a special announcement on Thursday, June 25 (the week after E3).

I have a feeling it’s going to be epic. ^^

-Novel Idea

May 282015
 

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–From the Terminal of Polyphonic–

Fillies and gentlecolts, welcome to the first of many updates on the Manehattan Project: Gardens of Equestria! Today we have some exciting announcements, including photos of several locations in the project, the introduction of the first Manehattan Project member sourced from the public, and an update on our recruitment program! Please sit back and enjoy another sneak peek of Gardens of Equestria.

Stable 16

Stable 16 is a defunct Stable located deep within the southern hills of Appleloosa Valley. While the Stable’s population survived and thrived, they eventually moved on, leaving the Stable unattended. Without proper upkeep, a Stable’s usually reliable lighting systems grow dim and eerie, and even metal and stone rust and crumble. A few too many disasters–natural or unnatural–can put serious strain on a Stable’s infrastructure, rendering it all but unlivable for anyone but the most undiscriminating of the Wasteland’s inhabitants. But something has moved into the Stable in recent years…

 

Mysterious Cave

One of the first things you encounter in Gardens of Equestria, this strange place seems to be some sort of rift in reality. The enigmas of this cave are too cryptic for even Stable-Tec to fully decipher, but those with expansive knowledge of the Wasteland might be able to speculate…

 

The Rock Farm – Sector 1

Deep in the desert around New Pegasus was an underground complex known only as “The Rock Farm.” A closely-guarded secret of the Ministry of Wartime Technology, the Rock Farm was home to some of the most advanced armor and weapon collaborations between the Ministry of Arcane Sciences and the MWT. Nopony knows exactly what happened to the original inhabitants of the Rock Farm, but those Wastelanders attempting to gain access–the ones who survive the attempt, anyway–speak of an advanced and deadly network of turrets, sentry bots, and other defenses among the bones. Stable-Tec has managed to pull some archival photography from its initial construction, but after so many years, nopony knows what may lurk at the heart of the Farm.

 

Introducing Corvus!

And now, the moment you’ve all been waiting for. The Manehattan Project is thrilled to introduce its newest member, Corvus, a talented musician with a voice that’s a dead ringer for… well, listen for yourself!

[soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/207701609″ params=”auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false&visual=true” width=”100%” height=”450″ iframe=”true” /]

We’re excited to have Corvus on board as we plan out the musical, atmospheric, and broadcasting needs of Gardens of Equestria. Please give him a warm Pony welcome in the comments! If you’re interested in seeing more of his work, please head over to his personal profile.

Recruitment

Last but certainly not least, the entire team of the Manehattan Project would like to extend an invitation to a few talented individuals who can fill our most urgently needed roles. Please visit the Manehattan Project Recruitment Center to get in touch with us if you have an interest in the following! As always, we’re always looking for more talent in all arenas, but the areas listed below are where our needs are most urgent.

  • Social Media/PR Coordinator: Is your Reddit dashboard always full of collapsed threads? Do you know what Equestria Daily is going to post about before they do? Could you have written a catchier progress update than the one you just read? The Manehattan Project is looking for someone to take the reins on social media and public relations to take the work of getting the word out off the shoulders of our artists and developers so they can get back to working on the mod. Please include a sample of your writing with your application. This can be anything from a page of the last paper you wrote to a link to the blog you’ve been keeping for years – just give us an idea of your writing style and competencies.
  • Webmaster: We’re in need of an individual with strong HTML5/CSS, JavaScript, and related skills for developing and maintaining Gardens of Equestria’s web presence. With your application, please include a link to a page you’ve built and your thoughts on improving gardensofequestria.com.
  • Modeler/Texture Artist: We’re in need of an additional artist to help adjust some of our existing models and work on some exciting new elements of GoE. Familiarity with GECK/TES Construction Sets and .nif files preferred. Please include a sample of your work.
  • Junior Scripter: Our primary scripters and tech designers have their hooves full. The individual best suited to this role is someone with experience creating quest and actor content in Skyrim, Fallout 3, Fallout: New Vegas, or The Elder Scrolls: Oblivion, but need not be an expert code wizard. Please include a sample or detailed description of the content you’ve created in the past along with your application.

 Thank you all for joining us, and stay tuned for our next update: Voice Actor Roundtable!

May 142015
 

–WARNING: FOURTH WALL BREAK DETECTED–

Welcome back to the Manehattan Project!

I hope you’ll forgive the break in the Fourth Wall. So many of you have come by to check out Gardens of Equestria…well, let’s just say we should have done a better job of shoring that thing up. But we’ll leave that for next week. Instead, I’m going to give you a peek at what’s going on behind the scenes of the Manehattan Project and Gardens of Equestria.

FOE Manehattan YouTube Logo

Before we go any further, if you haven’t already seen it, we’ve started to release “Fallout: Equestria (The Manehattan Edition)” on YouTube! Today we’re starting out small with the Introduction, the Prologue and Chapter 1: Out of the Stable. We’ve done some special custom artwork for this YouTube release, so go check it out! We’ll be releasing 3 chapters a week starting next week, so make sure to subscribe to either GardensofEquestria.com or our YouTube Channel to stay in the loop!

In today’s development blog, we’ll talk a little about some of the in-development areas for Gardens of Equestria and give you some cool screenshots of things we have in store for you. You won’t be disappointed. But first, I realized that I forgot something very important when it came to designing this website. A Frequently Asked Questions page!

We’ve had a lot of questions come over our various announcement channels. So let’s take a few minutes to answer some of them!


 Frequently Asked Questions

  • What’s the story behind Gardens of Equestria?
    • It tells a unique tale of the Mojave Wasteland partially merged with Equestrian as familiar heroes from Fallout: Equestria appear in another form in our world. Something has gone terribly wrong and it’s up to you as the Courier to figure out what happened and how to stop it.
  • Will I be playing as a human or a pony?
    • You’ll be playing as a human. While GoE will support the New Vegas Pony Anthro Mod (as do most other mods), we are not including it as part of the package. That being said, humans aren’t the only sentient race you will encounter in your adventures. And that’s all we’re saying about that. ^^
  • What do I need to play GoE?
    • GoE will require a current and legitimate copy of Fallout: New Vegas. It will also require the DLC “Old World Blues.” While we recommend having the full DLC package, only “Old World Blues” is essential due to its many unique assets. (Note: This may change during development. If it does, we’ll keep you apprised)
    • In addition, you will need to have the mods “Fallout Character Overhaul” and  “Mikoto Hair Pack.” Normally these mods have compatibility issues, but we’ve managed to come up with a solution to that, so don’t worry.
  • What about Fallout 4? 
    • As of this writing, Fallout 4 is only a rumor. While we hope to port the GoE experience to Fallout 4 (whenever it is released), there are many factors in play. A fair amount of the game is based off of JHawk1666’s Pony Texture Pack Plus for Fallout 3. How much of that will translate to Fallout 4 is unknown. That being said, if it’s possible and feasible to bring Gardens of Equestria to Fallout 4, we will do it, though the story will likely end up being different and will likely take longer.
  • What about Fallout 3?
    • Fallout 3 was originally released in 2008. While still an awesome game (that we highly recommend playing), there are some substantial differences between New Vegas and Fallout 3. We may release our weapons and texture packs for Fallout 3 at a later date. 
  • Isn’t Overmare Studios already doing this?
    • From my understanding, Overmare Studios started out originally as a Fallout mod project, but then decided to move to the Unity3D engine as opposed to GECK/Gamebyro engine. This gives them a huge range of options and whole new possibilites (Seriously, check out their Firearms video. It’s amazing!). They’re dedicated to turning Littlepip’s adventures into a full-fledged game in the true Equestrian Wasteland. GoE is about the world of Equestria invading the human world and the repercussions and origins of that event. While there are similarities, they are two separate projects.
  • Can I play as Littlepip?
    • The core story of Gardens of Equestria revolves around the player as the Courier, who for unique reasons, is one of the few humans that remained unaffected by the mysterious reality shift. You’ll be the one at the front of the group this time, Littlepip and her friends by your side.
  • Hey, why isn’t Littlepip wielding Little Macintosh?
    • While you can give Littlepip Little Macintosh to wield, we decided that it would be more fun for the player if they got to wield the trademark Fallout: Equestria weapons rather than leaving them solely in the hands of your companions.
  • Will I really be playing with five different companions throughout the game?
    • In Fallout: Equestria, Littlepip’s group grows over time as she discovers new allies. The same happens in Gardens of Equestria. In some missions, you will fight with one or two of your companions, while in others you’ll be fighting as a cohesive team. There will even be missions where you choose who joins you and who stays behind…and those decisions can have lasting repercussions for both you and your friends.
  • Can I also play GoE with other companions like Veronica, Arcade or even Willow?
    • The version of the companion extender we use is set to a maximum of five companions. The GoE Companions each have their own part to play in the story with their own fully-voiced dialogue. You will be unable to undergo the story missions without certain members of the GoE team. That being said, you can adventure with any combination you wish in the New Pegasus area for quests or areas that aren’t attached to the GoE storyline.
  • What about Blackjack, Glory, P-21, Puppysmiles, Silver Storm/Hired Gun, etc? Are they going to be in Gardens of Equestria?
    • At present, we do not have plans to include anyone other than the original Fallout: Equestria characters in GoE.
  • When will Gardens of Equestria be released?
    • When it’s done. The entire Manehattan Project team has full-time jobs and many have families and many other commitments. Some of us can spend more time than others. But in the end, to quote a well-known gaming company, “players won’t remember if a game is late, only if it’s great.” (Well, except for Duke Nukem, but let’s not go there
  • Will GoE be compatible with [INSERT MOD HERE]?
    • We plan to make this as compatible as possible with as many mods as possible, but of course there will be limitations. At this point in development, it’s a little early to get into more specifics

(I will be posting this as a full page next week)

Now that’s out of the way, I want to give you some screenshots from two new areas currently under development. Please note that these are still works-in-progress, so there’s a good possibility that they may change.

The first location is called “The Primm Basement.” In the quest “Strangers in a Strange Land,” you’ll journey beneath the town of Primm to an old mine and refinery plant beneath the town that was supposed to be sealed-off years ago. You’ll encounter hostile Powder Gangers here, but their attention will be focused on your first new companion, pinned down in a side room. After getting your new friend out of trouble, you’ll fight your way down into the depths of the mining facility…finding that Powder Gangers are the least of your worries as you race to save kidnapped townspeople from a new threat.

The second location is from a much later quest, “Fire From On High.” Below you’ll get a better glimpse of the bridge of the EHS Nimbus, an Enclave Hovership with a terrifying reputation. Crewed by some of the most elite and dangerous soldiers the Enclave has, you and your companions will race against a ticking clock to reach its deadly cargo before it can destroy all of New Pegasus. Right now, this is my favorite quest line, save for maybe the grand finale. What we’ll be doing here will blow your mind!

I hope you’ve enjoyed this Behind The Fourth Wall peek into the inner secrets of the Gardens of Equestria!

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a Fourth Wall to fix.

-Novel Idea

May 062015
 

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–From the Terminal of Novel Idea–

Welcome to the Manehattan Project, a special division of Stable-Tec dedicated to the absolute best in post-apocalyptic simulations. Make sure to take a look around. Stable-Tec just gave us the authorization to release some of what we have in store for you in Gardens of Equestria and we’re eager to show it off!

I’m Novel Idea, Creative Director and Lead Designer of the Manehattan Project. I’ll be your host for today. In the future, I hope to have other members of the team come out to have a chat with you, but as I’m sure you’re aware, we’re all extremely busy creating a whole new reality. And believe it or not, creating entire new realities is hard work.

The first thing you might be asking yourself is…is this real or some sort of hoax? I can tell you it’s very much real. I myself have walked the halls of Stable 207, explored the bridge of the EHS Nimbus and descended into the depths of the Primm Basement. In my own personal battles across the Equestrian Wasteland, I’ve wielded the fearsome firepower of Little Macintosh and the infamous Zebra Carbine. I have even journeyed alongside an early version of Littlepip herself. Let me tell you that she is utterly vicious with that pistol of hers. I really hope never to tick her off.

The second thing you might be asking yourself is…why would we be designing a new module for Stable-Tec’s hit simulation, “Fallout: New Pegasus?” After all, the simulation’s been out for several years now. Well, I can’t speak to Stable-Tec’s current plans for the series as I’m under non-disclosure agreements and all that. However, in truth, New Pegasus is all that’s available at the moment. And ironically, that’s also where the current popularity of these sims truly began. One pony started this journey for all of us with a single piece of artwork after playing New Pegasus. That pony’s name was (oddly enough) Dan Shive.

I have a small confession to make to you all. I’ve been a fan of Dan Shive for years, especially of his webcomic regarding the magical adventures of creatures called humans. It’s ironic that he was the one who began it all with that piece of artwork. He has graciously allowed us to show it here.

Fallout: Pony Vegas By Dan Shive

I am still entertained by Mr. Shive’s own branding of Stable-Tec’s Sim as “Pony Vegas” instead of “New Pegasus.”

Mr. Shive ended up inspiring none other than the world-renowned author Kkat into crafting the masterpiece known as “The Book of Littlepip” or by its more common title, “Fallout: Equestria.” I don’t think anypony foresaw what would happen next. An entire subculture grew up around Stable-Tec’s “Fallout” series because of this. A brand new community that Stable-Tec never expected.

While in truth, I hadn’t had much interest in Stable-Tec’s work with the Fallout simulations, that changed after I finally read The Book of Littlepip for myself. So I approached a well-known creator of modular content for the original “Fallout 3.” In our conversations, Gardens of Equestria was born.

While the project has grown since its initial inception, going from a one-pony operation to a team of eight, the goal has never changed. That goal is to bring you nothing less than the absolute best in creating a new vision of the Equestrian Wasteland.

Finally, there’s one most question you might be asking yourself. Isn’t there already another group doing exactly the same thing? If you’re asking yourself that, you are probably thinking of another one of Stable-Tec’s divisions, the amazing Overmare Studios. Let me just start by saying that what Overmare Studios is doing is far and away a hundred times more ambitious than what we at the Manehattan Project are doing. They are creating an actual simulation based off of Littlepip’s adventures in “The Book of Littlepip” directly. They’re also creating the entire thing from scratch, using technology Stable-Tec has never implemented before. I wish them the best of luck in their endeavors and hope that one day we may be able to collaborate on both of our projects together. The one catch with their project is it will take some time, but I know without a doubt that when they unveil it all for us to enjoy, it’ll be an experience unlike any other.

So hopefully that answers most of your initial questions that may not have been answered in the other areas here at the Manehattan Project!

But don’t worry, you’ll be hearing plenty from us in the future. We’ll be posting regular development reports on our progress, along with work-in-progress and completed screenshots, videos, music and artwork. We might even release our unique “Ministry of Wartime Technology Experimental Technologies” pack (purely fictional of course. We here at the Manehattan Project have no knowledge of any of the MWT’s ongoing projects) for you to while you await the arrival of the full simulation. But more details on that later.

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

-Novel Idea – Creative Director & Lead Designer for The Manehattan Project

–WARNING–

Minor damage to Fourth Wall detected. Caution is advised in any future exploration of The Manehattan Project. If you wish to continue despite this warning, you may seek out information on the Origins of the Gardens of Equestria by clicking this link.

*Stable-Tec and the Manehattan Project assume no responsibility for any dimensional breaks that may occur.