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 252016
 

Happy Thursday everypony!

Been a heck of a week in the Fallout community eh? We get news that the GECK is coming out in April in between DLCs for Fallout 4, the Fallout: Equestria Animated Series project releases their orchestral score and of course, Overmare releases their Wave 3 Tech Demo for the Fallout: Equestria game!

overmare_by_chiramii_chan-d6odfcm

Congratulations to everypony over at Overmare Studios. I know they’ve been working insanely hard to get to this point. Things look pretty sweet, though I haven’t personally had a chance to dig in deep to the game yet. I have learned the the game doesn’t like being run on a virtual machine though. ^^; (Yes, shocker, I actually run primarily on Mac using either virtual machines or Boot Camp…and they also mentioned that it was designed for higher-end systems which a virtual machine is definitely not).

This is a huge accomplishment for them. After all, as I understand it, they started as a mod project before they decided to buck the GECK/Gamebyro engine and go into Unity 3D. You can do just about anything in Unity. Did you know that Blizzard’s wildly popular Hearthstone actually runs on the Unity engine? So just think, if Blizzard Entertainment can harness Unity to create something like Hearthstone, the final product for the FO:E game is going to be pretty damn sweet.

So if you haven’t checked it out yet, you can get the tech demo here and the trailer below!

Now, let’s talk audiobooks shall we?

I hope you’ve been enjoying the latest version of Fallout: Equestria (The Manehattan Edition) and the daily updates to the playlist! Remember, stay tuned on our Twitter Account to know the moment they go up or just subscribe to us on YouTube! Either works!

You can find the full playlist below!

 

Hmmm. Lot of links in this post. Oh well.

As for internal development, I’m so very happy to say that the largest level in all of GoE has FINALLY been completed. Sector 3 of the Rock Farm is central home to the most advanced weapons and armor prototypes developed by Equestria before the bombs fell. A massive vertical level that spans twelve stories with an enormous experimental power core dominating the center shaft, this is where you’ll discover the HARMONY-Series Power Armor based off the Ministry Mares, the experimental weaponry you’ve had a glimpse of in Smuggler’s Run and so very much more.

While originally designed as one massive interconnected level, I eventually split it up so it wouldn’t turn computers into smoldering heaps of slag trying to load everything! (Seriously, it would take about a full 1-2 minutes to load properly in the GECK…I realized it would crash less powerful computers in-game). Now, Sector 3 is actually compromised of over 10 different cells (levels) while still keeping the massive internal structure of the central core intact!

Now, I’d love to show you it in action, but I kinda want to keep it a surprise. However, when we’re closer to launch I have a really cool idea and I’ll probably let you all see it then. 😉

What? I can’t show you all the good stuff right now or else there won’t be any surprises! (Though frankly, I think you’ll be blown away by the sheer audacity of the GRF).

Finally, I was hoping to have one more surprise for you, but it looks like that will have to wait. I may break the Thursday Post rule to reveal this little bit of side work. And before you think that I do more work on side projects than the game itself, it’s how I take my breaks! When working on a project like this, it’s extremely easy to hit burnout. It’s important to pace yourself. So there!

Anyway folks, I hope you’re all doing great with all this Fallout goodness coming your way. Don’t worry, we’re still launching This Coming Storm for New Vegas. We’re going to have a damn good reason to come back to New Pegasus. I promise.

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

-Novel Idea

(Featured art by http://chiramii-chan.deviantart.com/art/Overmare-403734262)

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

Feb 042016
 

Good afternoon everypony!

(Okay, I just realized that by the numbering scheme I had, this is actually #29, however, there were a few I didn’t label at the beginning, so this is #30 in my head. So it’s now reality)

Can you believe I’ve written thirty of these things? (Yes, I’ve written every one). And to think, all this started from an injury I sustained one year and two weeks ago. It’s amazing how life’s little twists end up sending you in a totally different direction. I never thought I’d become part of the FO:E Community. Hell, to be honest, I always liked the Elder Scrolls over Fallout (Fantasy is a bit more my typical fare).

But now I get a little thrill when I’m scanning through the Reddits and see someone else mention the Manehattan Project and GoE. Heck, the FO:E Reddit Mods decided to even give us our own special “flair” (which I love and am extremely grateful for).

So before we get to the good stuff, I want to thank everyone on the FO:E Reddit and the FiMFiction FO:E Forums for their support. A very special thank you to Kkat for some desperately needed encouragement during the launch of Smuggler’s Run in summer during “The Weekend of The Troll.”

(Speaking of which, we had a minor update to Smuggler’s Run that finally fixes the issue with the Stable 2 barding, so go check it out it you haven’t already!)

But more than anything, I want to thank the Manehattan Project team, both past and present. Especially the past ones. It’s bizarre. I can actually see the finish line from where I’m standing. It’s still a ways off…but it’s there. And that’s due to the incredible talent who have decided (for some crazy reason) to throw their hat into this insane project that started from a concussion.

…you know, that explains a lot.

Anyhoo! Let’s get to the good stuff, shall we?

First, I’m happy to announce that we have new artwork for you!

That’s right, Blue Nova has been hard at work with a brand new replacement for the classic “Courage Today, Victory Tomorrow” poster. And I have to say it looks freaking awesome. Derived directly from Kkat’s original description in Fallout: Equestria, I’m present “You Too Can Be a Steel Ranger!”

Steel Ranger Recruitment - Backlight Lightbox VariantSteel Ranger Recruitment – Backlight Lightbox Variant

Pretty freaking sweet right? This guy’s awesome. Seriously, epicly, amazingly, awesome. You can check out his dA here!

In case you’re curious, here’s the “original” from Fallout. The above picture will be the replacement for both GoE 1 for Fallout: New Vegas and GoE 2 for Fallout 4.

American_Victory_poster_CA

Second bit of news for you: THE FALLOUT: EQUESTRIA (MANEHATTAN EDITION) AUDIOBOOK

Now, I know we’ve dropped the ball on this one. I stopped posting the YouTube versions because I found a fair amount of flubs, repeated lines and errors in our version. With all that’s going on, the audiobook went by the wayside. But I wasn’t satisfied with the quality. You see, I’ve been listening to Audible audiobooks for years and years and years now, so I have pretty high standards when it comes to audiobooks. I wanted to give that same sort of experience. So I’ve listened to the book multiple times, taken notes and found every error (I hope). So next week, the fourth and final edition of “Fallout: Equestria (The Manehattan Edition)” will be released! 

This one will have many fixes (including removing that obnoxious “Footnote: Level Up” comment in the middle of Chapter 37). Every repeated line that I could find will be removed. We’re also including Corvus’s “This Coming Storm” song at the end of the Epilogue, just as Kkat originally intended as DJ-PON3’s last song before the Afterword. I’ve also redone the opening and ending (even going to the point of including my version of “Audible hopes you’ve enjoyed this broadcast” at the very end for those of you who have listened to Audible titles).

The current plan is for the entire MP3 and M4B (Audiobook) formats to be released concurrently. I will be taking down all of the previous YouTube videos and replacing them with the updated versions. It will likely take me a bit to get all of those set up (That takes a TON of processing time, because they are actually movies).

But now, there should be no more delays and no further updates. So if you haven’t had a chance to listen, next week is the time to start.

Finally, we’ve reached a major milestone here at the Manehattan Project.

As you may or may not know, I am our story scriptwriter. The only one, actually. Every line of dialogue and every action has been written by yours truly. Just yesterday, I finalized the last conversation in the Epilogue for Gardens of Equestria: This Coming Storm. While the general draft of this was done quite a while ago, there were some holes that needed to be filled.

So last weekend, I went through 80,000 words of dialogue. (Yes, you read that right). That’s longer than the first Harry Potter novel. That’s how much dialogue we will be recording just for GoE 1 alone. I cannot say how happy this makes me to say that I’m done with the story. Don’t worry, you’re going to love it. You have my money-back guarantee! (Which is convenient since all of this is completely free)

That’s it for this week folks. Look forward to the fourth and final edition of Fallout: Equestria (The Manehattan Edition) coming next week!

Until then, have fun and stay safe!

-Novel Idea

Nov 252015
 

NaNo-2015-Winner-Banner
NaNoWriMo/NaPoWriMo Victory

That’s right folks, I’m happy to report that as of Monday night, I’ve officially won National Novel Writing Month with “Gardens of Equestria: Dances of Light and Shadow!”

For those interested, here are the stats:

The Stats:
Novel Name: Gardens of Equestria: Dances of Light and Shadow
Word Count to Date: 50,048
Average Words Per Day: 2,176
Final Day Word Count: 3,638
Total Characters: 282,278
Total Paragraphs: 1,714
Total Lines: 1,819
Pages as Paperback: 135

This is my seventh consecutive win for National Novel Writing Month on a personal level and it has been well worth it. Why?

Because I now know the opening of Gardens of Equestria II: Racing Apotheosis for Fallout 4. 

It came to me while I was writing a short little commentary on the story. I now have a much better idea of what we’re going to do in GoE II (yes, I’m “rebranding it.”). And it’s going to be awesome. Seriously awesome.

Here’s something else awesome: The Manehattan Project has decided to offer up three beta keys for the 50K Winners of National Pony Writing Month, hosted by Equestria Daily. I’ve also decided on behalf of the Manehattan Project to toss in a Starcraft II: Legacy of the Void Collector’s Edition Digital Key for anyone who passes the 50K mark. (I’ve decided to decline any potential rewards myself).

Gardens of Equestria: This Coming Storm Beta Details

Now before you start clamoring for beta keys of your own, please note that these beta keys will only become active when “This Coming Storm” is ready for its beta. That’s likely not going to be for at least a few weeks minimum. We may be doing limited distribution of a few more later, but we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it. The beta includes a full NDA (Non-Disclosure Agreement) similar to what Overmare does with their work. After all, we don’t want to spoil the surprise, do we?

Gardens of Equestria: This Coming Storm Development Update

As for development, this week will likely be slow for us for obvious reasons. That being said, I’m happy to say that both Trench and Wolf are back up and running after a nasty issue that was causing the GECK program to crash every time our central mod was loaded. (Took six hours to nail down that one. I had to copy my own Data folder to finally get that resolved). As for me, I’m thrilled that the full level decor is now complete for the Rock Farm Sector 2: Administration, an immense sprawling office complex where you’ll be hunting for your friends after separated by the Rock Farm’s erratic security systems.

I’ve also started lighting and decor on the biggest level I’ve ever designed: Sector 3, the heart of the Rock Farm’s R&D. It’s here where players will discover some of the most powerful weaponry ever conceived by the MAS and MWT along with unique armor and race to stop the brutal death of every living soul in Appleloosa Valley. It’ll be awesome.

Finally, on a personal note, to my utter shock, Gamestop has Fallout 4 PipBoys (Sorry folks, they sold out before this went live) in stock on Tuesday. I snagged one immediately, which means now I don’t have to worry about the French one coming (that ironically just arrived in San Francisco within a half hour of me making the new order). So I’ll finally get to play the game soon. Can’t say how thrilled I am.

After all, I need to play so I can come up with more cool ideas for GoE II!

Fallout: Equestria (The Manehattan Edition) Audiobook

We’re also going to be pausing our Fallout: Equestria (The Manehattan Edition) audiobook updates for a short time. We’re in the process of preparing the fourth and final version of the audiobook, with a completely re-recorded introduction and finale (with a very Audible-like style!) along with getting rid of the last series of flubs, repeated lines and glitches. Stay tuned for details!

That’s it for this week folks! For those applicable, have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

-Novel Idea

(P.S. As someone who worked for ten years in retail, I’m personally boycotting all retail stores this weekend. If you must shop, please do not shop on Thursday. Don’t support those greedy companies who demand their employees come in on Thanksgiving while their Execs are at home with their families. And be extra kind to anyone this weekend at any store. Trust me. They need every iota of kindness they can get.)

 

Nov 192015
 

So I decided to get out a quick update to you folks this week, despite my claims last week. But I’ll try to make this short…er. Come on, it’s me. I’m not known for being incredibly concise, after all.

Gardens of Equestria: Dances of Light and Shadow

While I have plenty of experience working with other characters from other worlds, I usually pick a character who isn’t very well defined or fleshed out. While we’ve seen some of their thought processes and reactions, we don’t really know the person. I have to say, as I’m attempting to parallel the original Fallout: Equestria as much as possible (despite the fact that this Littlepip and company are not the same as the ones we know in Equestria), it’s a very difficult task.

For example, let’s take Littlepip. Littlepip goes through an enormous amount of changes in Fallout: Equestria (obviously) and I’m not talking about physical. I’m talking about psychological, emotional, relational and more. The filly two stepped out of Stable 2 is a far cry removed from the one who assaulted Old Appleloosa. That one is very different from the one who ventured into the Manehattan Ministry of Morale hub. Or the one who entered Fillydelphia. You get the idea. Character development is a challenging thing, especially with already created characters.

Nevertheless, I am doing my best and it’s going quite well. I’m quite a bit ahead of the curve. I’m currently at 37,873 words. Here’s the full stats:

 

Screen Shot 2015-11-19 at 12.36.45 PM

I should mention that I’m not done with my work today. I’ve been aiming for 2,200 words per day.

And as usual, with almost all of my stories, I have a general goal to make a novella or short story and it always gets a hell of a lot larger. Hell, right now, we’re finally facing the mysterious and sinister Induction Array beneath Appleloosa Valley, which plays a major part in Chapter 3 and Chapter 4 of “This Coming Storm.”

Updates On The Way

And what about “This Coming Storm” you ask? Well, I’m happy to say that after some struggles, we’re back in the full swing of production on the scripting side of things. My work on level design continues unabated (okay, somewhat abated due to finishing Legacy of the Void), but it’s going well. I’m looking forward to actually getting to get into this myself.

Things are happening! Yay!

In addition, we’ll be soon re-releasing all of our GoE music in a newer form. Got some fun plans there too, but I don’t want to give too much away.

Finally, one last update: I have personally done the last pass on “Fallout: Equestria (The Manehattan Edition).” I know there were still some flubs and errors in Version 3 and we want to make sure that you have the best possible reading experience. As someone who’s listened to hundreds (probably thousands) of hours of audiobooks, mainly through Audible, I want us to get as close to that level of quality as possible. We should have this out in the next couple of weeks. We’ll be updating the YouTube ones automatically and we’ll be also revising our Audiobook page. I know that most of you have likely already finished, but if you’re looking for another round, we’ll have it for you.

That’s it for today. We’ll be posting our usual three chapters of Version 3 up on YouTube right now, so feel free to check them out!


-Novel Idea

Nov 122015
 

Good afternoon everyone!

First, let’s get to the exciting stuff! I’m happy to report that I’m still ahead of the game when it comes to NaNoWriMo with Gardens of Equestria: Dances of Light and Shadow. I cracked the 20,000 word mark yesterday finishing Chapter 4, Wild Magic. And no, I’m not telling you what the chapter’s about. Theorize all you want though. 🙂

 

Littlepip being Adorable by Commander Sparkle

Littlepip being Adorable by Commander Sparkle

I hope you all are thoroughly enjoying Fallout 4. I’ve seen the headlines of various reviews and they look to be utterly spectacular. I’m really looking forward to getting into it, though as I said before, I get to wait a month to do it. It’s probably for the best. Between the work still remaining on This Coming Storm & NaNoWriMo, plus the insanely busy month this will be for me, adding Fallout 4 to the mix would just make things so very much harder.

Still, I’m totally jealous of all of you playing right now.


In case you missed it, in celebration of Fallout 4’s launch, we released a work-in-progress version of the ambient score for Topaz Lake. I think Corvus once again nailed it perfectly. I’ve never had someone get my “creative vision” and run with it so well before. Then again, since I’m usually a novelist, I rarely need to work with others. Believe it or not, it’s kinda hard sometimes to get everyone on the same wavelength. But it’s something I don’t need to worry about with Corvus. He definitely gets the levels I’ve designed and pumps out music that fits not only the area, but the story as well. It’s a rare gift and one for which I am incredibly grateful.

I’m also happy to report that final level design has started again on GoE. With the utter chaos of the last few weeks, I’ve had to focus my attention elsewhere, but last night I nearly finished the lighting for the Rock Farm’s Sector 2: Administration, a unique level where players will get to discover just what happened at the Rock Farm when the megaspells began to rain from the sky.

Here’s a little secret too: much more of the history and legacy of the Rock Farm is revealed within Dances of Light and Shadow. As you know, the Rock Farm is central to GoE: This Coming Storm and Appleloosa Valley in particular. I’m very glad that I get to expand on the lore of the facility within this story as Littlepip and her companions delve into the depths of the secret Steelstone Security Facility and beyond. In fact, you’ll actually get to see some of the areas featured in Dances of Light and Shadow within This Coming Storm.

But what I’m most looking forward to is the next level. Sector 3 is the central hub of the Rock Farm’s research and development facilities. While satellite facilities existed in the Western Complex beyond Topaz Lake (and below Topaz Lake as well), all military research was conducted in this massive lab. Dominated by an immense MAS-designed power core, this vertically-designed level will feature many of the weapons and armor unique to GoE including those we’ve featured in Smuggler’s Run. Trust me, this place will blow your mind as to the sheer scale. It’s one of the areas that we’ve kept the screenshots under wraps for the most part, having only small tight-view pictures so you can walk into this place and get the full power of the combined efforts of the MAS and MWT.

As for Smuggler’s Run, we’re planning on a massive update to Smuggler’s Run at the launch of GoE (and a minor update with several bugfixes in early December). Smuggler’s Run will actually be an integral part of GoE: This Coming Storm and we plan to set up an installer to make sure you have the current version. I should note that the This Coming Storm version of Smuggler’s Run will likely remove most or all weapons available in the preview mod and place them in their appropriate locations within the Rock Farm. We haven’t decided for sure yet, but we want these weapons to be completely unique.

That’s all for us today, save for the mandatory and promised update to the YouTube version of the Fallout: Equestria (The Manehattan Edition) audiobook.


Please note that we probably won’t have updates for the next two weeks. I personally have a special training I’m attending and of course the week after is Thanksgiving Weekend (I think). But we’ll update for the last week of November. I’ll also be redoing some of the music slides. For some reason, YouTube has made all the preview images super-grainy and I don’t know why. I’ll figure it out though. And I need to keep you appraised as to what’s going on with NaNoWriMo!

Have a great day and stay safe out there!

 

-Novel Idea

Oct 222015
 

Good afternoon everypony!

 

I’m sorry to say that I don’t have anything quite as exciting as two new Environment Preview Trailers this week. After all, we can’t show you everything we have in store. That would make us a big old surprise-ruiner (See “The One Where Pinkie Pie Knows.”) To be honest, I’m at about 50% of Pinkie Pie crazy with some of the secrets we have in store. Seriously, it’ll blow your mind. To the best of my knowledge, many of the things we’re doing have never been done before!

As an aside, can I just say that I was happy about a zany Pinkie Pie episode? I’m still trying to recover from the emotional roller coast of “Crusaders of the Lost Mark.” Seriously, the CMC won Season 5 hands down.

Anyway, all this crazy new stuff is also why it’s taking so dang long! But we want this to be done right, so we’re going to do it right. Don’t worry, GoE 2 for Fallout 4 will still happen. The expected launch date of the Creation Kit is next year anyway. So we have plenty of time before the modders start reassembling Boston.

Speaking of which, if you have a good Ponified name for Boston, let’s hear it. Because I got nothin’.

So first thing’s first. If you haven’t seen the new Environment Preview Trailers, shame on you! But that’s okay because you can rectify that error right now!

So we don’t have a lot to share at the moment. We’ve had a bit of a hiatus lately while many of us have been dealing with a great deal of real life stuff (myself included). However, I’m very happy to say that it looks like some folks who needed some time away are coming back. And I don’t know if I mentioned this before, but we have a new major player on the team!

It’s none other than Cranky4, the creator of “My Little Pony: New Vegas is Magic!” Seriously, I’m psyched to have him on the team. I remember when I first saw his mod my response was “Hey?! Why can’t we have that guy!?” And then he applied. It was fate. ^^

Okay, now I know I haven’t been great at the whole three a week audiobook thing on YouTube and I’d like to apologize. Believe it or not, it’s harder to put together than it looks. It’s also somewhat time consuming. But we’re fixing that now! So have three!

 




 That’s all for this week folks. Have a wonderful day and stay safe out there!

-Novel Idea

Oct 152015
 

Hello everypony! Novel Idea here with a very special update for you and some really cool new treats that we’ve been saving just for today.

First thing’s first though. I’m sorry to say that we will not be able to release Gardens of Equestria: This Coming Storm before the launch of Fallout 4.

As to why, let me start by saying the launch date annoucement of Fallout 4 caught us somewhat off-guard. We were expecting Q1 2016 or something similar. Suddenly we found ourselves in a time crunch. The Directors took a long look at the project and decided that we would split things apart. This was the beginning of GoE: This Coming Storm and GoE: Racing Apotheosis.

We didn’t want to focus everything on Fallout 4 as we already had an enormous amount of work already invested in the Fallout: New Vegas GoE experience. It was work that couldn’t transfer to Fallout 4.

Now we could have just taken everything we had, thrown some random enemies in there for you to shoot and just call it a day. But we promised you a story-driven experience and we wanted to honor that.

Now, a few weeks before the launch of Fallout 4, we wanted to show you what we’ve been working on for all these months.

So today, I’m very happy to reveal to you not one, but two Environment Preview Trailers! Set to the score of our in-house master of musics, Corvus, you’ll get to see a lot more than screenshots. We have a full ten minutes of previews of just some of the levels you’ll be exploring and fighting through in “This Coming Storm.”

But wait, there’s more! In Trailer 1, we’re covering the Appleloosa Valley Entrance, the Overlook, Topaz Lake, New Appleloosa and the Primm Basement. In Trailer 2, you’ll be seeing Stable 16 and the Rock Farm exterior along with the Rock Farm Sector 0 and Sector 1. Please note that all of these levels are works-in-progress so there are a few hiccups here and there.

 

 

These are only about half the levels we have in store for you! We still have the lower levels of the Rock Farm, all of Stable 207 and the Gateway Research Facility. We are structually done on about 95% of all levels and we’ve created the scripting for the prologue and the first three chapters. We’ve also got a fair amount of recording done for our characters.

While we’re not at a point when we can pin down an exact release date for you yet, we will let you know as soon as we have something.

If you like what you see, feel free to drop us a line at our here on our website, Nexus Mods with our preview mod, Smuggler’s Run, Twitter or on YouTube.

We’re also always looking for more talent. If this looks like something you want to be a part of, head on over to our Recruitment Page and let us know!

Next week we’ll be getting up the next few chapters of the “Fallout: Equestria (The Manehattan Edition)” audiobook as well. We will also be releasing our fourth and final edit of the audiobook in the near future.

Until next week, stay safe out there!

-Novel Idea