Sep 102015
 

So yeah, that fourth wall isn’t likely to be fixed anytime soon.

Don’t worry folks, we’re working every day on making “This Coming Storm” a reality. Wolfie has recently moved to focusing on scripting while I fine-tune the various levels and make sure they’re up to snuff for your gaming enjoyment.

But a bigger deal is what happened this weekend. It was my very first Pony convention at EquestriaLA and I was joined by Polyphonic, along with several other friends from work.

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Now, I’ve already set this up on various different forums, but this needs to happen here as well.

Several really awesome things happened there, including the first meeting between the original creator of MLP Bonnie Zacherle and the creator of MLP G4, Lauren Faust. It was actually really touching. In addition, we had the live performance of Michelle Creber, BlackGryp0n and Baasik, plus the pretty intense “A Night With Discord” where John de Lancie spoke about how poetry helped him learn to read in the sixth grade (yes, you read that right) and shared some of his insights into it.

However, there was one event that still dominates as something immensely powerful for the community, the show and the creator of it all.

During “An Interview with Lauren Faust” hosted by none other than MA Larson (a regular writer on MLP and (I believe) the current Story Editor), we got to glimpse into the minds of two folks who were instrumental in the creation of the MLP we’ve come to know and love. It was a very enlightening introspective as to the origins of MLP:FiM.

As you may or may not know, Lauren Faust left the show during Season 2 after some pretty heavy creative differences (the details of which aren’t explicitly known).

During the interview, a difficult question was asked…that no one expected: “What is your impression of the brony’s impression of you?”

Lauren paused for a time, hesitating quite a bit and then in a quiet voice…well, I’m going to just copy a few excerpts from the EqD article for you.

After pausing, Lauren told the crowd that she was going to be honest. She feels that she isn’t missed. She feels that no one can tell the difference between what she worked on, and when she was gone. She feels that all the work she did was for nothing.

This utterly shocked the crowd. People could not believe what they were hearing (MA Larson said himself that when she said that during a lunch a few weeks ago, it blew his mind). They didn’t know how to respond…until one person said the words everyone was thinking: “We love you, Lauren!”

Larson as well as the entire crowd disagreed. The crowd erupted into cheering and applause for Lauren, prompting another standing ovation for the Queen of our excellent show. Her name was chanted for minutes and Lauren had to cover her face and hide [a bit behind the table]. When everything quieted down, Larson asked if Lauren believed the crowd. Lauren retracted her statement, admitting that she can’t disagree with a reception like that. She is definitely missed, and we thank her for everything she has done.

She actually took a video with her iPhone of the crowd cheering and I have a feeling she’ll be watching it a lot.

Why you ask?

Let me take another excerpt:

“How do you get mentally geared for your next project when you feel your last one was lightning in a bottle?”

 Lauren admitted that it’s hard. She thought that things went south for her for a while and that everything that happened was her fault. She thought she wasn’t good enough. She thought that if she was better, that she wouldn’t have to leave. These chaotic emotions only followed her when she moved onto other projects. She second-guessed herself more, and still does to this day. She is still worried, and feels that MLP can never be replicated. It took her a long time to move on from pony, and it’s still hard for her to continue especially since Super Best Friends didn’t work out, but her upcoming Medusa project shows promise.

Lauren is an artist. She does what she does because she loves art and creating. She feels that sometimes, what she considers to be profitable isn’t agreed upon by others. She attaches herself to her work so much, that it sets her up for heartbreak if something happens. She still considers herself to be struggling, since she has been having trouble with confidence. “It’s hard to be creative when you aren’t confident,” she says.

Now, let me be honest. I know what it’s like to question if you mattered or not. It’s something I struggle with on a daily basis, be it as a writer, thinking about the things I did when I worked for Apple or throwing myself into the role of Creative Director for Gardens of Equestria. I know how painful and debilitating doubt can be. It’s something I think every creative person faces.

I hope that moment helped Lauren to face her future with more confidence. I’m proud to have been part of that moment. But as with many things, memory can fade with time. So Equestria Daily is starting something special and I want the GoE community to participate. 

http://www.equestriadaily.com/2015/09/the-ultimate-lauren-faust-appreciation.html

Lauren Faust opened up quite a bit during her panel at EQLA. If you haven’t caught up on that yet, you can find the full summary over here. Many of wondered how things are going four years after her departure from the show, and to be honest I was hoping it would be a bit more bright.

At the end of the day, none of us would be here if it wasn’t for her. When Hasbro pitched that G4 pony thing her way all those years ago, she took what could have just been another toy commercial cash grab, and transformed it into what is essentially one of those most industry changing cartoons of the last few years. Everyone out there wants a piece of what pony did. From the world and characters, to the quality that brought us all in early and kept us here until now, the foundation of Friendship is Magic really is something special.

So, what can you do to show your support and appreciation? The fandom is talented in just about every sector, so lets open it up!

If you can draw, write, craft, or anything else, it’s time to do it! If you can’t do any of that, just spreading the word to those that might not follow EQD anymore would help. Lets make this epic!

For some folks, this may just be a fun hobby. For others, it may have changed your life. There are people out there who have met at Pony conventions, got married and now have kids of their own watching the show. We’ve heard stories of the uplifting nature of MLP helping people with depression, alcoholism (there was even a panel on that during EquestriaLA) and a lot more. We’ve seen amazing contributions and amazing successes, such as the outpouring of support for Michael Morones. This community is unlike anything I’ve ever seen.

It all started with Lauren Faust. While others may be carrying the torch now, I think it’s only fair that we respect the one who lit the fire. We need to help her realize that she is a beloved part of this community.

So in the next few weeks, take some time and think about what MLP has done in your life. Not sure how to participate? Let’s take a page from EqD!

Writers:

Write a letter for Lauren Faust! We will collect them all into the celebration post.

Artists:

Draw the legendary Fausticorn, or anything else you’d like to tribute to her. I don’t think she’d be disappointed with some mane 6 either!

 Musicians:

She created Equestria. Celebrate that! Or celebrate whatever other aspect you’d like.

Video Makers:

The video side of pony is pretty vast. SFM has a Fausticorn, PMV’s can probably snag a vector or two. It’s up to you here!

Crafters:

Customs, plushies, papercraft, whatever you do, do it for Faust!

 Everyone else:

Spread the word! The more submissions we get the better. Hit your old brony groups or close friends.

The deadline will be October 1st  at 11:59 PM PST

But I encourage all of you to think about this. We’re all creative people. We value creativity. And we’ve likely all had a time in our life where we’ve doubted if what we’ve contributed mattered. This is a chance to help show someone that they do matter. Because all of us need that voice in the darkness.

And who better to help than the one who taught us that friendship is magic? (Sorry, couldn’t resist).

One final thing for you folks…

Oddly enough, there was only one Fallout: Equestria cosplay of Blackjack. I was rather surprised there were no Littlepips. That’s okay, I got a gorgeous print of a recent bit of Littlepip artwork for my desk.

Fair warning: this goes so far beyond the fourth wall I don’t even know what dimension we’re in.

BJ & Fluff

Don’t ask. I don’t have a clue.

We’re also putting up Chapter 14 of the Fallout: Equestria (The Manehattan Project) audiobook today. We’ll have more ready for you next week!

Until next week folks!

-Novel Idea

Aug 032015
 

[Sorry about the confusion folks, but it appears the interwebs ate our last post!]

Calling all musicians! We at the Manehattan Project are currently in development of a story driven Fallout: New Vegas mod the Gardens of Equestria, and are now accepting music submissions for our in game radio station! If you’ve ever wanted to hear your music featured in a video game setting, now could be your chance! 

My name is Corvus, and I’m the Music and Audio Director for the Manehattan Project. For the past few months, I’ve had my hands full composing soundtrack music for GoE. Attached to this blogpost will be a rough work in progress example of some of the soundtrack music that will be played in-game.

Traditionally, the radio stations in the Fallout games have been limited to a handful of period songs that repeat over and over. We’re hoping to break out of this style. We want all sorts of musical styles, new and old, to be represented in GoE! Be it rock, hip hop, jazz, country, or even electronica, we want it represented on our radio station! Submissions can, but are not required to be pony related. If you’re interested in submitting music to us, send an email addressed to Corvus to manehattanrecruitment@gmail.com with either an attachment or link to 1-3 candidates.

You can find a current listing of all featured Gardens of Equestria: This Coming Storm Music by following this link here. 

Jul 232015
 

—From the Desk of Novel Idea—

[[WARNING: FOURTH WALL BREACH DETECTED]]

You’ll have to excuse the broken fourth wall. I’ve spent all week slaving away on GoE.com V2.0 and have not gotten nearly amount of sleep I should have, so I haven’t gotten to fixing it. But today, all that effort has finally born fruit.

Fillies and colts, welcome to Gardens of Equestria Version 2.0!

This day has been months in the works. I’ve designed an all-new series of special logos, artwork and much more for this new site. But there are a couple things you should know.

First of all, we flipped the switch on this new site around midnight last night. As such, there’s a system called DNS servers (which you may or may not be familiar with) that are occasionally kicking folks back to the old site. If you see the old design, just click the back button or try again later. Any of these issues should be resolved by Saturday.

Second, there’s still a bit of fine-tuning left in the site, specifically on the graphics on the new Locations page. Don’t worry, I’ll be fixing that within the next day or two.

But most importantly, if you’re interested in seeing what’s next for GoE and the Manehattan Project and want to keep appraised of what’s going on, head over to our brand-new forums and register! Drop by the general discussion page and introduce yourself!

While I’ve posted in the forums about our new features, I’ll also give you them right here!

We’re just getting started here, so mind the dust. Please, take a look around and don’t be shy.

Here’s some of the highlights of the new features of our revised website:

That’s right folks, we’re also releasing the MP3 version of Fallout: Equestria (The Manehattan Edition) today along with the first three parts of Fallout: Equestria on YouTube!

So keep a close eye on things. Because we’ve got much more in store!

We also have a lot more announcements, including some new team member and some final casting decisions. But we’ll be exploring that next week. If you’re interested in getting to know a little bit more about the folks behind The Manehattan Project, check out our staff page!

-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 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