Novel Idea here with something you have all been waiting for. I know I have. Now, I could tease and play with the information and drive you all crazy, but instead, I’ll just tell you what’s going on.
For those of you who attended Pacific PonyCon, you already got most of this information. For everypony else… it’s time for the good stuff.
We’ve got three major announcements today.
Gardens of Equestria is moving to an episodiccontentschedule. Instead of releasing the entire game at once, we’ll be releasing the game chapter-by-chapter, starting with “Gardens of Equestria – Prologue: The Watcher.”
We are currently aiming to release “Prologue: The Watcher” at the beginning of February 2017.
Today, you get to see the Opening Cinematicof Gardens of Equestria: This Coming Storm. This is the actual cinematic you’ll be seeing in-game when you play the Prologue.
So, let’s talk about what this all means, shall we?
Why episodic content? Well, the truth is, the scope of Gardens of Equestria: This Coming Storm is massive. An original worldspace, over ninety levels, four unique voiced characters, dozens of new weapons and armor and so very much more. In addition, we’re a purely volunteer project. That means wives, husbands, kids, full-time jobs, college and a thousand other things.
What that means is that because of real life, we likely wouldn’t release anything for at least two years if we went for a full production model (and that’s on the extremely optimistic side. In truth, it would probably be longer).
I don’t want to wait that long and I know you don’t either. Going episodic means you’ll actually get the content in a better timeframe. Yes, there will be delays and you won’t be able to play the whole thing in one go (unless you wait until the very end), but the important thing is you’ll be able to see what we have coming!
What this means tech-wise is that you’ll just be replacing the GoE files with the new ones!
Upcoming Prologue Release!
That’s right folks! While our guests at Pacific PonyCon 2017 got to see a live playthrough of the “The Watcher,” soon you’ll be able to adventure there yourself! Get a mysterious message from DJ-PON3 and investigate the strange events in the cliffs north of Goodsprings.
Not only that, but you’ll get the first phase of the reality distortions! New billboards, new artwork, new music, a new radio station and so much more. Now, the thing to remember is that reality itself is changing! Things will get progressively worse until you put a stop to the chaos! So there’s even more to come!
While we were originally going to launch at the end of the month, we need just a bit more time to put the finishing touches on it. After all, I run this group with a mission of “Do it right and do it with style!”
Watch for the release of Gardens of Equestria: This Coming Storm – Prologue: The Watcher in February of 2017!
The Opening Cinematic!
After dealing with a surprising new enemy in a mysterious cave, you’ll encounter a strange Spritebot. After a brief conversation, he’ll head outside to give you a rundown as to just what has been transpiring to cause these strange shifts in reality…
This cinematic will play in-game once you reach the correct moment of the Prologue, like the opening of Fallout 3, Fallout: New Vegas or Fallout: New Vegas’s DLCs!
In the coming months, we’ll have more information as to the release schedule of Chapter 1: Strangers in a Strange Land and Chapter 2: Small Advantages.
First of all, a special thanks to the staff of Pacific PonyCon for having us and hosting the very first GoE panel. It was an amazing experience for all involved. Sadly, we had a miscommunication on the Manehattan side of the team and weren’t able to record video of the panel. In addition, the audio we recorded didn’t turn out very well (though our audio team did an awesome job salvaging most of it!).
That’s okay, because in the next few months, we’ll be releasing interviews with the entire Board of Directors of The Manehattan Project!
But wait, there’s more!
We’re currently looking into doing panels for more conventions! That’s right, so if you missed us at Pacific PonyCon, you might get a chance to see us in person at another major MLP convention! Once we have confirmed venues, we’ll release more information, but we’re currently aiming for at least two more conventions with a possible third!
Interested in Doing Art or Modeling for Manehattan?
Finally, we’re doing an open call for any artists or 3D modelers who might be interested in joining our staff. We’ve got a lot of art assets slated for this game and we’re looking for new talent to help us bring Gardens of Equestria to life. If you’re interested in helping us out in art, modeling, scripting or think you can contribute to the project in another way, head over to our recruitment center and send in an application!
Remember, if you’re interested in a career in game design or a similar field, this is the perfect sort of project to have on your resume!
And that’s it for this week folks. We’ll have more for you in the coming weeks, but today I’m going to leave you with a look of the brand-new Sunset Sarsaparilla Billboard you’ll be seeing in This Coming Storm. This was designed by yours truly on Tuesday night!
That’s right folks! Today we’ve got an extra-special update.
The Manehattan Project will be hosting our first-ever convention panel at Pacific PonyCon 2017 on the weekend of January 6-8, 2017 in San Diego, California!
At the GoE Panel, you’ll get a world-exclusive first look at the Prologue of Gardens of Equestria: This Coming Storm including our brand-new cover artwork by Blue Nova, featuring music by Corvus Productions and custom voicework!
But that’s not all.
During the panel, you’ll actually get a chance to speak with four members of The Manehattan Project itself!
Polyphonic – Former Vocal Director and the Voice Actress for Velvet Remedy, Candi and more!
Novel Idea – Project Lead & Creative Director as well as author of the Wavelengths Timeline series.
Not only will you get a live demo of the Prologue including the epic opening slideshow for Gardens of Equestria: This Coming Storm, but you’ll also get to hear about the challenges of writing for a game project of such an enormous scope, the design challenges of managing a team that spans half the planet as well as the immense task of organizing a team of over twenty voice actors while performing a variety of voice acting roles!
In addition, our panel will be moderated by the one and only LiamNeighson, author and veteran of countless pony conventions across the United States as a moderator, volunteer and general pony enthusiast!
There’s still plenty of time to register as well! Head on over to Pacific PonyCon’s website today and get registered to experience this first-ever reveal! Plus, you’ll get to see MLP legends as Nicole Oliver (Celestia & Cheerilee), Tabitha St. Germain (Rarity & Luna), Kelly Sheridan (Starlight Glimmer), comic artists Sarah Richards, Tony Fleecs and illustrator Mary Bellamy, plus amazing cosplayers and more community guests!
We look forward to seeing you in January in San Diego!
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
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!
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!
I know, I know. I missed last week's normal update. Sadly, I got hammered with a cold plus allergies. Nasty little bugger. Now, originally I was going to have a bit more for you this week, but the whole team's been beset by an attack of the dreaded REAL LIFE! Blue Nova, our Art Director, is actually getting married at the end of October, (YAY!) but that means he sadly has less time available for GoE arts. As for me, I'm finishing up the LOD generation on the New and Improved Appleloosa Valley! That means Level-of-Detail, which is pretty much everything you see at a distance. All games use technology like this. It's a lot of work, but it'll turn out awesome.
But, I do have some goodies for you, including a Fallout: Equestria icon. Yes, folks. It is none other than our rendition of PINKIE PIE IS WATCHING YOU FOREVER Poster! The very first Ministry poster Littlepip comes across after leaving Stable 2!
Seriously, Blue Nova did an epic job on this. Down to the tiny print in the bottom right! How awesome is this! /squee!
But wait there's more!
As you know, we've also decided to redo all the magazines and books in Fallout: New Vegas to their proper Fallout: Equestria variants. Now, while Kkat did all of the books, our esteemed worldbuilder did not attack the magazines (because there are way too bloody many). However, Somber had 1.5 million words to play with and he did tackle the books! So we're taking a page from his book (yes, pun very much intended) with...the Canterlot Journal of Medicine!
Damn, he's good. This one will be replacing "Today's Physician." It's it just lovely?
That's the two major art reveals for this week, but I've got some non-GoE goodies to chat about.
As many of you know, I have recently embarked on a quest to prove to you all that I am indeed an author as I have claimed. And I am utterly delighted to say it looks like you folks believe me!
To those of you who have read them and fired off a like or comment, thank you kindly! If you're interested in seeing just what madness goes on in my head, feel free to check them out. I recommend starting with "Applications."
I have several more short stories/novellas planned and an enormous novel for NaNoWriMo set in this alternate timeline I'm calling the Wavelenths Timeline. You'll be hearing more about that soon.
But that's it for this week. Thanks everypony and have a great day!
Novel Idea here! I know it’s been a little while since we last had a post, but remember we’ve decided to shift to a monthly update schedule. Heck, a few of you have asked if we’re still in business!
Well, I’m happy to report we are indeed still in business and have made some serious strides with some really cool internal tools including stuff like Version Control. What that means is we’ll be able to have multiple people working on the project at the exact same time! (If it doesn’t seem like a big deal to you, you’ll need to take my word for it).
But wait! There’s more!
I’m happy to report the polishing touches upon Appleloosa Valley, our enormous worldspace you’ll be exploring in the events of This Coming Storm are almost complete. There’s still a bit left to do, but once that’s done, I hope to have some cool new Environment Trailers for you to enjoy.
Introducing Little Tinker!
Before we get to Blue Nova’s latest artistic masterpieces, I want to introduce a new member of the team. I’m very excited to welcome none other that Little Tinker to our team!
I first met Little Tinker in the Equestria Daily Contributor Skype Chat (that’s a really long name). As we were both technically-minded folks we hit it off fairly well and he has been kind enough to be a beta reader for my latest short story endeavours (which I’ll be chatting about at the end of the post).
But why should you care? Only because Little Tinker is the Sysadmin and a developer for none other than the Poniverse series of websites. The guy’s got more scripting and coding knowledge in his fetlock than I do in my entire body.
So please welcome him! I’m totally thrilled to have him on board. Now that I’ve prepped you, he’s his own introduction in his own words!
Little Tinker – Script Engineer
Charitably described as “happy-go-lucky” (but more accurately as incorrigible), Tinker failed the saving throw against Novel’s persuasion attempt and found himself added to the GoE Technical Team. While he has been known to write a line of code or two, this is his first foray into game scripting and is wondering what horrific crime he did in a past life for GECK to be his first game engine. He currently occupies his days with his duties here, and at Poniverse and Ponified Cards. Tink has no free time.
Now, let’s talk art!
It’s been a while since we’ve had new material to show you. So today, you’ve got three completely original pieces!
We’ll start with something plain ol’ fun!
Seriously, how real does this look? You’ll be seeing this all over, most notably before the secret Steelstone Security Complex! (Nova threw this together one night during our Director’s Meeting in just a few minutes. It’s epic)
A twist on the magazine first revealed by Fallout: Equestria – Project Horizons, Martial Mayhem is the Unarmed Magazine replacement for “This Coming Storm.” While Kkat did an excellent job with all the Skill Books, Somber tackled the magazines and we need to give credit where it’s due! (That being said, I wanted something a bit tamer than the original description!)
Finally, we have my favorite of the bunch. Blue Nova outdid himself with this gorgeous Ministry of Peace poster “We Must Do Better.” While it’s a bit different from the original descriptions, we wanted to reflect that classic 1930s/World War II poster style. Seriously, I just look at this and wonder what in the world I did to get such amazing artistic talent on the Manehattan Project!
A Note From Novel
So now is my little bit. I’d like to let you all know I’ve released the next story in my ongoing series which I have decided to finally dub the Wavelengths Timeline. Reasons why this name was chosen will be revealed on my FimFiction blog next week (but you guys get to know first).
Sunset hates dealing with chaos surges, no matter how amusing Moon Dancer finds them. After a particularly annoying surge while tutoring Moon Dancer in her advanced telekinetic studies, Sunset takes refuge in the teacher’s lounge. Though she was only looking for a cup of scalding hot tea, Sunset finds a pony walking down the same path she once walked, giving her an opportunity she’s never had before…
To help somepony not out of guilt, but just because it’s the right thing to do.
I’ve also written up a few more followups, if you enjoyed my previous offerings. To check them out, head over to Novel’s Nook.
Sorry about last week. Believe it or not, last Thursday I actually thought it was still Wednesday. Ever completely lose a day in a week? Seriously, I was really thrown off. Kinda scary.
So today I’ve got a little something extra for you.
Additions & Promotions!
But first, it’s time to unveil the newest member of the Manehattan Project!
BlurredTheLines – Quality Assurance Technician
Hey there, I’m BlurredTheLines, I’ve been on this ride since October 2012. When I first joined this fandom, I was so in awe of all this fan-created content that I wanted to give something back. I threw myself into a number of pursuits, determined to find something I was good at. You name it, I tried it; drawing, writing, voice acting, vector art, animation, and so on. Though I didn’t really find anything I was good at until I tried vector art, but I did acquire some skills in the process. Since then, I’m always looking for ways I can contribute to the fandom.
But wait, there’s more! We’ve also got a consultant who’s joined the team in full! None other than the one behind the original remaster of the Fallout: Equestria audiobook by Crazed Rambling!
Sonic Radboom – Audio Post-Production Engineer
I started watching MLP: FIM during S1 hiatus but at the time was simply a fan of the show. I was, at the time, still working on releasing anime for people to download and watch. it wasn’t until S2 started and I found EQD and all the amazing things the brony fandom was creating that I would finally consider myself a brony. With my newfound passion, I couldn’t just sit back and take in the epic content being generated, I needed to give something back!
I started by tweaking and adjusting my own personal collection of MLP Audiobooks, but then I started the original remaster of Fallout: Equestria by Crazed Rambling. Eventually, this was picked up by the Manehattan Project as a base for their “Manehattan Edition” of the audiobook. This led to me joining Manehattan, first as a consultant and now on staff in charge of audio post-production.
And finally, I am happy to announce a promotion on the team!
Ebon’s been hard at work going through the entire script of “This Coming Storm,” including every line of the 80,000 words of dialogue I wrote. With a long background of D&D Game Master experience and his own formidable writing chops, he’s offered to lend his considerable talents to making “This Coming Storm” the story-driven experience you deserve. The best part about Ebon is that his writing style is radically different from mine, so he’ll be able to see things I would have totally missed. In fact, I’ve already spoken to him about helping me to write the story for GoE 2!
Change in Blogging Frequency
A bit of housekeeping. Originally, I had intended to make this a weekly update and that’s slowly drifted to a bi-weekly update. However, since we’re at the point where we don’t have a great deal to show you that’s new, we’re going to be shifting to a monthly update. Less frequency, but hopefully with more content! However, I reserve the right to throw out special posts, so keep a weather eye out.
There you’ll find all manner of things, including my own latest short stories and my upcoming MLP novel, as well as my various rambling follow-ups on some of the best of FiMFiction in the world, stuff that any fan of MLP should enjoy.
Anyone who’s read Fallout: Equestria should love the Hard Reset trilogy. You’ll find my follow-up on the Nook, as well as my massive gallery of cover designs (24 authors are now using them!) and a few more random things.
I also have a new short story coming out soon as well. Don’t worry, I’m still working plenty on GoE (my refinements to Appleloosa Valley are simply massive. I’m literally created entire new mountain ranges and redone entire zones.) but writing will always remain my greatest passion.
(And Sunset Shimmer ties with Twilight for best pony. Sorry kids. It’s a fact. Accept it.)
That’s all for this week folks! Have a great day and we’ll see you soon!
I’ve got some big news for you today everypony. Seriously major news. Epic news.
I’m beyond ecstatic to announce that principal level design production is complete for Gardens of Equestria: This Coming Storm.
So I hear you asking, “What the heck does that mean?!”
Well, settle down. I’m about to tell you.
It means that the Appleloosa Valley and 70+ levels of GoE: This Coming Storm have all been structurally completed, decorated with the proper aesthetic, refined for gameplay and more. Containers have been added for weapons. Shields and forcefields are up. Massive complex machinery has been installed.
The closest analogy is when principal filming is complete for a movie. While there’s a ton of work that goes into any movie after filming is complete (audio, special effects, music, etc, etc), it’s still a major milestone. Don’t get me wrong, we’ve still got a long way to go, but this is a big deal. In celebration, we’ll be releasing a new environmental preview trailer in the coming weeks. You might even get a glimpse of some of the secret areas I haven’t revealed yet!
So get hyped people.
In fact, here are a few things to help you with your hype! Check out what’s been done already with our first two Environmental Preview Trailers!
And that leads us to part two of today’s post: recruitment!
We have immediate openings on our Technical Team for scripters. Scripters are what make the game really happen. They’re the ones who control the dialogue, the quests and the encounters. They work hand and hand in making the world of GoE real.
If you have any experience with game design (specifically Skyrim, Fallout 4, New Vegas or Fallout 3), especially with quest design, scripting, encounters or anything similar, please let us know by heading to our Recruitment Center.
We need your help folks. If you want to see GoE sooner rather than later, it’s time to pitch in and make this game!
That’s all for this week folks. See you in two weeks!
P.S. I’m also looking for beta readers (otherwise known as pre-readers) for a couple stories that don’t involve GoE or FO:E at all. If you’re interested, hit me up in the comments! Time for you folks to see that I can write. 😉
Novel here with something cool for you today. As I mentioned in our announcement for the Security Redoubt, there are actually two available player homes. Well, today, you get a peek at the second.
Now, I’m not going to show you everything. The Living Quarters for Stable 207 is huge and a bunch of screenshots just doesn’t do it justice. But I just can’t wait to show this off anymore! So let’s sit down, sit back and enjoy the ride!
As you know, Stable 207 was designed to be the Stable-Tec communications hub in the post-apocalyptic world. Hardline network connections spanned the country from the nexus point of Stable 207. It was supposed to be the origin for new civilization after the end. The catch was that it wasn’t finished in time. In fact, most of the living quarters weren’t complete. Only the Overmare’s quarters was ever completed, designed for the Overmare and her direct family members.
And since DJ-PON3 has made her living quarters far closer to the communication hub on the Stable’s main level, he’s graciously decided to grant you this as a base of operations for your heroics after saving Stable 207 from an invading army!
The Overmare’s personal quarters are massive, including a small library, dining area, bedchamber, sitting area and private bathroom. Lavishly decorated with custom imported rugs, a series of posters from some of Equestria’s greatest entertainers and a spectacular view of the immense cavern system Stable 207 was built into.
From your secluded reading spot, you can enjoy the latest copy of the Wasteland Survival Guide by Ditzy Doo in total privacy and comfort, looking out into the darkness at the dozens of varieties of glowing fungi in the caves beyond. A view unlike any other, it’s as if you’re staring into the star-scattered void of space from your own private library!
Entertainment galore awaits you in the lower level of the Living Quarters atrium. Filled with networked terminals, games and support systems, all tastefully decorated with native living plants and well-preserved post-war artwork. The atrium is the heart of the living quarters, being the gateway to every section of this amazing complex!
But what of your companions? After all, your aren’t alone in your quest to unravel the mysteries in the strange reality shifts. Don’t worry, there’s room enough for all in the Living Quarters. As fate* would have it, there are five smaller living quarters, one for each companion plus one extra, all with tailored decor, a private bath and fully furnished!
*Fate may be acting upon the design instructions of others.
The Wasteland is a dangerous place and Stable-Tec had the foresight to know that. DJ-PON3 has done his part as well, making sure that Stable 207 has a fully stocked and prepared armory. From here, you’ll be able to arm yourself for the greatest battle of your life as you fight to stop dark forces from taking control of the source of the reality distortions.
That’s it for this week folks. But I am going to tease one more thing.
There is something massive happening right now in the MLP fandom gaming community. Something that has the potential to unite all gamers, modders, game devs and everyone else. Manehattan will be there and we’ve already led the charge, but all the pieces are not in place.