May 262016
 

Happy Thursday everypony!

Novel Idea here, as usual, with your weekly Manehattan Update!

Things are going pretty well over here. We’re finally starting to fill some of these positions we needed, though we’re still looking for a few more artists. If you’re interested in helping out, head over to our Recruitment Page!

I’m happy to announce that we’ve also submitted “This Coming Storm” and “GoE: This Coming Storm Main Theme” to the Ponyville Live radio network. So if you listen to that great selection of stations, you might just be hearing us in the near future! We’ve also updated our Soundcloud page with the Main Theme and new Album Art for both songs, both of which can be downloaded there.

But today is about art of another kind. Namely, the vocal kind!

During GoE’s conception, I came across a companion mod for Fallout: New Vegas that featured the Wasteland Five and Homage. It was great to see these characters, but I realized quickly they just weren’t working for me. First of all, they didn’t have any custom dialogue and that just bugged me (I found out that there was a very good reason for it as the framework the mod used to build the companions made it nearly impossible to have custom dialogue). And then there was the voice thing. While Skyrim had the mod that allowed original characters to act as if they’re speaking even without a voice actor, New Vegas (to the best of my knowledge) never got that ability.

So when it came time to do GoE, I was absolutely determined to have every single character fully voiced by good voice actors that could do these characters we’ve come to know and love justice.

Thankfully, through the magic of friendship (and networking), that’s actually happened. We’re still deep into recording the 80,000 lines of dialogue contained with “This Coming Storm,” but we’re doing very well.

However, I’ve made a grave error. You see, I haven’t handled any of the Voice Actor stuff! In fact, I hadn’t even met some of them (virtually, of course). Everything went through our Vocal Director!

This, of course, was completely unacceptable. These people are working tirelessly to create the characters you’ll fight alongside and against in your quest to save two worlds.

You’ll be hearing Calamity’s twang as you ask him to help you with repairs, Littlepip’s anger when you find you’ve been played, Velvet’s impatience when she finds that you’ve been using Wasteland drugs and Homage’s teasing when she speaks about Littlepip. Watcher will be there, trying desperately to explain what’s going on. DJ-PON3 will be belting out that iconic voice over the radio. Silver Bell will be eager to sell you stuff in Absolutely Everything and the Enclave officers are more than happy to tell you exactly what’s going to happen to you if you oppose them.

So, without further ado, it’s time to reveal the full cast list of Gardens of Equestria: This Coming Storm! We’ve actually opened a brand-new page where you can find out all about these amazingly talented people. But let’s just dive right in!

Gardens of Equestria: This Coming Storm Voice Cast

Yuni – Littlepip & Eagle Eye

I found out about this project from Corvus, he thought that I would be a good fit for LilPip. Him and I actually met on my only other voice acting experience. That was a small role where I played a kitty in an animation.

Tyro – Calamity & Cloud Hunt

I found the project from a Reddit post after the previous Calamity had to suddenly vacate the position. I sent in some test files from previous things I had recorded and the voice director at the time sent me back a picture of Rarity gasping. Which I think was a good thing.

I have no real prior VO experience save for little things I have recorded for fun, but I have a nice microphone and I’m eager to try more. I wasn’t expecting the ‘more’ to be one of the main voices players will be hearing throughout the course of the mod! I’m nervous, but excited to see where things go.

I’m mainly a roleplayer and fic-writer, though I haven’t written anything in a while. I came to the MLP fandom just before season 2 of the current generation aired, though only discovered FoE once a friend of mine started writing his own things based on the story.

Polyphonic – Velvet Remedy, Candi & Rain Check

Polyphonic has voice acted since 2001, became a fan of Fallout with the release of Fallout 3 in 2008, and has been with the My Little Pony fandom through thick and thin since the first time she saw Rescue at Midnight Castle in 1987. She’s an avid modder, having worked on mods for Fallout 3, Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, and World of Warcraft. She’s also one of the few MLP fans she knows who DOESN’T hate Equestria Girls, and has been enjoying Fallout 4 quite a bit.

Strange Fiction – Steelhooves, Professor Fairweather & Render

Strange Fiction has been acting in theater for over eight years, his more notable parts including Sir Toby Belch in William Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night and Luther Billis in Rodgers and Hammerstein’s South Pacific. He’s also done some background work in the film industry, including the TV show Manhattan and the movie Independence Day: Resurgence. Gardens of Equestria is his first voice work, and he hopes he did the amazing characters justice.

Mirage – Homage & Doctor Flagbearer

My name is Georgiana, I’m 19. I’m studying forensics and criminology, which takes up a lot of time. 

I first found the project when the demo was released on the nexus, and thought I’d have a closer look. 

When I saw that voice actresses were wanted I thought it couldn’t hurt to apply, as I’d actually always wanted to be an actress, before realising that, sadly, science is a more viable career. 

This is actually my first voice acting role, and I was very excited when I got the parts of Homage and Dr. Flagbearer. 

Blue Nova (Creative Asset Director) – Watcher & Gemstone

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

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

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

Corvus (Music & Audio Director) – DJ-PON3 & Blackhoof

Howdy! I’m Corvus, music lover and devoted fan of the Equestrian wasteland. I’m the type of fella who takes a bit of comfort in knowing that no matter how hard I try, I’ll never make anything that sounds as perfect as a thunderstorm. But that certainly won’t keep me from tryin’! Anyway, I feel honored to have the opportunity with my many projects to get to have a say in what the Equestrian wasteland sounds like. That’s about all I have for now, expect to hear a lot more from me soon!

Red Kat (QA Lead) – Silver Bell

Formerly an Executive Producer and the Technical Director of the Manehattan Project, the demands of real life forced Red Kat to take a step back from the project. We are delighted to have her back as a consultant, which generally means bothering her whenever we can’t figure something out. She has also recently taken charge of our newly formed QA Team.

Red Starr – Railright & Colonel Vanquish

I’m 24 year old college student working on my masters degree. I heard about the project through a friend who saw the opening for Calamity, and I sent in an audition. I’ve provided voice work for a few short videos during college, but I haven’t really voiced anything for the fandom outside of info videos on the animation channel I’m part of.

Zedachyia Aturr – Crane & Major Squall

My name is Zedachyia, I’ve been an aspiring voice actor for what feels like ages now. Sadly, I’ve got no practical experience with voice acting. But hopefully the Gardens project changes all that.

I found the Gardens project through Novel Idea’s open casting call on Reddit, and was lucky enough to be selected. When I’m not mucking about in the voice world, I play video games, listen to music, or run or participate in pathfinder games.

Somnus – Midnight Storm

I’m an engineer by trade. I participated in theater back in high school and loved it, but this is my first voice acting gig. I found the project through Orion.

Inkblot – Gail

Inkblot is age 32, a therapist, and found the project via a friend. Her favorite pony is the inimitable Rarity.

Grizwald – Redeye

[Pinkie Pie, you bring that bio right back here! Excuse me folks. I need to chase a pony *Runs off*]

Novel Idea (Executive Producer) – Script Legacy, Doctor Master & Bob the Deathclaw

You all know me and what I do here. For the most part at least. So it seemed only fitting that I voice the mad scientist Doctor Master. I’m also the poor beleaguered Script Legacy, who you heard in our very first teaser trailer. I did the chapter titles, quotes and footnotes, as well as the intro and outro for the Fallout: Equestria (Manehattan Edition) audiobook project. However, these were the first times I’ve ever voiced anything, so this is yet another new skill to work on. Don’t worry, I’m still working plenty hard on all the other stuff.

Finally, if you made it this far (kudos to you), I’ll give you a little treat: I’m working on something potentially very big. I’ve already cleared the first major hurdle and I’m now waiting for a response on the second one. After that, we’ve got a big announcement for you…maybe a chance to get a much more personal look at GoE! 😉

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

-NI

May 192016
 

Good afternoon folks!

Novel Idea here with your regular Thursday update. Because it’s awesome. And you know you love it.

Now technically, I have some new art I could show you. But instead, I want to keep that under our hats a bit longer. Don’t worry, there’s a very good reason for it. And I promise you’ll like it. A lot.

But now, we’ve got a member who just joined this morning. Actually, he accepted the position while I was writing this post! Serendipity, anyone? I’m happy to introduce Ebon Quill, who will be joining The Manehattan Project as a Worldbuilding Writer!

Worldbuilding Writers are a critical part of our storytelling team. While I may have written all the story script and dialogue, I simply can’t write everything. These brave souls fill that enormous gap. They will be writing the terminal entries, notes and scraps that breathe life into the backstory and world of Gardens of Equestria.

Ebon Quill: A humble luminist who has stumbled into working on a project that blends two of his favorite things. He is working on terminal entries, and will provide nothing less than his best. He has been writing non-professionally for years, and has been involved in all manner of geekdom forever. He’s always available to talk, so drop him a line!

I realized it’s been a while since we’ve done a recruitment post! While we have an utterly amazing team of artists, modelers, writers and scripters, we’re always on the lookout for more talent. So I want to highlight a few of the positions where we could use some help!

  • Artists: We’re always looking for more artists. It’s my hope to create posters for every single poster or image that Kkat described in Fallout: Equestria and a whole lot more, not only for GoE 1 for Fallout: New Vegas, but for GoE 2 for Fallout 4 as well! Art is the one thing where we simply can’t have enough!
  • Scripters: Scripts are the lifeblood of any game and GoE is no different. Every quest, every encounter and even every conversation is controlled by scripts. We’ve got some amazing talent in the scripting department, but we could always use some more help here. If you have any programming experience and have some familiarity with the GECK, we’d love to have you.
  • PR Director: Yeah, I know. I’ve been asking for this for about a year or so. I know it’s a pipe dream, but if you want some experience doing public relations (such as this post!) for Manehattan, please let us know!
  • New Position – Web Director: We’ve got some concepts for a major overhaul for the GoE site, but I simply don’t have the time to do it on my own. If you have experience with CSS, HTML and other elements of website design, please contact us for further details.

If you’re interested in any of these roles or think you might be able to contribute in another way, please head over to our newly-revamped Development Team Recruitment Center!

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

-Novel Idea

May 122016
 

Good afternoon folks.

Novel Idea here. I’ve got something a little different in store for you today. As you all know, last week was our One Year Anniversary Celebration. There are actually a couple things we still have in the works for that but weren’t quite ready and still aren’t as of yet, but when they are, you’ll know. Oh boy, you’ll know.

Originally, this post was going to be about some art stuff, but I’ve decided to change things up. You see, last night, I happened to have just finished Fallout: Equestria Pinkeyes. Yes, yes, I know all of you read that like years ago. But I’m just now getting into the FiMFiction world in the last couple of months. I hadn’t.

So, this post is going to be some reflections about the concept of Fallout: Equestria including complete and total spoilers for Pinkeyes. So if you haven’t read Pinkeyes, stop reading this instant. Seriously. Bugger off and read the damn story. Then come back.

However, if this isn’t your cup of tea, don’t worry, we’ll have more GoE-focused stuff for you next week.


It’s no secret that Kkat, the original author of Fallout: Equestria, is quite the fan of Babylon 5, a science fiction series by J. Michael Straczynski (Or JMS). It’s also no secret that I am as well. Babylon 5 is my favorite science fiction series of all time. Kkat has spoken at length about the influence of Babylon 5 on Fallout: Equestria in blogs, so I won’t go into depth.

The reason I’m bringing this up is because of one of the very last lines of Babylon 5’s penultimate finale, “Sleeping in Light.” Narrated by Susan Ivanova (played by Claudia Christian), it is a wonderful summary of the enormous story arc of Babylon 5 without spoiling anything.

Babylon 5 was the last of the Babylon stations.
There would never be another.
It changed the future, and it changed us.
It taught us that we have to create the future or others will do it for us.
It showed us that we have to care for one another because if we don’t, who will? And that true strength sometimes comes from the most unlikely places.
Mostly, though, I think it gave us hope that there can always be new beginnings.
Even for people like us.

When one reads Fallout: Equestria, its clear that these thoughts and ideals echo strongly throughout the arc of Littlepip’s life. But more than anything I’ve always believed that the true message of Fallout: Equestria is summed up in those last two lines:

Mostly, though, I think it gave us hope that there can always be new beginnings.
Even for people like us.

Fallout: Equestria is about hope. Hope in a better tomorrow. That tomorrow will be a better day. That tomorrow will be a new beginning. There’s a reason Nicholas Dominique’s fantastic music number inspired by Littlepip is named Hope (and a reason we used it for the GoE Teaser Trailer). There’s a reason that the final lines of the Epilogue are Applejack and Steelhooves’s song and that song ends like this:

“For I know tomorrow will be a better day.
Yes, I believe tomorrow can be a better day…”

If you’ve read Fallout: Equestria, I’m sure you can see the same thing. I don’t need to prove this to you.

I’ve read a few stories set in the Fallout: Equestria universe now. Some didn’t end with this message. Some I think were poisoned by the Wasteland. Some…just wanted to go in another direction. And you walk away with the story feeling wronged somewhat.

And then? Some managed to hit that note of hope with such perfection that the experience becomes a masterpiece.

763676__safe_solo_oc_magic_cloud_fallout+equestria_rock_saddle+bag_mountain_road

Fallout Equestria: Pinkeyes is one such tale.

If you happened to have come across any of my commentaries I’ve been putting up on FiMFiction, you should know that I tend to get deeply into stories. Events within stories that I’m emotionally invested in can be like a buck to the face (with radishes). Mass Effect was like this for me. Frankly, the end of Mass Effect 3 had me reeling for weeks, a complete emotional wreck.

Well, as I finished Pinkeyes last night, I’m still dealing with that. That’s one of the reasons for this post, because it’s a way to help me work it out.

The ending of Pinkeyes is simply beautiful. It is a rare thing for a ending to hit such a perfect chord with me. Yes, bawled my eyes out, but they weren’t ones of sadness. They were tears of joy.

puppysmiles_by_vector_brony-d7vfipe

We’ve all seen the “feels” meme. Personally, I think the reason it’s a meme is because people are trying to “hide” from the idea of showing their emotions. This is especially big in the male aspect of the community, because though we’re bucking the social norms by accepting MLP as part of our lives, we still often struggle with the concepts of how a male should act, one of which is being stoic and ‘strong.’ (The opposite idea that females are overly emotional is just as flawed, by the way).

I don’t like that meme. I am deeply and profoundly impacted emotionally by the stories I experience in fiction, be it in movies, television shows, video games or books. I cry at the end of ‘Sleeping in Light,’ so much so that I have to mentally prepare myself for the series finale. “Crusaders of the Lost Mark,” where the CMC finally get their marks after five years…yeah, I tend to cry for half the damn episode.

But back to Pinkeyes. Pinkeyes ends with the classic “gathering of heroes,” something I’ve always enjoyed. Where the allies and friends of the hero come together for the grand finale. We see this in Spike’s Cave near the end of Fallout: Equestria. Project Horizons had two of these events, I think. But because of Pinkeyes’s much smaller scope, this felt so much intimate. We only had a handful of ponies ready to face the darkness that stood at the end of the road, following a tiny spot of color and joy.

I didn’t know what to expect when I got to the ending. Who would live and who would die? I’ve seen endings where it felt like the author just decided to whack off characters at random. I kinda feel like the end of Harry Potter was a bit like that and I would almost accuse Sanderson of the same thing in the second Mistborn novel. But every fall meant something. Each was addressed and the best part was that in the end…it actually didn’t matter. Because we found out where they were all going.

Believe it or not, I had managed to avoid all spoilers for the story. Henri’s act of “saving” Puppy was fantastic and surprising…but even more so because shortly afterwards we learn the truth of why she did it. More importantly, she learned why she did it. Because she cared way more than she even thought she did. And it took a ghost to get that through her skull.

When Henri found that box, seriously, the tears wouldn’t stop. And when she finally got through to Puppy…yeah. It was a thing of beauty. The emotional sucker punch was the “sister” bit at the very end of the scene there. That just opened the floodgates. Hell, I can’t even think of that scene without tearing up. Even the last line at the end of Chapter 20 before the Afterword…every time I read it, I still tear up.

But the most gorgeous part of the story was the Afterword. Watcher’s short little story telling the tale of Puppy, what he thought she meant to the people of the 52 (something I wholeheartedly agree with)…and then the airship scene. I remember being rather confused as to what was going on until it finally sunk in.

It’s rare for stories to end with a perfect “happily ever after.” Even though Pinkeyes never used that trite cliché, that’s exactly what we got. We got Shower and Gauss together again (I’m a romantic. Sush.)…but those who have read it know how it ends.

It ends with a better day. It ends with a perfect day. It ends with a perfect day that will never end.

I’ve only seen one other author handle the death of the main character in such an expert way and that was Brandon Sanderson, where I can walk away from the story sad but still overflowing with joy.

(And can I just take an aside and say I did a total SQUEE SQUEE SQUEE moment at Trigger Happy’s line: “Am I still in time to say that I love you too?” That whole arc was awesome! Shut up. I’m said I was a romantic!)

863781__safe_solo_oc_oc+only_fallout+equestria_artist-colon-jetwave_oc-colon-puppysmiles

So enough about tears. What does this have to do with hope?

Puppysmiles was a living avatar of hope. Like Watcher said, she was a picture into what Equestria had been and what we know Equestria would eventually be again. In her, we saw the hope for the future even while shining a light on everything that had been lost. Littlepip became a beacon of hope that ponies could get past the poison of the Wasteland and actually bind together to make a difference.

Littlepip screwed up a lot. She made a ton of mistakes. That’s one of the things that made her relatable. Puppysmiles approached everything with pure innocence and a wonderful childlike ability to ignore the harsh realities of life and find every single bright spot out there. That’s what made her lovable.

They were both inspirations. They both gave those around them hope for a better tomorrow.

In our world, we’re constantly bombarded by horrors and atrocities. Terrorist attacks, natural disasters, wars, fear, death and suffering. If you watch the news, it can be easy to start to believe we live in a world of hatred, not too dissimilar from the attitudes of those living in the Equestrian Wasteland. Yes, I know there are plenty of differences. But there are some striking similarities.

But here’s the thing: stories like this show us that we can be better. We can do better than what we’re doing now. It won’t be easy. In fact, it’ll be damn hard. And this side of heaven, there will always be a darkness around us. There will always be a “Creepy Voice” in our heads, offering the lie of rest while they take over and force you to give into the darkness. While we may not try to rule the world, there’s a piece of us that wants return hatred with hatred or even worse, to stop caring entirely.

It’s natural, but it’s also wrong.

Call me foolishly optimistic if you’d like, but one of the things that attracts me to MLP is the idea that love and friendship are actual forces, as powerful as gravity. They are in this world as well, if people choose to believe in them.

If they find hope that tomorrow can be a better day.

In the end, hope is the most powerful of motivators. Hope for love, hope for friendship, hope for kindness, hope for peace and even hope for eternity.

We all need hope. Without it, the darkness will overwhelm us. But with it, we can get to the end of the road. We can fight the good fight. We can finish the race.

After all, “…these three remain: faith, hope and love.” (1 Cor 13:13) And while the greatest of these may be love, hope is still there.

To be honest, I’m not quite sure how to end this. More than anything, if you have read Fallout: Equestria, Fallout: Equestria – Pinkeyes is simply a must read. And I do intend to find some way to weave at least pieces of Pinkeyes into the storyline of GoE 2. Maybe Trigger Happy and Jammed Gun might make an appearance. 😉

So here are a few links.

First of all, Zemming & Djazz did an excellent job with the .EPUB version of Pinkeyes. You can check it out here.

If you’re looking for the original article, head on over to FiMFiction’s page.

So, I think I’ll end this simply, with a round of applause for another epic masterpiece created by this amazing fandom, penned by mimezinga.

Well done. Well done, indeed.

May 052016
 

Good day fillies and gentlecolts!

Well, it’s here. It’s actually here. The one year anniversary of Gardens of Equestria. Now, I know there’s a lot we’re putting out today, so I won’t wax nostalgic or anything here.

No, this post is about something very special. It’s something I mentioned back at the end of last year as a random Crazy Idea (™) that popped into my head. There was some mixed reviews on the idea. Some thought it was brilliant. Some thought it was unnecessary. In the end, only time will tell.

So I’m happy to announce the launch of The Manehattan Network, Phase 1.

First and foremost, let me start by saying that this is an experiment. It might work out, it might not. It might change dramatically from this very basic beginning. It might stay the same. I’m not entirely sure.

But what I am sure about is that those who work in modding for MLP need a home base. We need a spot where we can talk about our various MLP mods, collaborate and just relax. We also need a database to know where these all are! While the Nexus now has the ability to sort by MLP-related mods (a much welcomed feature!), there’s still not a dedicated home for us modders.

In addition, please note that these are not only for Fallout: Equestria-themed modsThis is for any pony-related mod of any kind!

So at present, I’m opening up a new subforum here at the Gardens of Equestria Forums dedicated to the Manehattan Network. (http://gardensofequestria.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?fid=21)

Let me outline the objectives and expectations:

  1. Mod Authors are responsible for their own mod listings.
  2. Mod Authors only need to provide the game (when applicable), a short synopsis of the mod and a link to where the mod is hosted.
  3. Each Mod gets their own thread.

In other words, all you need to do is register for an account here at the GoE forums, head over to either one of the dedicated Game Subforums (Currently Fallout 3, Fallout: New Vegas, Skyrim & Fallout 4, plus an assorted section) and post your mod!

I’ve already posted Smuggler’s Run on the FO:NV Thread.

Now, there is going to be one rule here. No adult-themed mods of any kind. If you want to do that, go over to Lover’s Lab.

This may seem fairly simple, but like I said, this is just Phase 1. I want to see how many people are interested in a thing like this before we devote any serious time to this project.

If you’re interested, head on over to our brand-new subforum for the Manehattan Network and get posting! Or maybe you’re just looking for some new mods to try out!

Apr 212016
 

Happy Thursday everypony!

Novel Idea here with your usual Manehattan Update. As promised, we have the next two new music trailers. Though the Smuggler’s Run Theme remains firmly ensconced at the top of my favorites list, he definitely knocked it out of the park with both of these pieces. The best part about working with Corvus is that I can give him this really abstract idea of what I’m looking for in level music (or just show him what I have done for the level itself) and he can just whip up music that matches it more perfectly than I imagined.

Stable 16 is inspired by the ill-fated Stable 24 in Fallout: Equestria with one very specific difference: there’s much more than just monsters in the depths of this Stable. I wanted haunting, eerie music where you were sure something was about to jump out at you…because it will…oh it will. I remember when I first walked through the level in-game after my first design pass. Hell, it creeped me out and I designed the damn thing! Corvus nailed it. So if you haven’t heard it, hit the link below to check out the new music trailer for Stable 16!

Next we have the worldspace music for Appleloosa Valley itself. You’ll be hearing this a lot as you wander through the expanse of Appleloosa Valley, journeying to Stable 16, New Appleloosa, Topaz Lake, the Rock Farm and more. I wanted something that gave a feel of fresh wide-open spaces, a place where you still have that frontier feel that New Appleloosa gave you, but a bit wider. I wanted something that felt a bit like Firefly’s frontier worlds. The Wasteland is here, but it isn’t in the soil. Remember, Appleloosa Valley was never hit by a megaspell through the protection of the Rock Farm’s defense grid and the unexpected help from the nearby Lucky 38. We also wanted something a bit more iconic and memorable than the basic New Vegas Wasteland theme, but wouldn’t be too distracting from the gameplay. (It’s a hard balance). But now, sit back and relax and listen to the wonderful strumming of the Appleloosa Valley theme.

That’s all for this week folks, nice and short. Next week, you’ll be getting the last two of the musical score trailers.

But did you know that the week after that is the one year anniversary of the Manehattan Project? That’s right. On May 7, 2015, we unveiled Gardens of Equestria to the world with a full website, a remastered edition of Fallout: Equestria audiobook (the only complete version of the audiobook available at the time) and the GoE Teaser Trailer.

Wow…it’s hard to believe we’ve come so far since then.

So on May 5, 2016, we’re going to have some really cool and really special for you. A few really cool somethings to celebrate this special anniversary. It’ll blow your mind. Hell, another cool idea just came to me as I was writing this and we’ll be doing that too!

You’ll definitely want to be here on May 5. Because it’s going to be awesome.

Apr 142016
 

Happy Thursday everypony!

Sorry about the last couple weeks. We’ve been hard at work on a multitude of projects, but some of them are secrets and some of them aren’t quite ready enough to show you. After all, we only want to provide the best for you!

It’s in that vein that I am so very proud to present to you the latest in our series of trailers and the beginning of our music relaunch!

Now, I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but in Fallout: New Vegas, the music tends to be on the subtle side. In fact, in many places, it’s barely noticeable at all. Thankfully, Fallout 4 has taken a different approach (My favorite in-game music has to be the one in the Switchboard and the Railroad HQ) and that’s the approach we want. Music is an integral component of any gaming experience. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again…some of the best gaming experiences I’ve ever had were to epic scores. Such as my all-time favorite, the finale to Mass Effect 2.

But we wanted to give you a better picture of just where you’ll be hearing this music in GoE. So we’ve designed a new series of trailers highlighting some of the awesome areas awaiting you in This Coming Storm. Blue Nova, our Creative Asset Director, took charge and created some cool subtle visualizer effects to the Manehattan Shield along with setting up the slideshow. Exterior shots were done with the help of the wonderful Nevada Skies mod (which we strongly recommend no matter what!).

Music, as always, is by our incomparable and irreplaceable Music & Audio Director, Corvus. Level design and trailer design is by Novel Idea.

Now let’s get to it already!

Don’t worry, we’ve got more on the way! We’ll be releasing two of these a week for the new couple of weeks. After that, you’ll get a special preview of the enormous Overmare’s Quarters of Stable 207, a massive living space for you and all your companions (and the second player home in GoE!)

Not only that, but we may have something even cooler for you either next week or the week after. A special treat. But it’s a surprise, so I can’t tell you more. 😉

That’s it for this week folks! Have an awesome day and we’ll see you next week!

-NI

Mar 242016
 

Good Thursday to you all!

Novel Idea here with your weekly GoE update! Today, we’ve got something special. While we’re keeping a vast majority of the immense Rock Farm under wraps until launch, I’ve decided that you should get to see one particular part of it…the Security Redoubt 43-A, better known as the Rock Farm Security Bunker!

The command center of Security Redoubt 43-A

The command center of Security Redoubt 43-A

Each major MWT installation had some sort of security bunker on or near the premises. These Redoubts were designed as a command and control point for Equestria’s military forces if one of the Princesses or Ministry Mares was caught in one of the facilities during a major crisis. Sadly, none of these individuals were at a MWT facility when the bombs fell. As such, bunkers such as the one in the Rock Farm remained uninhabited. While many of these places fell into disrepair as their associated facilities failed, the Rock Farm was unique. 43-A remained in fully operational status, though the communication lines, which were designed to go through the unfinished Stable 207 nearby, were never connected into Equestria’s military network.

Bunker Primary Access 1

Bunker Primary Access 1

As with all MWT Redoubts, the Security Bunker is outfitted with some of the most advanced technology developed at the Rock Farm, including a small dormitory, CO’s quarters, a dining mess and storage facilities.

Bunker Dorm 2

Bunker Dormitory

CO's Quarters

Bunker CO Quarters

Due to the Rock Farm’s liaison work with the Ministry of Peace, the Bunker was also outfitted with the powerful Autonomous Healing Booth Mark III and a fully stocked medical bay. This healing booth not only can entirely heal a body of radiation and crippling injuries, but even had the full cosmetic subroutines unlocked for reasons that are still not entirely clear.

Bunker Med Bay Interior

Autonomous Healing Booth Mark III

Bunker Med Supplies

Healing Potions and Other Medical Supplies

Bunker Med Bay Supplies 2

Medical Supplies II

Finally, no security bunker would be complete without a fully outfitted armory, complete with an Exchange Terminal tied directly into the Rock Farm’s arcano-tech fabrication grid. Through this device, anyone using the bunker will be able to buy and sell items as they would with any vendor.*

*(Please note that the MWT is aware of the current flaw in the Exchange Terminals that allows for bottlecaps to be used instead of requisition tokens. Exchange Terminal Mark IIs will rectify this design oversight. Any personnel found using bottlecaps instead of the proper currency will be required to pay the full amount in addition to a week’s pay. Repeated offenses may result in further disciplinary action up to and including termination and/or military sanction.)

Rock Farm Exchange Terminal

Bunker Armory Interior

Unique Armor & Weapons Developed at the Rock Farm

Bunker Armory 2

Ammunition Supplies

Now that the tour is complete, let me tell you why I’m showing this to you! As you likely may have guessed, this is indeed one of two player housing locations available to you in GoE: This Coming Storm! Both the Security Redoubt 43-A and Stable 207 will be available as player homes. The Security Redoubt will also include a teleportation matrix talisman, allowing the player to return there at any time. From here, you’ll also be able to explore most of the Rock Farm if you happened to miss something inside. You’ll also find powerful upgrades for all of your companions within, provided as the spoils of war for helping end the threat located deep with the Maneframe Nexus of the Rock Farm, as well as special equipment for you and you alone.

Bunker War Room 2

C&C II

Bunker Inter-Sector Teleporter

Inter-Sector Teleporter into the Rock Farm

Surface Access Bay 1

Surface Access Bay

Two last things. The first you may have missed above…but we now have healing potions in-game! That’s right! The mysterious changes have even swept through the medical supplies of the wasteland, turning all stimpacks into the familiar glowing healing potion we’ve come to know and love! (The Super Stimpacks haven’t yet changed…but rumor is that they will…)

Healing Potions

Now with a special strawberry and carrot taste!

And finally, some of you may notice a couple things. First of all, why does the Bunker look so different from the rest of the Rock Farm? Secondly, doesn’t the War Room look somewhat familiar? Well, all Security Redoubts were built with the same general design schematics, while each of the associated facilities were designed to the needs of the facility. So it’s not unusual for a Security Redoubt to have a different design aesthetic.

But you likely know the real reason.

The original bridge of the EHS Nimbus

The bridge of the EHS Nimbus from the original storyline of Gardens of Equestria

That’s right folks…the reason the War Room looks so familiar is that it is indeed the bridge of the EHS Nimbus, back before GoE became GoE: This Coming Storm. I was very sad when this epic mission and epic ship got cut for time, so I decided that it needed to live on in some way. And considering how this was originally designed as the Enclave command center from Fallout 3, the idea just fell into place! So the Nimbus lives on in GoE, though in an underground, non-Enclave way…though the whole non-Enclave thing will change the moment you step outside of the Bunker!

A few other things to check out: we now have the Ministry of Peace and Steel Ranger Recruitment posters live and in the game, along with a brand-new MWT Master Control Console. We’ve also designed a MoP Master Control Console and are in the process of creating a MAS variant as well. (Bonus points if you can find the little “easter egg” in the MWT Control Console. 😉 )

That’s it for this week folks. I hope you’ve enjoyed your preview at the Security Redoubt 43-A…the Rock Farm Security Bunker, your rewarding for fighting through the harrowing depths of Installation 043 and making it through to the other side. But don’t worry, there’s still much more to come.

So we’ll see you next week!

-Novel Idea

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

Mar 102016
 

Happy Thursday everypony!

Novel here with something a little different for you. A few of you have asked when you’ll get to see GoE and I know everyone’s wondering.

QA Team Recruitment Center v2

Well, guess what? We’re looking for folks to help us test the game!

Now, before we go any further, let me tell you a secret. All those commercials about how testing video games is playing video games all day? (Especially the one where the stunning woman walks in with drinks for two guys on a couch. *Facehoof*) Those ones from Westwood, DeVry or Full Sail or other groups? They’re all flat out lying.

Game testing is a very detailed and methodical trade. It requires attention to detail, consistency and excellent communication skills. We’re looking for folks with that mentality. People who might be interested in going into professional video game QA at some point. This is a great way to get some real experience in the field. We happen to have some folks on the team with professional QA experience, so we’re happy to help start you on the right path.

So here’s the plan! If you’re interested in joining The Manehattan Project’s QA Team, head on over to our brand new QA Recruitment Page. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • A legitimate copy of Fallout: New Vegas
  • A legitimate copy of the Fallout: New Vegas DLC: Old World Blues

There’s a bit more to it, but we’ve left that on the new QA Recruitment Page. 

How we’re starting everyone off is by doing some QA on our already-existing mod, Smuggler’s Run. While you may have already downloaded and played it, there’s going to be a special QA version that we’ll release specifically to those who are interested in joining this subteam. It’ll be ready by tomorrow.

After the Smuggler’s Run “test,” we’ll move you into the position as a full member of the QA Team. At this phase, we’re doing environment exploration testing. All those cool spots you got to see in the Environmental Preview trailers? We want you to check them out. Go over them with a fine tooth comb. Are they cool? Did you like them? Did you get lost? Was it too easy? Did you find any blasted floating trees (floating trees are the bane of my existence…me and anyone else who’s ever done a worldspace)?

So if you’re interested in helping us out, let us know!

Finally, don’t forget that we’re on the home stretch for the Fallout: Equestria (Manehattan Edition) audiobook YouTube release! In just a few days, we’ll have the entire book up on YouTube! Celebrations! Joy! Delight! Squee! So if you’ve never read or listened to Fallout: Equestria (and if you’re reading this, seriously, what’s your excuse?), now’s the perfect time! You’ll find the current playlist below.

That’s it for this week folks. We look forward to chatting with all of you who are interested in helping test out GoE and making it 20% Cooler! (Oh shut up. It had to be done).

-Novel

Feb 272016
 

What is this madness? A Manehattan Project post on a SATURDAY?! Has the world gone nuts?! It’s a sign o’ the apocalypse, I tells ya. Run fer ya life!

Or you could stick around for something fun.

So, as a little side project that I may have mentioned in Thursday’s post, I decided a while back to create a full eBook version of Fallout: Equestria Project Horizons for my own use. I couldn’t read it in Google Docs due to the same injury which ended up resulting in me listening to Fallout: Equestria in the first place (and starting all this madness). Well, back then, the book was only complete to Chapter 73 or 74. I don’t remember quite which one.

Well, I realized that no one had ever done a complete version of the ebook and decided that needed to be rectified.

So I’m happy to present (with Somber’s blessing, I might add), Fallout: Equestria Project Horizons (Immersive Edition).

Yeah, I know, I have a thing for creating special editions of Fallout books. Sush.

But this one’s special. Because a lot of fine tuning went into this (yup, the adage, “Do it right, do it with style” is still in effect).

So here’s a list of the changes:

  1. For better story flow, all author and editor notes have been moved to their own section under Appendices.
  2. Links to YouTube songs have been verified and cleaned and should operate effectively.
  3. Minor edits were also made to the formatting of the chapter quotes, footnotes and content warnings for consistency.
  4. Content warnings are now verified links that will skip the relevant section to the next “safe” point.
  5. Most section, memory orb and other styles of intra-chapter breaks have been cleaned and fixed to allow for a consistent reading experience. Note: This may add additional spacing in places depending on your reading device.
  6. New vertical cover design. Original Cover Art by Sw1tchbl4de, Fallout: Equestria Project Horizons Logo by ArtisticMink. Modified and adapted by Novel Idea.
  7. Combined Chapter 62 Parts 1 & 2. (Left Chapter 75 as two separate parts)
  8. Custom Table of Contents.

Please note that this is not a spelling, grammar or content edit. This is a format edit only. There also may be a few odd intra-chapter breaks that got missed. I literally skimmed the entire book to do this.

It took a lot of work, including actually digging into the XML that eBooks are built from (Scrivener was awesome for the compilation, but it couldn’t do links or the fine-tuning I wanted). Yeah, I had to get that specific, especially to get the consistent intra-chapter breaks.

Okay folks, enough yappin’. You want a giant 1.5 million word monster of a book? You got it!

Fallout: Equestria – Project Horizons (Immersive Edition) by Somber

FOE Project Horizons Vertical eBook Cover - NI

Enjoy folks! Just as a little present to add a bit more Fallout to your life. 😉

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

-Novel Idea

Addition: A few folks have requested a PDF version of the file. Not sure why, because the ePub is a lot smaller and easier to work with. I used a simple online conversion program to do it and I’ve noticed there’s a few errors, but the links for the Table of Contents and the Content Warnings work. If you want that version, you can find it here.