Two freaking years

As of today, the Fallout Equestria RPG project is officially two years old.

It’s been a long time, and you’re still bearing with us… sadly, even though I wanted to have something ready for today, we’re not quite there yet. At first, I was planning on issuing a demo based on the beginning of the game. But with the latest changes made to the engine and game editing tool, making levels has become such a trivial task that I have changed my mind.

The demo will actually feature a completely different level. This way, not only the demo won’t contain any spoilers, but it’ll also be a completely stand-alone story. I can’t tell how much time of gameplay there’ll be, but it should definitely be more than your average demo.

As for the release date, I wouldn’t want to make a promise that we wouldn’t be able to full fill in time (even though we’ve been very much on schedule lately), so I’m not going to say anything too precise… it’s definitely going to be less than half a year, that’s for sure 😉 !

In the meantime, since you’re not getting any piece of game right now, let me at least show you some of the progresses we’ve made:

 

Our very first stable !
getting-there

A bit of fresh air in the wasteland:getting-there-07

Our recently re-vamped character editor !
getting-threre-04

And a wider look at the stable !
getting-there-03(if you wish to see it more closely, you’ll have to wait for the game 🙂 !)

Two years ago, the Fallout Equestria community was already pretty huge and successful. We had an insane amount of fanfiction, gorgeous drawings everywhere, but no videogames whatsoever. After having consumed so much of the community’s work, I had to give something back. And this simply looked liked the best thing to do: provide an RPG Maker equivalent to the Fallout Equestria community, along with the first videogame featuring the Equestrian wasteland.

It’s been long, and remaining loyal to the project hasn’t always been the obvious choice. The port to Windows was a hard blow… it could very well have killed the project. After the rise of Overmare Studio (former Equestria Softwork), making a Fallout Equestria themed mod for Fallout 3: it looked like our project had a lot less reasons to be at that point, even though two games is always better than one !
But then, Panda3D released a complete package for their next 1.9.0 version, containing all the changes we needed to get the game to work on Windows. If they didn’t do it when they did it, the project might’ve ended up abandoned. But they did: if there’s such a thing as destiny, then it obviously wants us to succeed.

And succeed we will. The game looks good, the gameplay gets richer everyday, and the interfaces are more usable and transparent than ever. We’re getting more pumped up than ever, and we hope you’ll get to see just how much work we’ve put into this very soon !

Hang in there, it’s coming !

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30 comments on “Two freaking years

  1. Insomniac says:

    Wow, has it really been that long? It’s looking pretty good and now I’m even more exited to play the finished game. Thanks for the update.

  2. Shangeilion says:

    Looking forward to this! Keep on the good works mates, many people are counting on you! Already 2 years, and many more to come!

  3. DevouringOne says:

    This is going to be the greatest of top-down games i have seen in a long time, plus I kinda missed the original fallout combat system. Quick question, when the demo comes out will the editor also come out?

    • Michael says:

      Good question. That’ll depend on how much behind (or not) we are on our schedule. My aim is to get both of them to release at the same time, but I also don’t want to release a Game Editor to the public if there isn’t a proper manual for it. Not that it’s hard to use, but there are definitely a few concepts that will need explanation, especially for people not used to level design in 3D.

  4. J Harton says:

    Wow. That really is a long time. I’d love to see anything I can actually play even if it’s just a small portion of, say, Stable 2 to walk around in with some items (guns are nice, although I’d understand if it was just a basic security pistol) and a few npcs to talk to.

    @Michael
    A good manual would be pretty awesome, but I think it’d be fine if it just covered the basics of how to use the interfaces. Improvement is always a possibility. It might be worth doing some kindof beta of the demo and get maybe 10-20 people to test it out (game + editor) and give you their input on playability, usability and where the manual (in whatever state it is by then) needs to be expanded (made more in depth, etc). It’d be really cool if you could get some of the people who wrote the fanfics in on doing some work/working with you guys on reproducing a place/item/character from each of their works as advertisement or something.

    I don’t know which of you does modeling, but have you tried making an alicorn model yet?

    • Michael says:

      I’m not really doing any character modeling (best I can do with my skills is morphing existing models), and for now we’re short on winged characters: alicorns aren’t there yet.

      At the beginning of the project, I was also thinking of working with fanfics writers to reproduce places from popular fics… but the harsh reality is that we’re very limited on models, so the process of deciding how things should look like will have to be heavily linked to what models we have at our disposal. Which makes it hard to find a balance between how a fanfic writer would want us to make a city, and how we can actually represent it. The simplest way of making cities is probably letting the guy who models it decide how it’ll look.

      It was you I believe, who suggested we find a way to encourage artists to get donations in exchange for providing us with art. There’s a lot of planing to do for that, but I think this is the method we’ll use to implement the most iconic places of the equestrian wasteland in our game. More intel on that process will come when we’ll release the demo.

      On the playtesting and documentation reviewing:

      I was planning on having at least another person work with me on the editor’s documentation… if I did it alone, I would probably miss a lot of things that I think are obvious only because I’ve worked on this so long.
      If you’re willing to provide some feedback on this, send me an email from the recruitment form, and I’ll remember to keep you up to date with that. And I’ll get you accesses to the early builds of the demo (which aren’t there yet, but I’m working on it).

  5. Jon says:

    Would the demo and/or final game be playable on Ubuntu or other flavors of linux?

    • Michael says:

      Yes, most likely only 64 bit though. Same goes for Windows. I’ll take care of Ubuntu, Archlinux, and probably Fedora. Compiling from the source is also an option.

      • J Harton says:

        For curiosity’s sake, is there any particular reason for that (the 64 bit limitation)? Is it a library compatibility issue or something else?

      • Michael says:

        It seems to be a library compatibility issue, but it shouldn’t be: Panda3D works with both 32 and 64bit. During the first steps of the project, we had compatibility with both archs… but few months ago I realized all the 32bit builds crashed, on both Windows and Linux. At first, I figured something was wrong with the project. However I quickly noticed that the bugs causing the crashes were reproducible even with very simple snippets of code: I shared these on the Panda3D forum, but these snippets of code worked for everyone else.

        If the Panda3D build from these people don’t reproduce these bugs, then it seems reasonable that if these people were to build the game, they would end up with a working build, instead of the broken builds that I end up with.

        I made a topic on Panda3D’s forum with a lot of details, and my own theory about what’s happening, though it didn’t get any attention:
        https://www.panda3d.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=12&t=16621
        Long story short, if you can build Panda3D in 32bit, and run this piece of code without having it crash, then you should be able to make a 32bit build of the project that should work:

        C++“`

        #include <panda3d/pandaFramework.h>
        #include <panda3d/collisionNode.h>
        #include <panda3d/collisionRay.h>

        void CollisionSolidTest()
        {
        PT(CollisionNode) node = new CollisionNode(“collision-node”);
        PT(CollisionRay) ray = new CollisionRay();

        node->add_solid(ray); // If this line doesn’t crash, you’re good to go.
        }

        int main(int ac, char** av)
        {
        PandaFramework framework;

        framework.open_framework(ac, av);
        CollisionSolidTest();
        return (0);
        }

        (should compile with: “g++ main.cpp -L/usr/lib/panda3d -lp3framework -lpanda -lpandaexpress -lp3dtool -lp3dtoolconfig -lpthread”, provided that you have Panda3D installed)

        So, long story short (again), theoretically the game and game editor can work on 32bit. But as long as this snippet of code will only work on 64bit archs for me, I won’t be able to ship it for 32bit archs.

  6. DevouringOne says:

    I know this may come off as rude but, any progress? or at least assurance that this project hasn’t died, id like to play a turn-based FO:E.

    • J Harton says:

      I wouldn’t mind any update on how it’s going either, but I do know that there were changes made to the code around the beginning of July. If you go to the Google Project link on the top right hand side of the page and, once there, click the source tab and the the changes tab/link. you can see the committed changes.

      I think, if it’s still going after two years, that you can safely assume it hasn’t died. As far as I know, it’s been pretty slow going though. I keep thinking I’ll try to compile it myself, but I don’t have visual studio installed on my computer yet.

    • Michael says:

      Rest assured, the project is still alive. I have very little time to work on it though… they say french workers do 35h a week, but that’s only legally true: we’re paid for 35 hours… I personally work at least 45h a week, sometimes more. That leaves me with 3 hours a day for everything else, and let me tell you, between all the chores, that’s pretty tight.
      I’m still getting some work done on the week-ends, or when my week isn’t as busy as usual… lately I’ve been insanely busy. But hopefully that won’t last too long.

  7. JadeCriminal says:

    Aw hey yes. Glad to hear you are keeping up the good work.

  8. J Harton says:

    No changes since September? 😦

  9. Shangeilion says:

    No updates.. Hope it’s still alive!

  10. DevouringOne says:

    Well, author hasn’t said anything in a really long time, anyone taking bets to what happened?
    My bet is his computer broke or something like that.

    • Michael says:

      Not quite. I’ve been tricked by my school, and it turns out my last year was for nothing. So I’m doing another year. At first it wasn’t so bad, though I had to negotiate a part-time contract with my employer…

      Then, all of my employer’s developers quit, except me. Lots of stress, lots of work, from monday to wednesday, I get up at 8am, go to work, and get back home at 11pm. From thursday to saturday, I have the school from 9am to 7pm… and I’m about to fail school *again* (something my employer doesn’t even want to think about).

      It’s so stressful that there are times I can barely sleep at night, and I end up getting sick from times to times (which hadn’t happened to me since childhood).

      What am I supposed to do ? Quit my day job and lose the salary ? Give up the graduation and lose the future money ? Keep it up and lose what’s left of my health ? Make a bag and go live as a vagabond ?

      Anyhow, I can’t afford to move the project forward right now. I would love for someone to take the lead in my stead, but I don’t see that happening.

      I’m doing my best to keep it moving, at least a little bit… it hasn’t moved since November though… we don’t even have a complete scenario, not even for the demo… we are so late… I have no idea when or even if this project will continue. I’m very sorry about that… just another one of the many things killing me from inside right now.

      • J Harton says:

        Ouch, sorry to hear that. Hope your situation improves. It’s hard to say without more information, but is there any reason you can’t take a leave of absence from school? You’d want to be sure that full-time work is an option first and that you’ll be able to pick up where you left off, but if doing classes too means failing those classes you’re probably better off just taking a break from school. If you lose your health (so to speak) then neither of the others will really matter all that much. That is, being unwell will hamper your success both at work and at school.

        Is there any reason not to release a demo of sorts that is just the ability to walk around between a few rooms and interact with the stuff in them or is not to that degree of completeness yet?

      • DevouringOne says:

        Don’t worry about it, im just glad we didn’t get something like “we lost all of the data for the game due to a computer failing and have to start all over”. In my inexperienced opinion, if the job is the one you want to stick with for a long time, then do it, but if it isn’t and you have the money for the school then drop the job and pick up a new job after you graduate

      • DevouringOne says:

        Ooh, also the other guy’s advice is good. If either the college or the job will grant you the ability to come back after finishing with the other, then by all means take it

  11. Herman says:

    So… it this dead? Why not join up with OverMare Studios?

  12. Tutis75 says:

    A year and a half later from the last comment, I was wondering what the situation of this project was. I understand being busy, and things taking a while, but a quick update would be appreciated. An FO:E RPG is a brilliant idea, and I’d love to see something come out of this.

  13. Good man. Just stumbling around and it would always sadden me to see a game given up on.

  14. xL1PEx says:

    So… How’s it going? Hope your situation has improved.

  15. _L1pE_ says:

    So, how’s it going? I hope your situation has improved.

  16. BigDaddySlim says:

    Hey, everything going alright that happened last year?

  17. ITS NOW 2016, YOU STARTED IN 2012, IF YOU STOPED WORKING ON IT THEN LET US KNOW

    • Michael says:

      I’d very much ilke not to stop working on this… it’s been on hold for a while now. I have a proper game engine, but I have no models outside of the Stable ones, and nearly no animations, and no scenario either. So really, I have nothing to work with.
      I’m also not a student anymore, and I don’t have all the time I used to have for myself when I started the project…
      We were two people, working on the technical side, and interface design, and both our works are pretty much done. I do not know how to go on from there. There was a lot of enthusiasm towards this project, and I was hoping in the long time that we’ve been preparing it, the people we needed would show up. Many showed up, many that we needed, but none that could help us with models or animation.

      So this is in a hiatus now. If I get enough time, I might continue working on a demo (not a very good one, given that we only have one not-even-completely functional pony model, and that’s it).

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