We’re not quite done with Aternum Obscurum just yet.

By popular demand (okay, actually it was more on a whim), theme version 1.6 adds support for Battle mode. There’s a few other minor changes, but battle mode is the biggest change.

Get it on the Downloads page.

Although sometimes the future is bright, sometimes it’s, well, not so much. Due to an announcement made today, TrotMania Euphorius for StepMania 5.1 has been postponed indefinitely, so it will exclusively target StepMania 5.0.12 instead.

In other words: Due to recent complications that have impeded its development (long story), StepMania 5.1 in its current form has been postponed, and its changes are being held over to a later release which will be named StepMania 5.2. In turn, 5.1 is being revised with different and more incremental goals, and will not break existing content and themes made for StepMania 5.0.

I was planning on releasing the TMIV theme on both versions, with the versions for 5.1 alphas/betas possibly carrying a few “exclusive” features, and 5.0.x remaining an option for those who wanted to remain stable, but now that it’s been effectively postponed, we’d rather just target the stable branch. If the new 5.1 requires minor theme changes, I’ll patch for it, but I may still do a separate theme version for 5.2 once it reaches a sufficient state I didn’t make this decision on a whim, given that I was one of the first people to propose such a holdover, but now that it’s official, we’re going to follow suit.

A more important factor in this change is that TrotMania attracts many casual users who are not familiar with the nuances of different versions of SM. We just want to make something that just works, and not confuse people with inconsistent distributions that just fragment things further. The 5.0.x version of the theme is exactly the same as what was being made for 5.1, except with the 5.1-specific changes removed. It is nearly identical.

You’re not really going to miss much: the only SM5.1-specific thing we officially teased was the new options menu (which, by the way, you had to use in order to correctly implement certain things), but we did have some plans for content that, ahem, leveraged one of its bigger changes. Internal concerns over this was what one of the catalysts that led to the aforementioned long story to begin with, but we are not going to take any sides because this is a rather controversial issue. I’m not going to say what it is, however, because it’s a massive spoiler.

Blast Furnace

The deadline has been extended to December 25, 2016!

The Flames of Stone’s Throw have once again, called upon everypony to consider making a trip to its annual Gathering of Embers in the Duskgem Basin just a few hours west of Reino. It’s always an interesting event; it is held in tribute to a famous mare who helped a nearby village escape to shelter in the desert when a tyrant threatened to “bring fire” to them. It has since evolved into an annual event celebrating freedom, self-expression, survival, spirituality, and community, where the light of the flame(s) apparently brings everypony together, and a gigantic effigy representing the Tyrant is set on fire as a grand finale (their logic? Why bring fire to us when we can just bring it to him instead?). The actual tale’s a bit more long-winded, though, and there are many conspiracy theories about what really happened and why this gathering occurs. Of course, the organizers actively deny them.

Everyone else (well, especially the younger crowd), however, considers the Gathering to just be a gigantic camping party in a makeshift city in the middle of nowhere, filled with eclectic “art”, everyone dressed up like they’re going to a rave or an Enraged Equines film (or a rave during an Enraged Equines film!), live music of all kinds, and things being set on or able to blast fire, or otherwise lit up at night, because symbolism. A mare named Blast Furnace, who is the sister of the Gathering’s current leader, enjoys these misconceptions, but has been trying to help educate others on what the event is really about, and how to survive the unpredictable conditions out there. But much like everyone else, she likes a good party!

Her resources may be beneficial to somepony else, who’s dealing with a rare case of something that happened in Las Pegasus not staying in Las Pegasus…

Enough with the backstory! Get to the contest!

We’re getting closer and closer to the release of TrotMania Euphorius, which means that it’s time for the part where you get to join in on the fun! In TrotMania III, I began to build a dedicated “universe”, housing mascot characters and plot elements that justify certain design/song choices, and so on. For Euphorius, I’ve been running with the idea and taking it even further – there will be a full-on companion story to go along with Euphorius Its first chapter will be posted very soon, so stay tuned!

But now, it’s time to get to the real purpose of this post? You remember that call for OC artwork we did on TM3 for stuff to be featured in its theme (the menu graphics, the results screen backgrounds, etc.)? It was a small, but successful endeavour, so it’s only fair that we’re doing it again! This time, the rewards will be a bit more manageable: all entries will be featured somewhere in TrotMania Euphorius, and the creators of the best artwork submitted as judged by the TrotMania team will receive additional prizes (most likely free pony art from one or more people. Definitely including me, of course).

Just like last time, we need art of original characters (either existing ones if you wanna be Horse Famous™, or something new), but this time, given that we actually have a suite of TrotMania characters now too, you’re free to incorporate them as well. The Gathering is, if you haven’t figured it out yet, an homage to a real-life event known as Burning Man (much like the Summer Sun Celebration, in our universe, is a parody of EDC), and how you dress up for something like that is widely-documented (either rave-ish, or more industrial/Borderlands/Mad Max-ish, goggles and masks for sandstorms, etc.). This article can also provide some ideas on what you may need.

We prefer for the art to be done in the show/vector style, but we had a new non-show-style entries last time and we managed to make it look good regardless (you’re more likely to get into menus if its show-style). The only rigid requirement is that it has to be a transparent PNG.

Official rules

  • The art must feature either an OC of your own, one of the TrotMania characters (you can see them all here, including normal appearances, their Gathering costumes, as well as background information on them), or the PonyvilleFM mascot Aerial Soundwaves (you’ll get bonus points if you use her! Of course our affiliate’s adorable mascot has to be there somewhere!)
  • Entries must be in a transparent PNG format.
  • Art theft will not be tolerated. You may not use bases.
  • Collaborations with a second artist are allowed; if a collab wins, the prizes will be awarded to both of the contributors at once.
  • There can be one or more characters in a single artwork
  • No Alicorns allowed.
  • Keep entries appropriate and safe for work; i.e. no drug use, nothing that would warrant a Questionable tag or higher on Derpibooru, etc.
  • You may enter up to three times per person (of course, if you want to contribute additional art, you sure can! But only your first three entries will count for the contest judging)
  • By submitting art in this contest, you allow it to be used within the TrotMania project (either within posts on the site or artwork within the TrotMania Euphorius theme). You will definitely receive credit for your art, don’t worry. The whole point is that you’ll receive notoriety and be showcased here,

How to submit

Post the artwork on your preferred outlet (DA, Tumblr, etc.) and link it in the TrotMania character art thread on the forum or in a comment on this post. I will also watch the tag #denizensofduskgem on DA and Tumblr too.

Deadline

The deadline is December 25, 2016.

If you have any questions, don’t be afraid to ask! Feel free to spread the word (we can also take prize donations)!

The basin of Duskgem awaits your presence…

Consider this a sign of things to come…

Also, while I’m here, happy Halloween Nightmare Night! This is an important milestone for us because it marks the four-year anniversary of the original release of our very first pack. I never thought we would actually last this long, but we’ve come a long way since day 1. RIME has been working on remastering the songs and routines from TM1, and the improvements are night and day. Pun absolutely intended.

Oh, and Euphorius? While I’m here, I’d like to personally announce that it will contain some of the hardest charts we’ve ever included. We have a new staff member on board, and we’ve been overrun with boss songs aplenty.

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