The Gathering of Embers is an event that almost nopony had ever heard of. Thankfully, learning about ended up being a worthwhile experience.

TrotMania V

Spring will be sprung. Get ready for a royal party with some medieval flare!

Category: Preview

The next iteration of TrotMania is going from a literal desert to somewhere a bit more, ahem, populated. Regardless of the setting, it’s still a party, and I intend to keep it that way. That is a goal reflected in the visual design and atmosphere for Shrive’s theme so far.

It’s fit for any high-ranking member of a royal family, for sure. As you may have noticed, we’re going in a slightly different direction for the song selector; while the jacket wheel was fun and different, we have so many iterations now (and you’re probably running these packs alongside many more simfiles you’ve obtained from other places) that going back to a more conventional list-based design would be more effective. I still managed to find a way to mix things up, however!

If you have any comments or suggestions, feel free to share them in the comments or on Discord.

 Preview, Shrive  
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The Spring Renaissance is a carnival which celebrates the impending arrival of Spring. It is more commonly-celebrated in warmer regions, mainly because they don’t have as much Winter to wrap-up as everypony else. However, the most well-known version in Amareica is held in New Oreins – a city with a heritage of settlers from Prance, and unique royal traditions that still exist to this day.

It is typically celebrated through various masquerade events organized by social groups known as Guilds, including dances, and, more prominently, parades. Despite the historical significance of many aspects of this celebration, no two ponies play it off with the same level of seriousness; many use it as an excuse for partaking in wild parties, excessive LARPing, dressing up like royals, and other mischief. But some embark on a quest for a chance to become a ceremonial Noblepony – one of the city’s most prestigious honors (besides being the honorary royal couple, of course).

The Spring Renaissance is most popular among locals, but it also attracts tourists from around the world – especially in the days leading up to its grand finale – Renaissance Day – which always falls on a Tuesday in February or March. But out of all of the questions you’re asking yourself right now, there’s one that probably sticks out the most: how did our favorite villains (and heroes) even get here?

Fillies and gentlecolts, we are going medieval.

Welcome to TrotMania V: Shrive.

I think it’s pretty obvious what this version’s theme is, especially if you realize why it was unveiled today in particular (It’s Carnival, Mardi Gras, etc.). It’s underrepresented in fandom artwork (excluding stuff marked as “Questionable” on Derpibooru; it’s clear where everyone’s real priorities are, but we hope to change that), and will give TM V a brighter and more festive atmosphere over the darkness of III and the grungier feel of IV. However, there will be notable continuity between Shrive and Euphorius; if you’ve been reading the most recent Embers Fall chapters (especially one which was posted just last night), you may have noticed that New Oreins has some representation out in Neighvada, in more ways than one.

Given our choice of terminology, this version of the event will emphasize its medieval overtones, but still feature some of the hallmarks of the real-world version. These elements have, in turn, influenced some of the most ambitious ideas we’ve ever had for TrotMania, period. With that in mind, we can’t wait to reveal all the twists and turns we have in store.

No matter how ambitious our plans are, there’s always one goal at the top of our list; to showcase the fandom’s best musical talent. We’ve been doing this since day one, version I, and we’re not slowing down just yet!

The Long Road Ahead

In real life, it would take 34 hours, driving nearly 2,230 miles, to get between the locations where IV and V were held, so there’s a long road ahead for all of us – both literally and metaphorically. Either way, TrotMania has and always will be a volunteer-driven, fan-run project, so we’re looking for new members to join our team. We have opportunities for steppers, artists, as well as musicians this time around; for more details, inquire on the TrotMania Discord channel on PonyvilleFM, or the “Join the Herd” section of the forum. We also have a song suggestion form, where you can submit music (either suggestions from others, or your own) for consideration by our team.

We do not currently have a target for when Shrive will be released, but we know for sure it will be sometime in 2018. The fandom has been experiencing a renaissance of its own, and we want you to be along with us for the ride!

On the other hoof, let’s not forget that we’re not quite done with Euphorius yet: the endgame is neigh…

 Preview, Shrive  

As it is the thing that makes TrotMania possible period, we’d like to announce that StepMania 5.1 Beta 1 has been officially released. It is designed, mainly, to be an updated version of 5.0.12 with some updates under the hood (including a new default theme, which has some subtle TrotMania DNA in a few places), as well as some insane new capabilities for those who enjoy our, ahem, experiments.

It is also backwards compatible with content designed for for 5.0.12, so the TrotMania themes will work just fine on 5.1 without any need for modifications.

The aforementioned “insane capabilities” are the ones that Trials of the Embers depend on; in other words, this is the version you will need to run them. There will still be a curated experience designed to enhance Trials, but now that we have an official 5.1 build, distributing it will now be just as easy as a Payload when its done, rather than what I originally had in mind.

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A deluge of new content!

Just a few days ago we revealed one of the key tenets of this Payload’s content, the musical episode completion. However, that’s not all that’s up our sleeve: we’ve got a whole 8 other songs waiting for you to try out!

  • Hailing from the show, we have…the show theme! Yes, the Alex S. remix has been in the series since the first installment, but now we have the actual extended version of the theme tune stepped for the game. It’s no slouch either, with a wicked little level 13 to keep you on your toes, perhaps literally!
  • We have a brand new composer making his debut in the series. Though he goes by many names, DJ Vortivask is the title he’s taken for this endeavor, a pumped-up little track called europa -THE ASCENSION-. The song is also making a dual appearance in fan project DanceDanceRevolution SuperNOVA3, with a different mix and slightly different instrumentation. This particular version has previously appeared in a step contest called the Zenius-I-vanisher Battle Royale that got our very own stepper RIME to qualify for the next round!
  • We’ve culled another remix from the fandom, this time from Spectra, making his first appearance in the TrotMania series. His remix of Friends Are Always There for You is quite the energetic one, with even a neat little piano breakdown that gives dancers a chance to both cool down and get thrown off thanks to the tempo cut!
  • Aoshi makes his TrotMania debut (under this alias; he previously appeared as “Hanna & Hiffa” on One Dark Mare) off a featured credit on SMOR3S’ song Kick Back, an aggressive trap track. This simfile was originally featured in the series PonyMania, created by step artist Calena, who is currently a part of this project. It has been adapted for TrotMania (as the original PonyMania was geared to keyboard players and thus flow had to be recalibrated, and had certain elements partial to hardcore/keyboard players like 3+ notes, jack notes, and individual mines depending on the song) and been given new graphics.
  • BLACKGRYPH0N & Baasik make another appearance in this game, and once again it’s a remix, this time by PonyFireStone, another new face to the series! Quest appeared in the last game, Aeternum Obscurum, and this remix has more of a house vibe to it, and the charts are rather varied. The level 12 is especially wicked with the jumps!
  • Seventh Element is yet another new act to the series, getting his song Shadows into the game. Once again, this hails from a contest, though not the Battle Royale: instead this was in the Zenius-I-vanisher Simfile Shuffle, a contest in which a stepper writes charts for a song provided by another member. In this case, the stepper who’s given his approval to appear in the game is ledgam3r1279 who was given this song to step by our long-time team member InklingBear (a.k.a. fractilx). These charts are relatively straightforward in their flow, but all are guaranteed to give you a nice stamina whooping!
  • Two songs from the Pyrosentric Extra Stage system are now available for play in normal modes: these are CIDR.XXX and Flutterwonder (Shroo’s Liquid D’nB Remix). They retain the unique visuals provided to them in the mode. In addition, the regular Extra Stage from the initial release, Something in the Cookies is also available for regular play! These songs still are part of their respective systems, because there’s more where they came from…

We hope you enjoy the patch when it comes out imminently!

 Euphorius, Preview  
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