Midnight Sentry Ep 1. – Hijacked

Midnight Sentry Ep. 1 – Hijacked is available now on YouTube and most podcast platforms!

Rook finds himself stranded on the ESS Antigone as it receives some armed, unexpected visitors. With the help of his AI, Luna, he manages to get a signal sent out using the Antigone’s SPOOC system, simultaneously alerting the visitors to his existence.

We’re also so excited to share the results of Module 2 – Empty Magazine. (Module 1 results will be shared very soon!) The events of this episode of Midnight Sentry are heavily impacted by those results. Thank you so much for all of your submissions! The next module is scheduled to be released on Wednesday, November 3rd.

A Little Messy: 24%

A Loose Signal: 24%

A Single Flash: 12%

A Gaping Hole: 41%

Operation: Empty Magazine | Midnight Sentry Module 2

Welcome to Operation: Empty Magazine.

You are a special forces operative, and head of your team. As the head of your team, it is your responsibility to make all of the calls for your team. Listen to each segment and follow the instructions to choose what path you and your team will take! At the end of the module, you will be asked to report your ending. Use the link listed in the description and let us know which ending you got! In the end, whatever ending is reported the most will become canon and will impact future stories in the Celestial Horizons universe.

Good luck and Godspeed.

Dissonant Echoes Ep. 4 – A Wild Card

Dissonant Echoes Ep. 4 – A Wild Card is available now on YouTube and most podcast platforms!

A new head of the Consular Security Division is selected. Chamenski is forced to face the consequences of his decisions. Marcan and Thirio infiltrate the CSD and attempt to gather more information about those potentially involved in Brigadier General Demetrian’s assassination. Duvall prepares for the future making plans for things that she never imagined.

As we announced recently, we will be suspending Dissonant Echoes for an unknown period of time due to production constraints, but we will be back next week with something very exciting to hold you over in the meantime. For more information, visit our previous post.

Dissonant Echoes – Special Announcement

When we at Celestial Horizons started this whole crazy idea of ours, we had no idea if anyone was even going to listen. We were blown away by the responses and participation that happened during Shattered Sleep. We grew more confident with every episode that maybe, just maybe, we might be able to eventually create what we really envisioned doing. After the success of Shattered Sleep, we created Dissonant Echoes with the following goals: 

  • Tell an engaging story larger in scope 
  • Release podcast episodes weekly instead of every other week. 
  • Simplify our production pipeline to reduce stress on our team 
  • Have deep, meaningful interaction for those that want to dive in 
  • Have interesting interaction with low levels of buy-in for those who don’t want to go all-in. 

We tried accomplished these goals by prerecording batches of episodes, with intended connection points happening once a month. However, instead of improving upon the successes of Shattered Sleep, we found this plan in Dissonant Echoes diluted what made the original work well for much of our audience. Our interaction felt disconnected, and our story was ungrounded in the actions of the audience. The structure of Dissonant Echoes required more resources in time and personnel than we have if it is going to be successful.  

After gathering lots of feedback, and after hours upon hours of meetings and discussions, we have settled upon a new plan that we really feel will take us back in the right direction. For the sake of our mental stability however, something of what we’re doing now has to give, and unfortunately that something is the Dissonant Echoes podcast. We have fallen in love with the story we have been telling with the current iteration of the podcast, so please understand how difficult of a decision this has been. We hope that eventually we will be able to come back and finish the story of these characters in some form or another, though the story of Hypatia in 2721 will continue in this next iteration. 

The Council of Eberis, comprised of members of our Patreon page, will continue to be given briefings and will continue to manage the financial crisis they are facing as well as a new problem that will be revealed soon. They will begin to receive their briefings every two weeks rather than every month. The Council will have roughly one week to vote upon a course of action, as their actions will directly affect the modules and weekly installments of a new podcast.  

On the weeks that we are not releasing a briefing for the Council, we will release episodes of the Choose-Your-Own-Adventure style modules. They will continue to be available to everyone via YouTube. Each module will have multiple potential endings, as our first one did (Operation: Valent Edge.) You will be asked to share which ending you received– whichever one is reported most will become canon. That ending will impact both the weekly podcast episodes and will be the starting place for the next module.  

Starting Wednesday October 27 for patreon supporters and Thursday, October 28 for general audiences, we will be releasing a brand-new podcast called “Midnight Sentry”. To make weekly production manageable, it will feature far fewer recurring characters and written right before we record it. It will follow an individual at the center of the conflict that our modules and council will be dealing with. Already we’re excited for all of the twists, action, and drama that will naturally come as we’re all telling this story together.   

This is only possible because we have some fantastic people who are continuing to volunteer their time and talents to help us out. We are so incredibly grateful for them and everything they are doing for us. A big thanks to all of the actors, writers, and creators who have helped us get to this point. 

This reprioritization of our production resources will allow us to generate more interactive content on a weekly basis. We will be taking what we learned from Shattered Sleep, Infinite Silence, and these first four episodes of Dissonant Echoes to make our best show yet!  

Finally, we are also so incredibly grateful to you, our audience. Thank you for your patience with us as we continue to refine this crazy project of ours! As we constantly reflect on what will make for both the best possible experience for you and for the well-being of our crew, we look forward to showing you what we’ve been working on and to seeing what you’re going to do with it! 

As you continue to brave the void, Good luck and Godspeed. 

Development Update 10/14/2021

Production Update (Nathan):

In addition to my usual production duties, this week we got a bunch of feedback from a variety of sources, and have been working through it to really improve upon what we are offering. Look for some big changes coming in the next week or so as we revisit our production pipelines, our narrative ambitions, and our interactive frameworks to make an experience that is AWESOME and sustainable given our current resources!

Research this week has included the 8th century BCE, Die Hard, Accounting, differentiation in game design, and Mechs. As heard in my meetings: “Battlestar Galactica delivers on politics AND violence AND sex. Some of those are harder to do than others in podcast form.”

Animation Update (Brianne):

This week I’ve been working on evaluating some of our long term strategies and plans. With a project as experimental as ours it’s hard to imagine what the future will hold, but we have a lot that we can learn from our past experiences on how to be better prepared for when similar situations happen again. On the animation front, I’ve been working on designing a few new ships and motion graphics for more of our upcoming content. The ships designed and built in Hypatia will have their own unique flavor compared to the ships included on the Ark that were manufactured back on Earth. Designing that new aesthetic, collecting references, and getting early feedback has been a lot of fun. I’m excited for when I get to share it with all of you!

Community Update (Christine):

Hey everyone! This week has been a busy week between real life and Celestial Horizons. As Nathan mentioned above, we’ve been gathering as much feedback as possible lately about the current layout of Dissonant Echoes. The fun part of being so experimental is that sometimes we try things and it just doesn’t work quite the way that we had envisioned it. With the feedback we’ve been getting, we’ve been working hard this week on coming up with a game plan and ideas to make things MORE interactive while still creating an interesting story. Stay tuned because a more official announcement about that is on its way! And as always, if you ever have any feedback on how we’re doing, please feel free to reach out to me (Christine) any time! We really want to make this as fun as an experience for YOU, our audience, as possible and we’re learning right along with all of you, so if there’s ever any way we can improve don’t ever hesitate to tell us! Thank you all so much for your support!

Dissonant Echoes Ep. 3 – Deadly Players

Dissonant Echoes Episode 3 – Deadly Players is available now on most podcast platforms!

As they continue their investigation and discuss what they’ve learned, Marcan and Thirio discover a potentially groundbreaking new lead. Commissioner Chamenski attempts to secretly meet with Duvall in an attempt to make allies and warn her about the danger she’s in. He’s rewarded with a phone call from Gunther reminding him exactly what he is putting at risk as he works to defy Alice.

Development Update (10/7/2021)

Production Update (Nathan):

Let me just say – it is REALLY NICE having a whole batch of episodes pre-recorded to work through – also, recording people in groups and in-person makes it significantly faster to get all of the dialogue spaced and placed appropriately – which is by far one of the most time-consuming parts of the episode editing process (and also my least-favorite.) This week I’ve been working with the writing team on getting the next batch of episodes ready, developing some fancy systems and processes for the project going forward, holding a bunch of strategy meetings, monitoring council channels and preparing for our first council Q&A session, and recording/editing our first TableTalk video! We’re super stoked for all of the things we’ve got lined up going forward.

Research this week has been in historiography, source selection, ideological power, open-world narrative design structure, authored encounter modules, and organizational management. As heard in my meetings: “engineers are like soup – you only have them around for meals when something else is horribly wrong.”

Animation Update (Brianne):

This week has been a bit more relaxed than last week. Most of my time on Celestial Horizons has been spent writing automated tests for the render farm. The project is becoming too big to test manually after code changes and guarantee that new bugs haven’t been introduced. So now I have a whole set of tests that check the whole job creation and completion process, and even that race conditions aren’t occurring when multiple workers are connected to the server. I was able to take those tests and create a gitlab pipeline as well, so I’ll have a long-term view of where certain bugs appear and tests will get run really often. I’m excited for all the work off my plate now so I can focus more on new features like a front end, or deeper docker support.