In recent times, fan game development has become a bit more difficult than usual. It’s been under fire from lawyers and internet sites, with claims going around that it’s of questionable legality. It’s seen an increase in take downs from paranoid companies (like Nintendo and Konami). And with the recent track record of projects released to classics like Mario 64 and Ocarina of Time, many developers are now looking for an alternative.
And in most cases, that means turning to indie game development. Or just rebranding their projects so they’re not based on an existing IP.
So here are some examples of this. Here are some examples of fan game creators becoming professional game developers, starting with a small company you may not have heard about yet…
Despite actually knowing the fan games they’ve developed. Why? Because the folks at Fusion Gameworks were responsible for Mushroom Kingdom Fusion, Super Mario Fusion Revival and Mega Man Day in the Limelight. Yes, that Mushroom Kingdom Fusion:
The one where Mario (and a bunch of other characters) save the multiverse from the forces of evil in an absolutely gigantic mega crossover. That was these guys’ first (and most well known) project.
Since then though, they’ve slowly gotten tired of the fan game world, eventually culminating in their recent decision to stop making them altogether. That’s in part because of Nintendo’s recent fan project shut downs, and the team deciding Super Mario Fusion Revival (their most recent project) was too risky to continue in that form.
So they quit fan game development for the time being, and are working on a bunch of indie games with a similar gameplay style to their fan projects. I can’t say more than that yet, but they do look really good none the less.
And hey, talking of crossover fan game devs, they’re not the only ones to have moved to the indie scene…
Oh no, their ‘rivals’ in crossover fan game development are doing likewise. That’s because Exploding Rabbit are the creators of a game called Super Mario Bros Crossover, and they’ve also decided to move into the realm of indie games.
They’ve done this with a game called Glitch Strikers, a 2D platformer mixing various gameplay styles from the eight bit era. This project (previously titled Super Retro Squad) was announced back in 2012 and had a successful Kickstarter campaign to go with it, raising over $50,000 from more than 1,800 backers.
Unfortunately, that’s where the story kind of goes a bit wrong. Why? Because it turned out that $50,000 isn’t really all that much in the greater scheme of things, and the title’s development eventually collapsed on itself. This was not taken well by certain people online. Nor by certain gaming blogs, who accused them of ‘spending the money on a house’ or funding it with Super Mario Bros Crossover revenue.
Still, it’s back in development now, with a new trailer:
And more updates on their official site and YouTube channel. Hopefully this revitalised attempt at making the game will work out a bit better than their first one.
Either way, onto a slightly more experienced example of fan game dev turned pro now. Why more experienced?
Well, because they’ve actually made multiple games. Two full titles in a series called Last Legacy, and without having to raise any funding for either on Kickstarter.
But this wasn’t where they started off. Oh no, they started off with some fairly well known fan game projects beforehand, and those were what they build their name on. Said projects were a Super Mario 64 demake called Super Mario Sunshine 64:
Plus a more advanced one called Super Mario 63:
Both were damn impressive works in general, and their indie works were arguably just as good. So yeah, it seems making the move from fan games to indie games can be done successfully.
Yes, this is happening:
Sega have finally added in a feature to let fans create their Sonic the Hedgehog original character. To play as in the next big Sonic adventure game.
Yeah, Sega really do know their audience now. First you had original characters on DeviantArt and Tumblr, now you get to play as them in a Sonic platformer. Can’t really say no to that!
PaRappa the Rapper and Ouendan?
Well it seems we now have the Kickstarter for it. Asking for £854,000 by June 19th, the game promises “an explosive mix of Japanese folklore and traditional artwork, hip hop and humorous battle rap face-offs inspired by the Epic Rap Battles Of History YouTube series”. In other words, a new rhythm game by the people who built the genre.
Here’s the Kickstarter video and campaign page:
As you can see, it’s certainly okay on a presentation level, and if it gets finished would likely be a decent game overall.
However, there are also a few issues here to go with it. Firstly, some may say the campaign goals are a tad ambitious. I mean, this game has 6 levels. Not 30. Not 50. Just 6.
Yeah, those are probably going to be good levels. And yes, the gameplay mechanics promised do seem interesting enough.
But for about $850,000? That seems like quite an unlikely target for a campaign like this.
And that’s saying nothing of the Nintendo Switch stretch goal. Why? Because despite the fact said system almost seems perfect for a game like this, it’s literally part of the last possible stretch goal to have this game ported to Switch. In other words, they want 5 million dollars for a Switch port.
Good luck with that guys. You’re gonna need to match Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night if you want to get close to that mark. Or raise as much as Mighty No 9 and Yooka-Laylee put together.
Quite the tall order if you ask me.
But hey, I guess we’ll just have to wait and see. This game does have star power and some decent ideas after all.
Project Rap Rabbit Campaign (Kickstarter)
Well, this is certainly an announcement we never saw coming! It’s a new game by PaRappa the Rapper creator Masaya Matsuura and Gitaroo Man creator Keiichi Yano! Here’s the teaser trailer for the title:
Plus a link to the official website. As you can see there isn’t much info there, but damn, the art and music certainly look great already. You’ve got the wacky character designs both are known for. The short bit of music on the site is as catchy as you’d expect. And well, with the game confirmed as a rhythm adventure title, it’s quite clear that it’s exactly what the fans are expecting. It’s basically gonna be like a new PaRappa the Rapper game. Or maybe a new Ouendan one.
And well, with those games being classics, no one can say no to that. Let’s hope the title ends up on Nintendo Switch at some point along the line too!
PaRappa the Rapper and Gitaroo Man creators announce Project Rap Rabbit (Gematsu)
Well it was technically leaked earlier today, but now THQ Nordic has actually revealed it for real. Here’s the first trailer showing the game in action:
So what’s the setup here you may be wondering?
Well, here’s how THQ explains the story and characters in the game:
Return to an apocalyptic planet Earth in Darksiders III, a hack-n-slash action adventure where players take on the role of FURY in her quest to hunt down and dispose of the Seven Deadly Sins. The Charred Council calls upon Fury to battle from the heights of heaven down through the depths of hell in a quest to restore humanity and prove that she is the most powerful of the Horsemen. As a mage, FURY relies on her whip and magic to restore the balance between good and evil. The expansive, Darksiders III game world is presented as an open-ended, living, free-form planet Earth that is dilapidated by war and decay, and overrun by nature. FURY will move back and forth between environments to uncover secrets while advancing the Darksiders III story.
As you can see, it’s the story of a new character called Fury as she hunts down and destroys the Seven Deadly Sins. Which is a pretty familiar premise overall. Since War and Death were the stars of the first two games…
It’s a simple, fairly safe sequel. A standard open world here. Typical art style of the series there. The odd new combat mechanic to make Fury stand out a bit. Basically, it’s Darksiders 3 as you’d expect/want Darksiders 3 to be like.
And it’s heading to the PC, PS4 and Xbox One in 2018. So hey, what do you think about it? Are you interested in this game? Or do you feel this series isn’t quite your thing?
Post your thoughts here or at Gaming Latest today!