Stop me if you’ve heard this one. A few animators, programmers, and musical producers walk into a bar. The bartender looks up and asks “What are you nerds up to?”. The animators, programmers, and musical producers say, “We’re going to make a fighting game based on the newly revised My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic franchise.
It might sound funny, but in May of last year, a team of 6 programmers and animators got together specifically for that purpose. They called themselves Mane6 (for several obvious reasons). The game they’re making, MLP: Fighting is Magic, is definitely no joke.
While it is still in the development stage, the game looks like a legit 2D fighter game to me, with combos, knock-ups, and 3 tiered magic system for super-moves. Each character has a unique move set (all based on the personalities, and habits, of the characters), and each has strengths and weaknesses. The backgrounds, characters, and their animations (they’re hand drawn) look like they’ve been taken straight from the show. The stage music released so far is fantastic, even sampling music from some of the show’s songs. It even looks as if they’ve lined up some good voice-actors.
I’ve never made a game, so I don’t know what is harder; creating your own game world from scratch and making it work, or making a working game out of a world already created? I imagine both have their own challenges, but ye gods, I can’t think of a game based on a television show or movie what was any good. Most of the time, major software companies can’t even get it right.
I’m an ass when it comes to fan-made games. I hate crappy stuff based on things I like. Which is why Mane6 and MLP: Fighting is Magic impresses me so. From what I’ve seen they’ve done a great job of mimicking the look and feel of the show; all while building a fighting game that looks like it will be loads of fun.
Mane6 also seems to do a pretty good job of promoting itself. Whole videos of pre-alpha demonstrations featuring several of the ponies appeared on Youtube last June, but the group has since then slowly leaked information on the game. It was only at this last weekend’s Bronycon (complete with voice actresses) in New York that the group let 800 or so attending pony fans get a peek at Rarity, and her fabulous fabric fighting style.
Rarity is the best Rose.
The game’s initial PC release will feature the six primary characters of the show, but Mane6 has promised more as DLC later. The game will be free, and is scheduled to be released “soon”, whatever that means in the independent game development world.
I haven’t been excited about a fan-made game like this since Bid for Power, which I never played (I thought it killed dead by copyright law until 10 minutes ago).