» Fan Games: Bronycon and Pon-E3 Report

The past couple weeks have been getting big for developers of several of the most popular fan games based on My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. Between Bronycon and Equestria Gaming’s Pon-E3 event, there’s a lot of content that you might have missed if you couldn’t check out either event. Games like Fighting is Magic, My Little Investigations, MLP Online, and more are all covered. To combat this, we’ve scouted out those two events and checked out the games featured in both. We’ve written up the latest info, and you can see more behind the cut.

MLP Online

MLP Online

MLP Online is an RPG game in the works that will have both a single player adventure mode split into episodes that covers the main characters in an original story, and an online multiplayer component. The game has been in the works for quite some time, but recently it seems that there has been some breakthroughs for this team, as they showed off a beta build for the first episode and released it for the public to download themselves on their site, so check it out. Within this demo you can check out the current enviroments and battle system for single player to get a rough idea of the style of game they will be released. There are two different segments of overworld to see: a traditional overhead view seen in many RPGs, and a 3d section to explore around in. There are only two encounters to see, but they work fine enough to give you an idea how the combat works on a turn based system, which you can also see a part of in an earlier test video they released. For Pon-E3, the team had a delightful Q & A to answer fan questions where they answer lots of little details about the project and some new upcoming news, such as plans to finish Episode one soon and info about episode two. The multiplayer component has been said to still be in the works with no word on when they will implement it. For more information check out the livestream Q&A and check out their beta release.

MLP Online Trailer

Mock Equestrian Wars

Mock Equestrian Wars

One of the newer fan game projects out there, Mock Equestrian Wars is a browser based strategy MMO that uses a simultaneous turn-based system to wage war. Dating its roots back to the beginning of 2012, this fan game project has laid out the elements of its gameplay in their own handy document detailing the character types, elements of its combat system, features of the terrain, and detailed descriptions of the gameplay concepts. In their livestream at Pon-E3, the developers showed off their World Map, their Pony creation system, their chat system (integral to the multiplayer experience), and a basic chess game using the in game sprites to mess around with. You can check out an early build of the above features here; be sure to leave this up and coming fan game some feedback, and know that the team is still looking for some help so check out their design document.

Ponycraft

Ponycraft

Fresh on the scene, Ponycraft is seeking to make an RTS game in the vein of Warcraft with RPG elements and ponies. Starting development two months ago, most of the content to show are early engine builds, but during Pon-E3 Ponycraft held a Q&A to answer many of the planned details where they detail the story, specifics of their game design, and showed off some of the early build seen below. If you are interested in checking out this new and upcoming project, or if you want help out their development team, check out their forums and youtube channel.

Ponycraft dev livestream

My Little Investigations

My Little Investigations

Developed by Equestrian Dreamers, this fan game is based on the gameplay found in Ace Attorney Investigations: Miles Edgeworth from the adventure/visual novel franchise Ace Attourney, and is my personal favorite fan project yet. This project began development in mid-summer of 2011, and has a lengthy amount of developer time with it as it approaches one year of development. You control Twilight Sparkle in a pseudo-adventure game where you will explore the environment and interrogate characters from the show to solve crimes in Ponyville. What makes the game unique is the focus on character dialogue and its interrogation system to dig deep into character’s thoughts in order to puzzle out the truth from pieces of evidence. As of now the game still looks to be in its alpha/early beta stages with one currently released demo of a small portion of the first case. The rest of the case will come in the future in addition to other cases, but there’s no word on specific release dates.

Equestrian dreamers showed off a little of their progress with a Pon-E3 update. In the update were a couple of new characters shown off in their in game conversation art, a hint of a new location with art, and a new special scene art that gives a little hint at the story in the first case. But art isn’t the only thing revealed; Equestrian Dreamers showed off a WIP song for confrontations as well as a showcase for their new audio engineer. One of the common complaints in the released demo was the strange audio balancing, which prompted Equestrian Dreamers to recruit an audio engineer to help fix things. This new showcase really worked well in showing off how much better the vocals are now that they are mastered, which is a good sign for the project. Additionally, the new recruit seems to offer new ideas for sound effects in the game, such as the demonstrated walking sound effects, which can do nothing but make the game more polished, so signs are pointing upward for this team. If you haven’t already, check out their demo here, or read The Round Stable’s writeup of the demo here.

Legends of Equestria

Legends of Equestria

Remnants of the old Equestria Online project, Legends of Equestria, is an MMO project that puts players into the roles of ponies in the FiM world. This project has been going on for quite some time, and it still seems to be in its early alpha stages of making all of the art assets, but what they have done so far is promising for what is surely a very daunting task. Details of the gameplay are sparse for the moment, so you’ll have to read up on their FAQ or check out some of their videos for info. During Pon-E3, they started off streaming some of the work they do that goes into modeling and making the art of their world, similar to what they do on their livestream every now and then. Afterwards they had a Q&A, showed off some of the new voice work in the game, gave a quick look into the the programing work they do, and they talked about the upcoming charity at Galacon and their role in it. This project is on a slow burn of progress, but they are still working on it and having fun with it.

Ponykart

Ponykart

Another one of the earlier fan games around, Ponykart aims to create a kart racing game ala Mario Kart, Diddy Kong Racing, and the like within the MLP world. This project started around mid-summer 2011, and while it hasn’t had the most updates compared to other fan games, the developers make up for it with ambition as they currently tackle one on of the bigger projects around. As a kart racer, the game aims to put ponies into karts, keeping the drivers visible and the speeds mild as they race around a variety of set pieces while other characters launch items at each other for a more party-style racing game. The game has gone through several different changes, so it’s safe to call it in the alpha stages right now as the development progresses, with no word on a release date. The game is open source and they track progress in their ponychan thread.

Ponykart had a playable demo at Bronycon, as well as releasing a new video update for Pon-E3 that showed off some of the new changes. The new karts for Twilight and Rainbow Dash have been imlpemented, and the devteam showed off the inclusion of Derpy as the starter for the races similar to Lakitu from Mario Kart. Additionally, the devteam has given more insight into their progress of the overall system; a new approach to the level design has been taken to keep the general gameplay like acceleration and the speed consistent across the different tracks. They have also just recently started working on multiplayer networking for the game, a feature that several fans have been hoping wouldn’t be excluded from the project. While this project has surely had its own share of hurdles to overcome, the game manages to run very smoothly at 60 fps on their Bronycon build and overall has some very nice designs, so hopes run high for this game to cross the finish line! If you want a little fun, check out their Background Pony creator that they released  a while back.

Welcome to Ponyville

Filly Gamez

One of the more unique fan games that had a demo at Bronycon, Welcome to Ponyville is a text adventure game, akin to Zork that puts you into the world of Ponyville to explore and interact with all sorts of different characters. Heavy on the choices you make, the game boasts about having various different endings and paths to choose from, with lots of variations within each ending depending on the choices and friends you make. The game has been said to be relatively short, about two to three hours, but with lots of replay incentive to interact with the game in new and different experiences each time. Focusing on creating a game for the fandom, players can expect to see several different fan favorite characters like Lyra and much more get the spotlight with personalities to satisfy the fandom; this is a game really designed to entertain the Brony community with what it seeks to do with its characters and interactions. You can find a little of the gameplay on their youtube here, and keep an eye out for the release of the game, which the developers hinted at being soon.

Fighting is Magic

Fighting is Magic

Developed by Mane 6, this is a MLP fighting game filled with characters and set pieces from the show. Starting development around early summer 2011, this game is one of the most highly anticipated of all the fan games in development currently. It is a 2D fighter with emphasis on combos with mildly fast action, different character properties and styles, and a carefully crafted set of mechanics to differentiate from other fighting games to feel like a unique experience. As of now the game is in its alpha stages, with a planned release of a beta with 6 playable characters (the main 6 ponies) and stages, trickling out downloadable characters and stages to fill out a seventeen character roster for the full release. There is no word about time of release or the complete roster other than “Soon”.

Recently the game has had two big events: a playable demo of an alpha build at EVO 2012, and a third developer livestream showing off and explaining the EVO build. Only 4 of the initial playable 6 cast was shown off, all of whom were demonstrated at the January Bronycon and second developer livestream, so there was no new roster info to speak of. What they did show off, though, was an updated look for the game, several updated character movelists and mechanics, including Rarity and Pinkie Pie’s level three supers and their unique magic mechanics. In this game, every character has their own unique “Magic” allowing them to upgrade their special attacks or perform new attacks, and you can read about this here. While there may not be any big news to report, there are lots of little details and polish that has gone into this latest build, such as an updated Twilight stage, new special effects, and new GUI/menus, all of which make the game look very very slick and impressive. There are recordings of both streams available online (seen below), or you can read the extensive thread for this game on our forum which has listed a lot of the new details, and the shoryuken thread for some impressions from people who played the demo for fighting game enthusiasts. And every Sunday night there is a new small update to keep up activity, so be sure to check those out.

Fighting Is Magic Livestream

And don’t forget to check out Equestria Gaming’s compilation posts to see even more fan game projects out there in the works. 

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  1. WEW sounds pretty awesome from that doc, actually.
    Pleasantly surprised, hopefully it doesn’t fall into development limbo with those lofty goals.