Whats more impressive than a development team slogging through long work days in order to get a game out to countless fans? Unpaid fans working the same hours on a project that nobody but them cares about. Well thats a bit harsh, other people do care about them. Once a few screenshots of your fan made Mario-Samus RPG mashup get leaked, fellow fans will flock to your folds like frolicking foals.
But just what are the best fan made projects out there? Fans come in all shapes and sizes, and so it makes sense that their projects would as well. From budding directors to cross country joggers, here is a list of some of the best fan projects based off of video games.
The Phoenix Project - City of Titans
Have you ever thought to yourself, man, I wish theyd make a sequel to that game that I loved so much? If you had that thought, did you then continue to think, hmmm, ok, guess Ill just go make it myself? If you havent youre lazy. Just kidding, but that thought process is exactly what fans of the late MMORPG City of Heroes went through after the closure of their beloved game.
Under the banner of Missing Worlds Media, these super fans have been working around the clock to create the spiritual successor. Their first goal: a successful Kickstarter that raised a whopping $678,189. Wowzers. If that doesnt inspire faith in this team, then maybe their dogma will: We are heroes. This is what we do.
Brace yourselves, this one involves running. The glory of the fan projects on this list is that they take unique skills from a fan--other than their love of video games. Pac Manhattan is no different, and combines to usually distant skillsets of artistry and long distance running. Originally concepted by students of NYUs Tisch School of the Arts, this rendition of the classic game takes 20 block of Manhattan and turns them into the playing board of Pac Man.
And then you run. If youre Pac Man, you get the added bonus of precise and updating coordinates of the ghosts chasing you. If youre one of the Ghosts then sucks to be you because youre just running around blind until you spot the brightly clad protagonist. Does it sound like fun? Yeah, it doesnt to me either. But it does go to show that there are people out there who go outside after playing games everyone once in a while. An inspiration to us all.
Midnight Channel - the Persona 4 musical
Theres this stereotype of gamers--especially those who find escapism in 120-hour JRPGs--that says were socially reclusive introverts. So then, to the stereotypical gamer, what would be the most terrifying experience imaginable? Probably singing and dancing in front of thousands of people. Thank god the super fans behind the Persona 4 musical fan project arent constrained by that fear.
Headed by the brother-sister duo Gina and Jake Smith, the musical has grown from just a few songs to a two act, three hour long musical that is going to be performed at a premiere theater in Atlanta this summer. Thats right, this thing will actually take stage for gamers and non-gamers alike. How was it greenlit? How will it sound? How can they possibly tell that story cohesively in 3 hours?! These questions will all be answered in due time. Except for that second one. If you wanna hear a sneak peek of the music from this project, check out this explosive duet between Dojima and Adachi performed during the livestream read through of this musical enigma.
This Portal fan short film
Before you move any further, you need to watch this Portal short film. Gorgeous isnt it? Such mystery. So Portal. Wow. This isnt some campy handycam home movie from the backyard, this fan project has some meat and bones to it. That would make sense, since the fan behind this movie is Dan Trachtenberg.
You may know him from such projects as The Totally Rad Show and Geekdrome, or you may not. All you need to know is that he knows his way around hollywood. This is what happens when theres a fan with power. Magic. Beauty. A short film that could hypothetically be picked up for a series or indie movie.
Pokemon SoulSilver Johto Minecraft recreation
Minecraft is just rife with ridiculously beautiful and immersive fan projects. Would you like to take a walking tour of the USS Enterprise? It exists in Minecraft. Want to stage a pixelated reenactment of Game of Thrones? Yup, there too. Minecraft is like the Legos of the digital age, with the added benefit of not being constrained by real world physics. Its obvious then that some people go absolutely bonkers with their creations.
Which leads beautifully into the recreation of the entire Johto region from the Pokemon Universe within Minecraft. Like, the entire region. From New Bark town to Blackthorn City, from Route 29 to Route 45, you can stroll along the very same paths that you and your team barreled down in the game all those years ago.
From Smash players who are better than you to Smash Bro's secret moves, GamesRadar has been in a pretty Super Smash Bros-y mood these days. But however much excitement we can muster about this game is no where near the excitement the creators of Project M muster on a daily basis. Project Ms modus operandi is this: to give you the gameplay of Melee with the characters and graphics of Brawl.
Its the best of worlds, but as with all fan project, Project M is more than just the sum of its parts. Here are just some of the many, many edits that will make the average Smash fan squeal: each pokemon of the Pokemon trainer have been made their own characters and had their exhaustion taken away, same with Zelda/Shiek/Samus/Zero-Suit, tripping has been eradicated, Mewtwo and Roy are back in, old stages have been revitalized, and in general characters have been balanced to avoid God tiers. Beautiful.
Mortal Kombat Rebirth
You might know this better as Mortal Kombat Legacy. Thats right, the Mortal Kombat webseries started out as a dinky little fan project. Though Kevin Tancharoen, the fan and director behind the series, has a little more up his sleeve than your usual admirer of Mortal Kombat. Tancharoen already had his foot in the door of hollywood as a director of a few pieces here and there (ever see that series Fame back in 2009? That was him), and so when he caught the bug it was only a matter of gathering resources and asking a few favors before his fan project was realized.
Of course it did so well that Warner Bros green lit the project for a webseries hosted by Machinima. The first season of the series is a prequel to the original Mortal Kombat game, and goes through the back stories of many of the MKs most famous characters and their reasonings for joining the tournament. The show was extended for another season, which dealt with the tournament itself. Fans with resources, now thats a potent combination.
Inspiration is like....it's like...oh whatever I give up
Feeling inspired yet? You should be. Everyone here at one point was sitting behind a computer or in front of a TV with just pipedreams and daydreams in the mind. What has differentiated these fans from everyone else? They turned off that computer and TV. So get out there everyone! Inspire! Create! Do Good! While you do that Ill just be sitting here behind my computer...playing some League of Legends.