Logo Image







Vitiman
Следующее приключен&
Jan 20 2019, 7:23 AM

User Icon
First of all, we have two new moderators! Big shoutout to Evil Yoshi Toes and GamerInGeorgia for accepting the call to help us out in these trying times and being awesome peeps in general! I always liked that Evil Yoshi dude, something about him just screamed "positivity"... and it probably wasn't his name.

Also, don't forget the MFGG Awards are coming in soon! You still have a chance to vote, too! Nominations are now over, so head on over to the forums for FINAL VOTING, where you get to narrow down the nominees to who you want to win in particular. Voting ends January 28th, with the ceremony occurring the next day, so you have some time to think about what you want to vote for, but don't twiddle your thumbs either! We're all counting on you, here at MFGG.

With those announcements out of the way, I'd like to talk about something semi-personal regarding fangames lately that I've observed for a few years now:

Last Wednesday was the one year anniversary of Communist Mario: Mario Visits His Great Uncle in the USSR II, a very bizarre fangame made by me that people seemed to find amusing, and I was very satisfied with this as you might expect!

Of course, what are fangames now? Fangames can be a lot of things, and that's a very good thing! When I started going on MFGG 15+ years ago, I was astounded by how unorthodox and quirky the fangames were. I feel like a lot of fangames like that aren't made anymore, a small handful of outliers notwithstanding (including my own).

While I did say it was very cool to see fangames of all traits pop up in the last decade - and I was sincere about that - I do confess to missing when people made really strange or anti-official fangames. The kind of fangame that is so unusual that you just knew Nintendo never laid a finger on it.

A lot of you might scoff at this feeling and say that what I miss are merely called joke games now, and while there is some partial truth to this, I feel a joke game is inherently silly. What I'm referring to could just be anything beyond the realm of "mimicking the Nintendo feel" that a lot of us have come to love and appreciate. I mean, something so beloved would be prone to imitation, right? That's not even a bad thing, I think it's wonderful! But I do mourn the days of the bizarre and delightfully weird, and whenever a game like that DOES crop up on here or nearby, I cherish it. Unfortunately, I don't think many people otherwise do, and I worry I'm alone in finding these games to be interesting. I'm sure a lot of people have come here expecting quality Mario fangames that rival Nintendo's own entries in the franchise, and so this sort of game just isn't needed anymore. Truth is, I don't think it was ever really "needed", disregarding that Nintendo's output in the early 2000s when these kind of fangames ruled supreme was very experimental in of itself... although, maybe that's why? I shudder to think that the only reason such games came to be was because we were just mimicking Nintendo in a different way, no no no. I think the inclination to be weird came from limitation of the tools of the time. Back then, Game Maker was pretty much exclusively drag-and-drop, and The Games Factory and Multimedia Fusion were powerful but easy-to-use tools.

Perhaps it goes without saying, but independent game development has grown significantly in the last 10 years, and fangames have benefited from this growth just as much as indie titles have. The tools have become more accessible, and people can make more impressive things now. This has been both a blessing and a curse, as it seems this resulted in fangaming shifting from a celebration of the amateur to a challenge to the professional.

Not to be mean to any of these efforts, but I do think the overall strive to achieve this has sort of missed the point of fangames. It's perfectly fine to make something adequate and polished, but I never cared too much for it overtaking the enjoyment of doing something beyond the norm. Heck, I even prefer fangames that are straight forward but go beyond the usual settings and characters/ideas. Our very own Yoshin is doing a Super Mario World hack that draws significant influence from Super Mario Bros. 2 and Super Mario Land 2, both titles that are very much overlooked by Nintendo themselves (and even most fans!) nowadays. We could use more drawing from obscure-er channels, if you ask me.

In closing, while I may have gone on a tangent and put little emphasis on the promotions and upcoming MFGG Awards, I do feel it was important to address this interesting sea change on MFGG and other fan communities. I can't force people to make anything in particular, and I wouldn't want to either! I just think it would be really cool to see more... unorthodox things. You know, take some more influence from the absolute strange things older fangames did. To all you newbies/youngsters, go back to the older fangames hosted right here and play a few of them. Not all of them have aged very well (indeed, a lot of them have aged very badly, as I have found out over the years), but I was surprised to see just how outside the box they could be. Things like "Mario Left the Cheese Out" and "N Team" used to be the norm - now, they are merely a footnote in the vast and expanding history of what it means to make a fangame. A curiosity, more than a standalone work to be enjoyed for being what it is.

Recent Additions



 
View Comments (6) | Leave Comment

Comments
No Icon
Murio
Jan 20 2019, 1:25 PM
I did not expect a wall of text today... nice essay.

There should be a "Comedy/Joke" option when sorting fangames, so people who are looking for polished content don't get bothered by the off-the-charts joke games.
 
No Icon
CM30
Jan 20 2019, 11:13 PM
Yeah, I definitely agree that fan games have lost a bit of charm in the last few years or so. Whether it's in Game Maker made Mario fan games or ROM hacks, Super Mario Bros X or otherwise, it feels like everything's kind of blended together into some sort of pseudo SMB 3 aesthetic where the same tired old ideas are dragged out time and time again.

We've already got four NSMB games with very similar graphics, music, ideas and level design (5 if you add Super Mario Run), we don't really need 300 fan made equivalents too.

Still, as for why it's gone this way? Well, not sure. Maybe some people assumed that if Nintendo's level design was something they should mimic due to its quality (which it is) the same goes for the look and feel of generic Mario games now too. Maybe it's because obviously fannish things like crossovers and crazy plots and over the top writing get looked down on more now, so people are playing it safe with fan works. Who knows.
 
User Icon
Jackninja5
Jan 21 2019, 12:07 AM
Quote (CM30 on Jan 21 2019, 7:13 AM)
Yeah, I definitely agree that fan games have lost a bit of charm in the last few years or so. Whether it's in Game Maker made Mario fan games or ROM hacks, Super Mario Bros X or otherwise, it feels like everything's kind of blended together into some sort of pseudo SMB 3 aesthetic where the same tired old ideas are dragged out time and time again.

We've already got four NSMB games with very similar graphics, music, ideas and level design (5 if you add Super Mario Run), we don't really need 300 fan made equivalents too.

Still, as for why it's gone this way? Well, not sure. Maybe some people assumed that if Nintendo's level design was something they should mimic due to its quality (which it is) the same goes for the look and feel of generic Mario games now too. Maybe it's because obviously fannish things like crossovers and crazy plots and over the top writing get looked down on more now, so people are playing it safe with fan works. Who knows.

I agree. I would like a little more risk in fan games.
 
User Icon
Vitiman
Jan 21 2019, 2:10 AM
Quote (Murio on Jan 20 2019, 8:25 AM)
I did not expect a wall of text today... nice essay.

tl;dr - fangames aren't as weird anymore, would be nice to see some weirder ones again

Sorry I typed words, I know how pesky that can be to actually bother reading stuff.
 
No Icon
Murio
Jan 21 2019, 12:47 PM
Quote (Vitiman on Jan 21 2019, 4:10 AM)
tl;dr - fangames aren't as weird anymore, would be nice to see some weirder ones again

Sorry I typed words, I know how pesky that can be to actually bother reading stuff.

No, I actually read the entire post. Sorry if I sounded rude!
 
User Icon
Yakibomb
Jan 22 2019, 6:50 PM
I totally agree with your point, Vitimin.

For me at least, why I hesitate to even release my games or let alone work on them, I find they are a little too... weird or out-of-the-norm. But hearing your viewpoint on things, makes me more inspired for my creative processes. I wonder where your post will lead to.
 
Pages: (1) 1 | Last Unread