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Musings on fan games

I was going back through the threads and PM conversations relating to the cancelled fan project Persona: Forgotten, which I was part of the development team. As I looked over them I found myself wondering one thing that I can't really find a satisfying answer to: Why do most fan games fall apart?


There are a few rather obvious reasons in the case of Persona: Forgotten, which I won't go into because it would pretty much just end up with me trying to divide up blame, and I don't want to throw anyone under the bus. But when it comes to other fan projects it can be hard to pinpoint exactly why, especially when one is not a part of the devs team for the game.


But I have noticed that there is a rather large amount of fan games that seemed to be going very well, and then suddenly just stop. The game stops getting updates, the devs stop talking about it, and eventually the game is declared cancelled and then the people who were excited for it are left confused and wondering what happened.


A lot of the time the devs don't even explain what happened and just move on without ever mentioning it, which I always see as somewhat sad, if you're going to go the effort to announce the game and make several updates, but suddenly end it and never follow up on why, it will always come across as strange and it will just upset people.


Maybe it has something to do with some sort of shame for not finishing the project after promoting it so much? I can understand that; putting so much effort in and then having nothing to show is very discouraging, but at least give people some sort of closure on it.


But, yes. Back to the question of why these things fall apart. As I've been writing this post I think I might have been struck with a decent answer: Perhaps it's because the dev team is made up of nothing but fans?


What I mean is that everyone who is a fan of something will have a different interpretation of what is the best part, or the most important part of it. I know I've run across this in Halo forums where some people are only there for the story, some only for the gameplay, and some only for the art style (Yes, art style. I honestly don't get it.) and perhaps it is this very thing that tears a project apart.


Let's say that a team of fans get together, one enjoys the gameplay of the games, but doesn't care for the story, another is all about story and just feels the gameplay gets in the way, and another who care about only about another aspect of the game. They could all get along rather well, but the division of thought on what makes the series great ends up splitting them apart.


Although this is all just a random thought that has come to me while writing, so maybe I'm full of liquefied bull manure.


What do you guys think about this? Because I'm honestly trying to come up with other reasons besides lack of effort.


This was probably a bit of a pointless post since i don't really propose anything amazingly insightful, but I need something to do while waiting for my Sims 4 to update. And I'm honestly kind of tired of seeing fan games that look really good just dying out of nowhere.




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I think that's just "the neighbour's grass is greener" kind of thing. All kind of projects are canceled mid-way, not just fan games. The thing that makes it seem as though fan games are more frequently halted may be the public's interest in said game.


Remember that one game that had a lot of potential, looked really good, had devoted developers and its name was... what was its name again?


But when you are a fan of a specific series, you follow the fan game developing stages more closely, remember the name more easily and feel much more disappointed when it's discontinued.


Or maybe a lot more fan games are started by people who are delving into game developing for the first time and feel overwhelmed at some point and quit.

Maybe more experienced developers build less fan games and more originals.


But like you, all I can offer are my thoughts. To say for sure we would have to collect data and analyze it statistically.

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Or maybe a lot more fan games are started by people who are delving into game developing for the first time and feel overwhelmed at some point and quit.

Maybe more experienced developers build less fan games and more originals.

I agree with that. When people first get a Game-Making engine, they think "I'm gonna make.... a fan game!"

But when you get more experienced with the tool, you start to get lot's of original ideas, and do that instead. Hell, when I first got RM, I wanted to make a Pokemon Game, but then after about a Week, I got sick of it, and just made my own game with an orignal story.

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