Your favorite fan-made projects?

Sometimes enough is enough and fans just pick themselves up and say "Fine, I'll do it myself".

Ever since the early days of computing, enthusiasts have taken it upon themselves to realise their dream projects and have created some truly amazing as well as equally insane homemade projects. Some can be the result of a single person while others can be the products of entire teams working together.

Whether the idea is to resurrect a long-forgotten franchise, or to build upon and approve an existing product; or whether the ambition stems from a long seated desire for improvements that just never come to pass - the results of these projects can often outclass the original and even lead to the developers getting recognised and even hired by the IP owners. A recent example is the 2011 port of Sonic CD - a project that started out as a fan made proof of concept on YouTube only to later be greenlit and picked up by SEGA.

More often than not, fan made projects tread a very thin line when it comes to legality. See this interesting piece on Gamesutra that takes a deep look into the legality of such projects.

Historically, Nintendo are known for their aggressive stance toward fan made projects and regularly issue and demand takedowns whereas SEGA on the other hand are much more lenient and have outright publicly stated that they are OK with fan made projects as long as they don't seek to profit from them.

Some notable fan made projects:

AM2R - Another Metroid 2 Remake


am2r1.png am2r2.png

Built for Windows and ported to Linux, Android and even the Vita, AM2R is a ground-up remake of Metroid II: Return of Samus released for Game Boy in 1991 and features graphics and design similar to that of Super Metroid for the SNES. A DMCA takedown was issued by Nintendo who later went on to release an official remake of Metroid 2, but the author continued work on the project in secret.

:arrow: AM2R

Black Mesa


blackmesa1.png blackmesa2.png

Over a decade in the making, Black Mesa is a remake of the original Half Life within the Source engine. It even caught the eye of Valve who not only let the project continue but after its completion last year, even allowed it to be sold through Steam.

:arrow: Black Mesa on Steam

Mother 4 / Oddity


oddity1.jpg oddity2.png

Mother 4 (now renamed Oddity) is a brand new official indie game that takes a lot of inspiration from its precursor, from the look of the text boxes, to the character designs, and especially the battle system. While the game is still in development, a trailer was released back in January of 2020.

:arrow: Oddity on Twitter

Sonic Utopia


utopia1.png utopia2.jpg

Sonic Utopia is a single level proof-of-concept built to demonstrate how classic Sonic could play and control within a 3D environment. Using the full momentum based physics of the original games, Utopia provides an open sandbox style world to explore and test out Sonic's capabilities.

:arrow: Sonic Utopia on Archive.org

What are some of your favourite fan-made projects?

Let us know below!​
 
Last edited by shaunj66,

RedoLane

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Anything and everything from the Doom community.

Mods like Eviternity, BTSX, Lullaby, Heartland, and Time Tripper are all truly fantastic. Us on Doomworld are constantly cooking new stuff to play on the daily.

Can confirm. Out of all the Doom communities, Doomworld(and DBP) is filled with highly-efforted mappers and modders.

On the same topic, gotta recommend more great stuff, such as Reelism, Shadow/Rise of the Wool Ball, Adventures of Square, Hellshots Golf, Treasure Tech Land(WIP), and the Temple of the Lizard Men series.
 

Missing Number

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Alttpo, u can play snes classic 'the legend of zelda a link to the past', online. Split up to take on the various challenges all at once, sharing items, able to actually see one another while you are at it. And additionally you can up the challenge with a randomizer, switching items across the chests of the world.

Additionally u can link with Samus in super metroid and scavenger hunt across zebes. Or do both at the same time, with smz3

Its what Nintendo online should have been.
 
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Ampersound

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My favourite fan-made game has been Super Mario Bros X.
It was so much fun playing through it in co-op and it threw a lot of exciting mechanics at the player.
Also it has a dynamic split screen implementation which at the time was mind blowing to me. And it's still fantastic.

2nd place AM2R.
3rd place Mother3 translation

I've also really enjoyed some SM64 Hacks like Star Road.
 

Wolfy

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Anything that breathes life into an older game series or console is amazing to me, namely projects like Super Mario 64's Net64 that definitely gave me a good long while of fun with friends. Outside of all the projects though, I definitely have to hand it to Dolphin, even though emulators have always had a gray area of legality surrounding them. Dolphin has kept me happy for years, even back when it was hacky and audio was abysmal, it let me continue to play games years later with better visual fidelity. Also watching the development on their YouTube channel is pure bliss, especially the "10 Years of Dolphin" T-T
 

TobiasAmaranth

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I still think Newer Super Mario Bros was really cool and fun.

By far Super Mario Bros. X, and it's probably one of the best games ever made. I've been playing it since 2009, and I still play it to this day, nowadays there are two other new versions made by two different groups to expand upon the original version, both have a lot of great features.

This game was the main inspiration for me to develop level editors like UniMaker and UniStudio.

My favourite fan-made game has been Super Mario Bros X.
It was so much fun playing through it in co-op and it threw a lot of exciting mechanics at the player.
Also it has a dynamic split screen implementation which at the time was mind blowing to me. And it's still fantastic.

This looks fun. Got a basic guide for how to experience some of the best of what it offers? I went to the site and got a bit overwhelmed. Best of the best, go go! ??? :)
 
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