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It’s a fan-fiction longer than Lord of the Rings. It blends (some would dare say seamlessly) the entirely disparate concepts of Fallout‘s post-apoc decay with the bright innocence of My Little Pony. And it’s not a joke … there’s a functional tech-demo of it.

Prepare yourselves … Fallout: Equestria is coming.

FoE1

All game aesthetics, like the pistol grip seen here, are engineered for a world of killer horses.

Yep. This is a thing that exists.

My Little Pony has been insanely popular ever since its 2010 relaunch, inspiring its fanbase to create all manner of related content, including entirely original video games, as well as mods for existing games ranging from Fallout to Civilization. This, however, is possibly the most ambitious concept yet launched by fans of colorful diminutive equines.

For one thing, Fallout: Equestria is a standalone game. Built entirely in the Unity Engine, rather than as a total-conversion mod for an existing Bethesda product, absolutely everything in the final iteration will be an original model, script, or animation. While much of the current tech-demo’s world is comprised of stand-in objects, quite a bit isn’t. Actors, weapons, armor, and usable items like ammo and healing potions (Fallout:Equestria‘s stand-in for stimpacks) are all original and functional. Even the PipBuck—you read that correctly—has some working functions at this time, including a radio channel featuring all-original songs by “The Wasteland Wailers.”

To get a better handle on the rabbit hole you’re about to voluntarily throw yourself into, I contacted Dragmaister (Overmare Studios‘ Project Director) for the low-down.

TechRaptor: Could you tell us something about the story, and why it inspired you to create a video game based on it?
 
Dragmaister: I will be the first to admit that even the basic idea of Fallout: Equestria is, to put it mildly, weird and unorthodox. It would be perfectly reasonable for anyone to believe that taking pastel colored magical talking ponies and putting them in a post-apocalyptic world that centers around death and suffering has no right to be any good. I can’t really blame anyone who believes that, after all, I used to be one of them… perhaps I can attempt to explain the themes of it, and shed some light as to why the story appeals to a not-so-insignificant amount of people.
 
For those who haven’t heard of it, the basic premise of the story is that some decades after the events of the TV show, the idyllic world of Equestria is thrown into a resource war against the neighboring Zebra nation. And, much like in Fallout, this eventually led to annihilation through weapons of mass destruction. Only instead of nuclear weapons, the weapons of choice were what is referred to as megaspells. Think of any of your favorite fantasy offensive spells, such as ones that create eternal flame or shoot beams of light from the sky, only amplified to be able to take out entire cities in one fell swoop. The story itself happens 200 years after these events.
 
manehatten_by_nukechaser24-d8jsaot

“Manehatten Ruins,” by Nukechaser24 on Deviantart.

 
Without going into it further than that, the main theme is about trying to return harmony and peace to a land that is now ravaged by monsters, both literal and figurative, figuring out what actually caused the once peaceful nation to go down such a horrible path, and most importantly trying to survive while doing all of the above. There is something very intriguing about the combination because it has such strong contrast between themes and tones, but at the same time it does beautiful job with balancing the two in a manner that manages to keep it as something that can be taken seriously, without turning into just an absurd joke.
 
You also asked why the story inspired us to make a game about it. In truth, the reason is rather simple; we are fans of Fallout franchise, we like the TV show, and many of the members of the project either aim to become or already are part of the video game industry. So when a story that almost seamlessly combines the two came to existence, it felt like a natural step to try and adapt it into a video game format.
 
10mmMouthPistol
 
TR: Fallout and My Little Pony are of course both valuable properties owned by companies which haven’t been wholly averse to stepping on fan-made projects like these. How does Overmare Studios plan to address that possibility?
 
DM: Hah, I knew this question would come up, it always does. Because of how common the question is, we have actually addressed the issue in one of our earliest blog posts. While the long story is a giant wall of text, we made a video about it as well.
 
We have taken significant effort to try and make sure that we don’t overly step on either Bethesda’s or Hasbro’s shoes, the respective owners of Fallout and My Little Pony. For example, we have from the beginning been adamant on the fact that the game will always and forever be free for everyone, and while people often ask if they are able to donate to us to help with the development, we always turn those offers down. Bethesda and Hasbro of course still have the potential power and right, for example, to send us a Cease & Desist letter. But in the event that they were to do so, we are willing to negotiate, and we do have several backup plans in place in case that were to happen.
 
TR: Your game appears to be built from scratch with the Unity Engine, as opposed to modding an existing game like Fallout 3 or New Vegas. What kind of challenges does that present for your team?
 
DM: While the project originally started out as a Fallout 3 mod, it quickly grew past the point where we realized that in order for us to be able to do all of the things we wanted, we would need a more modern engine, as well as more control. Without a doubt one of the biggest challenges in developing on a stand-alone game as opposed to a mod is that we have had to do every system and component from the ground up. Starting from something as simple as movement and animations and moving all the way up to stuff like persistent scene handling, we need to do everything ourselves. This is obviously not a simple effort, and when it comes to a game with as large scope as ours, even planning takes significant amount of time to do well.
 
DragonHeartRifle

This concept design didn’t make the cut, but still looks damned cool and gives some insight to the overall project.

 
TR: Fallout games have always been huge, sprawling world-spaces loaded with things to see and do. Is Overmare Studios shooting for something similar, or a more compact experience?
 
DM: Our plans do indeed include a large open world, not only because the story itself visited multiple major locations, but also because we feel that it is an integral part of a full Fallout experience. We have nearly finished the first draft of our first town as well as the adjacent area, but we have many more locations planned out. Right now we cannot give a proper estimate on how large the entire map is going to be as some things are still in the flux, but it shouldn’t lose too much to that of Fallout 4.
 
Fallout Equestria Dam Pony

I suppose eventually, that stand-in block back there will be the Hoofer Dam. Because horse puns.

 
TR: Do you have a release date in mind?
 
DM: Unfortunately, we don’t have a release date for the final product. Building something even half as massive as a Fallout game is no small job, even for a fully funded professional game studio. As a non-commercial project, a closest equivalent to us I can think of would be the famous Black Mesa, and everyone remembers how long their development time ended up being. While we are lucky to have a relatively large group (~60) of absolutely amazing people, both professional and hobbyist developers, we are all working on the project on our spare time and for completely free.
 
The above is also the main reason why so far we have only one public technical demo available for play, despite the project being alive in its current form for almost 3 years. So far about 80% of our development time has been spent on just building up the base framework that will enable us to do all of the things we need, and we have barely started on actual true content creation part of the project. It is important to keep in mind that we are in this for the long haul.
 

Fallout Equestria Load Bearing Equines


Innumerable are the ambitious fan projects which never achieved full completion, but at least Overmare seems well aware of what they’ve gotten themselves into. Given the amount of work and dedication they’ve already put in, we’ll see if they have the gumption necessary to ultimately pull Fallout: Equestria into the station.

What do you think about the concept of Fallout: Equestria, whether as fan-fiction megalith or playable game? Let us know in the comments! 


Scott Malcomson

Staff Writer

Old enough to have watched the first moon landing live on TV, I've been gaming since the days of ApVenture and the Zork series. My last console was an Atari 2600, and my first PC was an Apple IIc (in glorious monochrome!). If you want to understand the kind of person I am, it might help a bit to play Ultima IV.