Pikmin fangame engine
The Pikmin fangame engine is a real program made by Espyo that is capable of running Pikmin fangames. It is an open-source engine, currently under development, that can handle gameplay similar to the Pikmin games, in that it allows leaders to whistle and throw Pikmin, allows Pikmin to carry objects, etc. Although the idea is for fans to create their own content (enemies, areas, etc.) so the engine can read it and turn it into a game, the current download also comes with some pre-packaged content, which makes it possible for people who download it to experiment its features.
The reason for its creation was to make it possible for fans to make their own Pikmin fan content and to be able to play on it, by requiring only assets and data, while the engine itself handles all of the more complicated parts like the physics and artificial intelligence. It is currently under development, and alpha versions are available for download. The engine can run on Windows, Linux, and Mac.
The game created by the engine has a 2-dimensional look, and is seen from a top-down view, although it is still a 3-dimensional game, in that height and gravity exist. The mechanics attempt to mimic those found in the Pikmin games, although not always to the same degree. They can be different because it's easier that way, it's better for the engine's flexibility, or because it's not possible to fully replicate what happens in the canon games.
Given that it is a PC game, it is played using a keyboard, mouse, and/or a gamepad. Since it's still in development, some features may be fully implemented, missing entirely, or working incorrectly.
The latest version available for download for Windows is shown first on this download link's page. The download is a compressed (zipped) file, which should be simple to extract. It should be less than 10MB in size when uncompressed, and requires no special permissions or installations to play. Just unzip everything onto a folder, and double-click Pikmin_fangame_engine.exe from the folder to start running.
If you are upgrading from an older version of the engine, you should delete that one and use the recent one instead. If you do this, remember to copy over your custom-made content, if you care about it, and your Options.txt file, if you care about your settings. Alternatively, you can place the contents of the new version onto the same folder as the old one, but if a newer version doesn't use certain files any more, they will remain unused on your folder, taking up space.
Linux and Mac
In order to play on Linux or Mac, you can either build it from the source code, or run the Windows executable under Wine. It works fairly well with Wine, although some textures may be invisible; see FAQ and troubleshooting.
A simple tutorial on how to compile under Linux can be found on the the included README.txt file. There are currently no instructions for compiling under Mac.
How to play
As the engine is right now, one only needs to download it, extract it, and run the executable (under Windows, at least).
More technically, in order to play a game on the engine, there must be data for that game on the engine's "Game_data" folder. Luckily, the engine currently comes with some example data that can be played right off the bat, although players can also download or create any fan-made content and place it on the engine's "Game_data" folder. Because the engine is still in development, the concept of a "game" isn't much more than "a collection of areas, enemies, and Pikmin". Upon running the engine, it will read the information in the game data folder and instantly boot up the game. Currently, the main menu will be the same all the time, regardless of game, and choosing the "Play" option will prompt the player on which available area they wish to play (if there is only one area, it will be loaded automatically). To note is that some downloaded content might depend on other content. For instance, if an area has an enemy called "Green_Bulborb", but the player does not have any "Green_Bulborb" enemy on their game data, the area will not load properly.
In-game, the player is allowed to control the leaders and play around like in the canon games. At the moment, there is no concept of an "end", so nothing will trigger the "end" of the level. Depending on the mechanics that are implemented or missing, some behaviors might work, some might not, and some might be working incorrectly.
The minimum requirements to run the engine aren't that high; old machines should run it just fine without many performance problems. But it does depend on scenarios: a simple area with just a leader will run much better than a complex area with 100 Pikmin on the field. Some options on the options file can be set to help with performance, at the cost of visuals.
The controls can be changed on the options menu, but the defaults are listed on the included README.txt file. Some other options can also be set on the Options.txt file, but since these don't have a large impact on most fans, there is no way to edit them on the options menu. The following options (besides controls) can be found there:
|| The higher the number, the higher quality the area's geometry appears, but also the heavier on machine resources the engine will be. The value
||If false, the faint trail that follows the cursor will be removed, which could help with performance.||
||How often, in seconds, the area editor creates a backup of the current area.||
||Framerate cap. The higher it is, the smoother the gameplay is, but the heavier on performance the engine will be.||
||Maximum number of particles to have on the world at once. If more particles than this need to be created, older particles are deleted.||
||When pressing the camera button, the zoom level swaps between near, far, and this amount.||
||If false, the whistle is replaced with a plain yellow circle, which could help with performance.||
||Width and height of the game window. The engine was made with a small-medium resolution in mind, although you can change the window size to anything you want.||
||If true, images that need to shrink or grow big will do so smoothly. Otherwise it will look pixelated, but it might help with performance.||
||For some users, the game window does not appear, although the engine is definitely running fine. This is because it somehow gets placed out of the screen. Set this to true to force it to appear inside the screen.||
||List of recently-opened files on the animation editor. This does not need to be edited by the player, as the engine controls the list by itself.||No|
How to create
Anybody can create any content to be run on the engine, and the ways to do so vary, but are in general made to be easy. Enemies, Pikmin types, and other such creations can be freely made, but new game mechanics cannot. This includes enemies, areas, etc. that make use of any new mechanic. The following pages lead to tutorials on how to create different content for the engine:
- Quick creator guides – for users who need help understanding the basics, but believe they can figure out the rest on their own.
- Creator toolkit – how to use the creator-friendly toolkit.
- In-depth guides:
- Text files – text files on the engine use a specific format. This simple page explains how it works, and should be read before using any other tutorial.
- Creating areas
- Creating new object types
- Creating animations
- Object scripting
- Creating hazards
- Creating spray types
- Creating status effects
- Creating particle generators
- Creating new weather
- Misc. configurations
Graphics and audio can also be edited freely. Although some images and sounds have to be have specific names for the engine to find them, others can use any name at all, so long as the scripts, areas, etc. that use them call them by the right name.
Most user-made mistakes will be caught by the engine and reported on a file called "Error_log.txt" on the same folder as the game's executable.
The idea for the engine started on mid 2013, with the intent of both allowing Pikmin fans to make their own games reality as well as to create a fun and challenging Pikmin-related project. The idea was made public on Pikmin Fanon, where a topic was created to gather feedback, before starting the project. On the 15th of August, 2013, development of the engine officially began. Ever since, different versions have been released, each one more complete than the last.
- See Changelog.
Many more features, content, and tweaks are still planned, but the following is a general outline of what major things still need to be finished, roughly sorted with the next ones at the top.
- Sound effects
- Special objects (like plants, nectar, bomb rocks, etc.)
- Story mode
Although the goal is to have an engine that can, to a certain degree, let fans create the games of their dreams, there is the possibility that the project will have to be canceled before it reaches there. At the very least, the plan is to let the engine become smooth and robust enough to handle gameplay well, custom enemies, Pikmin, etc., and user-made levels, before stopping development is considered. Story mode and multiplayer-related features can be cancelled at any moment after that point.
FAQ and troubleshooting
More information on the engine, including frequently asked questions and troubleshooting, can be found in the README.txt file included in the download.
The Pikmin fangame engine and any fan content run within it are not affiliated with Nintendo® and should not be sold.
They are non-profit projects created by fans of the Pikmin® franchise, and do not intend to infringe on the copyrights or registered trademarks of Nintendo®.
Pikmin® is a trademark of Nintendo®. The copyrights of all associated characters, names, terms, art, music, and assets belong to Nintendo®.
The following images were taken on version 0.6 with the pre-packaged area, Pikmin, etc.
Battling against a Red Bulborb.