Former Fighting is Magic Team to Receive Free Skullgirls Engine License if Lab Zero Games’ Fundraiser Reaches $725,000

By on March 16, 2013 at 4:03 pm

Many of you may already be familiar with the drama surrounding My Little Pony: Fighting is Magic and its development team, Mane6. After the much awaited fan-project was stopped due to a cease and desist letter from Hasbro, the team received a break when former My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic showrunner Lauren Faust joined the team to work on new, original character designs. Well, it seems that the team may receive yet another break as Lab Zero Games recently mentioned on Twitter that they will give Mane6 a license to use the Skullgirls engine for free if their Indiegogo crowdfunder reaches $725,000.

While initially only a suggestion by player Guitalex during the Salty Cupcakes stream, it seems that this is now something that both teams are taking seriously. Mane6 themselves have responded on their official site, stating that they have talked to Lab Zero about this and are excited at the prospect of using Mike Z’s engine should the amount be reached.

Sources: Lab Zero Games and Mane6, tip via Hadar S.

“Manegirls” fan-art is by emlan and is unrelated to either Skullgirls or the Mane6’s new project in any way whatsoever.

Shoryuken's long time news hound. When not writing for SRK's front page, D3v spends part of his time helping run tournaments in the Philippines, including the country's biggest fighting game event, Manila Cup.
  • James Reilly

    Tapping into the Brony purse now.

    • J.D SRK

      I dont see how the bronies will care given that MLP will no longer be featured.

      • Mr. X

        A lot of them are fans of Faust or looking out for their own

    • windsagio

      an especially baldfaced attempt too.

    • Louis Lam

      Evo fundraiser show’d them how deep it was.

    • Petran79

      there will be a war I tell you.
      cant wait for the chat logs in the PC lobby rooms/game forums
      all the healthy aspects of the fgc community (hardcore anime/bronie crowd) will clash to the end both against each other and casuals.

      on a side note, even if that goal is not met, they should at least make them a generous discount. it is free advertisement and both studios faced similar difficulties for different reasons. there should be some comradeship involved

  • Nick Nobriga

    Whoa man, a move like this is exactly what Lab Zero Games needed to do to have a chance to get that mystery game character money. Everybody reading this best be out there sharing this campaign again.

  • Flutterderp

    On the one hand, that they’re doing it at all is very cool.

    On the other hand, the fact that they’re only giving the bronies 11 days to come up with 300k+ dollars is…less exciting.

    I’ll kick in a few more bucks, because I’d love to see this happen, but I am skeptical about the odds.

    • It’s been way more than 11 days. Mike Z made the comment maybe 2 weeks ago. Personally, I hope this doesn’t happen. Skullgirls has barely gotten off the ground; it doesn’t need a copycat game running around.

      • Mr. X

        Engine =/= Mechanics

      • Henry Zurawski

        Barely gotten off the ground= receiving almost triple the funds they asked for. Seems legit.

    • Mr. X

      I think the crowdfunding could’ve got to the 3rd character before this.

      • heatEXTEND

        This, I like skullgirls but, I don’t like ponies…

  • Joel Waldmann

    This is great news from one point of view and bad news from another. On the one hand, the infinitely superior Skullgirls’s engine will make Mane6’s finished product much better than it originally would have been.

    On the other hand, once Mane6 released their game, the plan was to mod the game by replacing the character sprites, stages and music with the MLP: Fighting is Magic resources that are already out there. With the Skullgirls engine being used, this will become impossible.

    • People were already way underestimating the amount of work “modding” the game back to ponies with an FM2K release would take. It would basically have taken a rebuild of the game from scratch anyways. Swapping to the SG engine just removes the illusion that you could do a simple sprite swap to magic the original version back into existence. It was already out of reach.

  • Art Salmons

    “You can have our engine FREE if somebody else pays us $300,000! Look at how generous we are!!!!”

    • shion16

      People can be generous, but business are business .

    • Guest

      this^ pretty much. No offense to the developers though..

    • JasonWalraven

      trolls -_-

    • That money isn’t just blind profit though, it’s going towards the development of more content for the game. Can’t get much more win-win than this.

  • Keon Misterr

    I would love for mane6 to get their hands on the SG engine, but this just doesn’t seem possible to me. If this was announced officially at the very beginning of the the fundraiser than I wouldn’t be so skeptical. But only given twelve days which they weren’t prepared for will leave them scrambling to come up with that amount of money.

    It’s clear that the pony community are contributing to the cause, by the speed the donations have been coming in since yesterday. That’s good for Labzero since they’re more than likely going to reach that 625k stretch goal now. I just hope Mike Z will find it in his heart to lend out the engine even if they come up short of the 725k.

    • Mr. X

      There’s usually a big finishing burst comparable to the opening for kickstarters. And for some reason, there was $13K push one day and higher than previous funds incoming the days BEFORE this was official.

      • Squeakychu

        I really hope this is the case! As someone who is seriously excited to see how their “new” game will pan out (identical/similar backbone, different coat of paint), I would do anything for them to upgrade their game to the infinitely superior SG engine.

  • Alex Jebailey

    Donating again!

  • Mash Harder

    How can you talk of bloat and bad decisions when your only experience with it is (playing it? no probably not) posting on SRK?

    Skullheart has listed a number of key improvements over FM2K and benefits for any developers that will use it.

    I doubt Mike Z would feel comfortable putting his engine out there for any price if it wasn’t quality.

    • windsagio

      I not only played it, I paid for the damn thing. It’s the least I could do with all the commentary I’ve put out over the last several years.

      It would be massively lax and unfair of me to not buy it and try it, so I did.

      I had the ‘fortune’ to get it on the xbox which believe me puts their engineering and decisionmaking in especially sharp relief.

      (hi hitboxes! where are your sprites? Oh you don’t know? What a pity!)

      Edit: About mike putting out something he didn’t htink is great, that’s the whole problem, isn’t it? Everything good is because he made the perfect game, everything bad is somebody elses fault.

      • Mash Harder

        That is so poorly written, I am unable to respond.

  • GHNeko

    WOW! Your knowledge and engine on an engine that you’ve never worked with is astounding! I bet you know everything about it!

    • windsagio

      they’re not exactly shy about some of their weird decisions (see example above)

      • GHNeko

        But what makes you think that’s a limitation of the engine, and not a choice based of the limitation of the hardware?

        • windsagio

          how you display assets is generally a core element of the engine.

          I absolutely understand why they did it that way (tag game with a TON of stuff onscreen and lots frames of animations on systems with very limited memory)…

          And it shows how the engine is even *less* suited to FIM, which is a non-tag game on PC (they’d be really dumb to try for a console release too, engine or not).

          To put it another way, the engine was designed to meet very specific arbitrary goals (in framerate, animation, characters on screen, system requirements, etc), and while they made an engine that could do that (mostly… as mentioned below, I had the joy of playing on an older xbox, I hope they spend their QA money better this time), they had to go through all kinds of convoluted hoops to get there, and twist their engine in all kinds of abitrary ways. I find it unlikely that they could just turn all that cruft off.

          • tinyjimmy “‏”

            You have quite the remarkable ability to speak fluently out of your own asshole, it’s almost magical.

          • Mash Harder

            Magical indeed.

          • Mash Harder

            So an engine that is capable of delivering greater than the anticipated requirements, is a bad thing.

          • windsagio

            The problem is the side-effects (like not working on systems with slower harddrives).

            The other problem is the relative difficulty of using somebody elses’ system. FM2K was made for others to use, SkG wasn’t. That’s a big deal… Dealing with other people’s code *sucks*.

            Edit@the nameless guy. Try to actually reply 😛

            Is how you display your graphics not usually a core element of your game engine?

            Does streaming assets off of the harddrive instead of storing them in RAM make any sense at all for a PC game?

          • Mash Harder

            Do you know this for a fact?
            I would think a fighting game engine would be developed for “people” to use.
            “Other people” is an odd way of putting it, because Mike is not the only developer of skullgirls. SHOCK.

            edit; what are you rambling about? If there are fewer assets on the screen, streaming will not be an issue.

          • d3v

            No, which is why the PC version doesn’t do it.

          • Mash Harder

            Just to nitpick; what is arbitrary about framerate, animation, characters on screen, system requirements, etc. ?

            That sounds like a fighting game to me.

          • Jet_Set_Dizzy

            Did you not see where Mike said the PC builds of Skullgirls DON’T rely on streaming characters? It’s just a work around for 5+ year old consoles with 512MB ram.

          • d3v

            Funny how you just outright ignore Mike’s comments stating that the asset streaming is only for the console versions.

      • Mash Harder

        Streaming graphics from the hard drive?
        Is that a weird decision?

  • Антон Пятаков

    Ummm… Mane6 already said they want it. So, what’s point of this post again? O_o

  • Jason Slade

    No matter how much bloat it has that Mane6 can’t use its still 10,000x better then Fightermaker 2k.

    • windsagio

      not necessarily, it depends on their requirements.

      Presuming that they’re not entirely changing the game, it won’t have huge hardware requirements that demand a specially-made system.

      They almost certainly aren’t worrying about getting it on PS3 or 360, so that’s not particularly an issue.

      Regardless of how good the scripting and development tools are (and there’s not a particular reason to believe they’regood, SkG doesn’t look to be made for 3rd party development), they’d have to punt on a massive amount of the work they’ve already got done, far beyond the work in changing the assets that they have in front of them already…

      And on that note, the team that ZL claims they need to add their DLC characters sure implies it’s difficult to work with. If their tools are good, a huge majority of the work should be just assets stuff.**

      **although in fairness that could not be about the engine but about them not wanting to cut their team, but that’s a whole ‘nother can of worms.

      • Mash Harder

        Why did you even bother to write this.
        They are already making a new game, because hasbro.

        • windsagio

          My impression is that they’re not actually abandoning everything they’ve done so far, but rather adapting what they have to new non-copywrited materials.

          Isn’t that right?

          • Mash Harder

            If Mane6 had a better engine to work with, it is not inconceivable that they would re-think some of their established content.

          • Alexis A. Rivera-Montalvo

            No, it’s not.

            Most of a 2D game is spent on art, and Hasbro said no to the art. So they have to start over from scratch, from nothing.

            Since the actual fighting implementation takes only a fraction of time, they wouldn’t mind switching to an engine that was more versatile than FM2k. They’ve had to do weird decisions because FM2K wouldn’t accept certain inputs, and they’ve had to work around limitations in the engine.

            In the SG engine, if you want a move to be qcf+P, you tell it b, d, df, f+punch, as plain as I just wrote it, and the engine will understand it. (You start with back to give qcf motions priority over dp motions when walfing forward if input as a hcf).

  • Mash Harder

    go to

    • windsagio

      just says that they’re excited about it, nothing about why.

      C’mon you guys, you could put me down once and for all with just a few solid facts!

      • Mash Harder

        I’m not going to google shit for you.

      • Jet_Set_Dizzy

        That’s funny coming from you.

  • ryu600RR

    if anything, mane6 should cough up the dough themselves, i bet that 300k for licensing an engine like that would be a steal in the industry
    and SG would have the next character out for the fans,
    you scratch my back i scratch yours, it’s smart strategy w/ mutual benefits

  • Mash Harder
    • windsagio

      yer gonna hate me for saying this, but “Sales Pitch”

      We’ve already established that Mike thinks his system is the third coming (the second coming isn’t kickass enough). I wanted Mane6’s version.

      But, I have waaaaay too many posts in this stupid discussion, I promised myself I wasn’t gonna get into it with the entire room anymore.

      • Mash Harder

        The only thing you have established is that you think that mike thinks his system is the third coming.

  • Michael Zaimont

    We all know you’re a troll with a grudge by now, but since you keep banging away at this being some sort of awful decision:
    Pray tell, where would you put assets that *don’t fit in memory at the same time*? Every major game engine in existence streams assets, and they would LOVE to know how to fit 1,500MB of assets into 512MB of memory all at once, without caching some on the hard disk or entirely eliminating 2/3 of them. You could make millions!

    Why would you think the engine still works this way on a PC which has no memory limitations? Do you recall ever seeing any streaming problems in the Friday Night Fights videos? No, you don’t. Why? Those were recorded on PC, which doesn’t stream mid-match.

    Why would you ALSO think that any assets are streamed during gameplay when they don’t need to be? If they’re making a non-tag game, it isn’t even an issue. Ever.

    Sure, showing hitboxes as a stop-gap measure wasn’t pretty…but the fact that you think you can use that (since fixed) choice to deduce ANYTHING about the engine without knowing anything else is, frankly, ignorant as all fuck.

    • windsagio

      Well color me doubtful. Just like I doubt your eternal victimhood.

      How about this though. If they take up your offer and the game actually still gets done and doesnt’ get torpedoed by your offer (read:PR effort) I promise, swear by anything you like that I’ll never say a bad thing about your game again.

      It just looks to be a good game, and I’d hate to get it sucked into a hell-vortex of delays and excuses and promises and excuses and plans and excuses and excuses and excuses like Skullgirls was.


      I hadn’t been planning on coming back to this discussion, but some lame-ass macho relic made me balk at the idea that I was giving the impression of ‘running’. Of course that’s stupid, but still human nature and all that. Instead let me re bow out (I mean it this time!) on a somewhat stronger note. This’ll be good enough that I’ll try to stay away for at least a week (so try not to do anything too outrageous to tempt me):

      PS: My ‘grudge’ is more stubbornness. I can’t hurt you and I can’t hurt your sales. I just really really really really want to convince people I’m right, and I don’t like giving up.

      If you really think I have the power to hurt your stuff, just get your fans to ignore me. I’m not actually going to go on yelling at myself constantly. I want discussion… so you can stop me by avoiding it. Not the most intellectually satisfying solution, but it’d sure work. (Funny world, btw, me giving you advice on how to stifle my arguments :p)

      • Vaughn Anderson

        So basically, you’re not really gonna stop talking the way you have. Pretty much all you’ve done is either bash the game or the people involved with it wither it be developers or fans or even people that mention the game. It sucks that now a days whenever I see your icon I think “oh great, this guy again…” and read to see what odd remarks you come up with now.

        Obviously you have some sort of odd vendetta against pretty much everything since there is no real target and you just have nothing better to do a some of these moments. Yeah you’ll probably reply to me with some sort of witty sentence probably trying to bash my knowledge or ask for some sort of proof or information that you either know, or don’t care to know just to have some sort of justification that you’re right.

        And I do agree that you are right that you will not let any of this go whether you’re quiet for a minute or even a week. You don’t like the game or whatever. We all get it and we all can see that this is just who you are. You’ll say what you want with little to no care on what reply is given to you because you must have the last word. I know me replying is also fruitless but I’d rather say my minor set of dialog that’ll probably take up a few minutes of your time only for you to just degrade it too, but I figured I’d give you the benefit of the doubt and let you know that this is how you’re being perceived.

        Sorry for the unnecessarily (and possibly pointless) reply, but I figured you’re better than this. Yes not everything is sugar and rainbows but you’ve been doing this for months now and this is what I’ve come to expect from you. So now it’s just a matter of when you see this to see how you’ll react now and it’ll just be another chapter for you (or just a small page at best).

        Anyway, I’ve said what I’ve said with a grain or two of salt and now I’m done. Good day Sir

      • jinsaotomex4

        What exactly is there the need to be doubtful when what he is stating is something that applies to (almost) every single game on every single platform ever (some being more seamless than others)?

        There is a very, very simple reason why the PS4 is getting 8GB of GDDR5 RAM and that is to completely eliminate hard drive swapping (or at least try to) which is the biggest cause of stuttering, hiccups, jitter, texture and model popups (specially in the background outside of the rendering view where the LOD starts to suffer to all hell) as well as stuff like “now loading…” messages in large open world games (should they decide to show the message) with the most easily noticeable improvement being loading times. This is something that was also alleviated on PCs with the usage of SSDs since it makes the swapping not noticeable (provided that your SSD is fast enough). You can also do stuff like dump unused textures from RAM when not in use but that is a more brute force solution than anything else. The mechanical harddrive is literally the slowest part in everyone’s PC this day and it is a huge bottleneck to a lot of stuff and consoles using slow 5400RPM drives just helps reinforce this more than anything.

        Now if he had said “my engine is the only one that does it” I would have called bullshit on it in .00001 seconds but he did not, so there’s not much here to be skeptical about.

      • Michael Zaimont

        I don’t care if you doubt facts – all the information about what happened to Autumn and the Skullgirls team is out there in public, from sources that are NOT me. I don’t care if you (or others) make flamebait/insulting posts, nor do I feel the need to defend the reality of our situation anymore.

        I DO care that you speak from a position of ignorance as if it is a position of intelligence. ‘Skullgirls sucks MLP was better’ is fine, but ‘I know how the SG engine works and it will ruin their next game’? No, you most emphatically DO NOT know how it works. That crap, I will not stand for.

        You don’t know anything about the engine so don’t talk like you do. You don’t know “the reality” of our situation so don’t talk like you do. You don’t know what is happening behind the scenes so don’t talk like you do.

        “At the very best the Skullgirls engine was built for a very specific set of circumstances”…what on EARTH gives you the temerity to put your uneducated guess out as fact? Have you seen the scripting system or the art pipeline? No? Well, Mane6 has. So right now, they are infinitely better equipped to talk about whether they should be using the SG engine than you are.

        You don’t convince people you are right by pretending to know what you’re talking about and repeating yourself loudly; you convince people you’re right by BEING RIGHT. And you’re not. Maybe that’s why it’s hard to convince them.

        PS – I don’t want to boss SG fans around, they can reply to you or not. I’m not here because of ‘macho’, I’m here because I absolutely DESPISE you spreading unfounded misinformation. If you stopped doing that, I’d have no further need to respond to you. I want people to listen to me because I show them that I am trustworthy by being open and honest, rather than because I repeatedly tell them they should listen to me.

        • Mash Harder

          Minette for DLC <3
          Thank you.

          • jinsaotomex4

            That’s a funny way of spelling Eliza.

          • Snow Loss

            Or Isaac…

      • Mash Harder

        You don’t want discussion, you want to win.
        But you don’t win, because you are not a natural winner.
        Mike Z is a winner.

      • fallen

        I wish your parents would have told you “no” more often.

    • Mash Harder

      Mike, why did you respond to this.
      We had this.
      Now he’s talking again.

  • Joshua Rodriguez

    When I saw 58 comments I’d hoped there’d be some interesting comments, sadly all I got was windsagio talking out his ass… again.

    I hope we hit that number, I’m curious to see what Mane6 will come up with Faust’s help. Not to mention we’ll be very close to 4 new characters to my favourite fighter in a long time.

  • Chris |Eshi| Manning

    came to read the news article, stayed to read windsagio’s dumbass posts

    totally worth it

  • $35897352

    stop talking about your ass, please leave.

  • Snow Loss

    I’m failing to see the business reasoning behind this. If we somehow double the Skullgirls funds, rather than get something else for Skullgirls they’re giving something they made, an asset they could license mind you, away for free to a tertiary party.

    The only reasoning behind this I can think of is that they’re trying to tap into another resource pool at the 11th hour here; however I can’t imagine the overlap between people who are into fighting games as well as fans of… notponiesanymore is very large.

    Also wouldn’t that team then have to pretty much start from scratch since they would be abandoning their engine as well as all of the assets they developed (thanks to the C&D)? This would bring them to square 1.

    Still all the best to the Lab Zero team.

    • d3v

      It’s still money that goes to Lab Zero. If Mane6 were to actually license the engine from Mike, then not only would it likely cost more for them, but that money would go to Mike alone (as I believe he has the rights to the engine, not Lab Zero) and having LZ use that money might be subject to other complications.

    • Mr. X

      They’re back at square one regardless. Check the comments on their, the dev post in them explaining the situation after the C&D.

  • Props to Lab Zero for helping out a fellow fighting game dev. Even if it seems like an attempt to get more crowdfunding, they could’ve easily charged for the license of their engine, but they didnt. So hats off to them.

  • This will a cool concept. I’ll support this.

  • Cee Mcneil

    lol they already have da funds for the game but i still cant6 find any inages of how the characters will look