Fan-Made Mass Effect 3 Sequel Will Further the Jack-Shepard Romance

Warning: Some light spoilers for Mass Effect 3′s ending are contained herein.

The fan community of the Mass Effect series is a huge one, and the far-reaching and enthralling stories told by BioWare’s sci-fi trilogy have inspired a lot of cool fan creations in its wake. One such title is a point-and-click adventure title called Finding Shepard, a game exploring the aftermath of the ending of Mass Effect 3 and focusing on “the psychotic biotic,” Jack.

The game is being created by Audrey Ryan, a 31-year-old stay-at-home mom and Mass Effect fan. And it looks pretty cool, taking the events that occur during Mass Effect 3′s “Destroy” ending and extrapolating them. It’s a game specifically made for players who explored the Jack-as-love-interest plot line from Mass Effect 2, Ryan told Game Front in an interview.

“To me, a short conversation at the Purgatory and a dull holo-call between Jack and Shepard (in Mass Effect 3) wasn’t enough to satisfy my paramour craving,” Ryan said. “So, in this story, I intend to show that strong emotional connection there is between Jack and Shepard; the one we’ve seen in ME2 when you romance Jack.

“Jack is, by far, my favorite character. The fact that she hardly got any attention in ME3 really saddened me. Bioware developed so many interesting diverse characters in ME2 and after spending so many hours playing the game, I couldn’t help getting attached to them. To find they hardly played any part in ME3 took away from the emotional connection I had invested in the previous game.”

The story of Finding Shepard follows the conclusion of Mass Effect 3, focusing on Jack, who refuses to believe in Commander Shepard’s demise at the end of that game (this potential conclusion is hinted at in the Destroy ending). Ryan also has said on her AGS thread that Wrex, Kasumi and Miranda would appear in the game.

Finding Shepard is still pretty early in its development, but Ryan has shared a few images and concepts for the game on the Adventure Game Studios’ user forum. Ryan is using AGS to build the game and is doing all the pixel art, in the style of popular adventure games from years’ past.

“You can expect a short but exciting journey about Jack’s hardened will to rescue Commander Shepard,” she said. “Instead of writing a fanfic or drawing a comic, I’m making a fan game. King’s Quest, Space Quest, Hero’s Quest, Willy Beamish, Legend of Kyrandia, Beneath a Steel Sky, Day of The Tentacle, The Dig — all inspire me.”

Since she mentioned the game on the AGS forums, it has garnered a lot of attention — and that means that Ryan is no longer the only person involved in what was originally a solo project.

“Originally, I was going to make this game entirely on my own,” she said. “Since news of it got out, I received messages of people offering their help; Koobismo’s team offered to voice the game, Christopher is creating music, Agentbauer is taking care of the complex coding and Dr. Doctor is revising Jack’s dialog lines to make sure all is in order. I take care of the game’s planning, storyboard, writing, dialog, close-ups, backgrounds, sprite animation — in other words; everything else.”

Finding Shepard isn’t Ryan’s only project, she said. She previously worked on a game based on the fairytale “Billy Goats Gruff” for one of AGS’ monthly game competition. Ryan said she completed the game on time mostly to prove to herself that she could build an entire game on her own.

She’s also working on a remake of King’s Quest IV. Finding Shepard, she said, was at first a way for her to spend more time getting familiar with coding in AGS.

As of right now, Ryan said the story for Finding Shepard is written. She also has sketched all the backgrounds and is working on the art for the game, which she makes with a mixture of various art programs and a graphic tablet. A demo of Finding Shepard is currently in the works, which Ryan said she’d post on her AGS forum thread, right here. Further updates on the game are also posted there.

Follow Hornshaw and Game Front on Twitter: @philhornshaw and @gamefrontcom.

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