MY LITTLE PONY: FRIENDSHIP IS MAGIC
Satisfying fans of all types and making a mobile game that provides the ultimate fan service.
My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic is a city builder with fun mini-games based on the popular animated TV series by Hasbro. This Gameloft-developed title was the first mobile game for the franchise.
DEVELOPER/PUBLISHER Gameloft (Auckland)
ROLE Narrative Designer
CHALLENGE: WRITING FOR A DIVERSE AUDIENCE
Although My Little Pony was created for young girls, the franchise has attracted fans of all ages—including adult women ("Pegasisters") and adult men ("Bronies"). The challenge was to create a fun, accessible game for young children while also engaging older fans who've come to love these characters and the universe of Equestria.
RESEARCH: NO HORSIN' AROUND
In addition to working closely with Hasbro, I watched every episode of the show (thank you, Netflix), and conducted research by looking at previous Pony materials (tablet apps, fan sites) to get a sense of the characters and the stories, as well as what fans expected.
DESIGN & DEVELOPMENT PROCESS: SERVING THE FANS
I worked closely with the lead game designers, designing the macro objectives based on the premise of the first several episodes of Season 1 (which pit the ponies against the evil mare Nightmare Moon). I also wrote the dialogue, quest text, Pony bios, and item descriptions.
Additionally, I composed the voice-over script for the cutscenes and character barks, which utilized the show's voice actors (the ultimate fan service!). We also tested the game with fans—young and old alike—to get feedback on the gameplay mechanics and in-game text, which is how we were able to implement the voice-over to help younger players understand how to play the game.