The release of BioWare’s Mass Effect 3 was one of the gaming highlights of 2012, or depending on how you responded to the controversial ending, one of the low points. Whatever your viewpoint, it’s hard to deny that the series is among the most popular, and the fact that a fan-made spin-off game has surfaced should not come as much of a surprise. Titled Finding Shepard, this new adventure will give fans a chance to play through an alternate scenario that tuns parallel to the ending of Mass Effect 3.

Finding Shepard is the brainchild of “Nightfable” (real name unknown), a Canadian artist who has been posting about her project on the Adventure Game Studios (AGS)  forum.  In this game, you play the role of Jack, a female protagonist who must make her way to the Citadel to rescue Commander Shepard. This takes place immediately after the events of one of the Mass Effect 3 endings, the “Destroy” ending to be specific, and it will give series fans a different perspective on key moments in the game. Finding Shepard will be presented as a point-and-click adventure game, a gameplay style rooted in classic PC  thrillers and mysteries. Whether or not is lends itself well to the Mass Effect 3 storyline is something we’ll see if and when the game gets released.

To be clear, Finding Shepard has not yet been completed and no playable version is currently available. Nightfable has created a thread in the AGS forum to keep people updated on her progress, and the screenshots she has released look impressive. Since this is a fan-made endeavour, expecting it to hold up to the standards of the series is unrealistic. However, this demonstrates the imagination and dedication that fans have for their favourite games, something the game companies should take more notice of.  How the game will turn out, as well as the legal and copyright issues that can arise, seem irrelevant now. This is a cool concept and I look forward to seeing it in playable form one day.