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trying to make 2-d fighters feel new and fresh

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I've currently come up with idea or two about making a 2-d fighter. The whole premise is speed and style, but I've hit a few snags.How can i make game look stylish and fun to play while at the same time making it easy to pick up? I was thinking about simplifying the combo system, so you don't have to memorize huge combos, but I'm not 100% sure. Some source material I've used was the flash series street fighter 3 vs. mortal kombat by proxcide, which involved many air acrobatics, and the camera following characters on screen at certain times. How can i make sure the camera zooms in at the right time, while not annoying the player? i appreciate any responses in advance.

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Xamera Ai is a total mystery to me, but for the style and ease of use, why not use common control schemes for every character, so you can use one or another very similarly? In Smash Brothers, once you figure out how "smash" works, you're golden. Combos are straightforward strings of simple moves, free-form and easy to pick up, not the twenty-button-press nightmares you'd see in games like Killer Instinct. Similarly, special moves were executed with one or two buttons, and maybe a directional press. For instance, everyone has an "Up + B" move. They're all different, but you don't need to change your timing to get the guy to do the move.

That makes the game enormously accessible, but nuances of timing, a counter system that's childishly simple but often crucial to success, and advance super-timing tricks like air dodging and catching incoming projectiles all combine to make for a game that's fun in the first ten minutes and fun for years afterward. Even today, I'll go to my buddy's house, we'll drink a beer and play Kane and Lynch or Halo 3 or whatever, but by beer #3 it's Falco vs. Luigi and the most profane smacktalk since Goldeneye.

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In MvC 1, the camera zooms in when you perform aerial raves. It's not really noticable though and only happens in the psx version. In SF3, the camera zooms in during the super charge time and also when certain super moves connect (Ryu's Shin Shoryuken for example).

As long as you keep the player's character within his view when he has control, I think it'd be okay to move the camera around anyway you want.

Something that plays like those flash series would be cool but yea, its gonna be difficult to pull off.

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The most important thing with the camera is that it zooms and pans correctly to keep all the action on the screen. Here's a quick algorithm you can use:

-Get a list of all the important things that need to be displayed, like player characters and projectiles. The camera viewport needs to be adjusted to fit all these things on the screen.

-Go through the list and find the max X, max Y, min X, and min Y values of the object positions. This gives you the rectangle containing the required viewing area.

-Now the desired viewing area needs to be adjusted to fit the aspect ratio of the window. A formula you can use is:

Y/X = A+i/B+j

where X is the width of the screen, Y is the height of the screen, A is the height of your desired viewing area, B is the width of the desired viewing area, i is the amount the height needs to be adjusted, and j is the amount the width needs to be adjusted.

If A/B is less than Y/X, it means your rectangle is too wide and the height needs to be adjusted. Set j=0 and solve the equation for i. You need to move the top of your rectangle by +i/2 and the bottom by -i/2.

If A/B is greater than Y/X, it means your rectanlge it too tall and the width needs to be adjusted. Set i=0 and solve the equation for j. You need to move the right of your rectangle by +i/2 and the left by -i/2.

-Now all you have to do is set the camera's projection to the rectangle you came up with, and it should always snap to fit everything on the screen. There are a few other tricks you can do to prevent the camera from "popping" and get smoother panning and zooming, but this should get you started :)

(also, you can peep Super Pillow Fighter if you want to see a camera that behaves like this) :)

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Thanks for the quick reply!
i wasn't so sure that i would be able to pull it off, but your responses helped a lot.
i was watching sf vs. mk again and i couldn't get over how a character would throw a fireball, but he could get hit by it as well.
if that could implemented properly, you would be able to severely punish people who spam specials by throwing them into there own projectile.
and another thing. with a simplified control scheme, would it be possible to re-create those intense close quarters combat segments featured in each of the series. this flash movie is a huge inspiration to the game itself and if it was possible to be able to re-create that awesome movie into gameplay you could pick up. i think that it could sell very well

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Yeah, that movie looks like it would be pretty fun to play :)
I like how fast the characters move, and how they are constantly bouncing all over the screen. It would be pretty cool to be able to double jump and air dash as much as you want. I don't think I've ever played a fighter with air game like that.

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Take a look at Melty Blood and Big Bang Beat. Both feature similar combo systems that are quite easy to pick up. The combos can sometimes be a bit long though.

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Instead of using the classic empty arena why not put stuff in the environment that is useable. I'm not a big fighting game fan so I could be wrong but I don't recall seeing this very often.

(Picture a bar fight where both fightings can pick up chairs, tables, and/or bottles)

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this is really starting to get good! i hadn't thought of players being able to pick up stuff in the environment.

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I think the concept of a 2-D fighting game is fundamentally good. It may be an old idea, but people still really enjoy playing them. People just love hurting things I guess.

I think the key problem people find in playing 2-D fighting games is that they usually LOOK old. I know gameplay is key to what makes a game fun, but it's equally true that appearance is important. For example, Total Annihilation is one of my favourite games of all time. When it was made, it looked amazing too. Now, however, if I go back and play it I find it harder to get into because, simply, it looks old. It distracts me a little from what I'm doing. I do really enjoy the game, so I quickly get over this... but if you're only playing for some quick arcade-y action, like you would in a 2-D fighting game, it could be a problem.

So I think, assuming you have a working, smooth system of combat, one of the best steps you could do would be to make some nice art for the game. Stick in some high resolution, perspective-scrolling backgrounds. Maybe some animated middle-ground/foreground activity. An example would be falling leaves or weather. Make sure the characters look good. Throw in some nice-looking effects for special moves and it'll look amazing.

In terms of fun features there are lots of options up your sleeve. First up, I think the idea of items littering the arenas is a good one. Things that fit in with the theme of the particular arena especially. You could even go further with arena interaction. I mentioned weather for example. You could apply weather effects on your combat. Snow might build up and be knocked away by fighting, slowing down characters. You could make the arena slippery when wet. You could make hail which would do slight damage, or lightning which will build up in the clouds above an area, giving players a short warning to move. What you would do would depend on your arena, as there are lots of non-weather options too. For example: breaking supports, crumbling floors, steam pipes, even rudimentary AI animals of some description.

In terms of combat interaction, you could try introducing a parrying/countering system which would allow quick-fingered players to parry an opponent's blow and return some sort of counter-attack. This allows you to add lots more cool-looking special moves without cluttering the controls. It also adds that brilliant moment of satisfaction as you deny your foe, before sending him sprawling backward.

Another idea I've heard of somewhere (I think CoD 4?) that I thought was interesting was a last-chance system of sorts. I don't know exactly how your 'KO' moments are going to work, so this may be irrelevant. You could design a system which would allow a player who is about to die one last chance to avoid death and retaliate.

I think the control system is what will make or break this kind of game. Long combos I personally find quite annoying. I think, as the Iron Chef Carnage said, that a combo system similar to Super Smash Bros would be quite effective. Maybe, if you'd like to add more choice, you could slightly expand this retinue with double-taps or moves which change depending on your location in relation to the enemy. If you want to spend a long time coding you could try to do something similar to Assassin's creed, which is movement-based controls. That might take a lot of work which isn't really necessary though.

Anyway, I think that's all I could suggest right now. If you make it look good and make the controls interesting then I think you'll make a great game. If you look at Flow (PS3), it was basically snake, but people loved it because it had a unique visual style and a different, fresh way to move.

Good luck. :)

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