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Let's talk fighting games!

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Hey gang. So ever since I was young, I have always been mesmerized by fighting games. Specifically the traditional 1 vs 1 kind, where the camera would follow both on-screen characters (if that makes sense). In other words, Street Fighter, Mortal Kombat, Virtua Fighter, etc. I guess you would call them side-scrollers?? You know, the arcade games that were big in the 90's. I'm 26 now and have wanted to make a fighting game, for as long as I can remember. I think a lot of it had to do with the first MK's impact on me. Where it's photo-realistic visuals and "violence" was not widely seen in a game, for it's time. Although that series has gone downhill for me, I always thought the concept of the first game, to be sort of the direction I want to take my project in. Which would be a game with a dark tone, an oriental type theme, real martial arts styles and violence as real as you can get, without hindering the fun of having several rounds of fighting. I didn't want to make my post too long-winded but I did want to let you guys know where I'm coming from. So with that said, I was curious if any of you have ever wanted to make a fighting game? If so, it would great to hear some more ideas. Go into much detail as you desire. Whether it be on character or environmental designs, mood, gameplay mechanics, fighting styles, setting or whatever, post away! Also, this discussion isn't limited to the 1 vs 1 fighters but can broaden out to something like Smash Bros., or something one might consider general fighting territory.

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Mortal Kombat was never going to last. There was no depth to the game, and all the characters played the exact same other than their special moves. It was a shallow and full of worthless gimmicks. By the time MK3 came out, there was nothing left to do.

[Edited by - Daaark on April 3, 2010 10:33:48 AM]

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Without wishing to hijack this thread, there was a game I played a long time ago (released for the PSX) that was a fairly realistic 2 person fighting game based on various fighting styles set in feudal japan (or china, one of the two). I believe square released it actually. Anyways, what was neat about that game was the realism that one good hit could kill you (or injure you greatly). In fact the final "boss" could pull out a gun and that spelled instant death (never could get past that part).

The reason I bring that up is it would be nice to see a fighting game with more emphasis on that sort of realism. Where dodging the blow or using your environment to your advantage is much more important then pulling off a chained combat move. The game I am speaking of took it a bit TOO far in my mind, but some of the concepts it used were particularly fascinating. I remember me and my younger brother playing that over and over. It really changes the "mood" of the game and keeps you on the edge of your seat. I am not sure that this could be easily replicated in 2d however.

Just something to think about.

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I'm not a huge fighting game fan but I've always had a soft spot for Tekken. I've always wanted to see a fighting game mixed with a highly detailed sidescroller, sort of like a Tekken meets Strider or Double Dragon. The game could have a fairly involved story that's explored by taking different paths through the level and I think the mix of weak enemies and intricate boss fights would be interesting as well as the ability to retreat from a battle (aka lose a match) and try a different paths.

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Original post by Wavinator
I'm not a huge fighting game fan but I've always had a soft spot for Tekken. I've always wanted to see a fighting game mixed with a highly detailed sidescroller, sort of like a Tekken meets Strider or Double Dragon. The game could have a fairly involved story that's explored by taking different paths through the level and I think the mix of weak enemies and intricate boss fights would be interesting as well as the ability to retreat from a battle (aka lose a match) and try a different paths.
Tekken 5 and 6 actually have modes like this.

There is a whole game based somewhat on that concept called Urban Reign. You basically pick one or more fighters, and have a big fight one level after the other. The levels are open ended and have destructible elements, and there can be one boss, or or a whole gang to fight through. 2 characters from Tekken are even unlockable.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xImV9VXXx6A <-- fight in a bar

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Original post by Daaark
Mortal Kombat was never going to last. There was no depth to the game, and all the characters played the exact same other than their special moves. It was a shallow and full of worthless gimmicks. By the time MK3 came out, there was nothing left to do.
I hear that. The thing is, I feel when you're younger (I was about 10 when the first one came out) you're not as critical or judgmental about a games' design and all it's details. At least, I wasn't. Plus the fact, that there wasn't a game with those visuals and content for the time. Now that I'm older though, I am more selective and do see the nuances in games. Looking back I'm not impressed with any MK. Considering all of them did have shallow and broken gameplay and characters ripped off movies. Actually though, I didn't know how shallow or broken their games were until a couple years back. Where users on a fan forum, pointed out how flawed even their most recent title was at the time.

But what do you mean when you say, MK was never going to last? Because they are coming out with another one, so they must be doing something "right" with the masses. Call it on the part of nostalgia I suppose, which every iteration of the series is based off of. Honestly, I don't know how such shoddy developers got hired to make such a lackluster series. Alright, I'm done ranting :)

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Original post by WavinatorI'm not a huge fighting game fan but I've always had a soft spot for Tekken
Even though I don't know you personally, I do wonder as to why people don't like a certain genre of games. Even though you said you like Tekken, and I'm under the correct impression that you're not really into fighters, then I would actually like to know why that is. The reason I like the fighting game genre (not necessarily even the games that it's recognized for) is because the games feel to the point. I mean this on an emotional level (you know like, start attacking immediately), because I know these types of games, aren't really meant for the inexperienced. Unless you turn the difficulty level down. Other than that, I guess I also like the genre because I enjoy martial arts too.


Anyways, I thought there would be more people in here, that would want to create a fighting game of their own and not just see a certain idea made. Although, there's nothing wrong with that :) But surely, I can't be the only one???

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If I were to make a fighting game it would be control that were easy to handle and you didn't have to reserve one-third of your brain to memorize the countless array of button combinations for one character.

For instance Bushido Blade had a nice fighting mechanic. Simple, intuitive, and very easy to understand. Street Fighter (2, 3, 4) had simpler, IMO, button combos for moves and special moves than say Tekken, Virtua Fighter, or even Soul Calibur. The parry move from SF3 was easy. The counter move from DOA was easy. ;

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Original post by Alpha_ProgDes
If I were to make a fighting game it would be control that were easy to handle and you didn't have to reserve one-third of your brain to memorize the countless array of button combinations for one character.
Couldn't agree more. Today I was playing Virtua Fighter 4: Evolution and you have to think quickly in order to beat the enemy AI. I mean, it's obvious the devs tried to map button inputs, in accordance with how a characters actions are performed. But with so many moves at your disposal and each with their own properties, I can see how more brain activity is necessary when playing a match. Combo strings can also be a challenge in VF. It just all depends on many variables.

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For instance Bushido Blade had a nice fighting mechanic. Simple, intuitive, and very easy to understand. Street Fighter (2, 3, 4) had simpler, IMO, button combos for moves and special moves than say Tekken, Virtua Fighter, or even Soul Calibur. The parry move from SF3 was easy. The counter move from DOA was easy. ;
Would you mind giving me a simple rundown of how Bushido Blade worked? I've never played it. And I keep hearing about DOA's counter but don't know what that entails either.

I've also recently thought about a fighting game with a post-apocalyptic setting. I don't think I've ever seen this done.

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Original post by Swordmaster
But what do you mean when you say, MK was never going to last?
Because of the design flaws that meant the series wasn't fit to sit at the same table as the real fighting games of the time, and because they kept designing themselves into a corner.

They ran out of gas after MK2 because there was nothing left to do. They kept designing themselves into a corner, and having to find a way to top it in the next game. That meant they had to keep retconing the story, and every new character had to be 10x as "cool", and dangerous as the last.

As far as the success of the game. Midway went bankrupt.

When I was a kid I loved MK and knew everything about it. But most of my friends ignored MK3. And even though I stayed loyal to the series, I knew it was going downhill from there, and dropped it altogether when MK4 came out.

There is talk about rebooting the series. If that happens, I hope the story and the design are handled more responsibly. It's hard to have an MK2 when everyone from MK1 other than the winner is supposed to be dead, and the tournament is only supposed to happen every thousand years.

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Original post by Swordmaster
Would you mind giving me a simple rundown of how Bushido Blade worked? I've never played it.


Let's play Bushido Blade!

1 - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G7WZf6Q_QR4
2 - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EKwMUN0SPxk

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I think a successful fighting game is one where the combos are intuitive but differ depending on the martial arts. If 'X' and 'O' are the left leg and right leg buttons, respectively, then I should be able to come up with all types of kicking combos. Also, if I hit 'X' and 'O' together, then, regardless of what martial art style I'm using, both legs should be used to attack the enemy. Always.

I forget whether it's Tekken or Virtua Fighter that does this, but stances that change your attack (assuming you're using the same button combo) is also pretty cool. Adds more depth to the game, IMO.

MK was a pretty cool game. For me however the gameplay was too repetitive. The story sometimes was out there too. But I actually prefer the 3D games to the 2D ones.

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Original post by Daaark
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Original post by Swordmaster
Would you mind giving me a simple rundown of how Bushido Blade worked? I've never played it.


Let's play Bushido Blade!

1 - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G7WZf6Q_QR4
2 - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EKwMUN0SPxk
Thanks for the links. BB seems simple enough. I heard about the reboot rumor as well and another one about how gameplay for MK9 will be 2d. But at least for sure I know character models are 3d. This is according to the series co-creator.

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Original post by Alpha_ProgDes

Also, if I hit 'X' and 'O' together, then, regardless of what martial art style I'm using, both legs should be used to attack the enemy. Always.
I'm with you on this. Although, one of the problems that I see with using a system like this, is knowing which type of player to please. I mean of course, someone who plays on an arcade stick vs a gamepad. So, if you designate the right and left legs to two separate face buttons (such as the X and O) on a PS3 gamepad for example, you run into the problem of having to adjust your hands to accommodate face button inputs, for attacks that utilize both legs. This isn't really an issue with an arcade stick because of how its set up. I also see the same problem with diagonal inputs on the direction buttons of a 360 or PS3 gamepad. Of course, everyone is going to have an opinion on the feel though.

I've wondered if there is a way round this?

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Original post by Swordmaster
So, if you designate the right and left legs to two separate face buttons (such as the X and O) on a PS3 gamepad for example, you run into the problem of having to adjust your hands to accommodate face button inputs, for attacks that utilize both legs. This isn't really an issue with an arcade stick because of how its set up. I also see the same problem with diagonal inputs on the direction buttons of a 360 or PS3 gamepad. Of course, everyone is going to have an opinion on the feel though.

I've wondered if there is a way round this?


It was because of this that I used to play games like Tekken with my hand in an unnatural position ("arched over" the controller, using the index and middle fingers to press the face buttons). My hand would cramp up after a while.

These days most games allow mapping of individual buttons or combinations of face buttons to the shoulder buttons/bumpers/triggers. These buttons are rarely used in fighting games for anything else and allow me to play games like SF4 and the newer Tekkens quite comfortably.

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Original post by Alpha_ProgDes
If I were to make a fighting game it would be control that were easy to handle and you didn't have to reserve one-third of your brain to memorize the countless array of button combinations for one character.

For instance Bushido Blade had a nice fighting mechanic. Simple, intuitive, and very easy to understand. Street Fighter (2, 3, 4) had simpler, IMO, button combos for moves and special moves than say Tekken, Virtua Fighter, or even Soul Calibur. The parry move from SF3 was easy. The counter move from DOA was easy. ;
Virtua Fighter is easier to learn than Street Fighter 4. You can play mindfully - and win - with a handful of moves that have very easy inputs. From there you can integrate more stuff to your play when you are ready. There's no smooth ramp-up in SF4, you have to be able to do a lot of special moves reliably for the game to make sense at all. Going to a higher level of play you have to master insane combo inputs in SF. VF does reward dexterity, but mainly by letting you move smoother and faster, and defend more attacks. VF's few truly hard offensive inputs do not break your game if you can't do them. You pretty much always have an easy option that does slightly less damage.

Also, three buttons in VF vs six buttons in SF. Six buttons is way harder physically, IMO, since you no longer have a direct finger per button mapping. For this reason I would never put more than four buttons in a fighter.

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Original post by Stroppy Katamari
There's no smooth ramp-up in SF4, you have to be able to do a lot of special moves reliably for the game to make sense at all.


Well, the average character in SF4 only has three special moves, which are usually just slight variations on the same input (either a quarter-circle or holding a directional button). These used to be a nightmare to pull off reliably in earlier versions, but the next-gen incarnation is very lenient with player input.

In addition to these fairly standard special moves across characters you have heavy, medium and light punches and kicks - with few exceptions combos are made up of this pretty small set of moves and a good player can trash a poor player by using only basic attacks and timing. I find this relatively small move set to be a pretty minor hurdle to overcome in order to become effective with most of the characters in the game. Of course there are then cancels, more complex characters and all sorts of stuff for hardcore players to try to master but this is true of most fighting games and I think essential for their longevity.

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Original post by WavyVirus
Quote:
Original post by Stroppy Katamari
There's no smooth ramp-up in SF4, you have to be able to do a lot of special moves reliably for the game to make sense at all.


Well, the average character in SF4 only has three special moves, which are usually just slight variations on the same input (either a quarter-circle or holding a directional button). These used to be a nightmare to pull off reliably in earlier versions, but the next-gen incarnation is very lenient with player input.
Quarter-circles, shoryuken inputs, not to mention the super/ultra inputs are all hard for a beginner. Despite their apparent simplicity, charge moves are also hard since they incorporate hidden state and demand sophisticated joystick control and a decent predictive ability to actually use in a match. Having to make those inputs on demand is a massive barrier of entry. A low-level player who can do hadoukens and shoryukens semi-reliably has a ridiculous edge against a low-level player who cannot.

According to someone who probably knows what he's talking about, SF4 is prone to "create that impenetrable wall of execution between you and the actual game (the interaction between you and your opponent)".
http://www.sirlin.net/blog/2009/2/22/a-few-things-about-street-fighter-4.html

Regardless of high execution skill ceiling, there is no SF4-like hard execution wall for newcomers in VF. Knowing just punch, low punch, mid and throw - with inputs like P, d+P, df+K and P+G - you can have satisfying matches which incorporate the key elements and feel of the game. A lot of the character-specific heavy hitting moves are just two or three buttons, like f,f+K or K+G, and are not dependent on punching in a combo to do most of their damage. You can pretty much progress at your own pace. You are not at a huge disadvantage just because your opponent can do qcf+qcf+PPP whereas you can't.

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Original post by Stroppy Katamari
Quarter-circles, shoryuken inputs, not to mention the super/ultra inputs are all hard for a beginner. Despite their apparent simplicity, charge moves are also hard since they incorporate hidden state and demand sophisticated joystick control and a decent predictive ability to actually use in a match. Having to make those inputs on demand is a massive barrier of entry. A low-level player who can do hadoukens and shoryukens semi-reliably has a ridiculous edge against a low-level player who cannot.


OK, I think we'll have to agree to disagree here or risk derailing the thread. I see what you're getting at in principle (the interface should not be a barrier to gameplay) and agree entirely, I just don't think that these inputs are difficult to perform (including qcf+qcf+PPP). The game is so lenient that it basically accepts 1/8 circles as 1/4 circles, which effectively becomes a small flicking motion. A double qc can be performed without ever releasing the stick to the neutral position (a bit like a DJ scratching a record forward and back 1/8 of a revolution). Having to use timing and prediction for charge moves I also don't see as a problem - this is required to be at all effective in any fighting game.

Quote:

According to someone who probably knows what he's talking about, SF4 is prone to "create that impenetrable wall of execution between you and the actual game (the interaction between you and your opponent)".
http://www.sirlin.net/blog/2009/2/22/a-few-things-about-street-fighter-4.html


As an expert player I don't really think he's in the best position to judge the barrier to entry. I do agree with a lot of what is said about higher level stuff (cancels, combos etc). I'm mainly basing this on the fact that I was able to teach my housemate (who had never been a SF player) to pull off the basic moves semi-reliably in 5-10 minutes. It's true that if you learn by yourself and try to do proper qcs etc it will probably take you longer and some moves (e.g. Vega/El Fuerte's special) are unnecessarily hard to pull off. I'm no master player but can reliably execute pretty much any move - he was able to be competitive (especially when using characters with charge moves) almost immediately.

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The problem with combos in a lot of fighting games is that they are set sequences, and not any set of punches and kicks the player decides to enter. If the player just happens to enter the right sequences, their combo continues in a smooth motion, otherwise, it's a bunch of random offense with a slight pause in between.

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Original post by WavyVirus
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Original post by Stroppy Katamari
Quarter-circles, shoryuken inputs, not to mention the super/ultra inputs are all hard for a beginner. Despite their apparent simplicity, charge moves are also hard since they incorporate hidden state and demand sophisticated joystick control and a decent predictive ability to actually use in a match. Having to make those inputs on demand is a massive barrier of entry. A low-level player who can do hadoukens and shoryukens semi-reliably has a ridiculous edge against a low-level player who cannot.
I just don't think that these inputs are difficult to perform (including qcf+qcf+PPP).
qcf+qcf+PPP not difficult? Wow.

I don't doubt most people who have seen a joystick before can pull off all of these inputs in training, but as responses to what the opponent does, while being beat down and pressured? Serious, aggressive matches have people messing up the simplest inputs.
Quote:
Quote:

According to someone who probably knows what he's talking about, SF4 is prone to "create that impenetrable wall of execution between you and the actual game (the interaction between you and your opponent)".
http://www.sirlin.net/blog/2009/2/22/a-few-things-about-street-fighter-4.html


As an expert player I don't really think he's in the best position to judge the barrier to entry.
I'd understand scepticism if a veteran player said the moves are easy, but this is a veteran player saying they are difficult, and even partly describing the measures he takes to cope with the difficulty (extra qcf-pumping). I'm hard pressed to think of a better person to comment on the barrier of entry to SFIV than a designer of a Street Fighter game who has done a ton of thinking and writing on fighting games. An anecdote of how much one random guy has learned in five minutes doesn't count for much tbh.

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