How Fantasy Strike, Out July 25, Tackles the ‘Accessible Fighter’ Paradox
Depth Comes From Testing and Tuning Over Time
I think it’s easy to see why all these things above help beginners, especially those who have never played a fighting game before. What might seem surprising until you think about it, is that it helps us make a deep game for experts too.
We’ve had the unusual situation for the last four years of developing this fighting game that every time we test it, everyone can do optimal punish combos every time. Everyone can do all the techniques. Sort of like how everyone can move all the pieces in chess. Usually in fighting game development though, things get so difficult to execute at the expert level that testing “the real game” is very hard. So few people can even “move the pieces” correctly that balance problems can go unnoticed for a long time, and ultimately make a game shallower. But any time we had something shallow or degenerate, it was immediately obvious because the spotlight is right on player-decisions. It was sure a lot easier to ensure high level play is rich and varied than it would have been for most other fighting games. Spending four years on it helped quite a bit too, lol.
I also want to mention at least briefly that online play is really important to us. We use a technology called GGPO plus our own proprietary sauce that makes online play especially smooth and responsive feeling, minimizing input delay. I live in California, and I’m able to play a friend in Tokyo and our games feel almost impossibly smooth. We really hope you try the online play!
Another big factor in the online experience of any game is the UI. Fighting games have generally had convoluted, confusing UI just to play someone online. We’re trying to really stand out from the crowd here by having a simple single click to challenge a friend. You have an in-game friends list and you can just click anyone to challenge, and if they accept, you’re put in the same gameflow as if they were sitting next to you in the same room.
And we also let you watch any friends match with another single click from that friend’s screen. You’ll even automatically follow them and watch all their online matches in all modes automatically. We haven’t seen this before in any other fighting game.
I hope that gives you a taste of some of the things going on in Fantasy Strike. We’ll see you online next month at launch!