The first ever Japanese Fighting Game Publisher Round Table discussion just happened this past weekend. The discussion had developers from 7 different companies to discuss questions submitted by the community. They had some great answers and insight to the business side of creating fighting games. Unfortunately they ran out of time to answer all the questions on the docket, so hopefully this will be a regular occurrence to continue bringing transparency and communication with the community as a whole.
Here are some notes taken of the the two and a half hour discussion and presentation.
Selection of characters
- Listening to user feedback and judge the base’s taste to judge
- SF has a huge pool, so they’ll look at characters from other series in Capcom
- They want characters representing a country to be liked in that region
- They want to come up with new mechanics for characters
- SF tries to stick closer to reality
- Game systems change with newer iterations, so characters will be considered in how they fit in the system
- Different generations of players have different opinions of what characters they want
- User opinion is considered but also with data of character usage and popularity (2 different metrics).
- Gathering data is hard because character usage may be due to characters strength / tier placement.
- Characters that the devs want to make and that fit in the story is also a big consideration. They then take it to the marketing team to help flesh out the back story.
- KT knows that the DOA audience wants cute girls that are strong
- They want to make sure to balance not to have a bunch of old buff men and make sure to have pretty girls included in the roster.
- Daisuke approaches with choosing the amount of characters and then diversify the cast
- Popular play styles and character archetypes are also considered when creating the cast of characters
Cross play between platforms
- Budgeting is a big part of being able to implement cross play
- The technical difficulties isn’t difficult depending on the way the infrastructure is designed
- Harada wanted to approach Microsoft & Sony to do crossplay in the PS3 / Xbox 360 era to compete with free mobile games. But there was a lot of red tape and cost involved to have 1st party platforms to provide resources was difficult. But with the next gen consoles (PS5 & XBSX) they’ll keep pushing this idea forward.
- There’s different technical specs between platforms, so it’s difficult to consider all the details. Things like different controllers and inputs would need to be taken into account across the different platforms.
- All the developers want to implement cross play but there’s a lot of things to consider that make it more difficult than it seems.
- Hard execution is a legacy idea that seemed to require the arcade sticks. But they want to preserve the culture.
- Driver updates is a consideration . Although the amount of arcade controller makers are declining.
- The newer generation of gamers are starting on pad, so many new fighting gamer players are are learning on them. The devs are surprised that pad is feasible since they thought arcade controllers were required before.
- They are seeing more than half of the players in tournaments are using pad now.
- Repeat inputs of a button are a big advantage of the arcade sticks, but new games don’t require it as much.
- Daisuke was saying newer generations on the team that new specs should be considered that take advantage of the pad.
- A point was made that the repeat button input from the arcade controller can help players get immersed and make it more fun.
- Another dev says they like the complex inputs but wants to make battle systems that don’t skew to pad or arcade controllers having an advantage.
- A comparison was made that the controller is like the equipment athletes bring to their games.
User experience in fighting games
- Fighting game systems change often, users tend to expect this to happen every 3 to 5 years.
- There could be interesting possibilities with artificial intelligence
- Online match making needs to be done well, otherwise you’ll lose the player base over time.
- Ranking systems are a way divide people up to match them together. But what is the best way?
- A perfect AI computer could possibly be a great way for people to have fun at their own levels.
- The idea of an AI that will make the fight close but let you win was considered. First Person Shooters tend to utilize this a lot.
- One of the devs had made an online game in China and implemented this type of AI. But the playerbase soon found out about this and the reception was negative.
- There’s an issue of having enough players to play online and finding players that will match your skill level over time
- Debugging the AI to fine tune it can be very difficult, because it needs to feel human.
- Okubo feels there are still a lot of improvements that can be made to the online match making system. But from a business perspective, costs need to be considered.
Simplifying fighting games
- Growing the player base is an expectation from the company. It’s a hard balance to keep the current audience happy and grab new players.
- Daisuke says there’s a different between simple and easy. Making the game easy to understand is a big objective. It is not necessarily the same as making it more simple. Cutting or altering system is a method to try and achieve that goal.
- One point was made about GBVS and how it looks easy to understand with having depth. The fact that both options to have the standard input and the button specials seem like a good way.
- To balance having a one button special, the idea needs to be balanced with making the
- The challenge to make the floor wide while making the ceiling tall is very difficult.
- Harada explains that even simplifying the controls won’t necessarily help new players because they don’t understand how to utilize the tools. It’s hard to understand when and how to use moves. FPS games is simpler in the way that you just need to point and shoot the gun at someone.
- The idea for new players in fighting games is to build a staircase to get players invested into the game
- Dead or Alive 6 – Base game free to play for limited time
- Tamaki will be available for arcades in Japan soon
- Samurai Shodown -Season 3 has been green lit (no details)
- New DLC character Gongsun Li is free
- King of Fighters XV – Announcement will come soon
- Capcom – Full game free to play for limited time (for 2 weeks starting Aug 5)
- Bigger announcement coming on August 5, 2020 featuring Kenny Omega
- Fighting EX Layer – Roll back netcode available for all versions of the game
- Character skins will be available soon for the Steam version
- Testing cross platform play in the game
- SoulCalibur VI – Setsuka is next DLC character + more DLC
- Tekken 7 – Season 4 announced with details
- Dragon Ball FighterZ – Announcements will be made in August
- Guilty Gear Strive – Leo Whitefang and Nagoriyuki characters announced