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PostPosted: Tue Oct 25, 2016 4:48 am 
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Sumez wrote:
On-topic. Your game is more of a brawler (ie. one person vs. several oncoming enemies) rather than a 1-on-1 versus game, right? Or is this a completely different game?

My game that I actually programmed (with the character that you can see in my avatar on the left) is neither. It's a jump n run with a close ranged weapon.

The game that I want to talk about here isn't a game that actually exists. I just want to talk about hypothetical NES fighting games. And in this case, I want to talk about 1 on 1 fighting games like "Street Fighter II", "Fatal Fury", "Mortal Kombat" etc., not the "Double Dragon"/"Final Fight"-like brawlers.

Sumez wrote:
On the subject of art style, I think the NES lends itself most to the "anime"-style cartoonish figures with large heads, exaggerated features, etc. There's a limit to HOW big you can make the sprites, and with only three colors per hardware sprite you need to make the most of it - and with different characters, the differences between them need to be immediately apparent.

Yeah, exaggerated heads etc. are one way. But it's not the only way to make them distinguishable.
Apart from using large characters like in "Turtles Tournament Fighters" (and having to come up with creative ways to reduce flickering), I've seen different styles in fighting games that use smaller characters:
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Besides, you can have six colors per character since the other sprite palettes aren't really needed for anything else. (You just need to be careful when you actually overlay two sprites Mega Man-like, instead of separating the two palettes between top and bottom, like Amy in my avatar. Because this way, you run into the the eight sprites limit earlier.)

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 25, 2016 5:02 am 
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I agree there are other ways, and you can make them work, I just don't personally find them preferable. I think more distinct "comical" characters adds more flavor to the game, I'm even seeing that in much more advanced games such as Super Dodgeball on the Neo Geo.

Some of the examples you bring up are more limited in their options, too, since they are ports of 16-bit titles, and in the case of Turtles also have to adhere to a standard based on the license. Even then, the two GB examples you posted (and almost every other GB fighter) have to do the thing I suggest, where the characters' features become more exaggerated, as you'd never be able to tell KoF characters apart on a lo-res monochrome screen without doing that.

You could have characters like your Amy character, too, which would be very typical of early NES games, but I feel that in a game where you need to have multiple characters to choose from, it wouldn't take a lot of them before they start getting somewhat samey. With three or maybe four characters it could work fine though.

Generally, I don't feel it's a good idea to try making a fully fledged Street Fighter II style game on the NES. You'd just feel limited way too soon, and it's no fun playing a game that's constantly trying to work itself around its limitations, rather than one that just works well with what it CAN do. As such I feel that a NES vs-fighter should focus more on the movements and placements of your characters, than the individual moves. I know you aren't thinking of Smash Bros. style games, but I think it's possible to do a decent "hybrid" with more focus on the fighting, and less on the "party".


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 25, 2016 6:30 am 
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Sumez wrote:
Even then, the two GB examples you posted (and almost every other GB fighter) have to do the thing I suggest, where the characters' features become more exaggerated, as you'd never be able to tell KoF characters apart on a lo-res monochrome screen without doing that.

The "King of Fighters" example is actually the one that I would prefer if I cannot find a way around the flickering when using large characters.
The characters in "Street Fighter Alpha" are a bit too faceless for me. But "Battle Arena Toshinden" looks too cutesy. "King of Fighters" is a good middle way, though: The heads are recognizable, but the characters don't look too chibi-like and still communicate a serious vibe.

Sumez wrote:
You could have characters like your Amy character, too, which would be very typical of early NES games

Yeah, this game was designed as a 1985-era game, but for a fighting game, I would definitely use another style, so that it looks more like post-1991 (i.e. the year when SF2 came out).

Sumez wrote:
Generally, I don't feel it's a good idea to try making a fully fledged Street Fighter II style game on the NES. You'd just feel limited way too soon, and it's no fun playing a game that's constantly trying to work itself around its limitations, rather than one that just works well with what it CAN do.

What limitations do you have in mind?

Apart from the eight sprite rule and only two action buttons, I don't see anything gameplay-related from the famous 1991-1995 fighting games that you couldn't replicate on the NES.
I mean, the Game Boy managed to pull off a decent port of "Mortal Kombat II" that plays pretty close to the real version. They said "Killer Instinct" is equally fine. And the above mentioned "Battle Arena Toshinden" and "King of Fighters" play nice as well.

With punch and kick alone, you are already able to do three different standing punches and three different standing kicks, so your possible attacks aren't that limited either.

What other limitations do you have in mind that could be problematic for a fighting game on the NES?

Sumez wrote:
As such I feel that a NES vs-fighter should focus more on the movements and placements of your characters, than the individual moves. I know you aren't thinking of Smash Bros. style games, but I think it's possible to do a decent "hybrid" with more focus on the fighting, and less on the "party".

Well, the idea is to do a straight, regular fighting game. The very genre that only got really one representative on the NES ("Turtles Tournament Fighters"), and that game was rather mediocre.

"Smash Bros."-like would be a possibility, but I see this more as a completely new idea instead of one aspect for a planned fighting game. Because it would defy my very first intention: To have a real fighting game on the NES. Not some alternate genre that matches the NES better, but a fighting game in the same sense as the countless fighting games for the Super Nintendo and Game Boy, so that "Turtles Tournament Fighters" is not the only one anymore.

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Trailer: https://youtu.be/IYXpP59qSxA
Gameplay: https://youtu.be/Eee0yurkIW4
German Retro Gamer article: http://i67.tinypic.com/345o108.jpg


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 25, 2016 6:48 am 
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I can see one technical limit (apart from flicker) and one business limit.

The technical limit: Not all of both characters' frames will fit in video memory visible to the PPU at once. This means bank switching. And when a character throws a fireball, the sprite data for the fireball must remain available to the PPU until the fireball disappears. This might complicate bank switching scheme: you need to either switch the fireball separately from its owner or put the fireball in all banks. And I doubt that even a 32K CHR RAM is enough to hold a background plus all moves for both characters. You may end up need to go with either MMC3 + CHR ROM or some predictive double buffering scheme that adds lag if the player does something unpredictable.

The business limit: Are we doing this for a hobby or for money? If for a hobby, it'll be difficult to draw around 1,000 frames of animation, 80 for each of 12 characters, and difficult to balance the characters so as not to have "god tier" and "waste of CHR ROM tier" characters. If for money, I was under the impression that the market for new NES software wasn't nearly as big as, say, the market for Steam or 3DS or Wii U games.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 25, 2016 8:23 am 
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tepples wrote:
Not all of both characters' frames will fit in video memory visible to the PPU at once. [...] You may end up need to go with either MMC3 + CHR ROM

I don't know much about the details of mappers yet, but yes, I assumed that I would use MMC3 for this kind of game, simply because "Turtles Tournament Fighters" uses it as well, as does "Fighting Road". I'm aware that this wouldn't be an NROM game, but I thought it wouldn't be that problematic because "Turtles Tournament Fighters" pulled it off as well.

tepples wrote:
The business limit: Are we doing this for a hobby or for money?

If this ever gets made, then it would be a mix of both: I would sell it on cartridges and not simply put the ROM online for download, but it would still be a hobby project and not something that I try to get rich with.

Yes, I'm aware that this would require a lot of graphics, although I don't think it requires 80 frames per character. Ryu in the two Game Boy "Street Fighter" games has around 45-50 frames. And I would probably start with eight fighters.
I hope that my current music artist or two of my colleagues at work could help out with this.

As I said, if this ever gets made. In the moment, I'm not even writing any code for it. This is all just a thought in my head and nothing else. And this current thread is just to see what people would generally want in such a game.

Steam, 3DS or Wii U doesn't interest me. So, if the NES was not an option, I would probably not do a fighting game at all.

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Available now: My game "City Trouble".
Website: https://megacatstudios.com/products/city-trouble
Trailer: https://youtu.be/IYXpP59qSxA
Gameplay: https://youtu.be/Eee0yurkIW4
German Retro Gamer article: http://i67.tinypic.com/345o108.jpg


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