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What would you like from an NES fighting game?
https://forums.nesdev.com/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=14981
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Author:  DRW [ Sun Oct 23, 2016 6:39 am ]
Post subject:  What would you like from an NES fighting game?

There are a few discussions on this forum about the technical difficulties of creating a fighting game like "Street Fighter II", "Fatal Fury" or "Mortal Kombat" on the NES.

But in this thread, I'd rather talk about game contents themselves.

So, while we should keep the NES limitations in mind (i.e. a fighting game where four full-size fighter are on screen at once is pretty unlikely), the technical side should be secondary, i.e. it should not become a discussion about programming tricks to circumvent hardware limitations etc.

So, let's say someone programmed a new fighting game. (An original intellectual property, i.e. not a port of an existing game. And a straight, regular fighting game like the ones mentioned above. Not something like "Super Smash Bros." or "Nekketsu Kakutou Densetsu".)
What would you want from that fighting game?

What kinds of gameplay mechanism would you like to have included?

Would you prefer larger sprites and occasional flicker or would you say that smaller sprites (like in the Game Boy Takara fighting games) are better, so that the sprites don't flicker that much?

What kind of atmosphere, background story, character style and art design would you like?

Author:  Kasumi [ Sun Oct 23, 2016 6:53 am ]
Post subject:  Re: What would you like from an NES fighting game?

This is a good video of a lot of common general and UI annoyances people have: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gpXganAM_qA

Not a lot besides the net stuff that wouldn't matter on NES.

Have a good input buffer. Have consistent hitboxes during idle and hitstun. I tend to prefer games with air blocking, and chain based rather than link based games. Actively think about preventing infinites and unblockables or you're dead in the water. Make standing overheads reactable in practice and not just theory. No 1 frame lows. Defensive options besides blocking: Throw techs! Look up parries/push blocking.

I don't care that much about atmosphere and background story and style.

Author:  Dwedit [ Sun Oct 23, 2016 7:11 am ]
Post subject:  Re: What would you like from an NES fighting game?

Oh god, reading your post reminded me of how crazy hard Skullgirls is. Once you try to play against someone other than the AI, all bets are off, and you're dead in the water.

Author:  Kasumi [ Sun Oct 23, 2016 7:19 am ]
Post subject:  Re: What would you like from an NES fighting game?

Skullgirls is mechanic/reset heavy, yes. But is there any good fighting game where you have a chance against someone competent after only playing AI?

Author:  Espozo [ Sun Oct 23, 2016 8:59 am ]
Post subject:  Re: What would you like from an NES fighting game?

Kasumi wrote:
is there any good fighting game where you have a chance against someone competent after only playing AI?

I'd say Street Fighter 2. On the opposite end of the spectrum (for fun) I'd say Super Smash Bros., if you're counting that as a fighting game.

Author:  DRW [ Mon Oct 24, 2016 2:43 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: What would you like from an NES fighting game?

Kasumi wrote:
Have a good input buffer. Have consistent hitboxes during idle and hitstun. I tend to prefer games with air blocking, and chain based rather than link based games. Actively think about preventing infinites and unblockables or you're dead in the water. Make standing overheads reactable in practice and not just theory. No 1 frame lows. Defensive options besides blocking: Throw techs! Look up parries/push blocking.

To be honest, this is a bit too technical for me. For most of these terms, I don't even know what they mean.

When I asked what people would like in an NES fighting game, I was thinking more of general features. Things that a regular player recognizes and understand as well, not the highly technical engine details that are only really known to fighting game experts.

(I guess everybody knows what air blocking is, but I doubt that the random player who has "Street Fighter II" on the Super Nintendo next to "Super Mario World" and "F-Zero" knows what chain based vs. link based is about.)

So, any further opinions? If a fighting game got made for the NES, what would you want it to be like?

Author:  tepples [ Mon Oct 24, 2016 3:20 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: What would you like from an NES fighting game?

A chain has links, and according to Zelda Wiki and SmashWiki, Link has a chain.

According to an answer by CloudyMusic on Arqade, a "chain" means each attack in a sequence ends with a period during which the attack can be "canceled", or shortened to start the next attack in the sequence immediately. For example, in the NES beat-em-up platformer Haunted: Halloween '85, the last frame of animation in each punch combo is extra long so that it can be canceled into the next when the player presses B again. This behavior is the same in the forthcoming sequel The Curse of Possum Hollow.

A "link", on the other hand, relies on hitstun. After one attack completes, you can input another attack while the opponent is still in hitstun. This usually requires much stricter timing, but many games make links easier by adding a buffer. Instead of advancing immediately to the next frame when the player presses the attack button, a buffer registers that the player wants to perform an attack, and then the attack begins at the end of a particular frame. For example, HH85 had a problem with not recognizing jumps while going down a staircase or slope. We've changed it in Curse to buffer A presses performed just above the ground, so that when Donny lands on the next step, he immediately jumps.

Author:  DRW [ Mon Oct 24, 2016 3:56 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: What would you like from an NES fighting game?

Sooo, after me saying that I don't know much about these technical details and that the intention of this thread was more about general, easily-recognizable features of an NES fighting game, instead of delving into these really specific game engine details that only hardcore players really care about, you felt the need to write a post in this thread to explain said specifc game engine details?

Really? :|

Author:  tepples [ Mon Oct 24, 2016 4:03 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: What would you like from an NES fighting game?

I was getting the explanation out of the way in case someone else were to happen upon this topic.

So to re-rail, what aspects of "What would you like" did you want to know about?

Author:  Sumez [ Tue Oct 25, 2016 12:03 am ]
Post subject:  Re: What would you like from an NES fighting game?

tepples wrote:
We've changed it in Curse to buffer A presses performed just above the ground, so that when Donny lands on the next step, he immediately jumps.


Not really relevant for fighting games, but I was wondering about this when coding my own platform movement. I wanted a short jump buffer because I always felt that platformers that have that just tend to feel a little more "smooth". Some platformers go all the way and allow you to buffer the next jump all the way during the previous (I most recently found this in the latest Shantae game), which I think makes the game feel too bouncy.

However, I tried looking into whether any NES games ever did the jump buffer, and I can't seem to find any examples of this. So I decided not to do it, as I'm worried that it might ruin the "purist" feel of the classic NES action platformer which is what I'm going for, and some people might appreciate the concept of putting at least some effort into chaining tight jumps.

Is it a bad choice? Should I give up the "old school" feeling for the more modern approach on this subject?

Author:  DRW [ Tue Oct 25, 2016 12:21 am ]
Post subject:  Re: What would you like from an NES fighting game?

tepples wrote:
I was getting the explanation out of the way in case someone else were to happen upon this topic.

O.k., but you do realize that this might include the possibility that the discussion drifts into this totally different territory of detailed gameplay mechanics, as you can already see in the post below your last post. And that's totally not what this thread is supposed to be about.

tepples wrote:
So to re-rail, what aspects of "What would you like" did you want to know about?


Everything that a normal player would talk about.

For example, if somebody asked what people want in a new "Super Mario Bros." game, they would probably talk about what kind of items they want, if the levels are linear or not, the general setting etc. They probably wouldn't talk about how many frames Mario should need from standing still until running at full speed. Or after how many pixels you can cancel a jump.

In the same way, I would imagine a talk about a hypothetical fighting game:

Do you want flashy special moves like fireballs and spinning piledrivers or would you prefer a "realistic" attempt where the moves are based only on stuff that really exists?

What art style would you prefer? "Street Fighter II"-like, "Mortal Kombat"-like or straight anime?

Would you like the sprites to appear super big, which would produce flickering?
Or, if you want them smaller to reduce flickering, would you want the style to be like the Game Boy versions of "Street Fighter Alpha" (realistic body proportions, but not really highly recognizable faces) or "Battle Arena Toshinden" (chibi style) or "King of Fighters" (non-chibi, but still with distinct heads and faces)?

About gameplay-related things (as long as it's just the basics and doesn't become too technical and detailed): How should reglar moves work with an NES controller? Tapping a button for a light attack and holding it for a hard one? Or like in "Mortal Kombat" where you move the d-pad along with the button to perform different attacks (A = regular kick, back + A = foot sweeper, forward + A = roundhouse kick)? Or something different?
How about special moves? Circle motions or forward, forward, A? Or something else?

What about story and setting?

Or characters? Do you prefer characters that look all like regular human fighters like in "Street Fighter I"? Or do you want your occasional freak of nature or evil overlord among the normal fighters like in "Street Fighter II"? Or maybe different time zones, like in "Eternal Champions"? Or do you want characters that are completely out of this world, like aliens or demons or the like?

What other features would you like to see in the game? Any special stuff in the stages? Anything in the game modes?


Something like this. A discussion where you can imagine what fighting games other people would have in mind, without discussing technical NES stuff like scanline counters and mappers and without discussing the academic fighting game stuff like frame counts and input buffer.

Author:  rainwarrior [ Tue Oct 25, 2016 12:46 am ]
Post subject:  Re: What would you like from an NES fighting game?

Sumez wrote:
Is it a bad choice? Should I give up the "old school" feeling for the more modern approach on this subject?

You should do what you think makes the best game, not what you think best duplicates the mistakes of the past.

Author:  Myask [ Tue Oct 25, 2016 12:51 am ]
Post subject:  Re: What would you like from an NES fighting game?

Sumez wrote:
Jump buffering
Check Rad Gravity? It might. I know it used unorthodox controls, but haven't touched it in a while.

Author:  Sumez [ Tue Oct 25, 2016 12:54 am ]
Post subject:  Re: What would you like from an NES fighting game?

DRW wrote:
this might include the possibility that the discussion drifts into this totally different territory of detailed gameplay mechanics, as you can already see in the post below your last post.


Sorzz


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? To start out with I think the difference between these two makes a huge difference in what people want to see, so you should make that clear. One usually has a single player (or co-op) focus, while the other is almost entirely geared towards 2-player matches. I could come up with a lot of things I want to see in an 8-bit fighter, but I'd need to know what kind it is before I start scraping my brain.

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.
By extension, I also feel more comical and characteristic fighters work better than realistic human characters. It makes them instantly memorable. Don't be afraid to put in cliché characters (but be wary of racial stereotypes), subhumans or the occasional magic guy/girl.

I'm also on the Street Fighter style special inputs. Sticking to the tested and tried quarter circles, shoryukens, etc. is a safe way to go, and usually the first thing people will try when playing the game.

Author:  Sumez [ Tue Oct 25, 2016 12:56 am ]
Post subject:  Re: What would you like from an NES fighting game?

rainwarrior wrote:
You should do what you think makes the best game, not what you think best duplicates the mistakes of the past.

Big issue here is - was it really a mistake? A lot of people also feel that video games having lives is a relic at best...

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