Fighting Game Design Addendum

Fighting games, like everything Japanese, seem to be getting more and more complex and convoluted with each iteration on the formula. Fuck that. The whole reason that fighting games are so easy to pick up and play is because it is about two guys punching each other. Stop putting stupid game mechanics in the way of that. Now, with that said, I wouldn’t design a game like Karate Champ and call it a tournament fighter, but I’m tired of games with more than 2 resource gauges, multiple movement modifiers for characters (Chaos Code, Melty Blood) and grooves (CvS1 + 2).

What makes tournament fighting games so amazing to watch and play? Hype. The key to making a hype game is allowing the players to play around with a deep combo system and discover crazy combos and counters and counters to counters. Add a little random-ness to the mix and you get hype.

My first act in designing a fighting game would be to lay down the mechanical ground work. As I said in an earlier post, my fighting game would be a 1 versus 1 fighting game. Each player would start off with a set amount of health, somewhere between 100 and 200 to make the numbers easy. Each player would also have a basic gauge, called the Blood meter, which increases from 0 – 100 as a player hits another (through clean hits or blocked hits). This blood gauge will be separated into quarters, at 25%, 50%, 75% and 100% full. A player can use 25 Blood points to enhance a special move (EX). The player may also pay 50 Blood points to cancel a special move into another. The player may pay 75 Blood points to use their Ultimate move and the player may choose to pay 100 Blood points to buff their character, which increases their damage output by 25% and allows them to EX or cancel their specials at no cost for the next 10 seconds. When activating Bloodlust, your character breaks out of any hitstun or blockstun that they are currently in.

The game would run with a 4 button setup, two kicks and two punches, with light and heavy versions of each. A grab can be done by pressing both the light punch and light kick buttons at once with either forward or backward, depending on which direction you want the throw them. The other player has 20 frames (1/3 a second) to also press the grab command to tech the enemy throw. When a throw is teched, both players are stunned for a short time and pushed backwards, out of grab range. The second gauge will be the block gauge, which is similar to health, except it only has 50 health, which replenishes quickly after 2 seconds of not being in blockstun. When a player blocks an attack, they take the damage in their block gauge instead of their health. Certain moves may chip, which means that they deal half damage to block and half to health, but those are rare. If a player’s block gauge reaches zero, they will be stunned for 2 second. Some moves may specifically reduce a player’s block gauge instead of dealing damage, but those are rare as well.


I guess I’ll start with some ideas for characters.


My first character is a fat pirate captain with a peg leg, a hook hand, a beard that holds two pistols with a cannon hidden underneath it and a sword.

His normals involve him attacking with his hook, his sword, kicking and swinging his peg leg around. His Light Punch move makes his beard shoot it’s pistols, which can be done twice in rapid succession, with a 1 second cool down for him to reload.


~ by Mohast on December 6, 2011.

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