Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Back To School


I wasn't sure how I was going to present this one. At first I was thinking about another post with some music at the end. Nah, not yet. Screenshots? Nothing really special to show off this time. So I'll just get straight to the details.

One of the first things that was complained about in v2.9 was a bug with Aroon's Air Forward Knee. If the player pressed both a Punch and a Kick button while doing the move (as opposed to just Kick), then he would stop and the screen would continue to scroll on straight out of the stage. After looking into it, I realized that this bug was in all of the special moves, but it was only noticeable in Aroon's Air Forward Knee since he was off the ground and in a jumping state. Jiro's EX Ball Lightning also used to be unblockable... That's all fixed.

Another bug that has been fixed is the problem with crouching getting stuck once in a while. I've been trying to figure that one out forever... The dust created during pushback faces the direction its supposed to now. There was a problem where it didn't flip if the player was facing the opposite direction when hit.

While on the topic of visual effects, the blood sprite is being improved and the dust effect from falling is as well.

Each attack now has separate hit lengths and block lengths when they connect with the opponent. Before, the block stun time was completely based off the hitstun time. Now its all separate, giving a lot of extra control over all of the different attacks. It has also improved the usefulness of blocking quite a bit. Crouch blocking an electricity attack will result in a proper crouch block now rather than a standing block, but getting hit by one while crouching will still put you into a standing hitstun.

Air pushback and juggling has been cleaned up, its a little less wonky now. Feels sooo much better. Uh, new sound for a few of Jiro's electricity attacks, but it probably won't be all that noticeable.

Joystick sensitivity has been increased for the better. Puling off special moves should be much smoother now. This of course also affects anyone using an analog stick.

Throws have undergone a huge revamp. There are still a few bugs to work out, but here's the gist of it:
- Throws now whiff if the opponent is in hitstun
- Can no longer AR out of a throw
- Normal throws, ground and air, now have a 12 frame period (50 fps) once the throw connects where the defender may use the same throw (CC for a forward/back+CC throw, LL for a forward/back+LL throw). A tech throw will result in half damage from the throw, extra float, and the defender will land on their feet
- Hold variations have a period at the start, after connecting, where both players can mash buttons to try and sway the throw their way. More hits are rewarded if the attacker mashes better, less hits are rewarded if the defender mashes better

I wonder if I should go into more detail in the future about how things actually work. Hmm...


Sunday, August 3, 2008

A Return Of Cycle


I often work in cycles. I'll implement some features, tweak, then bug fix, wash rinse repeat. Basically, I've been moving back into wash lately.

Sounds that didn't utilize any stereo effects previously, such as echo or reverb, have now been converted to mono. It doesn't save much space at all, but what the heck why not. The sound that plays when you perform a successful block now gets weaker when Guard gets low, it gives the player a better sense of what is going on and just helps add another layer of unneeded audio/visual cool-ness.

The character player icons (the green and blue boxes that let you select your characters) have been changed. I haven't provided a screenshot because it really needs to be seen in action, it really is an improvement over the old ones. The Guard meter flashes once it gets low, and the Super meter displays a new graphics making sure you fully realize when you have 100% Super.

On the gameplay side of things, you can now Special Cancel. This is probably one of the most important gameplay tweaks SDA has ever had. When you think of Canceling in a fighting game, this is what you think of. A Normal with Special Cancel properties connects and you buffer the motion for the desired Special move quick enough to end the Normal early. Finally.

Dashes also have "in-air" frames now, which doesn't really affect much other than the reaction on hit, and of course could possibly open up juggle opportunities. Throws now have more defined throw ranges as well. Various portions of the game no longer freeze during hit pause (such as the Timer!). To top all of that off, Sweeps are no longer affected by the current push and float values in the combo (they actually reset them). So a sweep will always behave the same, no matter when or where it was performed.

Another big gameplay change: Crouching hitboxes are shorter. Want to crouch under Aroon's punches? Go ahead.

Oh, and Jiro has a new kick. Mhm.

Thanks to Carnivac (Carnivac Games Website) the player now has some really cool options dealing with resizing the screen and even some scanline features. Pretty awesome.