More Fighting Games
I’ve gotten over the crazy obsessive playing of fighting games (which is good, since my carpal tunnel syndrome will start creeping up on me otherwise), but still, I’ve been playing a lot of them. I even borrowed my friend’s copy of Tekken 3, despite the fact that I don’t really go in for the series (though it does have some of the coolest extras of any fighting game). I also keep forgetting just how many King of Fighters games there are now; the first one was in ’94, and the main series alone has had one game for every year since, not to mention a zillion spin-off games like Maximum Impact (3D for PS2), Neowave (for Atomiswave, ported to PS2 and Xbox), EX (GBA), Kyo (quasi-CRPG thing for PSX). Plus the epic storyline that kicked off in KoF ’95 has so far been the first of three. I kind of need to get caught up on all of that. I also went and ordered a copy of Cyberbots (does anyone else remember this game?) for Sega Saturn off of eBay, along with the Samurai Shodown CRPG. I’ve mainly been concentrating on the hand-to-hand stuff, but at some point I’ll need to mess around with the more weapon-based fighting games to try and figure out what I need to include for the weapon maneuvers.
As For Thrash 2.0…
When I got back into Thrash 2.0 last month, it felt like I mostly just had a big morass of maneuvers to write. Fortunately, I was wrong about that. The design process is proving to be interesting and creative, which it needs to be both for producing a better game and for keeping me interested.
Thrash is noticably more complex than any other game I’m designing right now, and I don’t necessarily think it’s playing to my strengths even, but I’m having fun doing it all the same. (And if I wasn’t, I have more than enough other things to distract me). An important part of what I’ve been doing is trying to make sure all the pieces fit together nicely, which means answering questions like, “What happens if you want a Mega-Attack version of a Multi-Kick?” (I haven’t got a good answer to that one yet, but I know roughly what I want to do). A good example is the rule for variant maneuvers; if you want to buy multiple versions of a maneuver with different modifiers, you get a discount on the base cost. This is 1 point off for each version after the first, to a minimum of 2. For balance reasons, I wound up having to create a special rule that modified Basic Maneuvers have to go off of a starting cost listed in a table in the Modifiers section.
I think I may have come up with a workable solution to the “Agility as god-stat” problem. In a nutshell, since originally Agility was added to every combat-related roll, mechanically there was no particular reason not to have Agility be as high as the game allows. And yet, in the source material Zangief is about the opposite of what people think of when they hear the word “agility,” but he doesn’t have much trouble hitting things. My idea is sort of a mashup between BESM and WWE: Know Your Role, where different attributes are averaged to get a set of three new stats, which I’m calling “Combat Proficiencies,” to represent the character’s accuracy with different kinds of moves. Right now they’re called Force (for big moves that overwhelm the opponent), Finesse (for technical moves that are effective because they’re skillfully executed), and Aim (for moves that are effective because they’re accurately hitting the target, or a part thereof). Each would be an average of two (three?) attributes. Going through the maneuvers and replacing Agility with one of the three for each turned out to be easier than I expected. There are a few where the player gets to choose between Power or Finesse (including the basic Punch and Kick), and Aim is a little underused, but since they’re not traits the player has to invest points into directly, I think it’ll be okay.