We have previously discussed a large portion of the system mechanics, both in our blog posts and on our System page. But, while we set out to make a simple but engaging game system, it is only part of what makes it the game. The other half is arguably the one that will be much harder to get working properly: getting every moveset of every character balanced, while staying different enough to deliver good character diversity.
While we do not intend to make every character so different that it is as if they come from different games, we want to have wildly varied movesets.This however forced us to make some strict agreements so that it would prevent designs from going overboard.
One of the most important limitations we have set early on was that no character would have character-specific set of resources.
The basic resources in the game are:
- Super bar
- Health bar
- Shatter bar
The amount of impact these will have, differs per character and resource type. Super bar, for instance, will always play a massive role for every character, while fighters that rely on health for special mechanics will be comparatively rare.
One example where we changed the impact of the super bar would be for Roxanne, whose supers are more akin to EX moves than to actual supers. We initially planned to split her super bar up into smaller segments, but we eventually decided against that, as that would qualify as a character-specific subsystem, which is something we specifically try to avoid. Instead, her super bar will fill much faster than that of other characters, which is used to power stronger versions of her special moves, but these will obviously lack the punch of actual supers.
This gave us some issues with her shatter super, which obviously uses the same bar, possibly giving her way too many opportunities to use that super on a shattered opponent. While we could lower the damage of this super, to be more like her “EX moves”, we felt like this would reduce the excitement of landing a shatter super. Instead, we want to solve this by lowering her overall shatter damage and thus decreasing the chance of shattering her opponent.
Another example is one of our future characters, which will feature a cancel that the player can use at any moment to reset their frames to neutral, effectively resetting the character and giving the possibility to retaliate out of blockstun or to extend combos. This ability uses the super bar as its resource, just like her super moves do. Of course, this ability needs to be balanced in such a way, that her super moves do not become useless, while keeping her from becoming too strong.
The mechanics that use shatter/time/health as resource are more difficult to implement, and are definitely further down the road. The chances that we use time as a resource to power a character’s abilities are very slim. Note that utilizing a resource doesn’t mean to us that it will necessarily be consumed, it could also mean that having X amount of health/time left has a certain effect on a character.
Over the next few weeks we will do a more in-depth introduction to our 3 other alpha characters Usha, Cole and Roxanne.