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An Explainer on POTS 'style' (Read 3487 times)

Started by Umezono, September 20, 2019, 04:13:52 pm
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An Explainer on POTS 'style'
#1  September 20, 2019, 04:13:52 pm
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There's always lots of discussion on this topic, and I want to lay out some history as well as clear explanations about POTS style as well as the many derivative styles that sprung forth from it.



PoTS:

PoTS, or Phantom.of.the.Server, was the originator of the style more than a decade ago (Note: would love some information on his actual release history- who came first and who came later) and featured a gameplay style largely reminiscent of Capcom vs. SNK 2. I say reminiscent because in PoTS own words, the majority of the CVS2 similarities came down to "movement." There were some other system mechanics that he implemented as well- but its important to understand that PoTS style itself never followed a set CVS2 groove. Instead, each character developed by PoTS retained a mixture of both various elements of CVS2 as well as various elements from their source games and various appearances.

Each groove in CVS2 represented a system similar to the games represented. In this way, PoTS was able to mix and match aspects of characters gameplay from respective grooves as well as from other games, making them truly representative of all their appearances.

As an example, I will take some PoTS staple mechanics and show you which groove they correspond to in CVS2:

MechanicCVS2 Groove
DashC-Groove, A-Groove, P-Groove
RunS-Groove, N-Groove, K-Groove
Low JumpS-Groove, N-Groove, K-Groove
SidestepS-Groove
RollC-Groove, A-Groove, N-Groove
ParryP-Groove
Power ChargeS-Groove
CounterAll Grooves except K-Groove
Fall RecoveryA-Groove, N-Groove, K-Groove
Custom ComboA-Groove

It should be noted there is mostly overlap between mechanics arising from the C(apcom) and S(NK) grooves, which bear heavy similarities from those grooves in the original CVS.

In most cases, the above mechanics were standard throughout the publicly available PoTS characters, and form the basis for his style. However, this was not a constant. As mentioned before, PoTS strove to create a custom gameplay mix for each character based on all their appearances, and in many cases skewed their abilities and mechanics closer to what they could do in their source games. The best example is PoTS' Lei-Lei/Hsien-Ko. PoTS attempted to incorporate several Darkstalkers mechanics into Lei-Lei at the cost of other mechanics commonly seen in his other characters. As a result, he implemented the Darkstalkers chain combo system, as well as its cancelling and super cancels. In addition, Lei-Lei loses her power charge. This is actually consistent with CVS2 itself- Morrigan, the Darkstalkers representative, was able to do chain combos in order for players familiar with Darkstalkers to make full use of her. Interestingly enough, PoTS take on Morrigan included the power charges, as well as the "Dark Force" mechanic from Darkstalkers.

All this is to note that there isn't a set, consistent formula to PoTS characters- what was consistent was that he paid very close attention to the source games that these characters came from. He made an effort to understand how they worked and why they did what they did in each game, be it Final Fight or Art of Fighting or supposedly every game Ryu made an appearance in at the time of his creation. He took these aspects and implemented them into a generalized custom environment while still trying to maintain key aspects of game balance- frame data, velocities, recovery, movement, etc.

Because of PoTS own sporadic involvement, there is actually noted difference between older and newer characters from his library, as he began to make more system mechanics standard, and tweaked things. That is to say, it was an actively developing style that responded to feedback and paid the utmost attention to detail.  Due to the variance thanks to individual character quirks, PoTS stayed true to CVS2' design philosophy and created a style that could closest approximate what a CVS3 might look like.

Due to the solid play of these characters, they became immensely popular. However, besides a key few aspects, many of these styles are variants on PoTS style with their own gameplay and aesthetic choices. Many are more "standardized" than PoTS actual work, owing to the use of templates or consistent system mechanics. What they mostly share in common is the graphics. PoTS graphics are considered a cleaner version of CVS2's, with fancy hitsparks , super text on finishing moves (using the "badaboom" font style family), and super portraits that flash during the actual move, like so:



Below I will explain some of the major variants and what changes they bring to the table:

Jmorphman:
Website

Jmorphman can be considered the closest successor to PoTS' original vision, in that he pays close attention to the gameplay elements that have been shared by many of the original PoTS character and has implemented them into his own. Like PoTS, he incorporates various aspects of the characters source material while still attempting to balance them around a generalized custom environment. Many of his characters are indistinguishable in quality from PoTS releases whilst still feeling more modern thanks to advances in coding for MUGEN (particularly in areas like buffering and input.)

The system mechanics I listed further above are shared by most of his characters.

KarmaChameleon:

KarmaChameleon bears special mention as a newer creator whos style skews very close to PoTS original visions. Characters like his Genjuro and Blanka pay very close attention to source games and incorporate mechanics from each whilst still using the general PoTS system, making them a good addition to a roster.

DeathScythe:
Website

Another creator whose characters play extremely close in quality to PoTS.

Knuckles8864:

Another creator whose characters play extremely close in quality to PoTS.

DivineWolf:
Website

DivineWolf's characters are extremely well known and high quality releases which draw many similarities to PoTS style. However, there are some key differences. The largest deviation is that all of DivineWolf's characters use MAX mode instead of Custom Combo, which is a system derived from SNK games and the N-Groove in CVS2.

Custom Combo was derived from Street Fighter Alpha 2, which when activated allowed faster movement speed and the ability to chain normal and special moves at will with no recoil or charge time. This allowed for lengthy juggles and combos for a short amount of time. In comparison MAX mode gives a flat damage increase, access to changed specials and super, and breaks traditional cancelling rules allowing for fancy combos.

Otherwise, DivineWolf's characters also change depending on source and allow for different types of gameplay styles, including things like Just Defense (originating in garou) and basic air chain combos (such as those in the Marvel Vs. series). He has inspired various authors as well, such as ReddBrink.

Infinite:

Infinite got his start with the "SvK" style, which was a custom style that emulated the fast rushdown aspect of the Marvel series, complete with chain combos and extremely large movesets.  Characters had extra system mechanics from the VS. series like air dashes, double jump and access to air blocking. Cancels were far more forgiving.

Infinite's style eventually evolved and was more deeply refined, though the core SvK aspect is still maintained as he has converted many characters with no analogue in CVS like Dr. Doom, Wesker, Taskmaster, Cable, and Deadpool. A config file in many of his later releases in the "Infinite" style now give three system options: one with chain combos, one with chain combos and air combos, and one without. Characters are of varying results due to availability of sprites and frame data, but Infinite offers one of the largest selection of characters that are inspired by PoTS.

Infinite's style is a major influence on its own and there are several creators who use his characters as bases or inspiration for their own further styles, such as Race Akira. Sennou-Room and Falcon Rapper.

Other authors with work very similar to PoTS:

Froz
Victorys
Chazzanova
CrazyKoopa
Jesuszilla (Felicia was the only one done in this style to my knowledge.)

These authors were influenced by PoTS style at least in part, but sport different gameplay systems:

I plan to do small overviews later on of these systems.

Buckus
Vyn
Rajaa
Zero-Sennin
kojiroBADNESS
Lost_Avenger
Cruz

Resources:

Badaboom font that is used in PoTS style
Capcom vs. SNK 2 information

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Last Edit: December 03, 2019, 10:49:26 am by Umezono
Re: An Explainer on POTS 'style'
#2  September 20, 2019, 04:30:52 pm
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Pretty insightful post. This should help people who actually consider anything with Pots aesthetics CvS-style, even with a bunch of questionable gameplay choices which are clearly not CvS-esque at all while still being received as a Pots-style creation (I'm looking straight at you, that one damn CvS Broly with like 20 hypers or something).
And again, thanks for actually spend your time to make this epic content!
Re: An Explainer on POTS 'style'
#3  September 20, 2019, 04:40:08 pm
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Some other honorable mentions:
Sennou_Room (Uses Infinite's substyle)
ReddBrink (Uses DW's substyle)
Trololo
varo_hades (Varying quality, mostly becuase of template-usage)
(I'm looking straight at you, that one damn CvS Broly with like 20 hypers or something).
Maybe him too, just maybe.

When you were mentioning Super Finish Fonts, could you write about the use of different fonts like PotS' E.Honda and Jmm's Eagle?

I'd also suggest changing the Level 3 Portrait example, because it's one of my old ports and I've improved since.
Last Edit: September 20, 2019, 04:48:30 pm by RagingRowen
Re: An Explainer on POTS 'style'
#4  September 20, 2019, 04:45:24 pm
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Tbh, there is no point to put more "honorable mentions" as PotS is a pretty influencing individual who literally built the ground for a lot of authors (active decent authors like OHMSBY, RicePigeon and Nep Heart are examples). It would be forever to list all of "honorable mentions" and few like above would do it good enough.
Also, Finish fonts and Portraits are not big deals for Pots-style, just a simple aesthetic thingy. Pots style still has its appeal without these.
Last Edit: September 20, 2019, 04:55:01 pm by Mr. Giang
Re: An Explainer on POTS 'style'
#5  September 20, 2019, 04:49:13 pm
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Some other honorable mentions:
Sennou_Room (Uses Infinite's substyle)
ReddBrink (Uses DW's substyle)
Trololo
varo_hades (Varying quality, mostly becuase of template-usage)
(I'm looking straight at you, that one damn CvS Broly with like 20 hypers or something).
Maybe him too, must maybe.

When you were mentioning Super Finish Fonts, could you write about the use of different fonts like PotS' E.Honda and Jmm's Eagle?

I'd also suggest changing the Level 3 Portrait example, because it's one of my old ports and I've improved since.


Haven't had a chance to look at ReddBrink's stuff, I can list him under DW and Sennou under Infinite, thanks

I have mostly strayed away from trololo and varo hades work due to the excessive template usage and lower quality output, but this comment should serve to point people in their direction if they are interested. The quality fixes you did for some of their work seemed promising though! But I concur theres not much point in honorable mentions at the moment, until maybe I actually undergo a definitive archival project. Theres just so many people hes influenced, it would take some time.

As for the portrait, you can feel free to give me another one if you want, I didn't even know it was yours as it was the first fitting google result I found, lol.

As for fonts, I wasn't aware of the font changes myself actually. Giang is right that they're mostly aesthetic, but I am sorta interested in building up the resources section so if you want to give me more info I can implement it. I haven't had much time to research fonts and other aesthetic minutiae.
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Re: An Explainer on POTS 'style'
#6  September 20, 2019, 09:28:02 pm
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You can find good LVL3 port screenshots in my Edit Thread.
Re: An Explainer on POTS 'style'
#7  September 20, 2019, 10:13:27 pm
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So when you guys speak "quality" what exactly do you mean? Attention to detail? Hitboxes? +/-?
Re: An Explainer on POTS 'style'
#8  September 20, 2019, 10:38:36 pm
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No offense to Infinite, but I don't think his chars mesh well with Jman/dw/Karma/Knuckles/Pots/ chars at all.

I will agree that infinite's style does look similar  it has similar mechanics but I feel it does not play like the above mentioned.
Which is fair enough, Infinite has stated himself that that's his own style.

For people that don't nerd out over chars like me, I feel will have a ball with the extensive roster Infinite has ported over.

My opinion is that Pots style is close to source and tries to add most if not all the moves chars have.
They use framedata, values, hitboxes from the OG games and some of them feel legit as hell.

DW's chars for being a tad bit different, mesh really well with the mentioned above.

This
"That is to say, it was an actively developing style that responded to feedback and paid the utmost attention to detail.  Due to the variance thanks to individual character quirks, PoTS stayed true to CVS2' design philosophy"
Last Edit: September 20, 2019, 10:50:39 pm by PeXXeR
Re: An Explainer on POTS 'style'
#9  September 20, 2019, 11:25:55 pm
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So when you guys speak "quality" what exactly do you mean? Attention to detail? Hitboxes? +/-?
I described PoTS design ethic and choices in the thread as a baseline for what the style attempts to do/succeeds at. I would say this is a good, albeit subjective, bar for quality. When we talk about what makes a release "PoTS style" and what about it makes it good, generally I look for aspects described in this thread.

No offense to Infinite, but I don't think his chars mesh well with Jman/dw/Karma/Knuckles/Pots/ chars at all.

I will agree that infinite's style does look similar  it has similar mechanics but I feel it does not play like the above mentioned.
Which is fair enough, Infinite has stated himself that that's his own style.

For people that don't nerd out over chars like me, I feel will have a ball with the extensive roster Infinite has ported over.

My opinion is that Pots style is close to source and tries to add most if not all the moves chars have.
They use framedata, values, hitboxes from the OG games and some of them feel legit as hell.

DW's chars for being a tad bit different, mesh really well with the mentioned above.

This
"That is to say, it was an actively developing style that responded to feedback and paid the utmost attention to detail.  Due to the variance thanks to individual character quirks, PoTS stayed true to CVS2' design philosophy"
While everyones entitled to their opinion, and its generally one I share, Infinites style as a derivative of PoTS is popular and influential enough to warrant the distinction made here and thats why I devoted some time to explaining it.
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Re: An Explainer on POTS 'style'
#10  September 21, 2019, 03:46:24 pm
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Oh, such interesting and well-made explanation Ume. :)
Re: An Explainer on POTS 'style'
#11  September 21, 2019, 05:17:09 pm
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(Note: would love some information on his actual release history- who came first and who came later)
I believe it was in year 2006, his first character was pocket shin gouki then followed by Shin Gouki and Guy where those two have same gameplay as pocket shin gouki at that time. After he released Ryu, he updated Shin Gouki and Guy to have same gameplay system as Ryu.
<- I exercise and dance like that regularly!
Re: An Explainer on POTS 'style'
#12  September 24, 2019, 02:01:12 pm
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Overall, I believe all the differences are minimal, so whatever the creator, nowadays people can make a great custom POTS-style Mugen, but I think the biggest difference is the creators who use Max. Mode or Custom Combo.

Other than that, it's all a matter of detail, as characters that have chain combos and others don't, but in a graphic and visual context, almost all follow the same pattern.

Re: An Explainer on POTS 'style'
#13  September 24, 2019, 02:24:11 pm
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Overall, I believe all the differences are minimal, so whatever the creator, nowadays people can make a great custom POTS-style Mugen, but I think the biggest difference is the creators who use Max. Mode or Custom Combo.

Other than that, it's all a matter of detail, as characters that have chain combos and others don't, but in a graphic and visual context, almost all follow the same pattern.



I have a feeling you have missed the entire Umezono's post. Graphic and visual context only play a certain part of what makes Pots-style memorable. What truly makes it good at the first place is the detail to gameplay and combining everything a character has while still making the gameplay having a sense of a commercial fighting game. The mark between these authors are huge and the only thing that makes them similar is just pure aesthetic.
Last Edit: September 24, 2019, 02:30:08 pm by Mr. Giang
Re: An Explainer on POTS 'style'
#14  September 24, 2019, 02:28:24 pm
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Overall, I believe all the differences are minimal, so whatever the creator, nowadays people can make a great custom POTS-style Mugen, but I think the biggest difference is the creators who use Max. Mode or Custom Combo.

Other than that, it's all a matter of detail, as characters that have chain combos and others don't, but in a graphic and visual context, almost all follow the same pattern.



The differences are not minimal which is why I felt the need to write this post. There is a marked difference between peoples work based on the type of style they’re using or template.

If we’re talking graphics yes there’s mostly similarities.
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Re: An Explainer on POTS 'style'
#15  September 24, 2019, 05:06:18 pm
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So interesting! I was greatly influenced by PoTS' works, but I started MUGEN after PoTS quitted, so I didn't know much about him.
Thank you for great explanation!
Re: An Explainer on POTS 'style'
#16  September 24, 2019, 07:09:51 pm
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Mmm...

All my works are POTS style too hehe...

my reason I love POTS style is
CVS2 have so mannny grooves. I can't remember them, but POTS able to mix all of the moves just in one grooves and thats what I wanted.

My MUGEN Website ==> for All my Characters Stages and Articles
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Re: An Explainer on POTS 'style'
#17  October 01, 2019, 05:50:46 am
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This is an amazing introductory post. I believe PoTS's characters and some of the more faithful PoTS style creator's characters should be some of the first characters to download if you're starting a Mugen roster, and this post serves as a great guide for those who are new. I honestly believe that this should be pinned, given the sheer number of PoTS clones out there. Seriously, it can be confusing at times, especially for a newcomer!
Re: An Explainer on POTS 'style'
#18  October 01, 2019, 06:24:26 am
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Very well made post, would personally vote for this to get pinned since no doubt there will be newcomers in the future that want to understand the whole Pots style in general.

Hope one day there will be a properly well-made Mugen full game with nothing but all the Pots styled characters, like a true CVS3.
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Re: An Explainer on POTS 'style'
#19  October 01, 2019, 11:55:41 am
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Very well made post, would personally vote for this to get pinned since no doubt there will be newcomers in the future that want to understand the whole Pots style in general.

Hope one day there will be a properly well-made Mugen full game with nothing but all the Pots styled characters, like a true CVS3.
lemme ask my fellow staff if a pin is worth it. thanks to you (and everyone else) for the kind words.
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Re: An Explainer on POTS 'style'
#20  November 02, 2019, 05:23:53 pm
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Excuse me for the necro, but which DW characters had Just Defense?