Hi everyone !Like many of you, I have this one fighting game in my head, the "game of my dreams".During the past years, from time to time, I've been dedicating some free time into scratching notes, drawing sketches, making-up data frame comparison tables, drawing game-state graphs, and trying stuff in Mugen's engine (I've been reading you guys for quite a while !! ). Now that I have a more clear vision on most main aspects of the game I want, and now that I got somewhat used to some Mugen's specific tools, I believe I'll be able to come out with enough material, at least to aim to build up an Alpha version. I hope some of you like it. And even if you dont, feedback will always be appreciated !So let me introduce you my "samurais and blades" fighting game project !In this first post, I'll be mostly describing the main points of the project. Screenshots and perhaps downloadable content will be dropped soon. Some of it won't be necessarily Mugen content (like Xls tables, yEd graphs etc.), but as I find them useful, they might be worth sharing too.Weapon based fighting gameThis Mugen project will be a weapon based fighting game, inspired from samurai universe, with "some hiphop flavor" in it.There are many examples how both can meet in a tremendous manner : Afro Samurai, Samurai Champloo, Wu Tang Clan (is absolutely not samurai-like but Shaolin temple ... but you got the idea)...At the moment, the entire cast is mainly built around Samurai Shodown and The Last Blade series characters (which should explain project's title). There are some potential guests, but my main rule is : the character must use a weapon. This rule will have major impact on fighting mechanics and (desperate?) efforts to get some (obviously unperfect?) global game balance.Though, I haven't decided game's title yet ... A cohesive global design directionDisclaimer : I believe this section's content to be subjective. I prefer reminding it, because we can disagree on many aspects. And as far as this is a project of mine, there are some points I will hardly change my mind about. Most of them are in this section.First of all, I'll be trying to keep every element as much cohesive as possible, for both visual and audio. The main direction being Samurai X Hiphop universes / codes. Also, I'll avoid overdoing stuff. I mean I don't believe the "Versus screen" has to have flames, reflections and too much effects to create tension before starting a match...Same goes for music and sound effects.Another criteria which I give importance : "readability".From a typographical point of view, I'll be applying the 3 font limit rule. I may use different sizes for each element, but I will chose 3 main fonts :one font for title and main menu elements, one font for names & isolated elements, one last font for rich text elements.From a gameplay experience point of view, I want the game to be readable aswell.As an example, I find Haohmaru's (from Samurai Shodown) moves easier to "read" than Zappa's one (from Guilty Gear). In other words, I don't want too much fancy stuff on the screen. I don't like when there are too many light flashes, explosions, astrological signs or whatever ... Even if I consider GG/Blazeblue/Persona as great if not the best games from many aspects (global design/game mechanics/roster diversity/ animation/etc. ), there are moments when I don't have a clue with what actually happens on the screen. So basically, I want my game to be some kind of "sober" (I'm not sure if my translation to the english versionof this word is accurate). BTW, this is one of the main reasons why many characters didn't fit into my roster this far.Though, there will be some palette effects for a gameplay sake, in order to notify specific situations. For example, an "ice palette effect" during invincible frames in particular moves (actually, I'm stealing it from Rising Thunder ). I believe I'll be able to come out with something cohesive and "clean" and consistent without it being boring though. A 28-32 char rosterThe final roster should count around 30 characters. That's the goal I'm heading to.The current list contains 14 characters from Samurai Shodown series, 14 from The Last Blade series. Those will be integrated for sure. I may add up 4 other characters (from the same series or other "special guests").14 Samsho characters : Haohmaru, Yumeji, Ukyo, Genjuro, Jubei, Hanzo, Kyoshiro, Iroha, Basara, Charlotte, Earthquake, Gen An, Tam Tam, Wanfu, Yoshitora14 Lastbld characters :Moriya, Hibiki, Kojiroh, Washizuka, Mukuro, Amano, Musashi, Zantetsu, Yuki, Setsuna, Juzo, Kaede (awakened), Shigen, KagamiObviously, Shigen is the only one who does not have a weapon, he'll be the only exception ... and he'll fit as the huge handed grappler. A 6 button gameplayThe gameplay will be based on a 6-button control pannel :3 weapon attack buttons (Light - Medium - Heavy) , 1 Kick attack button, 1 throw button, 1 Parry/Roll button.Weapon and Kick attacks "should be self explanatory" ( )Throws and Parry/Roll commands will be very important, if not becoming the core part of the gameplay.Throws will be the most quick attack (faster startup than Light and Kick buttons). 2 variations :Back throw - which will be like the classical knock down throw.Forward throw - which will be more like Samurai Shodown 3 (or was it samsho 4?) throws : they will act as combo starters (like a Tenshin) which will require some timing skills to successfully follow-up with big damage starter buttons.Due to weapon used attacks, hitboxes won't necessarily carry hurtboxes inside of them. The parry/roll system fits best this kind of gameplay. Each will serve it's own purpose :Standing/crouch Parry : counter a hit - throw & projectile vulnerableRoll Fwd (F or DF + Parry) : projectile invincible - hit & throw vulnerableRoll Back (B or DB + Parry) : hit invincible - throw & projectile vulnerableBackdash (or Hop back) : throw invincible - hit & projectile vulnerableNo Air guard. No Air parry. No Air jumps (only "ninjas" will be able to double jump). No fall recovery. The Roll command will be also used as a hit-ground-from-fall recovery command (holding a direction will be required though).(for MUGEN's reasons, the required sprites & animations are there, but useless)The only gameplay aspect which needs still a decision is about meter building and use. I have some ideas, but I haven't developped them enough to mark it as a core part of the gameplay.Meter could be built with successful parries and attacks (parry would provide much more meter).Meter could be burnt with Roll-Cancels , which one could use after a special move to follow his combo (like a FADC in USF4, but only on hit !!).And of course, meter can be used to do a SuperMove/ Critical Art / HyperMove / Desperation or whatever we can call it ! Ressources and tools usedHere is a list or sources where I got most of the stuff I'm using for the moment.Characters packs http://network.mugenguild.com/guild/start.htmlhttp://BLACKLISTED WEBSITE.com/forums/downloads.phpSoundshttp://soundbible.com/http://www.sounds-resource.com/Fontshttp://www.dafont.com/http://www.azfonts.net/Other than that, there are some softs I use for this project (and others aswell)LibreOffice Calc. --> free, open source equivalent to Excel soft. As any table calc. soft, always useful yEd Graph Editor --> free, open source graph editor (obvious isn't it). I use it to draw state graphs logic. Helped me a lot to understand the whole 5000 state logic when I first tried to understand how MUGEN works... And also useful to draw up combo possibilities etc.Freeplane --> free, open source mindmapping tool. I use it mainly to reclassify raw info when I gather a lot of it. The best example was when I started messing with the Hitdef controller... Helped me a lot too.TheGimp - Inkscape - Krita --> 3 free, open source drawing/image editors. TheGimp is matrix based. Inkscape is vertex based. Krita can do both !!Audacity --> free, open source sound editorAnd of course, there are VirtualTek's FighterFactory and FontFactory !Progression and current stateFirst, I started with Yumeji (from Samurai Shodown) and got used to main Mugen and FighterFactory functionnalities and basic stuff. But at some point, I had to start it over again to make sure to build a stable "basis", which would fit better to my vision of the gameplay experience, and not the contrary. Otherwise, I'd have to constantly correct the basis and everything that would be based on it ... endless.Currently, I'm building game's "basis" character, Haohmaru.I have done all the required sprites-anim-states work and slightly adjusted them as I want them to display. There will be some rework on some .CNS data.xxx values in near future too. All 4 normal attacks are defined and work properly for their basic properties. I'm leaving throws, parry and rolls for the very next step.Current work concerns 2 issues : the combo counter display and the frame adv. adjustments.Combo Counter -> Damage % counterI absolutely don't find hit counter to be interesting in a fighting game. It doesn't make ME feel powerful to land a 35920 hit combo, when the damage output is 350 lifepoints out of 1000 ... I prefer displaying the damage output my attack has just made to the opponent. The damage amount itself isn't that accurate in my opinion. It's rather how much it did hurt the opponent --> % damage made. I have came out with a solution.For each attack Hitdef controller, for the "numhits" value, I've put the following line :Code: numhits = Floor(DAMAGE*Fvar(X))The float variable Fvar(X) is used to calculate the exact damage %. It is based on enemy's (data.life), adjusted with a combo scaling formula, and takes into account attacker (data.attack) VS enemy's (data.defence).I will post the exact code I used as soon as possible.Frame Advantage adjustmentsAfter I defined the "standard" normal attacks frame data, taking into account the frame advantages for target combos to connect on hit, being blockstrings (or not), I wanted to take into account each characters CSN's data.attack and data.defence values in frame advantage.The main idea being : If a character (X) is meant to have a strong (data.attack), he should be able to maintain more pressure on an enemy with a lower (data.defence). But at the same time, if that (X) character goes against an enemy with stronger (data.defence), he should lose some blockstring pressure possibilities.So I implemented another factor in Hitdef's ground.hittime and guard.hittime values which take into account the (data.attack) VS (enemy, data.defence) differential.I find this last idea interesting, making each matchup different, and making the whole balance topic even more passionating ! Almost every matchup is character specific, so the player will have to adapt his playstyle during the match depending on each enemy. And with some frame gaps/traps, and the Hit/Parry/Throw/Roll/Hopback possibilities, it adds up mindgames and intensity with minimal extra fancy stuff ... which is exactly what I want to develop in this game.The playstyle adjustment could be a valuable reason to make a win being best 4 out of 7 rounds though ...What I haven't decided yet, is to cancel (or not) data.attack and data.defence influence on the damage output (because it causes a double advantage/disadvantage on damage scaling and frame advantage), and also how to balance those two parameters with lifepoints and meter jauge. I'll leave the last two at standard values for the start.Future stepsOnce I have all the 6 buttons working EXACTLY as I want them to, on the Haohmaru base character, I'll implement the same work with 7 other characters from the roster. It will mostly be sprite and animation adjustments.Then, I'll be more focusing on System.def and Fight.def files , working on backgrounds, music, sounds and fonts.Once I have a decent pre-Alpha version, with 8 char roster, 3 or 4 stages and cohesive menu display , I think we will be ready to head for a full Alpha Version including more stages, more characters and the most important, with special moves implemented.Sorry for the lenght guys, but now you know it all ! Actually, my RL circles are not into FG, and I need to share this project with other people...so feel free to tell me if there are things you like/dislike/hate... every feedback can be constructive !!Cheers !!!