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Akira Nishitani Speaks (SF2 Director) (Read 53416 times)

Started by felineki, October 07, 2013, 10:30:48 am
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Akira Nishitani Speaks (SF2 Director)
#1  October 07, 2013, 10:30:48 am
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Akira Nishitani, who directed Final Fight and Street Fighter II at Capcom before forming his own company Arika has recently started a Twitter account. Since then he has been sharing lots of trivia and behind the scenes anecdotes, mostly related to the original Street Fighter II. I've found these interesting and figured people in the English-speaking Street Fighter community would as well, so I've decided to go about translating some of his Tweets.

nin_akira said:
That reminds me, in the proposal documents for SF2, it talks about special moves doing more damage the quicker you input the command, but we didn't end up implementing that.

nin_akira said:
Remembered something else. We had given each character their own separate defense value, then somewhere along the line we discovered that those values weren't actually being reflected in the damage calculation, but ended up leaving it that way.

But I guess it felt more fair that way? Turned out alright in the end.

nin_akira said:
The red Hadoukens in the first SF2 weren't actually a glitch, they were an intentional easter egg put in by the programmers. But I couldn't have imagined that would eventually become the Shakunetsu Hadouken.

nin_akira said:
Yasuda-san was extremely particular about the rendering of Chun-Li's stockings, he ended up respriting them about 3 times. And thanks to that we ran right up to the deadline and ran out of memory. We had a hard time.
(Yasuda-san = Akira Yasuda, aka Akiman.)

nin_akira said:
Dropping your weapon when you moved from one area to another in Final Fight was really disappointing. But unfortunately it was inevitable given the circumstances of the programming  So to make up for it, we made it so that you got some points when dropping that weapon, to help soothe that feeling of loss.

nin_akira said:
Reposting an old Final Fight anecdote from Facebook. Back then there weren't very many games with time limits, and I didn't really want to display a timer. It just seemed too systematic and hurt the game's atmosphere. But, we couldn't do without it, so we ended up reluctantly displaying the remaining time.

When I talked about that with Yasuda-san, he came up with this theory: "Guy and crew are heroes of justice. That means they're always on time. So when they look at their watches and realize 'I'm running late!' they die of shock. That's why you lose a life upon time over." I kind of agreed with that.

nin_akira said:
In SF2, sometimes Ryu takes absurdly high damage when dizzied. This is due to the fact that we experimented with characters taking twice as much damage when dizzy, and applied this flag to all dizzied animation frames, but forgot to remove it from one.

I'm pretty sure it was 1 frame out of a 4 frame sequence, so it should be possible to watch the animation once Ryu's dizzied and intentionally aim for that high damage.

nin_akira said:
That's right, we also had it set up to where we could designate specific weak points on particular sections of each character. But we ended up deciding it wasn't quite time for something like that yet.

nin_akira said:
Similarly, we also had it set up to where you could do juggle combos, but again decided the time wasn't right for that.

nin_akira said:
Ah, now I remember. That was, again, leftover from when we were experimenting with juggle combos, and forgot to remove the hitboxes on one frame.
(In reference to Champion Edition Dhalsim's juggle glitch.)

nin_akira said:
We wanted to give every character in SF2 at least 2 special moves, but we were having trouble coming up with anything for Blanka aside from the electricity. As we were approaching the next deadline, the artist drew an animation of Blanka rolling and said that maybe it could be of some use. That was just what we needed, and it became the Rolling Attack.

nin_akira said:
One of the hints that appears on the SF2 continue screen is "Don't give up until the very end!" or something like that. That was actually a statement about how when your life decreases below a certain point, your attack power changes. But it probably just comes across as a generic encouragement and no one ever really noticed.

nin_akira said:
Right, it's hard to notice because there's also the guts factor. But for some characters it wouldn't change that much, others would have a wide random range, etc. Each had their own individual setting

nin_akira said:
We felt that that move was a bit too strong. But we ended up getting rid of that property in Champion Edition anyway.
(In reference to the counter damage setting for Blanka's Rolling Attack in World Warrior. If hit out of this move, he would take double damage. This was the only move a playable character could perform that had this property.)

nin_akira said:
A random SF2 memory. A programmer told me he didn't want the rock in Sagat's stage being used as a landmark for Ryu's corner traps, so he proposed having its position change randomly by a small amount. I can't remember if that was actually implemented or not. If someone has some free time, please investigate this. Maybe it applied to the drum cans in the other stages, too? Or maybe it was in Champion Edition?
(Amazingly, someone investigated this and it turns out that the rock's position does indeed change.)

nin_akira said:
SF2's dizzies are an "homage"(LOL) to Tetris's red bar. I wanted something that could instantly cause a reversal of fortune! So when you see a dizzy, remember the red bar. And when you see a red bar, remember dizzies.

nin_akira said:
Rolling Attack's command was originally charge down, then forward. Because it was sort of a curl up, then suddenly spring forward type move. But it felt kind of off and was different from the rest of the commands, so we changed it.

nin_akira said:
An SF2 anecdote. The original plans were for Hadoukens to be able to be ducked under. Because projectiles seemed like they'd be strong. But the artist drew a really great animation, so we left it as is. Of course projectiles did end up being strong, but I suppose the gameplay ended up being deep in it's own way?

nin_akira said:
Back in the days of SF2, the arcade boards' specs weren't as good as they are today, and there was a limit to how many sprites could be displayed on screen at once. We carefully planned things out so that the biggest character and the second biggest character could just barely fit on screen at the same time. But when mirror matches became possible in Champion Edition, that meant that we had to be able to display two copies of the biggest character on screen. We ended up having to remove background elements and such.

nin_akira said:
Yeah. Because that was pretty big.
(In reference to the palm tree that was present in Sagat's stage in World Warrior, but removed in Champion Edition and subsequent versions.)

nin_akira said:
When we wrote that Ryu's dislike was "Spiders (Insects)", we got complaints from users saying that "spiders aren't insects!" If there are any people out there that think I flunked my tests back in school, sorry about that. Please accept my deepest apologies.

nin_akira said:
Actually, at one point we weren't sure whether we should allow multiple moves to hit in succession in SF2. Wouldn't that be unfair? But we experimented with making it so that once one attack hit the next would miss, and it ended up being dull. You can see some leftovers of that in Hundred Hand Slap and Lightning Legs. But even with running the risk of unfair traps, it's good that we ended up including combos.

nin_akira said:
If you pick up Edi E.'s gum at full life in Final Fight, you'll get awarded 42910 points, which is my birthday.

That's September 10th of Showa 42, by the way. Not 1942. Or I'd be 71 years old!
(On the subject of birthday references, Ryu's birthday is that of Akiman, and Chun-Li's is that of Miho Kobayashi (aka "Buppo"), a background artist.)

nin_akira said:
At one point in SF2's development  we wondered whether we should let the player get up faster from a knockdown by spinning the joystick. But we wanted wakeup pressure to be consistent so we decided not to. Because you could do that in Final Fight, everyone tried spinning the joystick in SF2 at first. They were doing it at the location test, too.

nin_akira said:
The description for Haggar's special move Yasuda-san wrote on the early design documents for Final Fight gave me a good laugh: "A lariat by itself is dangerous enough, but Haggar doubles it up and takes the baddies to town". Back then it wasn't a spinning move, it was more of a forward charging lariat with both arms.

nin_akira said:
The knockback a character undergoes when hit by an attack in SF2. As much as we tried, we couldn't get it to go the way we wanted with acceleration and deceleration formulas, so we ended up just plotting it out pixel-by-pixel on graph paper. We plotted out lots of other things pixel-by-pixel, too. Although it was just being fussy about details.
(As many Mugen creators are aware of, the knockback for standing and crouching hitstuns in SF2 and many other Capcom games does not work from a typical velocity/acceleration system, but instead follows a preset array of position shifts.)

nin_akira said:
One time when I was visiting Capcom USA way back then, I was shown the American SF2 comic. And right at the beginning they were making it look like Ken had died. I'm pretty sure Ryu had gone to Ken's house and found Ken's scalp with blonde hair and all, and Ryu was crying his eyes out. I wonder what happened after that?
(It would seem that Nishitani-san had the misfortune of seeing the infamous Malibu Street Fighter comic which was so bad that it was cancelled after only 3 issues.)

nin_akira said:
In SF2, sometimes the leniency for special move commands becomes longer than normal. This is so that even people who have trouble inputting the commands quickly enough can get them to come out occasionally, which will encourage them to practice more. But this means that maybe sometimes you'll get a special move when you didn't want it, so maybe that was a mistake?
(It's been noted before that the leniency for special move inputs in SF2 isn't fixed, but varies randomly. It would appear that this was done to give some encouraging leeway to less skilled players, much like the "1/512 chance of getting a special simply by pushing a button" phenomenon that only existed in WW.)

nin_akira said:
There are actually "lucky" and "unlucky" patterns in Final Fight's difficulty. They happen randomly at a very low chance. I kind of wanted to artificially replicate that feeling of "I'm on a roll today! " or "This just isn't my day."

It would probably be hard to verify. But I think it involved the frequency of enemies' attacks, their offensive and defensive power and such, And the rate at which it would occur was very low.

nin_akira said:
An SF2 detail anecdote. On the occasion that two opposing processes had to occur on the same frame, I thought it would be unfair to give one player priority over the other, so the programmer made the order of processes during an individual frame rearrange at random. And as a result of that attacks that become active on their very first frame like Blanka's Bush Buster and such become unblockable 50% of the time. Although that's my fault for making them active on the first frame in the first place.

nin_akira said:
Like you said, when two opposing attacks hit at the same time the result is that they trade. The circumstances I was referring to were things that we otherwise couldn't do anything about. The one that comes to mind is if both players tried to throw each other at the same time. Was there anything else?

nin_akira said:
That's right. If during that one frame the attack code is run before the block code, then the attack will be able to be blocked. But if the block code is run before the attack code, then it becomes unblockable. To put it precisely, the game needs at least one frame to recognize the fact that "an attack has started". Of course, this was all just my mistake, I could have simply delayed the active portion of the attack by one frame.
(Players with detailed knowledge of SF2's engine know that attacks that are active on their very first frame are unblockable 50% of the time. Apparently this was the result of a deliberate randomization of code order done to avoid favoring one player over the other in certain situations, such as the mentioned simultaneous throw. On that occasion, who ends up getting thrown is entirely random.)

nin_akira said:
That reminds me, for the hints that appear on SF2's continue screen we considered having a mysterious old man appear as an advice character.

nin_akira said:
We hadn't decided on a look for him. I'm pretty sure all there was was a little smiley face-like thing I drew on the proposal documents.
(The Japanese version of SF2 displays various tips on the game's systems and special moves on the continue screen. Apparently an abandoned idea was for these tips to be told by a mysterious old man. One might wonder how this character might have figured into the Street Fighter mythos if he had been realized.)

nin_akira said:
Sodom's sword in Final Fight is the "MURAMASA!". This is an homage (LOL) to the "MURAMASA BLADE!" of Wizardry. I was pretty into that game back then.

nin_akira said:
One of the heroes of Final Fight, Guy. Early in development, his name was actually spelled "Gay". But we weren't really aware of English spelling and pronunciation conventions. Of course we were soon told to change it.
(Amusingly, there's actually a leftover graphic in Final Fight's ROM with this spelling.)

nin_akira said:
I wanted to keep the boxer archetype. From what I had heard, Mike had a bit of niche popularity in America, so I felt boxing should remain as one of the represented fighting styles. However I didn't particularly intend for them to be the same person. But I can't go against the official word, so I'll go with what they say.
(SF4 assistant producer Natuski Shiozawa once stated on the official SF4 blog that SF1's Mike and SF2's Balrog are "likely the same person". However it would appear that this wasn't really Nishitani's intent when he originally came up with the concept for Balrog.)

nin_akira said:
It was the progression from Final Fight that really let SF2's collision detection, system mechanics, and other such things turn out the way they did. From an internal perspective, it really let us think about such things in a more evolved fashion, so it was a good step forward.

nin_akira said:
The CPS's resolution is 256x384, so its pixels are taller than they are wide. So we had special graph paper made with taller cels for plotting out things on screen.
(This is why raw CPS rips look "fat" and many Mugen creators use the xscale parameter to slim them down to their proper proportions.)

nin_akira said:
Marvel once got mad at us because they thought we made Kingpin too big.
(In reference to the Punisher beat 'em up.)

nin_akira said:
Which reminds me, when we were making Children of the Atom Marvel was really angry about the concept of Juggernaut jumping. They reprimanded us, saying stuff like "He's heavy. Just plain heavy! So heavy that he should only either stay at the same elevation or go lower!"

I'll add more as I can.
Last Edit: January 17, 2014, 05:32:57 pm by felineki
Re: Akira Nishitani Speaks (SF2 Director)
#2  October 07, 2013, 10:49:36 am
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Great!
Please, keep it up!
This era is made of gold.
Re: Akira Nishitani Speaks (SF2 Director)
#3  October 07, 2013, 10:59:03 am
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That guy formed Arika? Interesting.

Thanks a lot for translating his tweets!
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Re: Akira Nishitani Speaks (SF2 Director)
#4  October 07, 2013, 11:13:44 am
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Yes he did, and he then proceeded to work on the Street Fighter EX series in conjunction with Capcom.
Re: Akira Nishitani Speaks (SF2 Director)
#5  October 07, 2013, 01:35:25 pm
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That was a great read. :)
Re: Akira Nishitani Speaks (SF2 Director)
#6  October 07, 2013, 01:57:13 pm
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thanks for sharing felineki
Re: Akira Nishitani Speaks (SF2 Director)
#7  October 07, 2013, 04:29:21 pm
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thanks for sharing this one.

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Re: Akira Nishitani Speaks (SF2 Director)
#8  October 07, 2013, 04:59:11 pm
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Wow that's a lot of interesting bits... Interesting to see how the people inside these game studios think.

I read something like this on IPW related to 90's SNK, but that's for another topic (I'll post it later if it's not been done yet).

Thanks for the info.
Re: Akira Nishitani Speaks (SF2 Director)
#9  October 07, 2013, 06:57:31 pm
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Today is officially "Fighting Game Tidbit/Trivia Monday." I cannot stress how much I love stuff like this; it's very similar to how I enjoy the behind the scenes stuff on Blu-Rays.

I could never imagine a charge down~forward+attack. I could see down into up and back to forward, but yeah... that's weird. I also love how moves like Blanka's rolling attack were last second implementations.

By all means, keep this info coming!! ;D
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Re: Akira Nishitani Speaks (SF2 Director)
#10  October 07, 2013, 11:14:46 pm
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Wow man, this is pure gold! Thanks for share this info :D
http://img827.imageshack.us/img827/25/86ty.png

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Re: Akira Nishitani Speaks (SF2 Director)
#11  October 08, 2013, 03:02:43 am
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This is great. Thanks for sharing! :)
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Re: Akira Nishitani Speaks (SF2 Director)
#12  October 08, 2013, 03:47:25 am
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Glad to see people are interested in this. I just added two more tweets, one about the counter damage property Rolling Attack had in WW, and another about the infamous Malibu Street Fighter comic.

Also it would seem Nishitani-san himself has noticed this thread, as he retweeted a tweet about it from c001357.
Re: Akira Nishitani Speaks (SF2 Director)
#13  October 08, 2013, 03:55:46 am
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yeah, i remember him being rather easy to contact. i actually have him on facebook as a friend lol

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Re: Akira Nishitani Speaks (SF2 Director)
#14  October 13, 2013, 03:53:00 pm
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Added a Tweet about the random variance in special move command leniency in SF2.

      Posted: October 21, 2013, 12:22:02 am
Added some tweets explaining why attacks with instant startup are unblockable 50% of the time, and why the results of simultaneous throws are random.
Last Edit: October 21, 2013, 12:22:22 am by felineki
Re: Akira Nishitani Speaks (SF2 Director)
#15  October 27, 2013, 11:30:34 pm
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Added a couple tweets about an advice character in SF2 that never materialized.
Re: Akira Nishitani Speaks (SF2 Director)
#16  October 27, 2013, 11:41:40 pm
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This is so awesome. I love behind the scenes stuff. Please keep these coming!! :sugoi:
All of your High Resolution Mugen Portrait needs may be found HERE.

I'd like to report two robots on the MFG forums: One is EXShadow. The other is Saikoro.
There should be a Saikoro plugin for Photoshop.
Re: Akira Nishitani Speaks (SF2 Director)
#17  October 28, 2013, 12:06:16 am
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Wow, SF2 was going to be real deep.......Well, deeper than it already is. I wonder if he knows this thread exists?
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Re: Akira Nishitani Speaks (SF2 Director)
#18  October 28, 2013, 05:01:04 am
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Thanks for sharing, Felineki. Just found this thread from a mention in a SRK post.
Re: Akira Nishitani Speaks (SF2 Director)
#19  October 28, 2013, 12:10:05 pm
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Re: Akira Nishitani Speaks (SF2 Director)
#20  October 28, 2013, 12:39:13 pm
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