Before getting into the defensive mechanics and meter use (the current version that far), I'd like to mention the changes made to the 6 button controls and the offensive options.
This layout seems to work very fine as far as my testings went A - Light Slash B - Heavy Slash C - Kick X - Throw (no difference between fwd and back, just turning around the move) Y - Parry Z - Roll / Recover (I changed my mind about recovers !) (start : taunt) As you can imagine, there are also command normals for each character. There are universal ones (very similar to LastBlade2's gameplay) : 4+A : Jab 6+B : Long Poke (or rather a long heavy button) 3+C : Sweep A+B : Overhead launcher Then, each character has at least one unique command normal (6+A medium slash for example, or 6+C a roundhouse kick etc.) The gameplay is based on target combo chains (very similar to LB2 speed groove), going from light attacks to heavier ones, and also on links. There are also 2 possible "LINKERS" for each character : jabs, and one of the unique command attacks (linkers provide the most meter gain as a reward ). There are OTGs, juggles (6 maximum), and for now, there is no infinite loop possible (I've worked hard on pushbacks' balance) To give you an example, here is a chart for Haohmaru (it has changed a bit since, I gotta make an update version, but it's just to illustrate)
Spoiler, click to toggle visibilty
The same thing with the corresponding framedata sheet in the googledoc link below (it needs to be updated too, but it's just to illustrate it all). https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1XFDks1gkwvS1rjpiYHgQ4eZ9DkL1IEjy9ZBmn9P3Olw/edit?usp=sharing All of it in 2 quick combo exhibitions (notice the EXCELLENT soundtracks from my homie Jag24Music ! ) With Charlotte VIDEO With Haohmaru (some targets have changed and this loop isn't possible anymore) VIDEO METER USE Hitting opponent builds power meter (or EX meter or whatever we call it) 1 hp damage given --> 1 power point , 1/2 pts on guard 1 hp lost --> 1/2 power point, 1/4 on guard (1000 HealthPoints standard, 900 Power meter points, 3x300) Some special moves (reversal use, as DPs, SPDs etc) --> will always recquire 1 meter use (300 EX pts) Long startup special moves (typically projectiles) --> will recquire 1 meter if they are cancelled into from a normal, for free from neutral stance A+B (universal overhead launcher) --> 1/2 meter on cancel, for free from neutral stance This use of the meter , combined with the recoveries, the juggle limit (now at 6 , could be tweaked up eventually) and pushbacks helped a lot in reducing any infinite loop combos that could break the game (even with OTGs etc.). (note : there is a 0.85 damage reduce on each and every hit in a combo) ---------------------------------------------------------- Now the defensive options (which have quite changed since the start) PARRY --> VS Hits As you can see in the chart & the framedata, there are some blockstring target chains, and there are also some chains with "holes" in them (blockstring wise). I mention this in order to present the Parry mechanic. There are 2 different parries : Y --> regular parry. 3fr startup. / 10 fr. active / 37 fr. recov --> gives 1/3 meter (100pts) and 30fr. advantage (custom state) Standing version is vulnerable to Low attacks. Crouching version is vulnerable to Special attacks and Aerial ones back - fwd +Y --> Red parry 1fr. startup / 10 fr act / 19 recov --> needs & consumes 2/3 meter, gives 1/3 meter (100pts) and 30fr. advantage (custom state) JUMPING --> VS throws & grabs There is no air parry (nor air defense). Jumping and backdash are only throw escapes. There is also a throw tech : a reversal clsn against throws during their 4frame startup ROLLING --> VS projectiles Z --> Forward roll back+Z --> Back roll All have 30 frames duration (movement speed depending on character's cns constants). 6 startup frames --> totally vulnerable 6-12 --> Normal attacks & Projectile invincibility 12- 30 --> Projectile invincibility RECOVERY --> VS Juggles Air recovery (Z while being juggled) needs and consumes 1 meter. Total invincibility granted until landing, UNLESS another button is hit by the player while in the air (if he wants to counter attack) Ground recovery (Z when touching ground from falling) --> totally invincible during 12 first frames . But it has the same movement as backdashes, so beware of the corner !!! ------------------------------------------------------------- Summing it all up, there are different defensive mechanics as well as offensive ones. Each one has different risk/reward rates, not only frame wise, but also from a placing point of view. And each defensive option is "more efficient" in specific situations. Guarding and punishing at the end of enemy's strings is also still an interesting option, but tick throws and corners are dangerous. REALLY DANGEROUS, believe me ! --------------------------------------------------------------- As for the cast, I really appreciate the ideas ! Got'em bookmarked. I can't promise anything now, but I'll try those models out when I'll find some more sparing time !! For what I can say for sure, is that every character that can fit into the 19th century Japan lore is a serious contender for appearing in the cast. Better if he has some kind of weapon, sword, stick, whip, chain, whatever... I'm not a "samsho only" partisant, it's more that I don't have such a knowledge of each and every fighter game So I've started with samsho and lastblade, since I've been playing those games, and the samurai/ninja/japan universe is what I'm fond of. I do agree that even a guitar could be a weapon too (looking at GG ...) but it's not my thing you know I admit that I'm not very fond of characters like Akari (Lastblade) or ChamCham neither, but you never know ... like they say here in France "only fools do never change their minds" All in all, now that I've acquired some experience working on characters from imports on "my" standard, I need 2-3 weeks just to have a character working quite well (without special moves). And I'll have to work on the screen interface too (fight.def especially). So maybe I'll manage to get it all for 2017 for some kind of 1st season of the full game ... the 2nd season could have more variety cast wise... (sorry guys for the long post !)