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dynamite-ready
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« on: April 28, 2023, 09:02:28 AM »

Common game design myth suggests that a key fighting game staple, the combo, was originally a bug, caught before launch, but left in the design of Street Fighter 2 as a courtesy, and soon became a key mechanic as the genre advanced.

Even to this day, many modern games fighting have so many exploits, it's difficult to tell whether they were intentional. And more often than not, these glitches separate common players, from the professionals. 'Korean Backdashes' in Tekken 7, 'Kara throws' in Third Strike, and 'Option Selects' which can be in many fighting games.

My question then, especially if there are any pro/experienced designers around (and not just fighting game devs), is whether it's a common practice for designers to leave such exploits in their games, or are they really all just bugs?
« Last Edit: April 28, 2023, 04:02:24 PM by dynamite-ready » Logged
michaelplzno
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« Reply #1 on: April 29, 2023, 04:39:05 PM »

The design process is more communication with the player when it is done right. You have to make something the audience wants, not just something that only makes sense to the author. Thus, most professionals show their games to players in iterations to see what they do with the game. A lot can come from hearing what players do with a situation. Sometimes players will exploit things in very creative ways, sometimes they ruin the game, sometimes they open up new ways to play.

For example, on my XBOX game Hundred Bullets, I started playing it in random patterns to try to doge the bullets by brute force. But many years later I realized that you could trick the levels by coming up with a pattern to how you moved. That was the basis of the entire game after that.

I still wish I had better communication with players, or just in general. I was talking to a guy I met on face book and he only replies to "how are you?" by saying "good" and I told him that bothers me, and he said he understood, so I asked him again and he said "good" I'm not sure if he is even human.
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dynamite-ready
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« Reply #2 on: April 30, 2023, 05:48:23 AM »

Quote
You have to make something the audience wants, not just something that only makes sense to the author.

I've been thinking about this a lot recently. My skills as a maker are reasonable (I think Cheesy), but I can't say I've personally made anything wildly successful. I think there's a combination of ideas to consider. Paraphrasing Katsuhiro Harada (the creator of the Tekken series), he suggests user feedback is valuable. And in this day and age, with signals / analytics, you can extract more info from players, than even they themselves can offer. But ultimately, it's the job of the designer to surprise and delight players.

I believe that's something that will always be true.

That said, I definitely agree that great work can't be made in complete isolation. I'd been mucking about with a hobby project for a while now (a year or two). Most of what I put together made sense to me. Then my brother passed round for dinner, so for a laugh, I let him try it out, and almost within seconds, he pointed out how confusing a key component seemed to him. Something I'd agonised over for a while too. But when he pointed it out, it made perfect sense...

So since then, I'd actioned this feedback. But the problem now, is finding other people to test out my rough alpha builds!
I also think this kind of feedback would speed up the design and development process. Right now though, I find myself imagining gameplay ideas that I think people might enjoy, but I honestly can't be sure.

At the same time though, I can't sit around and wait for an audience. Shrug

Anyhow... This is a bit of a departure from the subject I started on, even if it's kind of related.
I guess the point you're suggesting is that what might be a bug to you, may well be fun to someone else, and perhaps these weird exploits are artefacts of a kind of abstract negotiation between the developer, and the players?

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michaelplzno
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« Reply #3 on: April 30, 2023, 12:44:55 PM »

First of all, I play people's games on my channel and post my honest reactions to the first 10-20 minutes of a game. I'd be happy to play yours.

Second, most projects that are developed in secret alone don't go anywhere, just statistically. I guess Stardew Valley was a single guy's project till he posted an announcement and it got picked up. Usually powerful people who can influence who buys a product like to know the people they are promoting, or get paid by them, before they do them any favors. It would be nice if people just posted about games that were high quality rather than the payola/social capital world we live in but alas. Sadly, in the world of games, people don't like doing anyone a favor.

Third, without keeping the audience in mind, most people won't understand what you are making. I've made many pieces of art that no one seems to understand, I had fun making them, I feel like I'm improving at my art, but no one seems to care about what I do. Its partly because I don't play the political game in my second point, but also because I'm not really making art for anyone other than to satisfy my own drives to produce stuff.



But I feel your pain. I wish I had an endgame to all this, I've made 15-20 or so games, I've made thousands of drawings. I'm even starting to write. I wish I could get some kind of pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Or at the very least, a bit of ego stroking because I have a modicum of talent. It seems like we must beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.
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flowerthief
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« Reply #4 on: May 02, 2023, 11:03:53 AM »

Common game design myth suggests that a key fighting game staple, the combo, was originally a bug, caught before launch, but left in the design of Street Fighter 2 as a courtesy, and soon became a key mechanic as the genre advanced.

Even to this day, many modern games fighting have so many exploits, it's difficult to tell whether they were intentional. And more often than not, these glitches separate common players, from the professionals. 'Korean Backdashes' in Tekken 7, 'Kara throws' in Third Strike, and 'Option Selects' which can be in many fighting games.

My question then, especially if there are any pro/experienced designers around (and not just fighting game devs), is whether it's a common practice for designers to leave such exploits in their games, or are they really all just bugs?

I can't imagine that kara throws or option selects were intentional; Capcom has been trying to remove kara throws in Street Fighter 5, which suggests that that one is unintentional and not deemed to be beneficial to the game. But Capcom historically has been very smart about deliberately adding unintended mechanics that have proven in the past to make gameplay deeper. After Street Fighter 2, move cancels started appearing in all their beat-em-up games (Devil May Cry, God Hand) as a deliberate mechanic. In Resident Evil 5, exploiting invincibility frames separated the best players from the rest. (if you pick up an item or climb a ladder at the exact moment a rocket from someone's rocket launcher is shot at you, it will pass harmlessly through your character)

As I play Elden Ring I think about the way the dodge roll evolved from its beginnings in Demons Souls to the point now where boss fights are deliberately designed so that players *must* use invincibility frames that (I presume) were originally merely a bonus. Nobody knew then that it would become the primary mechanic for testing a player's skill.

On the other hand, certain mechanics from early Souls games have since been removed in newer games. Strict input processing which causes a move input at the same time an enemy is hitting you to be executed *after* you take the hit, for example; I do not know whether that one was intentional or not, but it served to punish you twice for a single mistake--which is too cruel--and From wisely axed it.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that a wise developer like Capcom or From evaluates all mechanics intended or not, removes the ones that don't improve the style of games they're developing, and embraces the ones that do.

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flowerthief
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« Reply #5 on: May 02, 2023, 11:15:50 AM »

Also, I do not think that option selects make a fighting game better. An option select means you do less thinking about what your opponent will do. It diminishes the mind games, makes everything more mechanical. So I can't imagine Capcom intends for option selects to be in their games.
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dynamite-ready
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« Reply #6 on: May 06, 2023, 07:54:24 AM »

Also, I do not think that option selects make a fighting game better. An option select means you do less thinking about what your opponent will do. It diminishes the mind games, makes everything more mechanical. So I can't imagine Capcom intends for option selects to be in their games.

I agree. They definitely don't improve the games, and might be something that the designers have to reluctantly accept, for gains elsewhere.

From what I understand, they are a corruption of the contextual control system most fighting games employ to give moves slightly different properties, depending on the proximity or position of the opponent. I'd guess that most option select examples are just really, really difficult bugs to track down, and those that do manifest, are asking players to be aware of a very specific situation that only expert players are going to purposefully take advantage of (whether character specific, or reliant on single digit frame timing).

Which is why I'd think there's never a real rush to remove them, unless they really break the game
« Last Edit: May 06, 2023, 08:03:04 AM by dynamite-ready » Logged
dynamite-ready
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« Reply #7 on: May 06, 2023, 07:58:39 AM »

First of all, I play people's games on my channel and post my honest reactions to the first 10-20 minutes of a game. I'd be happy to play yours.

Lol, dude! I'm miles away from a product to share online. Still thinking about rules and mechanics, ironically!

But will keep your offer in mind. Thank you. Beer!
« Last Edit: May 06, 2023, 08:06:11 AM by dynamite-ready » Logged
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