I love fighting games. I think they're the perfect competitive format, or at least the most perfect we currently have. 100% of my decisions matter, and every outcome of every game is determined by me and me alone. If I lose, it's because I did something wrong, and I played worse than my opponent. Likewise, if I win, it's because I made the right decisions and I outplayed my opponent. I don't get that feeling of agency from team games. I also just find them incredibly fun to play – I get to express myself through my character and playstyle, and the nuances of each game makes them all feel very unique. I also live for the dopamine hit from pulling off something or beating someone I couldn't before. Even the tiny things, like blocking a tough string or nailing a new mixup, make me feel like I'm on top of the world. Seeing myself improve at fighting games is like a drug to me. I'm hooked.
That said, a lot of people have trouble getting into fighting games. I see a lot of different reasons for this, but the most common I see tend to be "everything happens so fast," "everybody's better than me, I feel like I can't win," "I feel like I can't play real games if I don't know everything first," and, most often, "they're really hard." Not all the time, but quite often, people in the FGC will (probably unintentionally) invalidate these opinions by saying why they're "wrong" or how they're not as big a deal as non-FG players make them out to be. Every concern is valid, and I originally wanted this post to address those concerns and some others, and explain why fighting games feel that way (instead of why they aren't that way, which is absurd, because they are,) and how to more easily overcome those barriers, or to avoid them entirely. However, I think it's probably more constructive to hear what outsiders have to say about the subject and potentially come up with design compromises that could be made in future games to garner more attention from outside the scene.
Also, if you make any suggestions that I think are already implemented in some current titles, I'll point you to them and their communities so you can see if they might fit your bill.
Sorry if this breaks any rules! I tried my best to keep this from being too r/AskReddit-y and to actually (hopefully) start a constructive discussion, but if it breaks 3-4 or anything else, I'd be happy to delete/redo it.
Edit: Results! The thread's over a day old, and while there's still some discussion going on, I think we've touched on the biggest things that should change to get new players into the genre and to keep them there.
Tutorials. The most common issue that's come up has been the appalling lack of good tutorial content in pretty much every fighting game. It's not enough for the tutorial to just cover mechanics, it's also important that they prepare you for your first games against real people. Things like relevant character primers, input trainers, punishment training, block training, etc. are necessary to prevent new players from being overwhelmed, or at least understand why they're overwhelmed, when they first start playing real people. Good singleplayer content can help teach and reinforce these as well.
Time. Fighting games necessarily take a lot of time to learn. If they didn't, the amazing feats of the pros wouldn't be special – anyone could get to that level fairly quickly. However, the time investment of going from casual to competitive, or even from beginner to low/low-mid level is absurd. I think this could be alleviated in a number of ways, primarily focusing on learning how to learn effectively, but a huge part of this burden could be alleviated with the solution to #1. Better in-game instruction will greatly help bridge the gap between playing casually and becoming more interested in the game on a deep level, especially if that instruction includes real data gathered from real players in real games, such as a character's most common moves in a given situation, common combos, matchup %, etc.Загрузка...
Too much stuff. I just watched that Blasted Salami's most recent podcast,
, and it touched on this exact same thing. Things like frame data, huge movelists, and movement options can be extremely overwhelming for a new player. It's not apparent at all to a new player that that stuff isn't important, and the games never give you any guidance on what you need to focus on first. Again, this issue is mostly alleviated by good tutorial content, but those tutorials also need to tell a beginner what's actually important rather than just teaching you everything. The definitely should still cover everything, but they should clearly point out the things a beginner should care about. A lot of people in the comments mentioned how they felt they were expected to know frame data, and that's not true at all. I don't know off the top of my head how + Bryan's overhead elbow slam is, but I do know that he has frame advantage after it, since when I block it and try to do something, I get hit. I learned that through playing the game, not through reading numbers on some website, and that's how you should learn. The games never tell you that though, they give you all the tools and let you fumble through them for hours while you learn nothing because you don't even know what frame advantage is. It would be so simple for the games to give you some pointers on how to learn, but they never do, and that needs to change.
Speed. Fighting games are fast. Hell, even in Street Fighter, one of the most commonly recommended games to beginners for its simplicity at low-level, the fastest move most characters have is their standing light punch which is often three frames. That's 1/120th of a second. The vast majority of moves in fighting games are unreactable when they're used alone, and that's by design. the moves that are reactable are either huge moves with high damage or moves that are designed to try and hit you while you're trying to block, like unblockables and overheads. However, this speed turns off a lot of potential players who aren't accustomed to the unintuitive hold-back-to-block system (more on that later,) so to them they just keep getting hit by stuff they could never see coming, which feels unfair. Having at least one major fighting game with slower, more intuitive gameplay, that's still flashy and fun, would greatly help in getting those players into the genre.
Unintuitive controls. Holding back to block and inputting forward>down>down-forward to do an uppercut make no sense on paper. I don't want to remove the input complexity of fighting games as a whole, as I'm personally a fan of these systems in current fighting games, but if you don't like these systems, there are very few games for you. Granblue has the special button and GG has easy mode, but both of those punish you for using those systems, and there's still the issue of blocking. I mentioned it in one of my replies, but I think a game with slower, more seeable moves; intuitive, button-based blocking, dodging, and parrying; and less technical execution overall would be great for getting new players who are afraid of or turned off by the unintuitive controls on board. I think two big parts of why Smash is so successful are because of the shield button and when you press a direction and a button, most characters use a move in that direction. A slower Rising Thunder with a block/dodge button would be an interesting application of this idea, as would Samurai Shodown with the same block button and no motion inputs. Bushido Blade was also brought up, but I never played it so I can't speak to it
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