Poll Q

Is the new controls (v0.13+) working well?

Are you happy with the new controls (v0.13+)?

Monday, October 24, 2016

V0.132 - AI nerf

Download PAGE.

Patch log

  • Reduced AI alertness of lower level AIs further.
  • AI difficulty for unlocking "watch" is now at difficulty 3.

V0.131 released: high performance version + minor bug fixes

Download PAGE.

Patch Notes
  • Fixed bug that caused shield effect to play when the character failed to block the attack.
  • Fixed unique animation not playing when finishing off a character with H-move
  • H-moves buffed more
  • Grab attempt requires two auto attacks to use when the targeted character is in the standing up animation 
  • Further nerfed the lower lvl difficulty AIs
  • Added minor AI changes that reduces the chance that the AI will walk on top of the downed character.
  • Damage to red bar is slightly reduced as matched are a bit quicker than intended
  • Fixed shoe laces floating in the air
In addition, released a high performance version for those without a dedicated graphics card with many effects disabled + smaller resolution. The regular version is preferable if the hardware can handle it.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

A new toggle-able camera mode

Showing a new toggle-able camera mode for those that want a more familiar fighting game setup. (LEFT) and (RIGHT) move towards/backwards from the opponent and (UP) and (DOWN) are side movements. It also showcases the girls better :)

Also fixed the following bugs in v0.13:
  • Fixed bug that caused guard effect to play when the character failed to block the attack.
  • Fixed unique animation not playing when finishing off a character with H-move
  • Grab attempt requires two auto attacks to use when the targeted character is in the standing up animation 
  • Further nerfed the lower lvl difficulty AIs
  • Added minor AI changes that lessens the chance that the AI will walk on top of the downed character.
  • Damage to red bar is slightly reduced as matched are a bit too quicker than intended
  • Fixed shoe laces floating in the air

Friday, October 21, 2016

Alpha v0.13 Released - new controls, game balance and AI.

Download page.

Showing new controls and some other stuff to come :)

New controls:

  • Abilities are activated via holding down a movement key + "W", similar to Super Smash Bros.
  • Grab key is now "A", and standing grabs can only be performed after 2 basic strikes. But it is no longer interrupt-able by regular jabs.
  • Roll is now done via double tabbing a movement key
  • There is also an experimental, optional roll key "R" 
  • Abilities will now track towards the target better, including abilities used while running. The tolerance for this to activate is currently set to 60 degrees.
  • Input buffering are now only active on the last 300 ms of any action. 
  • Block can now be freely canceled by any action
  • Fixed several bug that caused controls to behave unexpectedly
New game balance:
  • Reduce snowballing further:
    • Damage to the green bar is reduced based on how low the red bar is. So effectively, the character will always fight at approximately full strength
    • Stamina regenerates faster
    • Roll cooldown is now 5.0 secs from 6.0 secs
    • EXPERIMENTAL CHANGE: using abilities and rolls with a non-zero cooldown will cause that character's maximum stamina to reduce by 4% of that ability's SP cost for the remainder of the right
  • Guard changes:
    • Stamina regen is halted while guarding
    • Shield pop up effect now changes in color and size to reflect how much more that character can block
    • Blocking a strike will cause the blocking character to lose some stamina depending on the strength of the move blocked
    • Blocking character is now knocked back based on the breaking strength of the move that character is blocking
  • More options for the downed character, less uncontrollable time:
    • Submission holds duration are decreased by ~20% across the board.
    • While standing up from the downed position, the character is invulnerable.
    • Characters will passively sit at the downed position for less amount of time 
    • Wake Up Kick cooldown is now 12.0 seconds but stamina cost is 40.0 
    • Wake Up Kick now knocks foe into the air instead of only staggering (this reduces the chance that the 2 characters are piled on top of each other)
    • Wake Up Kick now have much greater breaking power, however, it still cannot hit foes in the air 
  • Abilities are generally nerfed across the board to make other options, such as regular attack and dash attack relevant. The changes to abilities are too numerous to list but just note that there are super armor/break power changes to the abilities which determines which ability can interrupt the other move.

And finally, an improved AI.

"BS AI" will inevitable come up so might as well address it now:

First of all I want to build a coherent and fair combat system that has no option that is dominant 100% of the time. What is meant by that? Lets take a look at similar games and how their combat balance results in "spam":
  • Rumble Roses -> spam the counter button
  • Princess of the Ring -> stand still, spam attack and wait for the AI to walk into your attack spam
  • Fairy War 2 -> spam the strongest ability, pick the character that has the strongest ability to spam with
In contrast, I hope there is no dominant strategy in this game. Everything has checks and balances. It is designed so there is a proper response and counter for everything. The higher difficulty AI will block, evade and counter etc if the player throws their arsenal randomly against the AI.

Secondly, I want the abilities to be unique, powerful and varied. This actually puts a lot of stress on the AI system. Imagine if the AI only blocks and rolls randomly. Then it is questionable whether a move like Ruby's Jump Smash is healthy for the game. It is barely interrupt-able, it is unblock-able and it deals tons of damage when hit and it has a low cooldown. But because the AI can handle such powerful-if-not-dealt-with move correctly most of time, it is okay for these type of moves to exist in game.

Thirdly, the other means of creating challenge is quite boring. It is actually very easy to make an AI that is retarded but has ton of health and/or damage relative to the player. In contrast, all the AI in game has no statistical advantage against the player. The players who eventually manage to beat the lvl5 AI actually finds that it is a fulfilling experience.

Fourthly, care taken to not create a perfect-play AI. Otherwise Ruby would never use such as risky move as the Jump Smash against the player that can roll. Obviously there is a very fine line between the AI just countering enough versus countering too much and that is something that is hard to get right. But thats what the Alpha is for :).

Finally, I understand that this isnt everyone's thing and thats why the lower difficulty AI exist. The "Watch" feature is only unlocked at difficulty 4 because I want the feedback and to "stress test" the system. Without it, many of the issues with the controls would never have come to light.

I also want to thank the pre-alpha testers, their feedbacks are invaluable and without whom this patch really wouldn't be possible. 

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

New controls scheme, combat mechanics and AI behavior

Showing the new controls, combat mechanics, and AI.

Some of the highlights:

  • New controls setup and improved input responsiveness.
  • Using an ability is now done by a dir key + the special key ("W") 
  • Double tap a dir key to roll, there is also an experimental dedicated roll key ("R")
  • Grab key is now "A". 
  • AI should behave more realistically rather than hurp derp get to your face while countering everything.
  • Combat balance changes. Every action should be meaningful. Even basic moves like regular strikes, dash attack and grab can be very powerful if used correctly. Special moves are generally nerfed across the board. They are still powerful but they should no longer be the only "useable" move against the AI.
  • Standing grab attempts can only be executed after 2 basic strikes. There is a window of opportunity for the victim to react after the 2nd hit. Regular jabs no longer interrupt grab attempts. 
  • Stamina management plays a bigger role now. Guarding now takes more stamina and you can block fewer "impactful" moves.
  • I would list the exact changes to combat mechanics but I realize its too much change to get a sense of it from reading, so just treat it like a new system. 
Since there are many changes, there could be many new bugs. I am looking for some mega-alpha testers to test it out AND GIVE FEEDBACK ON CONTROLS AND BALANCE. If you are interested in participating, send an email to enlit3d@gmail.com.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Fairer AI and combat change demo

Showing the new fairer lvl 4 AI behavior and how to handle (and fail to handle) some of her moves. Still a WIP of course.

Some of the combat changes are:

  • Grabbing attempt attack reach is lowered
  • Grabbing attempt can not be interrupted by regular jabs anymore and is a valid move against AI
  • Guarding is now a freely cancelable action
  • Guarding will now turn the character towards targeted opponent if available
  • Double tapping a direction key will now use a roll if roll is available (instead of starting run)
  • Reduced the super armor of many abilities and/or apply the super armor later - many of them can not be used as a counter to basic strikes after the character is staggered

Combat and balance changes

Had some time today and in lieu of the comments regarding controls and bullshit AI I decided to play some games instead of watching AI duke it out or AI stomp to test out new features.

There were definitely some bugs to the controls and the combat falls short of where I want it to be. The current game balance is fine, provided you know about the special moves and can use them effectively. Unfortunately, the special moves are too strong atm and it kinda turn into a game of special move rock paper, scissor.

Take Ruby for example, all 3 of her moves have enough super armor to withstand regular attack and they all have such low cooldown that there isnt really a opening to attack her unless you know how to use your own abilities to counter hers. In addition, since currently there is a window of opportunity to react after the 2nd basic strike going aggressive on her (or any other AI) with basic strikes is unlikely to work well. The reactive observe and counter plan doesnt work too well either because grab attempts invalidate guarding and poking with basic strikes gets countered too easily by abilities. So in the end, the special moves are too dominant in combat.

This wacky balance is kinda expected given the alpha nature of the game. New features, particular AI improvements will give the game a drastically different feel each iteration. I am very glad that "watch" is unlocked via defeating the difficult AI and I thank those who tested against this somewhat unfair setup and that bring this issue to light.

So I am going to tweak the game balance and refine animations, some of which are very rough due to the model rig adjustment. Expect fairly big game balance changes in the near future.

I also implemented the following changes to the controls:
  • characters are now able to run even when their weak
  • dash attack will now attack towards the target opponent if the angle between the attacker and opponent is less than 60 degrees. (instead of attacking in the direction the character is running towards)
  • improved input buffering for dash attack
  • updated Helper Window to reflect Dash Attack cooldown status
  • added more visual cues to the Stomp attack to indicate its size better
  • guarding will now turn the character towards targeted opponent
  • reworked game logic for auto de-targeting (currently sometimes the opponent is unintentionally de-targeted and thus result in the ability attacking the wrong way)