Game Update: March 2017

A new build of Fantasy Strike is available to our patrons on Patreon.
v8735.

This month we added a new character, Lum the Gambling Panda. We fleshed out Midori's animations (in his human form at least!), added more visual effects to Rook and Valerie, and sound effects for lots of characters. Geiger's clocktower stage looks cooler. There's an all-new options menu and the character select screen now organizes the characters by archetype and also is generally more robust in handling controller/keyboard/mouse commands and states. Plus, you can now access button config and the move list directly from character select.

Patreon Levels

  • Geiger is now available to bronze and above patrons, rather than silver and above.
  • DeGrey is now available to silver and above patrons, rather than gold and above.
  • Lum is new and now available to gold and above patrons.

CHARACTERS

LUM
--New character! Lum has all placeholder animations and placeholder visual effects / sound effects. His gameplay is in place though so we wanted to give him to you even though he is in a rough state.
--His ground C move is item toss, and throws one of several random items. The fireworks are the best item, and a good reason to throw as many as you can in hopes of getting them.
--Air B causes lum to jump downward onto a trampoline, then launch up into a cartwheel. Overall, this move has long startup but it is safe on block and covers a lot of the screen.
--Air C is a downward projectile, and it’s especially useful to extend Lum’s hang time, especially if there is a bomb below him.
--Ground super throws several items at once.
--Air super summons 3 huge dice that he can knock around the screen in various ways by hitting them.

WALK SPEEDS
--Adjusted walk speeds for all characters except for rook. The overall point is to increase forward walk speed and decrease backward walk speed.

Grave: walk forward is faster
Jaina: walk forward is barely faster; walk back is slower
Setsuki: walk backward is slower
DeGrey: walk forward is faster; walk back is slower
Valerie: walk forward is barely faster; walk back is slower
Geiger: walk forward is barely slower; walk back is slower
Midori: walk forward is faster

GRAVE
--Removed blood on sword slash

ROOK
--A game-wide change to hitboxes results in the C throw having less range than before, but still huge range.
--Rook’s normal throws also have slightly less range than before, but still a lot.
--Thunderclap (back+A) has 8 frames more recovery. It also causes less pushback, which is a buff in that back+A -> C is now easier to hit with. After a counterhit splash (jump A), it is no longer possible to back+A, f+A for a total of 4 damage because of the extra recovery on back+A, but it is now easier to back+A, C for a total of 3 damage and the opponent left knocked down right next to you. That said, all things considered, the changes to Thunderclap are overall a slight nerf.
--Kick (f+A) has 5 less active frames.

Based on feedback from players, and especially based on seeing the game in action all day every day at 3 different trade shows, we believe Rook was just too powerful at low levels of play. His power level amongst experts remains to be seen, but for now these nerfs will help the game for beginners. They are all slight and he is likely still very strong at low skill levels.

--Thunderclap (back+A) effects updated
--Ground super now has new visual effects.
--Air super now has birds around the victim’s head when they are dizzy.
--Yomi counter visual effects updated.
--All of Rook’s moves now have new sound effects.

VALERIE
--New visual effects for ground C rainbow.
--New visual effects for Three Colors (B,B,B) with cyan, magenta, yellow trails.
--New visual effects for air super disc.
--Most of Valerie’s moves now have new sound effects.

SETSUKI
--During her air super, Setsuki now flails around trying to parry, rather than sitting frozen in the air while trying to parry.
--During her air super, the log that appears now falls all the way to the ground before disappearing, rather than disappearing when it hits, because it often hits instantly so you couldn’t see what happened.

GEIGER
--Can no longer cancel normals to Time Stop super. Too much of his gameplay was centering around this. He could reliably poke for 3 damage with a fast, long range move and that’s not what he’s supposed to be about.
--Several of Geiger’s moves have new sound effects.

DEGREY
--Air C ghost is just slightly faster and travels at a slightly different angle that results in a bit more range.
--Fixed ghost's animation stopping completely for half a second at the end of her C attacks, she should now smoothly animate in place during that delay before she returns to DeGrey.
--Fixed several problems where the ghost could get stuck facing backwards, or in a wrong animation as she follows DeGrey.
--Fixed a bug where the ghost would flicker briefly between active and cooldown states when she should just be in the cooldown state.
--Ghost now has a turn around animation (left to right and right to left) rather than instantly popping left/right.
--Ghost now has cel-shading that matches the art style of the rest of the game.

MIDORI
--Updated walk animations with a bit more polish
--New animations for B flying kick on the ground and in the air.
--New throw animations for normal throw.
--New animations for parry attempt and successful parry strike (C button).
--New animation for “empowered throw” (the throw he can do after a successful parry).
--New animation for yomi counter.
--New animation for jump neutral A. The animation has a higher hitting zone than the old one, and stays out longer. Just like before, this move can be steered forward or back after you jump straight up, making it good to maneuver over enemy projectiles.
--New animation for jump forward/back A.
--New animation for jump C.
--Fixed issues where his skin was poking through his clothes during some moves.
--New animations for transforming into a Dragon (super), both ground and air versions.
--Using super to turn into Dragon Form makes the meter turn directly from purple to green, rather than emptying then quickly filling to green. No gameplay change, but it looks much better.
--While in Dragon Form, the green super meter is now sparkly rather than solid green.

STAGES

--Clock tower stage has many more background objects that have been modeled and textured for real.
--Clock tower now has animated gears and weights in the background, showing the clock’s machinery in action!

MENUS

--Character select. The character select screen used in training mode and local versus mode has been overhauled to a completely new version.
--It now labels characters as zoner / rushdown / grappler / wildcard.
--It has much more sophisticated handling of mouseover states. Mousing over a character flashes the background of that selection box with red or blue depending on which player will get that character if you mouse click.
--The visual display of the red and blue character select boxes is much more sophisticated. A flashing box means you are still able to move the box around and a solid one means it’s locked in. When both boxes are on the same character, it creates a 4-split where the red part is flashing or solid based on if the red player has locked in the character or not, and same for the blue player.
--The screen now has shortcuts to move list and button config.
--The character names and “vs” that appear after locking in characters are now all using flat colors rather than the fancier text effects from before, so that it all matches the rest of the UI better.

--The options screen has been totally redesigned. It’s much more professional looking now and has better organization of the various kinds of options.
--The training mode options now have a new character-specific entry for Lum’s items. You can set it to make him throw a particular item always (in training mode) to test things.

MISC

--Try not losing a round in arcade mode.
--Fixed a bug that made the training mode dummy perform reversal actions 1 frame too late after getup / blockstun.
--Fixed a bug that caused CPU opponents to never block attacks as they got up from knockdowns. Bonus: they can block meaty projectiles extra-hard. Also a bit of character-specific reversal logic.
--Fixed timer-related bugs that caused the game timer to start counting down before the round even started, and keep counting down after the end of the round.
--Fixed the blue round win icons accidentally being too low resolution before.
--Added Global Jump Dust puffs (like Grave’s) to all character’s jumps
--Added Rook’s B dust puff to Setsuki Ground C, Valerie Ground C and Midori Ground B
--Added Jaina’s bA dust puff to Midori’s fA and Lum Ground B (in reverse)
--The rematch menu at the end of a local versus game no longer shows help text for “back”.

UPDATE

This build is now updated to v8735 (from 8724).

--Player 2's button config using keyboard was accidentally broken in v8724, now fixed.
--Fixed a bug where the keyboard left arrow would activate "apply" on the video settings screen for no reason.
--Fixed the main menu character getting stuck in a loaded state, when we start a character load in 1P char-select then go to gameplay before that character's assets finish loading.
--Geiger's Time Spiral (B) fast and slow versions both have new sound effects.
--Geiger and Rook have different sound effects when landing from a jump.

Game Update: February 2017

A new build of Fantasy Strike is available to our patrons on Patreon.
v8212.

This month we've addressed a major bug, we have the beginnings of a new stage, and have a whole new set of training mode options and UI. We also have more visual effects, sound effects, and some minor gameplay tuning.

"THE SOUND BUG"

Fixed a horrible issue on Windows that triggered at seemingly random times, causing music to sound distorted (as if you had too weak of a CPU to play it) and that caused sound effects to sound like they were playing multiple times on top of each other. This is not a bug in our game specifically, but rather a bug in the Unity engine that is used by many games. Although Unity has not yet fixed this bug, we have a workaround we’re using for now. For Windows users, this is probably the most important thing in our entire update.

ASYNCHRONOUS LOADING

Our characters are now loaded when they are needed, rather than ALL at the same time on game launch. It’s possible you will see faster loading times between launching the game and seeing the main menu, though it might have been so fast before that you don’t notice the speed increase. Much more noticeable is the way characters load on the character select screen. Now, you can move the selection box around instantly. Before, when you tried to move it, it would not actually move until the game was able to draw the next 3D character on the screen. Now that the characters load “asynchronously”, the selection box moves right away and the 3D character will appear as soon as it can without interrupting your inputs of moving the character select box. It feels more responsive now.

STAGES

New Stage: Clock Tower. The stage is now blocked out in an early form. Many textures and effects missing, but it shows which objects go where.

The Tavern stage received a shipment of new curtains with better modeling than the old curtains.

TRAINING MODE PAUSE MENU

When you pause the game in training mode, you now get a completely new menu. This menu has 3 tabs: basics, dummy settings, and character-specific settings. This new pause menu really helps UI-wise in that it pulls in some settings that we previously hid away in the debug menu. You can now turn yomi counters on/off and counter-hits from normal to always-on-first-hit right in the pause menu. We have also implemented several new training mode functions in the new menu. For example, you can now make the dummy jump. You can make it always block, or only block after getting hit once (to show if you were too slow to combo your second hit).

The training menu also now has options for making the dummy do either a reversal move or a throw right after it leaves blockstun, and also right after it gets up from a knockdown. This is helpful in testing lots of things to see if they are safe or not. Note that some characters such as Setsuki and Midori do not have true (invulnerable) reversals, so they do the fastest move they can.

REMATCH MENU

At the end of a local versus game, the rematch menu has updated graphics. It now matches the UI style of the rest of the game and has proper button highlights that work with mouseovers and with controller input. The functionality is the same great functionality as before, where either player can choose to change character or quit the match, or both players can choose "rematch" in order to play again instantly, with no loading.

CHARACTERS

GRAVE
--Sword attack now has a new huge visual effect
--Sword attack has a new big hispark instead of old, incorrect hitspark.
--New visual effects for all Grave’s many projectiles (normal, big, and electric-during-wind versions). The new look better fits our overall art style.
--New impact effects for when Grave’s projectiles hit an opponent.
--Fixed a bug that made it possible for Grave’s wind sound effects to play if he got hit out of the move and no wind occurred.

JAINA
--White clothes a bit less shadowy
--New sound effects for hitting with C attack Dragonheart, yomi counter, and ground super.
--Removed the illuminating effect Jaina’s flame arrows had on characters. They do not work with our cel-shaded style.

ROOK
--Air super replaced with a new move. Rook now does a headbutt in the air, then falls straight down. If the headbutt hits in the first 2 frames, it dizzies the opponent (in a cutscene) and Rook throws them for 1 extra damage.
--Updated hit effect on back+A (thunderclap) and B (armor punch).
--Fixed a bug on B (armor punch) where if he was hit out of it, he wouldn’t leap into the air but the dust effects for him leaping would still happen.
--Updated rook yomi counter effects and hitsparks
--New hit effect for Rook air C when it’s a direct opponent hit, hitspark directed down
--New visual effects for trails behind C throw

VALERIE
--Inside of dress is now darker / more shadowy.
--New main menu animation.
--Valerie now blinks during her main menu and character select animations. Also, the resting state of her eyes is no longer maximum-wide-open.
--Valerie’s eyes are now closed during knockdowns.
--Valerie now blinks occasionally during her standing idle animation.

SETSUKI
--The teleport throw (hold B) no longer has old, incorrect hitsparks.
--Setsuki has numerous new sound effects for almost all her moves.
--Setsuki now blinks during her main menu and character select animations. Also, the resting state of her eyes is no longer maximum-wide-open.
--Setsuki’s eyes are now closed during knockdowns.
--Setsuki now blinks occasionally during her standing idle animation.

GEIGER
--Air B now has a fixed duration instead of variable duration that depended on how long you held down the button.
--Adjusted colors of costume 6.
--Yomi counter animation is now about 20% shorter, and the kick at the end is a bit more powerful looking.

DEGREY
--Air super’s minimum height is slightly higher now. (Still pretty low though, and similar to other characters.)
--Fixed ghost grabbing an airborne victim not resetting the air juggle count when the victim goes back to neutral, so their next launcher would launch them lower from the juggle count persisting.
--The ghost’s animation now pauses during Geiger’s Time Stop super.
--The ghost now has a new animation when DeGrey loses.
--During DeGrey’s yomi counter, the ghost’s animation has been adjusted. No longer disappears instantly near the beginning; no longer wrongly shows the ghost at top right of the screen at the end.
--The bottom part of the ghost now appears faded away, for more ghostlieness 

MIDORI
--New move: flurry punches. When you press A (chop) or forward+A (two-hit strike) you can press A again to cancel to a flurry of punches that do a total of 1 extra damage. During the flurry of punches, you can press A again to do another flurry, but there is a delay between flurries so that they do not combo into each other.
--New animations for standing idle, walk back/forward, jump back/up/forward, A, forward+A, and back+A.
--New main menu animation.
--New character select animations.
--When you enter Dragon Form, your super meter now becomes green and counts down--rather than up--to show how much time you have left in this form.
--Fixed a bug where if Midori has his empowered throw buff, then gets dragon form, then returns to human form, he will still be empowered but the visual for his buff doesn’t display.

GENERAL

--Fixed a bug that sometimes caused the keyboard escape key to do nothing sometimes rather than bring up the pause menu as it should. This happened more often when running at high framerates with vsync off.
--Fixed a bug that sometimes caused pressing “start” (aka “options”) on controllers such as PS4 to bring up the pause menu during gameplay, then instantly dismiss it.
--Fixed a bug where hitting a falling victim on the one frame they touch the ground could re-stand them, allowing you to continue the combo when you shouldn’t be able to.
--Fixed a bug where some moves showed incorrect frame data in training mode if you get a counter-hit, such as DeGrey’s B->A punch.
--The mouse cursor now disappears during gameplay if it hasn’t been used recently.

New mouse cursor behavior:
• On initial launch and on pause, cursor is visible in mouse mode, hidden in gamepad mode.
• In mouse mode, cursor is always visible in menus. Toggling mouse mode on immediately makes cursor visible.
• In gamepad mode, cursor disappears after a couple seconds of inactivity.
• On gameplay start and unpause, cursor is hidden (in both input modes).
• During gameplay, cursor disappears after a couple seconds of inactivity (in both input modes).
 

Game Update: January 2017

A new build of Fantasy Strike is available to our patrons on Patreon. v7845

This is a major graphical update for Fantasy Strike. We’ve focused on production values and polish across the board. The highlights are:

  • New anime style rendering for all characters.
  • All hitsparks and blocksparks updated to look much better. Knockdown puffs of dust too.
  • All text that appears in game has a new graphic style (Round 1 Fight, 3 Damage, KO, etc).
  • The timing of events when you get a KO is much more satisfying now.
  • DeGrey went from all placeholder animations to all real animations
  • All of Grave’s placeholder sound effects have been replaced with real sound effects.

ANIME SHADING

All characters have a new anime graphic style, which is fitting given their history of 2D art in card game such as Yomi. This is not simply a default cel shader we flipped on. We’ve created our own shaders and developed tech that allows us precise control over the shading of every part of a character as well as where lines get drawn and where they don’t, and what color those lines are. We’ve meticulously gone over every part of every character and hand tweaked the anime look. This includes every costume color of every character, all of which have been updated to work well with the new look.

Special thanks to the team behind Guilty Gear. They set an amazing example with high quality cel shading, and shared their best practices about how they did it at the Game Developer’s Conference here.

The tech we’re using is very much like theirs. We also think Guilty Gear is an excellently designed fighting game overall (though on the opposite end of complexity as Fantasy Strike), and we encourage you to support them too!

In addition to all the cel shading tech, we’ve implemented additional shading and lighting on our characters. Characters now cast subtle shadows on themselves in the right places. We’ve found that combining the anime style look with advanced lighting and shadow tech creates an exciting look!

More images of the game are here.

HITSPARKS

Our hitsparks went from wimpy and questionable in style, to big, bold, bright, and glowy. You can see them everywhere throughout the game. They are also directional, meaning the spew off in the direction of the attack that caused them. If you get wall bounced, there’s an enormous new spark there too.

Blocking a move now causes a big blue circular block spark. This makes it really clear when a block has happened.

We’ve also implemented new visual effects for knockdowns. There are are two kinds of effects for that now. When your character hits the ground, you get one version of dust puffs on the ground if you will not bounce and a different, bigger and fancier version if you will bounce.

ENERGY BACKGROUND FOR SUPERS

When you hit with a super, there is now an exciting orange energy explosion. For some supers it's a starburst patter, others have vertical or horizontal lines, and some have a tube of energy, all depending on the motion of the super. This intentionally does not appear for supers that have their hits during gameplay (as opposed to cinematics) such as Jaina / Valerie / Geiger's air supers.

TEXT AND KO TIMING

--New text for everything that appears during gameplay. This includes Round 1 Fight, 3 Hit Combo, Perfect, KO, etc.
--There are now transition animations for this text. Round 1 have the word and number slide in from opposite sides of the screen. It also flashes and squashes as it disappears. Same with the new KO text.
--When you land the finishing blow of a round, several things are now different. It now says “KO” in both text and voice, there is now a sound effect accompanying the last hit, and there is now a long pause to emphasize that last hit and make it feel satisfying. When you land the finishing hit in the final round of a game, the pause is a little bit longer.
--You can no longer start moving around while it says “fight” on the screen at the start of each round. Gameplay now starts after “fight” disappears.

SOUND

All sound and music volumes normalized. This fixed two problems. First, almost every sound in our game was WAY too loud before. This made our sound and music volume sliders annoying to use because you probably had to keep both at like 5%. Second, some of our sound effects were much louder than others for no particular reason. Even though most sounds are still placeholder, this update to get everything at a reasonable loudness level puts us in a good position to work on new sound effects.

Also, we replaced ALL of Grave’s sound effects with new sounds. They were all placeholder before, but we’ve begun work on sound design now. [Edit: Grave’s yomi counter sounds are still placeholder.] Jaina also has a several new sounds.

BUTTON CONFIGURATION

If you have a controller plugged in, you can press any two buttons to activate it in our game. When you do, a new overlay comes up asking you to map every button to a PS4 button (the d-pad directions, X, Square, Triangle, etc). You can also map your buttons in this way by going to button config, then to the “other controls” pane and then “controller setup”. In the future, we will auto-detect your controller and set all this stuff for you, so at that point you’d only ever use “controller setup” if you’re using a controller we can’t detect.

Before, when you used a PS4 controller and set your buttons to various game functions just as jump, attack, super, etc, our game would call the buttons you pressed things like “Button1” and “Button2”. Now, when you press the square button (for example), our game shows the icon for the square button. (We will eventually support Xbox buttons in this same way.)

We’ve also fixed a few bugs with the workings of the button config stuff behind the scenes, so if you had any trouble getting controller to work, please try again in this build.

STAGES

--Snow stage. New buildings in the background.
--Tavern stage. Numerous elements of this stage have been re-modeled and re-textured in an effort to hit the right art style. Also, the lighting has been adjusted to be more visually pleasing. We have plans for even more aesthetically pleasing lights in a future build, which will require us to implement a bit more lighting tech first.
--Training stage. There is a new, different looking training stage with a circular dragon logo on the back wall. In this build, Setsuki's stage is currently set as the new training stage. Most other characters' stages are set to the old training stage. The new training stage looks better, but might have slower framerate? Please report differences in framerate between the training stage with dragon logo and without. (We plan to eventually not even have a training stage; its existence is just to help us during development.)
--New thumbnail images for stage select.

GENERAL

--Training mode now starts immediately rather than saying “Round 1, Fight” at the start.
--Fixed a bug that made some cinematic cameras, such as the super startup camera angle for Valerie and Setsuki’s supers, destroy projectiles because they were “out of camera view”.
--Fixed a bug that made ground bounces bounce too high (and look bad) on their second bounce. This was especially visible when hitting people with Rook’s air super or counter-hitting jumping opponents with DeGrey’s jump forward A.

CHARACTERS

GRAVE
--Complete overhaul of his sound effects; they’re ALL new.
--Air super damage 1 -> 2.
--Sword attack is now invulnerable to throws during startup (it was already invulnerable to strikes during startup).

JAINA
--Dragonheart (C attack) is now invulnerable to throws during startup (it was already invulnerable to strikes during startup).
--The hitspark from Jaina’s air C shot now travels diagonally down when it hits the opponent, rather than horizontally. Also, this hitspark now appears in front of the victim rather than behind them.
--New sound effects for all Jaina's A button attacks, her throw, and her ground C attack.

ROOK
--Fixed a bug that made the hitsparks of his thunderclap (back+A) appear behind him instead of in front of his hands. (Also, entirely new, huge hitspark for this move.)
--Updated Rook's f+A kick dust effect.
--New visual effects for neutral B attack.
--New visual effects when air C earthquake hits the ground.

VALERIE
--Cloth physics on her dress greatly improved. Better at not clipping through her body all the time. Better at not bunching up into a glitchy state where it’s clipping through itself. 

SETSUKI
--Ground super has a slightly taller hitbox so that it combos better after B teleport kick.
--Fixed a bug that made her regular air B kunai give too much hitstun. Now gives the same (lesser) amount as her air back+B kunai.
--The hitspark from her air B kunai now travels diagonally down when it hits the opponent, rather than horizontally.
--Setsuki's special throw with C can no longer be yomi countered. Now you can jump out of it. It still throws opponents in the air, but not opponents who are just taking off. This, along with the change to Midori's Dragon's similar move means that the universal rule for yomi counters is now simply "yomi counters work against NORMAL throws (not special throws)."

MIDORI
--See note immediately above about Setsuki's C throw. Midori's air C throw while in Dragon Form now has the same new property that opponents cannot yomi counter it, but they can jump out.

DEGREY
--All animations have been replaced. This includes all attacks, throws, yomi counter, supers, hit reactions, block reactions, knockdowns, get up, jumps, idle, walk, and menu animations.
--The workings of DeGrey's ghost are now fully implemented; she is on screen all the time and follows DeGrey around. She is lit up when she’s available to do her moves and dimmed when she’s on cooldown.
--The ghost now starts her descent from air C wherever she happened to be when you press the button, rather than from DeGrey's position. This allows for more setups. You can intentionally get far from her by using air B, then jump again and air C to have her attack farther away from you than usual.
--The air C and ground C moves now share the same cooldown for the ghost, but the cooldown is much shorter for air C than for ground C.
--When the ghost hits, it now counts as a hit in the combo counter.
--In training mode, if you have “counterhits in training mode: on” set, the opponent will no longer be counterhit if they are already being grabbed by the ghost. (Fyi, “counterhits in training mode: on” will be renamed to be more clear later. What it actually means is that the first hit of your combo counterhits, but not later hits of a combo.)
--DeGrey’s f+A kick works differently now and bounces air opponents, allowing him to combo a pilebunker after, even without getting a counterhit on the f+A.
--When DeGrey’s air B counter-hits a grounded opponent, they no longer get knocked down. This allows counter-hit air B to combo to A,A in just the same way that non-counter-hit air B already comboed to A,A.
--DeGrey can now do A,A even on whiff. (The second A will come out even if the first A whiffed.)
--Air super starts traveling 5 frames earlier than before. This is important because this move does 3 damage if you counter-hit, so traveling forward sooner makes getting a counterhit easier.

Game Update: December 2016

A new build of Fantasy Strike is available to our patrons on Patreon.

EDIT: now version v7361. (Was version v7350. See note at the end.)

This month we cleaned up a lot of our current content. Setsuki has a new character model that is much higher quality and matches her Yomi art better. (The fixes to the modeling of her shirt are especially improved.) Several characters had their placeholder hit reaction animations replaced, so they don’t slide and pop in glitchy ways when they get hit. We have new visual effects on more of Jaina’s moves as well as a new tech for exaggerating limbs on Rook. Midori’s Dojo stage looks even better now that it has more highlights and contrast as well as some effects. There are a few balance changes, the most fun of which is Setsuki’s ability to cancel her teleport kick (B button) with a super. Also try out Grave’s new, faster sword attack.

Here's old and new Setsuki:

And the old Midori's Dojo stage followed by the new one:

 

PlayStation 4
--We put in a lot of work making the game run properly on PlayStation 4, for the PlayStation Experience trade show. It generally ran well and maintained 60fps during the 19 hours of play at our booth. That said, we did experience some jittery framerate and sudden frame skips after it had been running a while, so we had to restart the build every so often to get back to non-jittery framerate.
--After the show, we investigated the problem and found a memory leak that our game has probably had for a long time (on all platforms). We have now fixed this. We hope this allows the game to stay solid feeling even after hours of play. (But it needs more testing.)

GRAVE
--Air super has new animation.
--All of Grave’s hit reactions are now animated for real.
--Fixed a bug that made Grave’s big fireball during wind play a successful-hit sound even when it didn’t hit.
--Grave’s sword (C button) is now 5 frames faster.
--Grave’s projectile (B button) no longer knocks down.

JAINA
--On the local versus and training mode character select screen, she now has fire effects on her bow and arrow.
--After firing a level 1, 2, or 3 arrow, her feet no longer slide around during recovery.
--Jaina’s fire arrows have new visual effects when they impact the opponent. This is for the level 1 ground arrow as well as the air B, C, and super arrows.
--When Jaina causes the victim’s body to be on fire, they effects are all new. This happens when she hits with a level 2 or level 3 arrow with the B button, or her Dragonheart C attack, or her ground super.
--New visual effects when the fire arrows hit the ground (from air super or air C)
--Flame arrows from air super and air C now form during startup instead of instantly popping into existence.
--New fire effects during her Dragonheart (C button) attack, including fire effects on Jaina herself at the end to hint that she takes damage.
--New dust visual effects on the ground during her back+A kick.
--New dust visual effects on the ground during her f+A knee.
--All of Jaina’s hit reactions are now animated for real.
--New visual effects for her ground super, including a corkscrew of fire and a fire dragon.

VALERIE
--Valerie f+A hitbox now extends into her body. This fixes a problem where she could get a “meaty attack” mid combo after air B because the first part of the f+A would whiff.
--Fixed an animation problem when she gets up from a knockdown. Before, when she appeared to be fully standing up, there were still many more frames of this pose that didn’t count as “fully standing up,” which made it very hard to time your attack to hit her right as she got up.

ROOK
--All of Rook’s hit reactions are now animated for real. This is a bigger improvement than for other characters because Rook’s placeholder animations had several technical problems where his body scrunched up or collapsed in on itself. His new hit reactions are animated just for him and make more sense for his size and weight.
--Improved his turn around animation (for example, from when someone jumps over him.)
--Rook’s air B now has a new animation where he spins around with his vines extended.
--New visual effects for Rook’s air B
--Thunderclap (back+A) no longer has a hitting zone above rook’s arms and head, so that the hitbox better matches the animation.
--Kick (forward+A) no longer has the hitboxes extending slightly beyond the tip of his foot (very small change).
--Rook’s ground super has way less range now. That said, the range is still really far (farther than his already very far normal throw). We think he probably doesn’t need that anymore as he has enough tools to get in, and a fast 3 damage throw that can’t be yomi countered is good even when it’s only “really far” rather than “3/4ths of the screen”. Also, the startup is slightly faster now, only 1 frame startup.
--Air C now has the statue tilted to the side a bit. (No gameplay change.)
--New dust effects on his kick (forward+A)
--New tech: we can now scale parts of characters during moves to exaggerate attacks. This is currently used by Rook’s b+A, A, f+A, and B attacks. Do you like it? (No gameplay change.)

SETSUKI
--Setsuki has a new character model. It fixes several technical and aesthetic problems of the previous version and better matches her Yomi art now.
--Adjusted all of Setsuki’s costume colors.
--All of Setsuki’s hit reactions are now animated for real.
--Fixed a bug that caused A-button kick done in neutral state to fail to combo to super if the super input used A+B (rather than the dedicated super button).
--Setsuki’s teleport kick (B button) now has bigger hitboxes so it can better hit jumpers.
--Setsuki’s teleport kick (B button) can now be cancelled into her super. If the kick hits, this allows her to combo into the super. If the kick was blocked, doing the super allows her to potentially be safe from retaliation.
--Setsuki’s slide (back+A) gives a couple more frames of hitstun and blockstun. It’s now barely possible to combo into f+A double palm. On counterhit, this is much easier so counterhit slide, f+A, super is possible as a combo.

GEIGER
--Fixed Geiger low punch (neutral A) causing the wrong hit reaction. It used to trigger a heavier hit reaction animation than intended. This doesn’t change frame stats.
--All of Geiger’s hit reactions are now animated for real.
--New main menu idle animation.

DEGREY
--Air super can be done much lower to the ground now.
--Pilebunker (B, then B again) now uses our new character scaling tech to make DeGrey’s fist bigger during this move. (No gameplay change.)

MIDORI
--Doing a yomi counter while in dragon form now resets your dragon form meter so that you can stay in dragon from longer, rather than instantly leaving dragon form. It was always supposed to do this.

STAGES
--Snow stage. Fixed a lighting issue on this stage that was slightly hurting the framerate.
--Dojo stage. New sunlight effects, dust-in-sunlight effects, and falling leaves.
--Dojo stage. More shading on the rocks. Better use of highlight / shading on the building. Highlights on on the grass too. Slight adjustments to the waterfall.

MISC
--Fixed bug where finishing a game of local versus would show the rematch menus partially off screen on resolutions larger than 1080p.
--Fixed a bug that accidentally removed the “crossup” message during gameplay in the last build.
--The keyboard buttons shown for each move in the move list are now your currently set buttons, rather than always the default buttons.
--Training mode now displays “S” rather than “AB” when you input a super.
--Fixed a bug that triggered if you landed a killing blow just as the timer hit zero. No longer causes the following round to end instantly(!).

EDIT: BUG FIX

We have done an emergency from version v7350 to v7361. The purpose of the update is to fix a bug that the grass on Midori's Dojo stage appear as large black rectangles on some computers. Please download new builds at the patreon link at the top of this post.

Though the black grass fix is the reason for the update, there also happen to be these changes too:

--Geiger Main menu animation changed so that he doesn't put his hands in his pockets.
--Removed the empty stage from the game (not the training stage, but the completely empty gray stage.)
--Fixed a bug that made Rook’s "blob shadow" way too small.
--Fixed bug where blob shadows weren’t correctly mirrored on p1 / p2 sides.
--Jaina's character select screen arrow rotated so the arrow's dragon head looks better.
--Fixed a bug when selecting Jaina, after she shoots her arrow when you confirm your selection of her, her next arrow instantly appeared instead of forming over time.
--Fixed big hands/feet being stuck big bug (e.g. when hit out of DeGrey’s pile bunker)
--Fixed rotation of Rook Air C on hit/block
--Fixed Rook’s Ground super reaction causing opponent to have and opened mouth after the super.

Game Update: November 2016

A new build of Fantasy Strike is available to our patrons on Patreon.

EDIT: now version 6963. (Was version 6956. See note at the end.)

In this build, we have a lot of new animations for Geiger, a lot more progress on Midori’s Dojo stage, a wider variety of sound effects, and more hitstop on almost every move to make the hits feel stronger. But the biggest advancement by far in this build is performance / framerate improvements.

BETTER FRAME RATE

When making performance improvements, there’s often a tradeoff of lowering graphics quality. Not this time! We focused on optimizations that have zero effect on how graphics look. So nothing looks worse, or even different, yet you’ll see a big boost in framerate. You don’t have to care about any of the details about how we did this, but here’s a few items of interest if you’re curious.

--Character shadows. Character shadows drawn on the ground do have a performance cost. We changed the way we draw these shadows (with no visual difference!) in such a way that it improves framerate by as much as 4 - 6 fps with this change alone.

--Blob shadows. When graphics quality is set to “lowest,” we used to show no character shadows at all, and that looks really bad. We now show “blob shadows” (kind of like in SF2, but a bit more advanced) and it has virtually zero performance cost. So it looks better and is no slower—actually much faster because of all the other unrelated performance improvements. Furthermore, when graphics quality is set to “low”, we now use blob shadows rather than full character shadows. This is the only case anywhere that we reduced graphics fidelity (and only on the “low” setting), but we believe that if you’re setting graphics to low, you’d probably rather have the increased framerate from blob shadows rather than even our newly-optimizied real shadows.

--Character lighting. We changed the way we use lights in the stage to light up our characters during gameplay. We were able to use one fewer light than before. Although this has no visual change at all (remaining lights now do exactly what the deleted light used to do anyway), this one change improved framerate by a staggering 9 - 12 fps on most machines.

--Character meshes. We changed the way we split up our character models into various mesh pieces for rendering. This does not change the way they look at all, but it gave us significant performance improvements. The amount of framerate improvement varies by character, and Jaina saw by far the most improvement. This is totally mind-blowing even to us, but this optimization improved framerates by *20* fps when she’s on screen. Yes, really. 20fps in our tests.

--Other optimizations. We did a few more optimizations too. The bottom line is that all characters on all stages and at all graphics quality settings should run faster than before. We hope you reach 60fps!

VSYNC
We’d also like to remind you about the vsync option. It’s in options -> debug options for now. Ideally, you set that to “on.” Setting it to off makes the game (and any video game with this setting) slightly more jittery with some screen tearing. But if you set it to “on,” framerates that are just below 60fps can round all the way down to 30fps, which is horrible. Try “on” and see if you get 60fps. If yes, then great. If no, then try “off”. Try to avoid playing at 30fps as it will feel bad.

MISC
--Hit stop increased by 3 frames on almost all moves. Hit stop is the short game-wide pause whenever a hit happens, and is separate from hitstun, which is the time that a victim is stunned from a hit. Hit stop makes hits feel more powerful.
--Lots of new sound effects for almost all characters. This includes lots of sounds for whiffs and whooshes that were silent before, as well as more variation on hits. Most hits sound more powerful now. These are still placeholder sounds.
--When you do a combo, the text message on-screen now says how much damage it did, in addition to how many hits.
--Mapping directions in button config is now done in this order: up, down, left, right
--Fixed a bug that allowed hits to work at the very beginning of throws, when they should not. For example, Geiger could time his delayed gear to hit at almost the same moment he did a throw and they would somehow combo, but shouldn’t.

GRAVE
--New pose/animations when he blocks attacks
--The hit spark when you hit with his sword attack now correctly renders in front of the victim.

JAINA
--Flame arrows have new visual effects. These effects now work better in 3D if we ever need her to shoot an arrow from a non-side view angle, such as (eventually) on the character select screen.
--Magical bow string made of fire now appears when she shoots an arrow.
--New pose/animations when she blocks attacks.

ROOK
--New pose/animations when he blocks attacks.
--C throw is now highlighted blue for super armor, rather than white for strike invuln. No functional change, but the highlight implying strike invulnerability was incorrect before.
--The hitspark when you hit with thunderclap and the hits of his ground super now correctly render in front of the victim.
--Ground super’s camera behavior has been revised to be smoother and much less jarring.

VALERIE
--New pose/animations when she blocks attacks.
--Yomi counter replaced with a new concept. Now paints a red “X”.

SETSUKI
--Slight polish on her animation when she lands from doing moves that have a ground recovery pose.
--Ground super updated. Now has blue trails, is much faster, and has animation tweaks to Setsuki and the victim.
--Air super updated. Makes more sense what’s happening now, but it’s still not complete.
--Polished turn around animation (when she turns from side to side, for example if someone jumps over her)
--New pose/animations when she blocks attacks.
--Fixed a bug with her hold-B special throw against a cornered opponent that could cause her to face the wrong way and whiff the throw when initiating it from point-blank range.

GEIGER
--A huge number of new animations for Geiger including: air super, jump forward, jump back, jump up, walk b, yomi counter, turn around, knockdown, getup, A (punch), f+A (backfist), and air B (adjusted pose). 
--Ground super and yomi counter now stop the game’s clock when they stop time.
--Jump A kick has smoother motion; it no longer sucks Geiger downward in the air when he does it.
--New pose/animations when he blocks attacks.

DEGREY
--Enhanced the physics of his cape (no gameplay effect).

MIDORI
--Fixed a bug where Midori’s parry would make his costume colors change to green, even when you were playing a different color Midori.

MIDORI DRAGON
--New character model for the dragon (it’s a higher resolution version of the previous model). The rendering style of the model is still not finished.
--Fixed a bug that made him appear mirrored incorrectly (left/right) after some reactions. (There could be other cases still in the game where he becomes incorrectly mirrored though.

STAGES
--Snow stage. Minor lighting adjustments.
--Tavern stage. Technical cleanup resulting in slightly better framerate with no visual difference.
--Dojo stage. We did a lot of work on this stage. Numerous improvements, much more built out than before. Waterfall, grass, rocks, dirt, lighting, and more have been improved. The lighting is overall slightly brighter, to convey that it’s a sunny happy day. Here's a pic of the dojo stage so far:

EDIT: BUG FIX

We have done an emergency from version 6956 to 6963. The purpose of the update is to fix a bug that made it impossible to map the d-pad/joystick for some controllers. Please download new builds at the patreon link at the top of this post.

Though the d-pad fix is the reason for the update, there also happen to be these changes too:

-- Adjusted Setsuki ground super to feel slightly slower (more hit pause on 1st/2nd hits), delayed final hit 1f, and also brought blue clones closer to her. We're still working on this.

-- Geiger's step kick (back+A) now causes hit reactions for getting hit lower on the body, so it makes more sense.

-- Fixed a bug where combo damage was still counted after hitting and armored move (e.g.: hit Rook during B special move, then after that move just combo him.)

-- Jaina's throw. Removed fire effects.

-- Dojo stage. More detailed modeling on the dojo's roof.