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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
--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.
--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.
--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).
--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.
--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.
--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.
--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)."
--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.
--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.