Game Update: September 2017

A new build of Fantasy Strike is available to our patrons on Patreon.
EDIT: We have an update to this build, now v10925, (was originally v10890)
See the UPDATE section at the end of this post for details.

This month’s build adds a new stage (Rook’s Morningstar Sanctuary), fixes some bugs with online play, and adds a lot of visual polish. Character shading has changed a lot, and is generally much less black. Environment lighting has changed a bit. The cloth physics used on various dresses behaves much better. Several animations and textures have been tightened up. Grave’s hair on character select no longer clips through his body. There are also a few balance changes, most notably a buff to Setsuki’s B teleport kick. Finally, we have done several optimizations to help the game run at a better fps on not-so-high-end computers.


--Cel shading adjusted for all characters, in some cases pretty significantly. Hand-tuned to create a more “deliberate” look to the highlights and dark regions. Also, reduced or lightened the black areas on most characters.
--Yomi counters now all have a blue energy background. This helps you instantly recognize that it’s a yomi counter that’s happening.
--Supers now have energy effects during their startups as well as when they actually hit. The style of the energy during startups (as opposed to when supers hit) is intentionally darker and a little bit different in style.
--Environment lighting generally improved (but we’re not done on this task, will improve more later).
--Walks now have a small dust effect by the feet.


--Fixed a UI bug and crash that happened if you got a new opponent (“here comes a new challenger”) while you were on the options screen.
--Fixed a bug where rematching online would show a flicker of characters’ idle animations before their intros animations.
--Players who are afk for an entire game will no longer stay in the matchmaking queue.
--Fixed five different issues that caused “Failed to connect to [player]” to happen.
--Reduced the matchmaking algorithm’s weighting of skill differences between players. The practical effect of this is that if there are very few players in the matchmaking queue and the potential matches have much different skill levels, the system will make the match sooner rather waiting around pretty long first.


--Knifehand (neutral A) animation polished. Has slightly more recovery.
--Double palm (forward+A) now slides forward slightly less. There’s now a more clear difference in range between it and his (longer) sweep.
--Lightning cloud animation (B button) polished up.
--Air B whirlwind animation slightly polished up, and now has some landing recovery.
--Air B whirlwind no longer passes through the body of the opponent. It can still crossup as a natural consequence of its hitboxes, but before it was ALSO crossing up at some crazy times that no other move could normally crossup. The most extreme example was that if you did jump B towards Rook such that if Rook blocked or let go of the controls, it would not cross up...yet if Rook attempted a C throw in this situation then Grave would pass through Rook’s body for no apparent reason and end up safe on the other side of Rook. This no longer happens and in this case, Rook really does throw Grave, as you would expect.
--Changed sound effect for jump A kick impact.
--C sword attack’s hitbox moved forward to better match the visual effects, but Grave himself doesn’t step as far forward to compensate. Overall, range is similar, but slightly farther than before and hitboxes are aligned better.
--Ground super animation changed (on hit) to a different looking cinematic. Gameplay is the same. Visual effects also updated and refined.
--Air super now moves through the air with Grave’s trajectory, rather than hovering in place, so that it feels more natural. Parry window shortened to make sense with this now motion (still pretty long). Ground recovery added when Grave lands, if the parry whiffed.
--Updated sound effects during air super to better match the visuals.
--Forward walk animation slightly altered to better fit Grave’s move speed (no gameplay change).
--Grave’s hair strands no longer intersect his body, especially on the character select screen. (Finally!)

--The small burning ember particles that trail behind her flame arrows no longer instantly disappear when the arrow hits. (They have no gameplay effect, this is just for better visuals.)
--New visual effects for her fire dragon when she hits with her ground super.

--Model updated to higher polygon count model. Also, Rook’s texture system for alternate colors that allow for faster loading time and smaller file sizes.
--Rook costume color 8 changed to a new color scheme.
--C throw is no longer armored on frame 1. It was intentionally set to not be armored on frame 1 a long time ago, but somehow accidentally became armored on frame 1 for months.
--Fixed a bug in the case of Rook vs Rook both doing the B armored punch at each other on the same frame. Before, player 1 was knocked down and player 2 remained standing. Now, both players remain standing (because they both were in an armored state when hit).
--Fixed a bug that make Rook’s air C earthquake cause some opponent characters to look “stuck inside the ground” briefly.

--New model and textures (in addition to new shading). This is mostly technical. She now uses our more efficient texture system allowing for smaller filesize and faster loading. Her new model is capable of facial animation.
--Facial animations added for main menu, character select, gameplay idle, knockdown (eyes closed), and air super.
--Ground C no longer passes through opponents when done from close.
--Cloth physics on the dress adjusted so she can jump straight up without her leg going through her dress. Dress physics generally behave differently and much better than before. Cloth physics is very hard, ok!
--Fixed a bug that caused the opponent to get stuck in “wind is blowing” state after Valerie whiffed a ground super.
--Fixed a bug with her back+A double kick that had it show wrong frame data. This was especially confusing because the frame data implied she could combo after double kick at times that she actually couldn’t.

--B kick now hits as she runs through them in addition to what it did before. At the max range of the move, these hits combo, but at other ranges the hits don’t combo.
--Hold-B throw recovers 13f faster so that it has the same whiff timing as normal throws.
--Landing recovery removed on dive kicks that you cancel into so that’s easier to do a blockstring such as air C, air A divekick, land, A.
--New sound effect when her log hits (during her air super).

--His lapel collar isn’t as thick anymore.
--His suit now has a fabric texture to it.
--Fixed a texture error that caused a white line between his facial hair and skin. This was harder to fix than you would imagine.
--Added appropriate shadows between Geiger’s facial hairline and skin.
--If Geiger’s Time Stop super has him walk past the opponent, when it’s over he now animates to turn around, rather than instantly popping to turn around.
--Forward walk animation slightly altered to better fit Geiger’s move speed (no gameplay change).

--Optimized his character model. No visual change, but significant reductions in CPU usage. (His shading means he has visual changes, but optimizing the model itself was done with no loss in visual quality.)
--The cloth behavior of his ghost’s dress has been significantly improved. It’s no longer a mess. Her legs used to pierce through the dress all the time, and even worse, the inside of the dress would penetrate the outside(!) which caused large ugly regions of dark shading.
--Ghost no longer changes facing while DeGrey is getting hit in the air. This has no gameplay change, but it prevents the visual glitchiness that could occur when he was hit by Jaina’s ground super and the ghost would rapidly change facing directions left and right.
--Fixed a minor bug with DeGrey's air super that caused the game to think his "center" was very far away from his body for a few frames. If Geiger time stopped during these frames, it would cause Geiger to walk the wrong direction during the time stop.

--Fixed several bugs relating to Midori’s purple state after a successfully parry where he can auto-throw opponents. The biggest of these was the bug that prevented him from blocking some attacks while in this state. He’s now able to block as usual while he’s in his purple state.
--New visual effects for turning into a dragon (ground and air) and for reverting back to human (ground and air).
--New visual effects for Dragon Form’s A (wing clap).
--Optimized Midori’s model so that it requires less CPU (no loss in visual quality).
--Midori’s sash and belt now move realistically. They still clip through his body when they shouldn’t, but the first step of implementing physics for their movement is in place.
--When Midori wins the round with a throw, the victim no longer flies really far for no reason.
--Forward walk animation slightly altered to better fit Midori’s move speed (no gameplay change). Same update to Dragon Form's walk forward and back: less feet sliding but no gameplay change.
--Replaced yellow costume color with new brown outfit.


--NEW STAGE. Morningstar Sanctuary is Rook’s home and also the location of the Fantasy Strike tournament itself. The stage is a bright, daylight scene and uses lots of new tech. It has flowing waterfalls, water foam, and pools of water. It has a bit of bloom lighting from the glow of sunlight, and it has a depth of field effect to slightly blur far away objects. Enjoy! 
--Snow stage has new wooden posts in the near-background. Tree leaves in the near-background aren’t as blurry anymore. Also, bloom lighting now affects the characters as well as the background on this stage.
--Lighting vastly changed for the tavern stage. Now it’s more monochromatic so the characters pop against the background. It has less contrast and a bit of haze, for the seedy kind of tavern that it is. Also, slightly optimized the performance of this stage by removing some physics objects that actually did nothing and were invisible.
--Dojo stage has brighter sunlight and bloom lighting. It also has new waterfall graphics and a change to the foreground grass on the far left and far right sides.


--Optimized “dynamic bones” yet again to save a few % of CPU usage.
--Optimized menus by no longer loading a large amount of stuff that didn’t need to be loaded. This should cause a significant improvement in fps for users with weaker computers.
--Optimized all stages by marking all non-moving objects as “static” to the engine, so that they can use a faster rendering pipeline.
--Double-KO no longer forces a bad state where dynamic bones (hair) and stage particles get frozen from then on.
--The score screen shown after an online match (where you see your character practicing for the next match) now actually uses your selected character color if you're player 2, rather than a seemingly random costume color.


We created a patched version of the September build, mostly to fix a disruptive issue that caused the rematch menu after online games to not work correctly for the player who fought on the player2 side. While we were at it, we fixed a bug that made Rook's vines way too dark on Windows, and a few other things. Details below:

--Fixed a bug that made the rematch menu after online games not work correctly if you were player2 during the fight.
--Fixed a bug that caused the main menu to display the wrong graphics if you were waiting for an online match, went to practice or local versus mode, then backed out to main menu.
--Fixed several bugs with the “searching for match” box that caused it to appear in the wrong place sometimes, such as on top of gameplay in an intrusive way, or on top of other menu elements.
--Fixed a bug on Windows that caused Rook’s vines to display as much too dark on the main menu and on character select.
--Implemented physics for Rook’s leaves so that they bounce around like they did on his older character model.
--Fixed an issue that made DeGrey’s yellow ghost have somewhat rainbow skin rather than yellow skin.
--All cinematic camera angles now use slightly different rendering that reduces unwanted shadows on characters. Also, adjusted the angle the light shines on characters for several specific supers in order to reduce unwanted shadows.
--Rook is no longer shown as blue (armored) during the cinematic for the startup of his ground super because it looked bad. He’s armored when gameplay resumes. (There is no change to gameplay here, just visuals.)