This update to Fantasy Strike is available on Steam right now.
This is one of our biggest updates from a development standpoint. It contains multiple things that are each the culmination of months of work. Highlights:
--New Team Battle mode, playable offline and online in friend matches.
--All characters now have voices.
--All characters except Geiger now have facial animation.
--Even more performance improvements.
In addition to that, we have several balance changes, online desync fixes, a couple updated stages, and quality of life improvements for Argagarg, including lots of polish for how poison works on the lifebar. Plus, most hits in the game feel like they hit harder now.
New mode where you choose a team of 3 characters then play a best-3-out-of-5 match against your friend’s team. Here's a video of our lead developer talking about this mode:
- Each game, you’ll play a new randomly selected matchup.
- You'll go through all your characters before repeating.
- You must win with all 3 of your characters to win the match!
There's lots of variety in this mode. You'll play an even spread of many matchups,
rather than usually playing the most unfair matchups as often happens in counter-pick systems.
--All characters now have voices! This has been a long time coming, and suddenly it's all here. This includes combat moves as well as voice lines on character select and during the in-between screens of the new Team Battle mode.
--The announcer has also been updated. It's Rook's voice because Fantasy Strike is his tournament.
We'd like to explain the significance here because it's easy to miss from the outside. Updating our characters so they have the ABILITY to have facial animation is a separate step from them actually having facial animation. The first step, where they are capable of facial movements, has been one of the biggest technical hurdles on the whole project. It involved switching over to new animation rigs, but it also involved changing the models themselves to better work with the rigs. And these changes in some cases had rippling changes that affected many other things, such as screwing up all cloth animation, etc. This process has taken us many months and we're finally done with all characters except Geiger. (He's next.)
After this huge step was complete, we then worked on creating actual animations for the faces. Right now, this includes mostly subtle movements on the main menu, plus all the character select-related animations, especially since they now have voice lines that the facial movement needs to match. We've gotten to some of the win poses as well. These are the most prominent times we see faces, so we started there first. Future updates will include facial animation in other situations, such as during supers and yomi counters and so on.
--Menu screens have been optimized yet again, and now have better framerate. The boost you get depends on your hardware, but we estimate something huge, like 60% improved fps on high end computers and even more than that on low end computers.
--The Fox’s Den stage has been optimized and should have improved fps of at least 20%, maybe more.
--Fixed two bugs that caused desyncs when playing Argagarg online.
--Fixed a bug with DeGrey’s ghost that could cause desyncs online.
--After a casual online match, the score screen now show buttons for: ready / change character / leave queue. If you choose “ready” then you are immediately put back in the matchmaking queue, without having to wait for the score screen to count down.
--Knee gives 2f less blockstun.
--Thunderclap (back+A) sucks the opponent in now, so that Thunderclap -> C throw is a lot easier to land.
--Thunderclap -> C against a cornered opponent no longer pushes Rook away for no apparent reason. Now leaves him very close, just like when you do it midscreen.
--Air super no longer has active hit frames the entire way down. Still has plenty, but it was just silly how long it was before.
--Air super now has a white highlight that shows the invulnerable frames.
--Ground super used to be listed as 0+2 frames startup (0 before the super flash, then 2 frames after). It was actually 0+4 though and the frame data was wrong. Now it has been changed to 6+0. The 6 frames of startup are invulnerable and though it cannot hit a jumping opponent or an opponent in pre-jump, the opponent can no longer jump out on reaction during the super flash. To compensate for this powerful property, the range has been reduced, though it’s still far (about the same range as his normal throw). The graphics for the throw whiff reach much too far and we will change these graphics if we decide to keep this functionality.
--Fixed Valerie’s neutral B having shorter hitstun than f+B and back+B for no reason.
--Lips improved to look more like she used to before facial animation was possible for her. (This was really difficult, thanks.)
--Shading on her skin has changed to be softer (slightly less comic-bookish). This also causes her head shape to look a little different, the net effect is a rounder looking head that seems more like the shape it used to be before we added facial animation to her.
--Throw with hold B no longer faces the wrong way sometimes (or at least...fewer times?)
--Small technical errors with her lips have been fixed. She no longer has a thin black line around her lips and the shading on her lips is a bit better.
--New character model that looks older, as he was always supposed to look.
--New animation for f+A. Now an elbow attack rather than a kick. The functionality is basically the same, so just an aesthetic change.
--We have temporarily turned off DeGrey's cloth simulation. It became unreasonably buggy in the latest version of the Unity game engine, so we'll sort that out later.
--Fixed an issue accidentally introduced last build that caused that startup of Midori’s flurry punches (mash A) to be too short.
--Fixed ground B flying kick immediately canceling at the start for no apparent reason when Midori does the move with his back to the corner.
--Fixed Midori losing the poison highlight for no reason when reverting to human form while poisoned.
--Dragon form’s C throw has infinite hits of super armor rather than 2 hits.
--The dust that appears when he does his B kick is now timed correctly instead of appearing way too late.
--Lum’s throw attempt now has the same frame stats as other characters.
--New UI graphics for Argagarg’s poison counting down on the lifebars. You can now see how long until the opponent’s poisoned life will drain away. Very helpful! The lifebar also has a new visual effect when a victim takes poison from damage and another visual effect when a poisoned victim hits Argagarg and becomes cured of poison.
--Bubble shield super now show graphics of small floating droplets of water when you aren’t holding back and a big bright bubble when you are holding back. This makes it even more clear that when you aren’t holding back, the protective effect isn’t active. Note: we are still developing the effects for bubble shield so it's a work in progress, but already more readable what's going on.
--Argagarg’s forward throw against a cornered opponent doesn’t push Argagarg back ridiculously far anymore.
--Fixed a bug that let Argagarg's poison hit you and kill you even after a timeout, which could give Argagarg an extra round win from that "kill" if the poison damage (after the round ended!) took the opponent’s last hit point.
--When Argagarg is knocked down, walking into him now pushes him like with any other character.
--Hitboxes around Aragagarg’s feet during his jumps changed so that he is now more able to jump over projectiles.
--The practice routine animation after online matches now has non-placeholder visual effects for the fish splashing into / out of the water.
--Argagarg air C and bubble shield + air C bubbles can initiate a pop 10f earlier than before, at the start of the move.
--Bubble shield + air C now starts traveling sooner than the non bubble shield version.
--Bubble shield + air C, the C pop now has a bigger hitbox that better matches the graphics.
--Popping a bubble with air C or with Bubble shield + air C now highlights Argagarg in white, showing that he’s invulnerable during those frames.
--When you summon a river with C then jump, if you then press C at a time that can summon the river’s orange fish, that button press will now do so *without* also initiating an air C bubble. (If you want the bubble, just press C again quickly). This allows you to more precisely control when you want to air bubble or not, while still being able to summon the orange fish.
--Valerie’s “Wall of Truth” stage has some spare paint cans laying around, and for visual interest, a bunch of paint spilled. Oops!
--Fox’s Den has a new ground texture, new foliage, and large trees to overall help with the aesthetics. It also has substantial performance improvements, so expect at least 20% better fps on it now.
--Lots of hits throughout the game now feel like they hit harder! Because each hit matters so much in our game, we figured it was ok to juice up the power of the hits more than you normally would. Try Grave's f+A double palm as a random example.
--The button config screen now has an option to turn the throw macro off, or set it to either J+A or A+B, and an option to turn the super macro off or set it to B+C.
--When you pick your character and color, it now says "ready" while you wait for the opponent to pick theirs.
FRAME DATA DISPLAY
--Fixed incorrectly calculated startup frames for several cinematic supers (Jaina, Setsuki, Valerie, Rook, Lum's ground supers, and Valerie, Geiger, Rook, Lum and DeGrey air supers), from incorrect frame rounding
--Fixed incorrect active frames for Lum's ground super.
--Fixed incorrect recovery frames for all projectiles, which were all 1 frame too few. (It could even incorrectly show "-1" of recovery!)