Hey there fans! Leontes here with Sirlin Games. It's been about a month since we showcased Fantasy Strike at PAX South 2018, so I wanted to reflect back on the great reception we've gotten at these shows as well as talk about a few things we've added to the game since then. Usually when we do these large conventions, we bring an internal build of the game that is farther along internally than what you can find on the current Early Access version of Fantasy Strike, so these events allow us to give players a sneak peek into what's to come while letting us test out our latest content.
We had our usual 20'x10' booth setup with 4 stations. I'm still blown away by how awesome our wall art is! On Saturday and Sunday we were so flooded with repeat visitors that for the first time in a long while we had to come up with a line system to keep the stations moving along.
The reception to Fantasy Strike was as great as ever; the number one word we hear at these shows is that our game looks very "polished", especially from those who've been following the game since our unveiling in December of 2016. Not only were new fans taking the time to bring friends back to our booth during the weekend, but parents, children, and total non-fighting game players were having a blast with our game.
I'm still amazed at how quickly new players can grasp the basics and start having fun with a fighting game in their first match. It's so unlike any other fighting game experience I've ever had (barring Divekick, of course ;)) that it's still unreal to see players doing max damage combos and learning new tech on the fly.
So what was new in the PAX South build?
You may recognize this fishy fellow in the current game. His name is Argagarg, the Water Shaman, and we first showcased him at PlayStation Experience last December. In the PSX build, we had some placeholder animations and ideas for the character that we were still working on, so by the time PAX South rolled around we had a lot of his design fully-fleshed out. The version we had at PAX was very close to how he is currently on release. He's our 10th character and the last character slated for release, so it's a relief he's finally in the game!
Arg is a slippery keepaway character who poisons his opponents with an unblockable fish projectile, then tries to keep them fullscreen with his stretchy limbs and water magic until they slowly drain out. He's a very technical and satisfying character once you get him down, and requires a completely different approach to fight against than most of the cast. Check him out! I had a lot of fun training up my Argagarg against new players over the weekend, and he couldn't be more different from my main character Valerie. and I love that I can jump around the cast and play pretty much any character I want, regardless of playstyle.
Speaking of "being able to play lots of different characters", we showed off our upcoming Team Battle mode, too!
It's a new mode that allows both players to select three characters and face off until one player wins with all three of their characters. The matches are only first to 3 in this format, and once you win with one character, you aren't allowed to use them for the rest of the match. We'll have more information on this mode when it enters the Steam version of the game in February 2018!
We've also been hard at work on some new stages:
First seen at PlayStation Experience, Wall of Truth is Valerie's stage. On the wall itself, she's created a magical painted mural depicting the Flagstone Dominion's crimes and corruption, the major political power that she and the other freedom fighters at Morningstar Sanctuary are planning to take down.
Our newest stage is Setsuki's Fox's Den. Setsuki belongs to a sacred order of ninja who train at a hidden dojo protected by an invisible shroud. If you look closely, you can see it flickering in and out of view in the background. If you've played our card game, Codex: Card-Time Strategy, you'll recognize both the Fox's Den School and its Headmistress, Jade Fox:
If you don't know these names and places just yet, don't worry; we're currently working on Fantasy Strike's Story mode that will help flesh out the motivations and politics of those living in the Fantasy Strike world. Stay tuned for more information!
We had a great time at PAX South 2018 showcasing new content and playing Argagarg and Team Battle with all of you. Each event brings new friends and new memories that make all of our hard work worth it. Each month we're getting closer and closer to release, and we thank you for your continued support of our game.
Looking forward to seeing you all at the next show! Let's keep spreading the good word of fighting games!
-Richard "Leontes" Lopez, Community Manager