Game Companies & the Scene

I’ve been wondering about something: To what extent are companies like Capcom aware of the scenes that have built up around their games? I don’t just mean that from a political standpoint; I mean it from a game design standpoint, too.

For example, take Makoto’s bread-'n-butter combo from 3rd Strike, Karakusa -> FP -> rush punch. Did Capcom’s developers know about that when the game came out? Was it something that they intended to put in the game, whether directly or indirectly? In other words, did Capcom know that people were going to take the language of their games and put it under a microscope and try using it every which way until combos like that emerged, or did they just “fire and forget”?

There are lots of things like that, and they’re all pretty esoteric combinations of moves & timing, so it seems pretty unlikely that Capcom could have planned on all of them. But, do they know or care about them now? When they started developing SF4, were there game designers watching YouTube videos of 3s gameplay and saying, “I don’t think that combo should have made it into the game,” or, “Why can’t this move link into that move?”

What do you guys think?

It’s fact that Capcom designs their games with the competitive community in mind. They’ve had top players test games in the past, and the tradition of releasing consecutive installments of games with minor changes are often balance tweaks. Developers can never fully dictate how a game will look competitively years down the line after its release, and pretty much every SF has had bugs that have shaped the game competitively.

You’re definitely right about the inability to curate a game’s competitive nature completely. Games–especially video fighting games–are essentially languages that players learn to speak. Game designers create the words & grammar, but players put them together.

It’s really cool that companies are involved in the scene that way. I was really worried that the competitive gaming scene was playing the games in a way the developer’s didn’t intend! It’s awesome to know that Capcom is willing to cater to such a niche market, though I’m sure this tiny niche market drops more cash on merchandise than most bigger communities do!

What’s a niche market here is much bigger in Japan, so their interest in making competitively viable games isn’t a charity effort. As the community grows overseas in North America and Europe that only serves to supplement an already substantial market which is why were seeing so many releases recently (SF4, Tatsu vs Cap, Doujin fighters). It’s an exciting time for competitive fighting game enthusiasts.

I didn’t realize it was so big in Japan. I mean, Super Battle Opera is a good indicator of just how popular it is, but I actually kind of thought it was on the decline in America. There are so few arcades left, it seems like the scene is really segmenting over here.

Also, what’s a Doujin fighter?

I think we’re seeing a resurgence. Arcades are still very big in Japan. I remember seeing many arcades clumped together within 5 minutes walking distance of eachother.

Blanket term for anime fighters. GGXX, AH2, MB etc. are all often called doujin fighters.

Doujin fighters are fanmade fighters like Melty Blood, I thought.

With these new games coming out, the scene in Japan is going to live on for a good while. A lot of the huge tournies they have over there are an indication that their scene is alive and strong. And some of them are game specific, so everyone gets a little something from each tourney.

The question is, will we move on?

I would respectfully disagree with lumping in GGXX with doujin fighters. Doujin fighters, last I checked, are fighters whose genesis started with doujins. This would include Melty Blood and Arcana Heart. GGXX is completely original and was designed a a videogame (though not always a fighter IIRC).

Now, the style of these particular games mimicked that of GGXX series, but GGXX came first.

Also, I’m not entirely sold on how much the hardcore fans are taken into account by the big companies. It depends on the company and the game, I think. The actual games by Capcom, for example, that were designed with the hardcore in mind are few and far between - on record, I can only think of HF and ST where they directly catered to hardcore players. Most of their games after that have been created with more and more concessions to casual (read: scrub) players.

It’s not that they’re aren’t aware of most things when the games are released (certainly not everything, but a lot more than you’d think); they just don’t care about every little thing that slips through.


MOve on from…?

^ All the old stuff ppl have been playing, I’d guess.

Current-gen fighters need moar <3 over here :smiley:

Doujin fighters are stuff not made by big companies, that usually don’t have big releases in arcades or consoles.

It would be stuff like orignal/Re-Act version of Melty Blood, Big Bang Beat, EFZ, IAMP, etc.

yeah. melty blood, eternal fighter zero, big bang beat, monster, etc.

you people need to drop this agenda of “play new stuff!” like we need to start playing new stuff just because it’s new. the games we have been playing for years are (for the most part) really good, and nobody here has reached the top level of competition in them, so why should we stop? sure if the new games are good then play them, but dont act like people have to “move on” and ditch the old stuff for the latest trendy anime game that comes along simply because it’s new

This is increasingly prevalent in the video game industry as a whole. It’s no secret that the month GTAIV came out, even though the Nintendo Wii was the only console without it, they sold more Wiis than PS3s + XBOX360s combined, times two. I think big companies are slowly realizing that there are just more casual gamers out there than hardcore gamers, which means there’s more money to be made by catering to them.

It kind of sucks, and I’m not sure what it means for devoted gamers. It’d be interested to hear the perspective from a Capcom rep or dev on this issue. I mean, I feel like it’s possible to make a game accessible to newbs while still having a game deep enough for hardcore players to get into, but for big companies, it’s a question of whether it’s worth it to add that depth for the smaller market.

I was talking with Ghaleon about this at Naptown Clash on Saturday. There’s some serious churn in the video game world right now; people are out there who say, “Well, I never played MGS1 when it was new, so I guess I’ll just have to miss out and play MGS4!” And it makes perfect sense to them, because there’s this stigma against playing anything older than a year or two.

I think it’s because video games are such a young field right now. I’ll bet people did it with movies back in the day, but now if you told someone, “There’s no reason to watch Casablanca–it’s so old!” they’d laugh in your face. So I bet that as video games mature, it won’t be so shocking to appreciate 10, 20 or even 50-year-old video games.

Ultima, Alzarath had it right

its nothing like that at all man; you talk as if im just a new school player or something or i play flashy trendy shit that is all anime; not the case at all. I still have a blast playing old school capcom and snk fighters and supporting them in tournaments etc. matter of fact i just got back from a st ranbat in nyc this weekend.

yes the old games are still really good and im still all about playing them and supporting them. the problem comes when there are a shitload of new games coming out and the following things happen

  1. gets japan only release. the only game that has been able to transcend japan only releases (scene wise) and that has been guilty gear and even that has a us release now

  2. no netplay (due to the western world being so spread out, hard to find comp unless youre playing mainstream shit. its like a neverending cycle here. people may want to play other games but cant cause everyone is on that mainstream shit and noone wants to play games that noone else plays

  3. scene completely abandoning new games because they are “gay” or “not as good” as the previous generations fighters etc etc and just abandoning them completely. This is probably the scenes biggest problem. Lots of people say that new games are whack etc etc, but how many of those people have even played the game in depth to call it whack in the first place?

Of course any seasoned fg player can find out if they will like the engine or not with a few plays but usually it doesnt even get that far.

japan only releases and no netplay fuel all these problems so lets hope for some digital distribution for this next current crop of fighters coming and good online to boost the scene

I have to agree here too. As awesome as old games are, you have to be open minded about new stuff or the community will stagnate. People get really attached to their favorites; I think it’s tragic that we miss out on so much stuff in America, or have to jump through so many extra hoops just to get a good play experience out of it.

People generally just need to lighten up…

Semantics. You nailed it in your last sentence. Whether or not its technically accurate to call it a doujin fighter isn’t really relevant. GGXX and other anime fighters play similarly, and have similar art styles, so its a convenient term to call them all doujin fighters.

uh no because thats not what a doujin fighter is

doujin = fan made, typically based off a previously existing franchise. thats what it means

More than fan made, it means self published, meaning a small group (or “circle”) of people publishing their project by themselves instead for a normal company. Indie stuff.

We would lighten up, if all of those random ass jap fighters weren’t so shitty in the first place. I ususally import most jap fighting games without even playing them. Then one day someone let me play their copy of Arcana Heart, and I immediately put an end to my japanese fighting game impulse buying. Shit was garbage (IMO) and I seriously question a lot of the new games coming out of the country.