Hitboxes: The Game

I was bored so I made a thread on Shoryuken.

Would it be interesting to have a fighting game with literally zero aesthetic presentation as a* feature* of the game? There would literally be no characters as a result, only your favourite set of hitboxes. Could such a game be played competitively?

“Aw shit nigga, some mad pressure coming from hitbox #12

“Hit box #12 is top tier. Justin is hitting links every time over here. He doesn’t miss a single link. I respect that.”

A negative is that there’s nothing pretty to look at. Positives include that this could obviously be easily run on pretty much any hardware, would be very cheap, easy and quick to make, and you get a MUCH clearer understanding of what your ‘character’ is actually capable of. You can much more quickly understand EXACTLY the function of the move, simply by pressing the button. No SF4 Viper cr.mk nonsense here. There are no confusing animations to throw you off exactly what each move is meant to be doing.

A helpful mockup to show you guys what I’m getting at.

This would be a fully featured fighting game. Cancels, links, specials, hit stun, block stun, recovery, invincibility; everything you’d expect from GG, SF etc., just with absolutely zero aesthetic overlay.

I’ve thought about this before, but never really visualized it so your mockup made me chuckle a bit haha.

Of course the gameplay is what keeps playing fighting games, not aesthetics, but it would be very awkward to play a game like that.

I thought about how awkward it could be when you factor in that hitboxes change all the time, shrinking and outright disappearing for example when you’re knocked down, so I thought to compensate, there would be a separate set of translucent, alternate colour hitboxes that stand in for the missing artwork/3D model, but only when necessitated, eg. when the character is entirely unhittable, such as when knocked down or otherwise fully invincible, just to help provide visual consistency.

no because it’s far more intuitive to understand what’s going on by looking at models rather than hitboxes even if they don’t accurately reflect what’s actually happening. a game with just hitboxes would be borderline uplayable to humans i think.

It might be easier to figure out exactly how attacks work in relation to each other…but otherwise I don’t know if it’d work.

Its funny though, we like to say Fighting games are more about the system and our dedication to it than our favorite characters…but thinking about it, I dunno if this would be palatable.

Really? Does the animation of the move help you any longer than the first few times you press the button?

Think about it. After a while, you just KNOW what works and what doesn’t, regardless of visuals. If someone’s jumping at you, you know immediately which move to use depending on range, the character jumping toward you, how late you are reacting to the jump etc.

Animation doesn’t even come into it after a while playing the game. You’ve got six buttons and you know what each one is capable of with a little experience. In fact, I’d say animation just hinders this development since you are given a misleading representation of what hits and what doesn’t. If you’re familiar with the range of your hitbox, how high it hits, and where your vulnerable hitboxes are, you are much more well prepared to deal with a jump in with that raw data.

I would HOPE that no one would want to play such a thing or want it to exist :confused:

I want it to exist. I’d play it, if it were a solid FG.

reminds of stick fighter for MS-DOS
it owned

“If the characters in a fighting game were nothing more than hitboxes, would anyone play it?” Notice how this question eerily resembles the old “If a tree falls in the forest…” question.

Anyway, the backgrounds had better be damn pretty.

Tehre would literally be characters in this game

You know what I mean.

You know what I mean.

It just makes me a little sad that people would want to be so joyless and serious business about what is still meant to be a GAME for FUN.

The bad stories in FGs and retconning in order to continually add fan favorite characters and have them always be the same is bad enough, now people want to remove the graphics?

Anyway, the graphics (Music, Story, etc.) honestly don’t subtract from the game at all.

I’m all for hitbox displays in training, and hey, maybe even a hitbox option in versus. But only hitboxes would just make me sad.

Try and have some fun.

I think it’s a cool idea, and I’ve been thinking about it myself occasionally. With the aesthetic gone, you could have random fighters. Or have moves that would be awkward if you had to put a “face” on them maybe.
The fun of fighters is deeper than something fancy to look at. That’s like saying playing checkers is joyless because there’s no faces on the bricks.

I mean I’ve played shooters made of boxes (noiz2sa anyone? or other ABA shooters)…

I agree. The prospect of playing as a crazy green beast, or some stretchy dude was what got me into SF all those years ago, not the shape of their hitboxes. Not that I knew what a hitbox was at the time…

if it had an in-depth storymode i’d play it.

to be honest, i’m sure it wouldn’t be too hard to mod some current games to play like this. heck of a lot easier than creating a new hitbox game from scratch, thats for sure.

all fighting games are hitboxes one way or the other in the background with art slapped on top.

It’s a clever and novel idea, would I play it? Probably. But the game would have literally zero casual appeal. Despite what we may think over here, SRK, by itself, is not enough to make a game a success.

Nah casual appeal is not needed for this game. It wouldn’t cost very much to make, so sales aren’t really an issue. To my (limited) understanding, the bulk of the cost is probably on art, sound (there would be some basic tunes and midi-level hit, special attack and block sounds but nothing heavy) and other things that come along with those. One guy could do this with some free time (granted, it probably wouldn’t end up being a very good FG, but you get my point).