How hard is it to make a fighting game?


25% of the work?

i think it’s a little more than that

it still takes a good while just to edit the sprites and it gets tedious since the standing frames are usually at least 4 frames and can go upwards of 10 frames maybe more.

that’s not even walking, jumping up, jumping back, jumping foward


then attacks (6 crouching attacks, 6 standing attacks, 6 air attacks, supers, specials, command normals, throws)

then the hit animations, win pose and lose by time pose.

and you have to make them all look good

if you don’t do it right you’ll prolly redo them.

That’s what I said. I was being real nice, too, since I was a newb to the scene. But during that time did my own artwork and knew how difficult brand-new sprites was. Instead the other posters insist that new art was only a fraction of the work involved (25%-40%). Whatever.

edit: I’d lost a link to the actual thread, but apparently their forums are down permanently. :karate:

Alright, I can tell you a couple of things, since most people are bullshitting you like there’s no tomorrow.

First of all, you CAN make the engine with a single programmer. It will take a fair bit of work, but it’s quite possible. I once was the sole programmer on a failed Castlevania clone, and while it was difficult, if you are using the right tools (and I’m not talking Mugen here) it makes your job a whole hell of a lot easier.

Animating the frames is the job of the animators. “Putting it all together”, like people said, is incredibly easy/fast. It’s making the engine that is more time-consuming (but making a 2D engine is very, btw. Any game programmer will laugh once you tell them you’re making 2D… There are a LOT less things to consider when doing simple side-scrolling 2D). What you need are three things:

1- An artist
2- A programmer
3- A designer

The designer is necessary (well, okay, it’s my job, but it still is) because you need someone to have a complete vision to help the artist and the programmer to reach that vision. The programmer’s job is making the code. The designer’s job is fixing up the hitboxes, storyboarding the game, designing the moves, etc. He’s a very important part of the process.

Proof it can be done? Melty Blood: ReACT. That single little piece of doujin is living proof that a high quality fighting game can be made effectively, with very small teams, in a reasonable amount of time.

Drawing the sprites is a LOT of work. You need someone who is fixated on doing only that for the duration of the project. A good thing to have is someone work on background and effects while another works solely on sprites. If done in parallel, it speeds up the process quite a bit because the programmers will need time to build up the engine.

If you truly need help, I would strongly suggest finding programmers that work with SDL. SDL is so insanely easy to work with, is very well documented and can give incredible results. A lot of stuff is done with it nowadays (for example, most doujin shooters are done in D and SDL… Stepmania is SDL). I was once working with SDL and it’s really user friendly. It’s a huge library for doing 2D stuff, which means it’s much harder to use than mugen but it’s also much more flexible.

i was just sharing in my own experience

i wasn’t bullshitting him

if you have more effective methods plz share them

editing that many frames does get tedious and it does take people that are experienced in doing it around a month just to create one character

and you don’t know the type of talent some of the melty blood people may have had, first they need a good artist (s) then they need a good programmer (s)

I appriciate your comment. I know this isn’t an overnight program, but there’s no harm in trying right? I understand higher-jin’s view too, it seems he’s had some experience with this as well so he knows the routine. I also know that it most likely would become a failed attempt later on, but I see it as a learning experience too. I’ve never designed sprites before or even done animation. So I’m hoping for input when I upload one in a couple weeks.

Another thing you mentioned was the special effects. That is something I’m hoping someone could edit once I put some sprites up to make it look better.

If anyone is interested in helping me with this little project I would appricate it. But if not, I wasn’t planning on help anyways. but as many people said, more people makes things go faster.

Give a character sketch and I’ll see what I can do. Samples of my work (sprites and otherwise) can be seen in the link in by sig. My latest sprite work, Kairi of SFEX2, isn’t included, but if you have mugen up and running I can send you the character.

How hard is it to make a fighting game? It’s not hard at all.

How hard is it to make a fighting game that anyone would want to play? Next to impossible. I’ve been on projects before, and there’s just too many problems.

1.) The people who want to make the game actually don’t know that much about fighting games. Or programming. Or drawing. And usually grammar too.

2.) The person in charge never sets a schedule, doesn’t try to keep anybody on schedule, and there’s no consequence you can enforce even if you did try.

3.) It’s hard work. This isn’t an elementary school art project we’re talking about here.

4.) The people who do have the talent to make the game don’t have “enough time” to work on a project. Trust me, it’s not time that’s the problem. I know there’s at least 10 people on SRK you could group together and make a good fighting game. Why don’t they work together? I’m honestly not sure. Probably because so many of them have worked on projects with idiots and have no confidence in fan projects.

I wasn’t specifically targeting you, btw.

Even if the Melty Blood people were highly talented, it still does show it’s possible to do it within a relatively short timeframe.

Doing sprite animation is pretty complicated if you don’t know your stuff. Believe me… We have some experienced animators at work and even for them it takes a good time before the sprites are perfect.

For the special effects, doing 2D is much easier than implementing 3D over 2D, especially if you are using 2D librairies. Doing 2D sprites for effects can give you a pretty nice effect, especially if you can work with the alpha channel to create semi-transparent effects.

And booda’s right on the money, once more :wink: The biggest problem isn’t time, it’s getting people who know what they are doing.

Would you mind offering constructive criticism on my sprites when I post them up? I think you and Higher-jin have contributed the most to this thread without being rude, but also offering both sides of the coin.

For special effects such as blood, dust rising up while dahing, “hit” effects, “block” effects, and other effects shared by characters. Those are still done by sprite editing right? Pixels and the like?

Another thing I forgot to mention is that I’m not trying to really make a balanced fighter right off. I just want to get a basic engine going. Hopefully near the end of the completion (if and most likely never) I want to balance it out.

The buttons that I would want in the game would be (1)light attack (2) strong attack (3) seal (4) trap. I’ll go into more detail when I get another chance to post.

I would be glad to offer constructive criticism once you’re done with your sprites.

As for the effects, yes, you can do them as sprites. Just make sure you can do transparency in your engine and you’ll be fine. Also consider how they will fade out: does it simply disappear or use a fading out pattern? It’s tiny little details like that that flesh out a game.

Alright… My brother did a bit of research for me about a year ago and i just dug up what he found.

Making a game from scratch is not hard… you simply need to know what the fuck you are doing. It is KEY to have a team of people you can trust to do the work on time, as well as have the characteristics that will show they will not give up.

As to programming characters. It is VERY similar to actually programming a mugen character, just with more complicated coding. Simply you need the images… after you get those its easy sailing from there if you have the time to program in C or w/e you are going to program it in. As well as you would need to make programs that will be interlaced into the original. Such as programs to deviate where the collision boxes go and such.

Backrounds are simple… as long as you know how to code in layers… which you better know if you are even going to attempt this. You are only programming the place the characters stand on along with the animations of the stage. Interactive stages are much harder… it would require giving the stage it’s own collision boxes for detection and such.

I can go on and on… but i don’t think i need to if you are serious about this. You should have already done this research your self if you are going to proceed to get the team together to make this.

If you plan on making this your self… good luck

All I can say is, the sprite work gets more tedious depending on the quality of animation you want. If you want Third Strike, Garou, or Art of Fighting 3 quality animation, good luck.

I think the best example of a fan-made fighting game is Little Fighter 2. Although I have some design issues with it, it is the most complete game I have seen. That was done by two guys.

Just wondering, how hard is the programming part when making video games? Does programming mean that your the one incharge of how things respond when a certain button or action is completed? Like, say if I’m given a crouch animation, would it be the programmers job to make sure that button x would make my character crouch?

Could someone give me some examples of what other things programmers are responsible for?

You need someone to make you some tools. But you’ll have to know exactly what you want these tools to be able to do, and communicate this with your tools programmer. If you end up being the person making all the tools for your game then great, cause you will know all the strengths, weaknesses and limitations that your project tools have. In either case, your best bet would be to write out everything on paper first. This way, you can eliminate feature creep and other unwanted elements before you spend time on them.

Design your characters, gameplay elements and other features first. I seems that you’ve already started working on sprites, which is good. But, don’t be too disapointed if half the sprites you’ve created end up being un-usable for whatever reason. Also try to limit your gameplay features this time around. It will save you many headaches. There may be some features that really don’t add much, if anything, to the overall game and would probably be wasteful to spend time and resources on them, when you could be fixing something that will actually make the game better.

Good luck in your endeavor at game creation. It’s a tedious process, but if you come up with anything usable it can feel really good. If you end up needing some stage music let me know.

It’s basically what you said.

Usually, designers give the programmers a document that explains how the game works, and the programmer’s job is to ensure that the actual game behaves like what is mentioned in the document.

But programming isn’t “easy”. You either need great classes (because games programming is very different than normal stuff they teach you) or learn by yourself… Which isn’t easy.

i agree 100%

I’ve had a really bad cold over the weekend and still now, so the sprite(s) might take a little while longer to get up than intended, but I still am working on them.

Thanks for the offer Manx, I might take you up on that.

You’ve got alot of talent in the 3-d area. But from the mugen sprites you made, they look 3-d? It’s seems you know how to animate, but it’s still 3-d.

You should look into the Torque 2D engine. It’s cheap (only 100$ for a full license) and you can pretty much do anything with it. It handles anyhting you could ever want to do with a 2D sprite. You’re still going to need a programmer to script all the features, but it uses C++ scripting, which most programmers should be able to do. In fact, with some research you could be able to figure out scripting on your own. Also, there are add on kits that you can get which will adapt the engine for whatever style of game you’re making (fighter/FPS/TRS game, etc.). I’m pretty sure that there is one out there for 2D fighters, and if not, you might be able to get someone to help you out on their forums.

Check it out at

I wasn’t going to post but, I’m actually working on a little pet project 2D fighting engine. I’m in the process of rewritting it in a different programming language right now though.

Yeah I believe that programming the engine really isn’t the hardest part, it’s just time consuming if you have school. If you just take some time to plan it isn’t too difficult to stay on track and have constant progress.