Minimal Interfaces and Fighting Games

One of my friends and I had a brief discussion today regarding the current trend in games towards simplified interfaces. Looking at Shadow of the Colossus and Fight Night on the 360, there is little to no information presented to the player during gameplay. No meters, numbers or whatever. This got me thinking as to what the effects would be in a “traditional” 2 or 3-D fighter if you couldn’t see your opponent’s stats, only your own. I realize this would only really work for online play or in the “Versus” cabinet setups with each player on a different side of the machine, but it’s an interesting thing to consider.

Would the loss of the “meta - game” that results from being able to know if your opponent has x number of supers stocked or can be killed by block damage be too great? Would the new strategies or methods of playing that might arise from not knowing what exact shape your opponent is in compensate? Obviously you would still be able to guess certain things, but I’m interested to hear what people think about this.

Memorizing damage, stun, guard damage, meter(or whatever stats are in the game in question) just became important. Adds a gap between the best and the worst that can only be overcome by heavy memorization. Not a good thing.

Ever played a game called Bushido Blade?

Bushido Blade was vastly different in it’s mechanics though - 1 well - placed hit could kill you, there were no super meters, guard meters etc. to worry about. I think a 2-D fighter in the current generation would be affected much greatly.

I tried playing 3S once with the HUD turned off. It’s an interesting experience, everyone should try it. You dont’ realize how dependent you are on the various meters and info until you turn them off. As for the topic, it’s a tricky question. ST worked great with LIFE, TIME, and METER. 3S worked great with LIFE, TIME, STUN, METER. So really, it depends on the game.

SOTC was a fantastic game btw, yeah the minimalistic approach really helped it.

for the record Daigo wouldn’t have been able to pull off that stunt he did without seeing the meters.

jwong wouldnt know when to hit the SA as well

It’s called Sonic Battle.:cool:

There have been several games with minimal, or nonexistant interfaces. (SSBM if you count that game.)

Personally I haven’t run into a game where the HUD was overly annoying, as long as info is presented in an instantly readible way, and streamlined to take up the least amount of space without giving up that readability than I’m cool.

I’m more interested on what would happen if you couldn’t see your oponent’s meters, ONLY your own. For sure if you couldn’t see your own meters a lot of memorization would be required - but what if you couldn’t see how well your oponent was doing?

oh i see, i guess is down to playing it safe basically.

imagine playing guilty gear without meters.

If the game had some indicator of the probable condition of the opponent then I could see it working. Things like a low life stance and such. Such a game would need several screens to work. But it would be interesting. I don’t think most people would be as comfortable turtling since they can never be 100% sure of thier particular situation.

the guy’s not saying you’re playing with no meters!

he’s saying you can only see your own.

Same situation–there would be a strong incentive to keep a running tally in your head. A player who knew they were ahead by just a little bit would know when to back off, and one who knew they were behind by a few pixels would know to press in.

Hmm, does sound interesting, one thing is for sure, when times running out, you won’t see someone trying to run away because they have the most life, because in this situation, you wouldn’t really know if you have the upper hand or not. Things like chip damage for the win would be far less frequent, and it would probably come down to an all out offensive playstyle and trying to k.o. your opponent or else it would be a complete turtle fest. Say in a game such as 3S, the Daigo/Wong incident would’ve been a good example, because first, if Justin wasn’t able to see how little Daigo had left, I doubt Justin would’ve thrown out the SA2, so the match would’ve been very different. Also, you could flip it the other way saying that had Daigo not of seen Justin’s Chunli’s lifebar, he might not of jumped up to parry Chunli’s final kick from her SA2 so that he could land the, because that was needed inorder do enough damage to defeat Justin’s Chunli.

I’ve never really thought about it, or heard any conversations about the lifebar’s but after seeing this topic, it just made me realized how important seeing your opponents lifebar is, I think I took it way too much for granted, and never really thought about it in-depth. I would agree though, that by removing your opponents lifebar from your own screen, it would change the way we play fighting games (2-D’s) by quite a bit. To wether it would do more good or bad remains to be seen, however it would be interesting to see nonetheless.

Ps: One last thing, I wouldn’t include SSBM in the no lifebar trend, because instead of a lifebar, they have a percentage scale, and that’s basically equivelant to lifebars.

Now that I have put more thought into it, this would be a great idea if implemented properly. Subtle changes in animations could suggest your opponent’s condition without totally giving away thier exact stats. Anyway, this would change many of the things we do in all fighters. If the game has a strong Yomi factor to it, there would be a new sense of excitement as the match progresses, because the outcome may not be apparent to either player.

How about if the game also had abilities that can be seen by your opponent differently than yourself? Say…invisibility. You can see yourself, but they can’t see you? Just a thought.