What do you think about making a Street Fighter-style 2D fighting game in which the playing speed would vary in realtime? For example, a round could start at a certain speed and get progressively faster as the timer ticks down. This way, a zoning strategy would be more advantageous during the earlier parts of the round, while a rushdown game plan would grow more effective as the endgame approaches (as there’d be less time for accurate defensive reactions).
This is just my core gameplay idea, which is to say, it could be mechanically expanded upon in various ways, the in-match speed modifiers (perhaps a specific one for each character) being just one of the simplest.
Also, from a learning perspective, I think it could be helpful towards fighting game beginners in at least two ways:
the slower pace at the beginning of each round would facilitate thinking for the more inexperienced player, so panicking would be significantly reduced
projectile zoning is technically easier than (link) comboing, because generally we’re talking about successfully launching individual hits with optimally solid but fully independent timing vs. needing to string them with very exact timing.
As I see it, for the general balance of such a game to be achieved, zoning would objectively have to be at least slightly better than rushdown. From there on out, it’s a battle of experience, endurance, and reflexes. The differences between the characters’ abilities could be that the easier ones have faster projectiles and/or wider combo links, but in exchange for lesser damage and/or fewer HP and/or decreased movement speed and/or worse defensive options, and so on. Meanwhile, the grapplers would compensate for their inferior zoning and comboing abilities with their superior general stats and move priorities.
In-universe, the speed changes could have to do something with black holes and other cosmic timespace-warping elements (see Doctor Who s10e11 for additional ideas), but the round timer itself would always count down evenly, i. e. unaffected by any of them.
So, having proposed the gist of my idea, do you like it? Do you think it could work? Lemme know in the comments below. Thanks in advance!