Thoughts on high execution expectations?


What are your thoughts on fighting games with relatively difficult execution, like SF, as opposed to fighting games with easy execution like SSB? (I’m just using two popular fighting games on the ends of the spectrum).

Personally, I prefer games that don’t have very difficult execution. Games that let you strategize more, without worrying about how hard a technique is to pull off. You want to use the most practical option available to you in the situation, but may refrain from doing so in fear of screwing it up.


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I feel that execution is an important part of making fighting games feel like fighting games, you can still strategise in games which require more execution just as much as any other fighting game (or versus platformer that people keep calling a fighting game), you just need good execution as well.

What I don’t like though is games with big differences in execution barriers for various playstyles.
eg. SFIV, why should it be so easy to time a reversal, yet as hard as ever to hit a link? It just doesn’t make sense.


I don’t think you know what high execution is, go play FUC and get back to me.


Street Fighter has relatively difficult execution. Now, were you planning on contributing to the discussion?


Execution ceiling is part of the strategy in a fighting game, you might not try something hard to pull off in fear of screwing up and that will gimp your game.

Besides, a game with high execution ceiling is just more interesting in general to compete in. When you reach the ceiling in an easy game, all that’s left is the 50/50 shit and that’s boring - just look at MvC3, nobody gets satisfied by shit in this game because they feel very bored pulling it off. In a high execution game not only do you have to work hard to improve your game but pulling out stuff just feels more badass and is way more impressive to anyone that watches.

Good games usually have strategies that require perfect timing and that reward you for it, but that few people can pull off consistently - instant block, parries, shielding, some ambiguous mixups…

The whole “it lets me strategize more” angle is just a fallacy. Being easier the game already loses that layer of depth I was talking earlier, and I haven’t seen a single “easy” game that compensated with more interesting mechanics, mostly because they fail to understand that this execution barrier is actually part of what makes the strategy in fighting games so fun.


I agree. If inputs are more difficult, it makes the game a lot deeper, because there’s a bigger chance of screwing up a move, which in turn adds stress and makes players feel even better when performing attacks. From now on hadokens should be :d::db::df::uf::p:: This will increase execution and add massive depth to the game.


Combos are a tradition, shame to those who change it.

Oh look a combo gem :open_mouth:


You are right, I’m failing to aknowledge the slew of good low-execution games with interesting strategies and metagames that this philosophy of making games easier gave birth to.


If that’s all you see in the genre, execution of combos and 50/50 mixups, then the problem is clearly with your understanding.


Yes, I believe that’s what you said.

Over and over.

Each passing day.

There is no problem in my understanding. This is not all I see in the genre, either. But easy games have a tendency to dumb even fundamentals down. Would these fundamentals be enhanced by low execution cieling ? No, I don’t think so. Is there a particular reason to move away from the philosophy that spawned the games we like ? I don’t think so either.


Well I edited to make sure you understand exactly what the problem is.


Yeah I mean, I played this one game, it was called uh… yeah Melty Blood. Man… did you know you can do a super just by doing the normal input for a special move and the C button? Not even having to do the input twice either! I mean seriously, it’s like a damn super button! Plus the chain combo system that even lets you cancel hard attacks into weak attacks, it’s like… man, how could a company make a game so shallow? I wish they’d make the inputs for supers way harder, and add 1 frame links to all the combos, you know, so it’ll be deep and viable for serious high level play in a sanctified tournament setting.

You’re also right about MvC3, that game sucks it’s so damn easy, I mean I did a ROM like 5 minutes after loading the game for the first time. I only played for 3 hours and I bet I could beat Viscant at this point!


So wait. You’re calling Melty Blood a low execution game (I guess bunker cancelling is so fucking easy in the middle of those 3f normals, I mean, touch of a button amirite). And if your examples are any clue, you think hadoken is a hard input to use and having access to a, let’s say, command normal fireball would instantly make the game “easy execution”.

I guess we’re done here. You obviously have a very personal idea of what “low execution game” means, and it’s very, very alien from mine.

I’ll just say this : if you think execution in a game is limited to the command list and combos, we just don’t see things eye to eye. At all.


You still have not explained how easy execution hurts all the other aspects of a fighting game, and how hard execution benefits them.
You just throw out names like “MVC3” and provide no real answer.
If MVC3 has problems, they really have nothing to do with how easy it is to do the combo once you started it.


That was never my arguement at all. Why do you want me to provide evidences to things I never said in the first place ? I used the terms “fun”, “boring”, “feeling good for pulling something off”. I was stating an opinion whereupon I stated that I believe the possibility of messing up is part of what makes fighting games exciting, and taking out that possibility is not only impossible, but not desirable in the long run.

As far as the real game goes, there are some instances of moves where some inputs have to be harder than others (super command throws come to mind), but in general I agree that it couldn’t care less.

EDIT : Oh wait I did. The MvC3 came from a conversation I had some days ago, about how it was just so mind numbing to play MvC3 after awhile, but it’s really not a matter of execution. It’s just, higher execution would at least keep people more focused during those long comboes I GUESS.


People tend to confuse the plain difficulty of execution requirements with the game design and strategy value of execution requirements. If ST had a 5 frame reversal window, this would completely change the game (for the worse). Conversely, if the maximum number of frames required to input a DP was increased (like it was in HDR, corrected to 15 frames iirc, from 8-15) this should have no negative strategic impact.

What you wrote seems to be a very general statement. This breaks down in the easy reversal scenario, an extremely powerful defensive option balanced by the small window you have to perform it. It’s a part of the strategy to put someone in a situation where escape requires a precise input and you can bait and literally break people’s wills (and hence the ability to use this strategic option) at certain levels of play.

Another input where this matters in a different way is the 360. A minimum 225-270 degree motion is required, and the time it takes to do this allows the move to be very, very powerful yet still balanced. A good game to look at as an example is KoF98, where one of Clark’s command throws has the motion qcf, while one of Daimon’s is hcb, f+p. As you would expect, Daimon’s command throw is (in a vacuum) better than Clark’s throw in range and damage. The length of the input balances it out (from a game design POV) while still preserving the element of personal skill.

Edit: Might as well have a third example to illustrate something different. Guilty Gear XX has very small windows for FRCs (cancelling certain specific moves at specific times at the cost of meter) that in some instances seem to add to strategy or just have to be that small. In a great many other instances however, the windows are small for no reason other than to force people to learn them. This is pretty poor and short-sighted behaviour because the game naturally has emergent combos and tools that require precise inputs anyway (certain combos), so there is plenty for people who just enjoy difficult execution. It’s not there for people who like discovering stuff, because it’s presented to you clearly. I can only assume it’s there to annoy people that want to try the game out.

Apparently in GGAC, Force Breaks take up most of your meter over FRCs. I’ve barely played it so I don’t know, but that’s not really a solution.


High execution is good within reason. Low execution isn’t necessarily bad either, but it depends on the game and what it has in it.

If I’m pulling off 100% combos with one button and no thought, well . . . that’s dumb. But if I’m doing like 800868535578087656465443545 hit bcombos with six one-framers in the middle just for like 20% life, then that’s dumb as well.

Good fighters tend to strike a balance between the two. And, of course, execution is not the be-all end-all of what makes a fighter good anyway.


Addendum : I’ll still mantain that the risk attached to a low-window-of-opportunity-option (which is very much an execution thing) is a strong balancing factor in games.


The key factor about move motions is the TIME IT TAKES TO DO THEM (while you are defenseless), rather than the difficulty of the input itself.


Fuck that. I dont wont John Doe picking up the game in one day and doing same hard hitting combo’s and techniques that I’m doing…when I’ve played the game way longer than him.stomach drops at the thought of 1 button shoryu’s

Nah, there has to be some balance there…If a character can chuck a hitbox arcross the screen(a totally different threat from the physical character) it should require some sort of effort to do so. If you can activate a move that has invince frames and all that shit…it should take a decent amount of effort. The effort required to do the move should be balanced by the uses/abilities/recovery/etc of the triggered move.

Someone brought up smash…While the excution of moves is easy…the excution in the techniqes like wavedashing etc is extremely hard…1 extra reason peeps find it hard to get into. But as far as just moves go…The game is horribly balanced because of certain moves being too good for what they can do. Imagine if shine was changed to an srk motion…the game would change…It wouldnt get thrown out nearly half as much as it does.

There just has to be room for human error…stress…that’s what compition is. You’re reward for you ability to handle things under pressure with the correct move you wanted to do coming out…

I imagine if street fighter where to turn into a foward + roundhouse=tatsumaki type of game…It’d be a complete turtlefest…cause you could react to(and mash) anything so easily.

That’s mostly just talkin about moves though…