Archive for the ‘Game Design’ Category

Introducing … Rising Thunder

July 28th, 2015 1 comment

If you were at Evo2k15 or watching the live stream at home, you may have seen the premiere of a trailer featuring giant robots beating each other up. Guess what? I helped make that!

Rising Thunder is a new PC fighting game developed by Radiant Entertainment in Northern California. It’s entirely free to play, built from the ground up for online competition with GGPO3 netcode. We’re a small (but dedicated!) team of FGC and game industry veterans – led by Tom and Tony Cannon, founders of the Evolution Championship Series.

Of course it’s still early in development and we have a lot of work to do, but our Technical Alpha opened today. Sign up now for a sneak peak at what we’ve built so far! The first wave of players are already queuing up for matches and experiencing the game firsthand. We’ll be activating more accounts daily as we monitor server load.

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Categories: Game Design, Spotlights Tags:

PASBR Patch 1.12 Balance Changes

April 8th, 2014 111 comments

As some of you may have heard, i’ve been working on a PASBR balance patch with the extremely talented crew at Santa Monica Studio. In implementing these changes and prioritizing bugs to fix, we incorporated as much of the community’s feedback as possible.

Hopefully the end result is a more fun and balanced experience for the entire roster. Without further ado, here is the complete changelist for v1.12 of PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale!

    General Changes
• Isaac’s alternate “Engineering R.I.G.” costume and Zeus’ alternate “Young Zeus” costume have been unlocked.
• Every character’s throw attempts have been standardized to 9 startup frames, 3 active frames, and 18 recovery frames, with the exception of Isaac, Kat, and Ratchet.
• The minimum effective range of throws has been increased to 1 meter (previously 0.75m) for all characters except Parappa, Sackboy, and Toro.
• In online matches, jumping out of an opponent’s throw attempt is now resolved through the throw clash system.
• Every character’s air dodge has been standardized to 27 invincible frames followed by 9 vulnerable frames (previously 29 invincible plus 7 vulnerable).
• Every character’s directional rolls have been standardized to 18 invincible frames followed by 16 vulnerable frames, with the exception of Fat Princess, Spike, and Zeus.
• Characters can no longer perform actions for 3 frames after landing from air idle.
• Characters can no longer double jump during down tech.
• Landing during down tech or down tech canceled into air dodge now triggers the same recovery as landing during an attack.
• Getting hit in the air no longer renews a character’s double jump ability.
• All timed transformation Level 2 Supers can now be ended manually by pressing L2.
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Categories: Game Design, Strategy Tags:

Random Ideas to Improve Diablo 3

December 17th, 2013 2 comments

Even though the action RPG genre can be aggravating sometimes, i’ve sunk way too many hours into Diablo and Diablo 2 in their day to ignore Diablo 3. It’s an extremely polished game, especially in terms of visuals and presentation. Plus you get to spend half the game hanging out with Tyrael! What’s not to love? Well, a few things – so i have a few suggestions.

Item Auto-Pickup Conditions

Are speedy character builds such as “Spin Barb” and “Tempest Monk” intentional designs? If so, item pickup is what breaks their rhythm in a mundane way.

What if players could script a series of rules to automatically pick up and ignore certain item types? A one-page checklist would allow players to grab legendaries, rares, and Flawless Square gems by simply running over them – while ignoring blue and white items. If new players find this confusing, it can be hidden like Elective Mode or locked until lvl30 or lvl60.

Advanced players would love this feature, and pickup timing can be tuned to display the legendary orange beam for a split second before it’s bagged. (Seeing that beam is definitely an awesome moment! Whoever came up with that effect deserves a raise.)

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Categories: Game Design, Non-Fighters Tags:

PASBR Patch 1.10 Balance Changes

March 19th, 2013 438 comments

Version 1.10 of PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale represents a comprehensive tuning patch that affects every character on the roster. Our goal was to identify the biggest imbalances in the game and carefully address them without diluting any fighter’s intended combat persona.

The update went live this afternoon, alongside the release of DLC characters Zeus and Isaac and the new Graveyard level. Detailed patch notes have already been posted online earlier in the week. I’m mirroring the complete verified list here, because frankly i’m proud of these changes and i hope the fighting game community embraces them.

    General Changes
• AP burst victims in online matches no longer erroneously receive the 30 AP bonus.
• Blocking another attack while in block stun reaction no longer zeroes out X velocity.
• Characters can no longer block or dodge for 5 frames after landing during an air attack.
• Characters can not perform supers until frame 12 after landing during an air attack.
• Characters now remain grounded for the first 10 frames of jumping (previously 9 for Kat, Ratchet, Sackboy, Sly Cooper, and Spike).

    Big Daddy
• Air F+Triangle has 11 additional frames of startup.
• Air D+Square now gains 20 AP (previously 10), and victim’s reaction is reduced by 3 frames.
• Level 1 Super now causes an initial stagger reaction on frame 36.
• Level 2 Super’s Triangle attacks are sped up.
• Level 3 Super attacks become active 3 frames sooner and recover 6 frames earlier.
• Level 3 Super attack volumes have been adjusted to be more centered around Big Daddy.
• Level 3 Super victims swim faster and no longer get stuck upon entering Infinite Avoidance.

    Cole MacGrath
F+Square -> Square hit volume enlarged to hit small characters more consistently.
• Neutral Triangle firing rate has been sped up by 4 frames (moved to its recovery instead).
• Ground neutral Circle recovery has been reduced to 20 frames (previously 28).
• Level 3 Super tornado movement speed has been increased.

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Categories: Game Design, Strategy Tags:

PASBR AP Burst / Infinite Avoidance System

December 12th, 2012 62 comments

Quite a few players have been asking for information on the AP Burst / Infinite Avoidance System in PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale, so here’s a quick overview. As most fighting game players know, a “combo” is defined as a series of attacks that can neither be blocked nor escaped once the initial attack connects. Basically the victim remains locked in hit stun until the combo ends, which can take a very long time in some games.

In PASBR, whenever a combo generates 100 AP or more, the victim instantly enters infinite avoidance state. They’re automatically ejected at a 45° angle and remain invincible the entire way up and down until they land – unless they attack or perform some other offensive action to relinquish their invincibility before landing.

PASBR Parappa AP Burst ComboWhen infinite avoidance occurs, whichever character triggered it receives a 30 AP bonus. Ideally, you want to perform a combo that adds up to 99 AP, then finish it with your strongest attack (which earns around 30 AP for most characters). That would cause AP burst at 129 AP and you’d end up with 159 AP after the bonus.

Of course, most characters can’t quite reach 159 AP because the vast majority of attacks are valued in increments of 5 or 10 AP. However, many characters can rack up 90 or 95 AP, making it possible to achieve 150 or 155 AP combos.

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Categories: Game Design, Technical Tags: