Community Combo Development
When i got on stage at Evo, jchensor asked how i have time to write weekly strategy articles, manage Strategy Corner features on SRK, and still find enough material for combo videos. My answer was, “It’s not just me.” I’d like to explain that briefly.
I always tell people that i would rather explore any decent game with massive community support, over a game i absolutely love which nobody plays. There’s a simple reason for that: Everything i can find on my own in two years, a dedicated community like Shoryuken.com could find within three months.
The later stages of a fighting game’s evolution are what fascinate me, personally. I’ve never been a big fan of the surface-level week-one stuff. Obviously someone has to do it, but it’s not a particularly sophisticated phase when all is said and done.
In fact, i waited fifteen months after SF4 was released to begin working on combos for that game. By then all the basics were well-established, giving me the opportunity to dive right into the deep end of the pool. It would’ve taken three years to reach that point on my own.
To cite a more specific example, take a look at the MSF and MvC Zangief style exhibition v.one clips starting at 4:09. Here’s the story behind those combos. At some point back in 2008, while trying to find the earliest frame MSF Zangief could initiate an air throw, i stumbled upon the discovery that j.D+MK performed on Gief’s very first jump frame causes him to cancel the jump. It looks like he crouches, but creates the landing dust wave.
Mega Zangief shakes the ground every time he lands, so my original reason for sharing this trick was to say, “Check it out guys, i can make the screen shake.” NKI, Xenozip, and Mike Z discussed it for a few minutes, and then we all forgot about it.
Some ten months flew by and somehow Gen found that discussion, which inspired him to put together a ridiculously awesome 35-hit relaunch loop by taking that concept one step further. Along with error1, we spent the next couple of weeks testing variations on that rough draft until they ended up with the two clips you see in the video.
It’s safe to say that neither combo would’ve seen the light of day without all those players being involved. It certainly wouldn’t have ended up on the Evo2k10 screen. And stories like this are common. So once again, it’s never just me – not even when i make “solo” combovids. None of this would be possible in isolation.