How to do fighting games?

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Post: #1
Hey,

It has been my dream for a long time to make my own version of Mortal Kombat. And now that I know how to program I might just do that. However, I don't fully understand the technical aspect of these kind of games.

I believe that the basic idea is that depending on which keys you have pressed a certain animation will be shown on screen (kick, punch, special move, etc.) I this how it's done or is there something more to it? Also how is the algoritm implemented where you just have a limited amount of time to make a certain key combination, ie to make a special move like a Fatality in MK.

Any help/advice on this game genre is more than welcome.

"When you dream, there are no rules..."
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w_reade
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Post: #2
I don't know how it's officially done, but I always saw it as sort of "flow-chart" basedÖ that is, if you've just pressed punch from standing, then the computer is only expecting either (say) another punch OR kick OR down+kick, and any other key won't do anything.

If nothing that the particular animation-state recognises is pressed before the punch is finished, it goes on to the "recover-from-punch" animation, but if one of the expected button is pressed, it'll go on to the "second-punch" or "kick-after-punch" or "low-kick-after-punch" animation.

The "second-punch" might only have options for "third-punch" or "headbutt-after-double-punch", and if neither of these are pressed we go back to the "ready" animation-state.

So a fatality could be a state you go into when you win, rather than when you press a specific key beforehand.

There's certainly a lot more finesse possible, but I think this sort of system should be quite extensible. With some moves you could have it so that any wrong button-press broke you out of the move, or you could have waiting-type states, where a keypress immediately moves you into the next animation, etc.

I'm no expert, though, so this is just a suggestion.
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AJ Infinity
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Post: #3
Heres a new good strategy (for a 2D web fighting game):

1. Design your game (levels, characters, etc.)
2. Do the art in Photoshop
3. Import the art into Flash MX
4. Program the game in Flash MX's ActionScript (believe me, it'll be a WHOLE lot easier in Flash. Keyboard control in Flash is good. Adding multiplayer support via a Flash web application is really good)
4. Export the game as a Mac-only Flash Projector
5. Add an icon and you are ready to ship

NOTE: I make 2D and 3D (yes, 3D) Flash games. It's fun and easy and the style I use rocks. I am working on a Flash gamedev kit. So long!
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w_reade
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Post: #4
what sort of speed do you get out of flash? fighting games generally need as many frames as you can squeeze out of a given second. It's one thing playing Marathon at 2fps (appletalk multiplayer on a performa 630Ö yes, I was very dedicated at the timeSmile ), but I think most people would see 30fps as the workable minimum for a fighting game.

When I was playing around with flash (admittedly some time ago) that sort of speed seemed utterly impossible. Of course, if it can be done, go for itÖ there's no point using a chainsaw to fell a sapling.
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ibullard
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Post: #5
The moves are usually trees that tell the engine how to switch between animations, how the combos work, how much damage is done, sounds triggered, etc. Then you have to have an absolute ton of animations that blend nicely with the other animations and make it all work nicely.

Ian
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AJ Infinity
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Post: #6
Creating a Flash projector increases the performance power of your game because you are not running the game over the net but are intstead running it as an application on you client's computer. Try it. Flash projectors are similar to Director projectors in a way, and they are fast (on a G3 or greater, at least).
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w_reade
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Post: #7
A projector was what I was usingÖ just drawing the graphics seemed to take the time. I'd bet it could be done faster than I was doing it, but still. Director, likewise, seemed more suited to puzzle-type games than anything depending heavily on speed and precision.

I stand ready to be corrected of course, and I'll check it out when I have the time, but as a gut reaction I'd still be wary of doing something so potentially complex in flash.
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Founder
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Joined: 2002.04
Post: #8
I recall years ago my friend at C.M.U. showed me his "clone" of Street Fighter for the Mac using Director. He followed the above posts as to how to make it. Too bad he never released it. But he ripped the sprites thus the game is RIP. I think in one of the game making books using director, they have a game called "Backyard something" (not to be confused with the sports series..." They show how to make a fighting game with Director.

Carlos A. Camacho,
Founder
iDevGames
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graphicsgorilla
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Post: #9
AJ Infinity Wrote:Heres a new good strategy (for a 2D web fighting game):

1. Design your game (levels, characters, etc.)
2. Do the art in Photoshop
3. Import the art into Flash MX
4. Program the game in Flash MX's ActionScript (believe me, it'll be a WHOLE lot easier in Flash. Keyboard control in Flash is good. Adding multiplayer support via a Flash web application is really good)
4. Export the game as a Mac-only Flash Projector
5. Add an icon and you are ready to ship

NOTE: I make 2D and 3D (yes, 3D) Flash games. It's fun and easy and the style I use rocks. I am working on a Flash gamedev kit. So long!

I know this thread is posted in year 2002 but I thought I give it a shot. I am really interested in doing exactly just what you have mentioned above. BUt my problem is the Step no 4.. programming in Flash. I cant programme squat except for a few basic action scripts. I understand that most artists are protective of their works but I do have a request. I might get a bunch of flames but here goes: AJ, do you have any Flash working files of a 2D fighting game you've done in the past so that I can study the actionscripts? ( I can give you my email addy, that is if you agree) I just need a basic fighting games without the fancy stuff like combos etc.. but a fireball would be nice.Grin The animation need not be smooth.. I'm just interested in the actionscipt part...eg.How characters react with each other, The health bar, the controls etc.

And I would appreciate anyone who can give me links or recommend any books about creating 2d fighting games in Flash. I searched the net but all I got is a tutorial of a stick figure kicking a punching bag.. I dont think that would help much.

And i read about this programme called Mugen. From what I read the program sounds like a dream come true but Im afraid that I need to know a programming language C and Allegra? Sounds like allergies medicine to meHuh And I cant find any tutorials/instructions on using Mugen.

This interest has always been swimming in my head and I'm so psycked that Im willing to quit my day job so that i can creat my fighting games fulltime! But i need some direction. ANY suggestions, links, comments would help!

Thanks in advance!

PS: And AJ, do you have a showcase of your 2d fighting games in Flash online? an you gimme the URL so I can view it?
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Post: #10
MUGEN is basically dead. It's no longer developed, and can't be easily found anymore. There's also no source code available, so it can't be extended. It's also Windows/DOS/Linux only, and thus shouldn't really be discussed on this site.

There *are* a few open-source replacement projects out there, but none of them are any good.

Here's some more info on MUGEN.

And as an aside, fighting games are right up there with MMORPGs and RTSs as a genre that newbie game makers should outright avoid as first projects. They are ridiculously complicated and have outrageous art requirements. Then there's the fact that fighting games are impossible to play on keyboards, vastly limiting your audience to the few people with USB gamepads.
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Posts: 168
Joined: 2004.10
Post: #11
Follow the stickman killing a punch bag scenario tutorial thing. Then, work on other games and other stuff until you have the knowledge to expand on that, replacing the punchbag with another guy. The stickmen themselves can change to people later, since you will be using prefabs in flash.

But, before that, learn actionscript.Do some simple things, stopping frames, playing, gotoandstop. Work out how to play bits of certain movie clips, etc etc. Position things with code. It's all rather simple, and as soon as you get over the hump of creating code, you'd be able to do it in about a month, maybe even a week or so. Good luck.
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Joined: 2003.03
Post: #12
Bachus Wrote:And as an aside, fighting games are right up there with MMORPGs and RTSs as a genre that newbie game makers should outright avoid as first projects.

I'd say that depends. Something with a really simple control system like Karate Champ might be a reasonable beginner project. SF or MK wouldn't be. I'll grant you.

The art is a problem though.

Also, I think AJ has been taken away by the saucer people.

"Yes, well, that's the sort of blinkered, Philistine pig-ignorance I've come to expect from you non-creative garbage."
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Joined: 2005.04
Post: #13
Leisure Suit Lurie Wrote:Also, I think AJ has been taken away by the saucer people.

I was wondering about that.
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graphicsgorilla
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Post: #14
Thanks for the tips you guys. I really appreciate it. Looks like I just gotta tinker with the action script some more. But I wish I have the time cause Im now learning Maya and Zbrush. But Im sure I'll get to it one day... cause I cant shake the idea off my head.

I wanna share my art and flash works just for the heck of it. My work is not that great to what Ive seen on the net and I know there are some serious artists and programmers in the midst; so do cut me some slack and be gentle with the critiques .Cry

http://www.graphicsgorilla.com/cartoons.htm

________________________________________
Ambition is a curse.
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Joined: 2002.06
Post: #15
There is also a very cool Flash/Actionscript tutorial site called http://www.cartoonsmart.com/

The lessons do cost money, but they are light on the wallet. Quite worth it if you ask me. Perhaps you can ask the guy who runs the site if he's interested in developing a game tutorial for a 2-d fighter.

ProRattaFactor
(Retro-infused games for iPad, iPhone, iPod touch, and Mac)
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