Thursday, January 26, 2017

A Mega-Crossover Fighting Project

MUGEN, a game that enables you to create your own fighting games, in action (Image: Uptodown)
So it's been on my mind that I wanted to make a mega crossover fighting game involving TV and movie characters recently...

At a time where I reconciled with soccer, I had downloaded some Winning Eleven games on PSX, with an initial intention to rip the soundtracks (which eventually made their way here), but got into further: gameplay mechanics, to the point that I ended up playing them. I take another PSX soccer title I played in the past called Super Shot Soccer (Bakuretsu Soccer in Japan), a.k.a. Shaolin Soccer's World Cup-centric son (the roster is based on 2002 World Cup participants, albeit all unlicensed in terms of player names obviously) and Inazuma Eleven's grandson, then googled another title with the same premise as the previous game but on PS2 called Red Card, featuring even animals playing soccer, among other things. Then a question came out of my mind: What if I make a fighting game whose gameplay mechanics loosely borrow the last mentioned two games and had an older Winning Eleven title vibe on it? Would be possible, in a million years, but hey, "Fighting Game" is the keyword here.

Since 3D would be a large hell of a work, a trustworthy old-school mechanic proven by numerous arcade fighters such as Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat will be the perfect humble beginning. This is why I where I took MUGEN, the go-to fighting game engine to create fan-made fighting games, for a spin. Here, I learned the basics for editing the basic stuffs (such as select screen, the title menu, etc) beforehand, and of course the character creation how-tos. Haven't got to stage creation though, as that would come later.

Making characters however will take a very long time, and of course I wanted to graduate this year as I said in my last post, so I decided to take a small step: crafting the UI. Yup, in order to create a great MUGEN-based fighting game, I had to learn how to set custom title backgrounds and select screen as well. I thought this would be a good investment for later projects, which of course encompass the mega-crossover fighting game too.


The first thing I did before editing the UI stuff is of course the easiest process of all: the music. As I have said I want to go with the "older Winning Eleven title vibe", I chose WE 2000's main menu theme, composed by Shoichiro Hirata. I remember this was being played on TV back then when I was young as an ending theme to a soccer highlights show on a local TV station, and boy does it give memories. It doesn't sound bad to be a fighting game menu music to be honest, it fits the mold well.

Another basic stuff done were how to stop the background scrolling diagonally, which I won't cover due to how obvious it is as I move on to the next vital stuff: the select screen. Alternatively, trying to make my character select screen look like this...

Yup, again, it's from WE 2000. The problem was setting the rows and columns so it supports many characters, and later editing the existing sprites, because the default sprites, particularly the square for character selection is too big for my project. This is succeeded with utilizing my own selection cursors, some character portrait work, whose parameters I borrowed from another screenpack, and the obligatory world map. In the end, this is what I came up with:

Well, it's not perfect by any means, but pretty much what it would look like in its most raw form. Haven't got into portrait scaling as I was focused mainly on the squares and the world map. The next work should be more background stuffs like additional objects but I have difficulties as to how to make a line with a perfect transparent gradient and sadly I haven't found a tutorial for that yet. Last time I tried, it failed. The background itself could have either a black or a very dark blue color in order to adhere with the theme, while additional gradients for the background will become an object.


What would the roster consist of once all these stuffs are finished? As I stated, TV, particularly TV series, and movie characters. The problem is, apart from Homer Simpson whose character is pretty much ready to be playable, I had to make the rest of the characters in whatever way possible as I have different rosters.

Judging from how many boxes visible in the select screen, I allocate them for a plenty of characters spanning from comedy, teen dramas, Sci-Fi/Fantasy shows, dramas (including crime drama and the usual drama), animated shows, and on a random whim web stars and celebrities, if possible. Spoiler alert, the overall line-up will pit characters with a large fandom and those portrayed by award-winning actors/actresses.

Some noteworthy names in the roster here: Sheldon Cooper from The Big Bang Theory, pretty much the starter pack for the comedy genre. Although his character is pretty much ready to be playable, if I were to re-made him, his attacks would be comical and his ultimate attack would involve a Bazinga! effect a la comics but I'm not sure if I had to make him a melee or a ranged character. Katniss Everdeen from The Hunger Games fills in the teen drama starting name, and of course her attack would also involve archery because she's Katniss, y'all. Daenerys Targaryen from Game of Thrones is one Sci-Fi/Fantasy name I pick, of all others including those superheroes I believe you could name of. Based on this deviantART work, she could rock fire and ice shots, but I believe she has sword-based attacks too and her ultimate would involve her own dragon. Skipping drama, Homer Simpson of The Simpsons is the main pick for animated shows, but his character is more than ready for MUGEN. The only thing left is having somekind of adjustments, but I haven't got into that one yet. In the end, the final roster will be all my responsibility, but could be adjusted if needed.

Apart from those, I think I'm pretty much done. I will let my fandom blog take the dream roster, while the main priority remains to fix all the UI stuff on the go.


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