Reno has just started the first of a new series of articles dealing with his ideas over at his Versus City blog. Inspired by a similar thread over at our own forums, these articles present his ideas on how to improve the fighting game genre. Part 1 focuses on how fighting games need to better present information. Reno argues that one of the problems with fighting games is that they don’t do enough to prepare the player or to actually understand gameplay.
The first and most important thing we need to see happen is to change fighters from a “pull-based” game to a “push-based” game. Right now, if you want to be really good at fighting games, you need to seek out info; you need to search for videos to help better your play. You definitely need to do a lot of “pulling” to get what you need, but you shouldn’t have to.
While the amount of information on how to play and win in fighting games has increased online in recent years, most of this information is still unavailable in-game. While this has always been the traditional way to gain access to advanced strategies and tactics, Reno points out that the technology already exists to be able to push this kind of information in game. One (non fighting) game that Reno singles out is Sony’s Uncharted 3, with it’s Uncharted TV integration. Here, the game in question streams 90 second clips from both developers and users in the game’s multiplayer menu.
This is a fantastic feature, and I was immediately impressed by it. Now, let’s take this idea a step further! Imagine that when communicating with the servers to play online, the servers analyze your battle data and then push appropriate media to your game. How awesome would that be for any type of player? If, for example, your battle data shows that your win/loss ratio against grapplers is poor, wouldn’t it be amazing if the game knew this and started pushing anti-grappler tutorial videos to your menu?
In closing, Reno notes that fighting games are similar to RTS games and shooters in that they benefit a lot from online play. At the same time, however, he laments on how the genre lags behind the other two in terms of usability and features and how the community has had to step up to spread the word in place of the publishers/developers.
You can read the entire article over at Versus City.