Akira Nishitani, lead designer behind Street Fighter II: The World Warrior and co-founder of development studio Arika, recently joined Twitter. But, instead of letting everyone know what he had for lunch and sharing cat pictures, he began dropping interesting tidbits about the development of Capcom’s early fighter.
As the tweets are in Japanese, a member of the Mugen Fighters Guild forum named felineki began translating them into English earlier this month. What resulted was a long list behind-the-scenes information that provides an interesting look at the work that went into creating the classic title.
While some of it is just silly asides (like complaints from players when they incorrectly labeled spiders as insects in Ryu’s dislikes), they offer a great look at the choices they made during development and some background on how certain mechanics were achieved.
Remembered something else. We had given each character their own separate defense value, then somewhere along the line we discovered that those values weren’t actually being reflected in the damage calculation, but ended up leaving it that way.
The red Hadoukens in the first SF2 weren’t actually a glitch, they were an intentional easter egg put in by the programmers. But I couldn’t have imagined that would eventually become the Shakunetsu Hadouken.
In SF2, sometimes Ryu takes absurdly high damage when dizzied. This is due to the fact that we experimented with characters taking twice as much damage when dizzy, and applied this flag to all dizzied animation frames, but forgot to remove it from one.
That’s right, we also had it set up to where we could designate specific weak points on particular sections of each character. But we ended up deciding it wasn’t quite time for something like that yet.
A random SF2 memory. A programmer told me he didn’t want the rock in Sagat’s stage being used as a landmark for Ryu’s corner traps, so he proposed having its position change randomly by a small amount. I can’t remember if that was actually implemented or not. If someone has some free time, please investigate this. Maybe it applied to the drum cans in the other stages, too? Or maybe it was in Champion Edition?
(This was subsequently tested and confirmed.)
The knockback a character undergoes when hit by an attack in SF2. As much as we tried, we couldn’t get it to go the way we wanted with acceleration and deceleration formulas, so we ended up just plotting it out pixel-by-pixel on graph paper. We plotted out lots of other things pixel-by-pixel, too. Although it was just being fussy about details.
An SF2 detail anecdote. On the occasion that two opposing processes had to occur on the same frame, I thought it would be unfair to give one player priority over the other, so the programmer made the order of processes during an individual frame rearrange at random. And as a result of that attacks that become active on their very first frame like Blanka’s Bush Buster and such become unblockable 50% of the time. Although that’s my fault for making them active on the first frame in the first place.