Best fighting game interface?

Max
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Posts: 84
Joined: 2003.03
Post: #1
I must design an interface for a fighting game, like Soul Caliber, Tekken and Dead or Alive. I never played this type of game so I am not sure what to do. I need some examples. What is the best fighting game interface you people saw?

Freelance video game artist and video game compliance tester at Enzyme Testing Labs.
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Posts: 40
Joined: 2002.04
Post: #2
The first thing to consider is the health meter, because it is the most important interface element in a fighting game. Most games like tekken simply have a large health meter at the top of the screen above the player, when the meter runs out, the player is dead. This is a well proven method and most fighting games use it. However, you could try something a little different:

Visual:
You could try using different animations to represent the state of health of the character. Eg. limping, holding chest etc.
Perhaps a picture of your character's face, Doom style. The face slowly gets beaten and mauled as the players health decreases. Give him a black eye or two, a cut lip, maybe even a chunk out of his ear Rasp

The downside to these methods is that they aren't as accurate as the health meter. It would be difficult for the player to estimate how many more punches he/she can take.

Aural:
You could use the sound of a hearbeat like that old mac shooting game. The more the player is injured, the faster and erratic the heart beat.
The downside to this is that you couldn't use it to indicate both player's health.

Just a few thoughts to begin with.
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Post: #3
I'd stick with the classic health meter with a small Special meter under it for the classic "special moves." Character names should be above their health bars to show who's getting hurt. Then when there's things like combos that need a large quick text blurb under the character's bars. After each match, there needs to be a spot under all of the bars to place an icon signifying a win of a round. Then at the end of each match you could have a screen with the character saying a taunt or something intimidating. Then a continue screen if the player is the loser.

You could download MacMAME at macmame.org and download a few classic fighting games and look at those. I could give you an address for MAME ROMs, but I don't know the legalities of arcade ROMs (There's tons of huge sites with arcade ROMs and they've been there for long years. No government interference at all Huh )

Are you only talking about the interface when there's an actual fight only or the choosing character menus, too?
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Post: #4
Or you could do something original... If we're on the topic of representing health, you could make each body part have its own health, which if its hit becomes darker/ redder until it ruptures and you die. This could make for more interesting game play by making the player try to block specific areas or something. I like your ideas too Cookie

but it kinda sounds like you've already got a few things set in concrete.

If its just looks you're talking about, I would think that basing your interface on the fighting game interfaces of the past will mean that you wont bring out anything much better. Why not loosely base it on a cool movie, or your view out the window or something.

but... if it's a quick fix you're after, you should probably just play Mortal Kombat or DOA and rip it off like everyone else does.

Chopper, iSight Screensavers, DuckDuckDuck: http://majicjungle.com
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Post: #5
Quote:Originally posted by Max Inc.
I must design an interface for a fighting game


Why not a command-line interface. What the Mac, nay, the world, needs is a text-based first person shooter.

Visit http://www.theDailyGrind.net for your recommended daily intake of embittered satire.
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Luminary
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Joined: 2002.04
Post: #6
What, Text-mode Quake doesn't count?!
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Post: #7
Gold.

Visit http://www.theDailyGrind.net for your recommended daily intake of embittered satire.
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Posts: 35
Joined: 2002.11
Post: #8
well, not sure exactly what you're asking, but...

this is probably the standard screen layout for fighting games (edit: changed the URL - i'm talking about the image in the bottom-right of the page)

note....
- health bars brightly colored and somewhat thick; you can keep an eye on your health without sacrificing too much focus on the fighting
- top of screen is underutilized; i believe this is because on television sets and arcade monitors part of the picture is often cut off, and you don't want to cut off the health bars (which would make the game much less fun). a computer game could move important information nearer to the edges of the screen, freeing up more visual space
- standard element positioning; you may or may not want to use it, but be aware that most people look for their health bars at the top of the screen and for them to decrease towards the center, the timer at the top-center of the screen, and super/power/charge meters at the bottom of the screen. (3d fighters often don't have this)


as for character select screens, title screens, etc... well, that's up to you!


but really,unless you have a good reason not to, you should play the games that you mentioned you hadn't played. personally i think tekken is crap and dead or alive is crap until number 3, but i may be a minority here.
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Ice Cream Joe
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Post: #9
Quote:Originally posted by Max Inc.
I never played this type of game so I am not sure what to do. I need some examples.


I would second erazorhead. Go grab a roll of quarters and take a field trip to your local arcades. Fighting games are still the big thing in coin-op (in west coast USA anyway) and the newest games will still come out in arcades first.

The popular one now at least where I am is Marvel vs. Capcom 2. It adds the twist of having several characters per player; instead of choosing a character at the beginning, you choose a team of three. The latest Capcom vs SNK is also pretty popular around here.

It still follows the same general rules though. Character health is represented as a bar, which empties as the character is hurt. It's accurate and fast. I can just look at the bar and instantly know exactly how much health I have.

Also, it's generally accepted that the bars are at the top, but I suspect it's a byproduct of its usefulness in arcades. The most popular fighting games in arcades where I am are played on big-screened consoles, since they almost always draw a crowd. Having the health bars at the top makes them easier for the rest of the audience to see. If your game is exclusively on a home computer or console, I doubt it makes more difference than familiarity.

There's nothing else I can really say that erazorhead hasn't nailed right-on already. Just grab some quarters and hit up an arcade- it helps a lot more to actually see the games and their interfaces in action.
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Post: #10
Quote:Originally posted by Ice Cream Joe
Go grab a roll of quarters and take a field trip to your local arcades.


He could use MacMAME and get a few fighting game ROMs and save the quarters Smile Seems to be no legal problems playing MAME ROMs anyway. There's tons of classics like Street Fighter and fairly new games like Marvel vs. Capcom.
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Luminary
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Joined: 2002.04
Post: #11
There are indeed legal problems playing MAME ROMs. Like that it's illegal unless you own the arcade machine the ROM was ripped from...
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Post: #12
Quote:Originally posted by OneSadCookie
There are indeed legal problems playing MAME ROMs. Like that it's illegal unless you own the arcade machine the ROM was ripped from...


Yeah, I finally found out from some trusted sources. So nevermind what I said about MAME ROMs.
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