Seth MacFarlane . . .

I have the perfect pick for the co-writer of the back stories. Seth MacFarlane. Who else would be able to make a completely hilarious insight into the previous lives of the characters. Imagine those flashbacks. I know this is nearly impossible to pull off. What's more likely is I will be writing/directing/producing each back story but at least I can dream. More on Seth here, here and here.


History . . .

I was asked recently about the overall story of the game. I felt from the beginning the game wouldn't have a solid story to stand on. More like a moment-in-time type of thing. Where players are dropped into the moments before the tournament and then thrust into the heart of the fight. But after a little thought, I figured a slight back story might be effective. The back stories can serve as glimpses into the lives/motivations of all the fighters prior to them entering the tournament. The stories will be completely funny based recaps nothing serious. I have a guy that would be great for the job but he's too much of a "family guy" at the moment. Fuego.


Fans . . .

As I was designing the training area, a new feature popped into my head. Thinking back to Def Jam's Fight For NY game and a few scenes from Fight Club, I remembered how much cooler the battles with fight fans standing around appeared. The influx of fans made the moment feel more edgy and captured the essence of a no-holds-bar fight. I decided to add the fan element to the game. As players progress, fans will start to gather for their fights. The more wins a player has the more fans he/she will have at every fight. Fuego.


Flickr . . .

I'm often asked where I find such good looking images for some of the entries. The answer is a combination of Google searches and Flickr. Flickr is probably the best photo sharing site for finding crisp imagery that really portrays what I'm blogging about. Peep it for yourself.


Insider Info . . .

While I was conducting bullfighting research for Raoul's character, I found various intriguing entries linked to Wikipedia. I heard of the site on numerous occasions but I never had a reason to check it out. Now I see what the hype is about. I literally learned the entire history of bullfighting, matadors, Spain, Madrid & supermodels from the site. Don't ask about the supermodel part, I was just curious. Anyway, the only drawback of Wikipedia is that the entries can be edited and uploaded by anyone so some of the information might be a little tainted. I guess you could say Wiki doesn't provided the whole story but it gives you pretty good idea of what happen. Fuego.


Tough Decisions . . .

After taking a long look at the character breakdown, I realized I had no other choice than to cut down the number of characters in the game. The decision was based upon the level of animation every character would require. I didn't plan on having generic stand-in animations. Every move would be custom designed against every character. Meaning Guitar Zero's "Zerosmith" appearance would change based upon whomever he was fighting. With that said, I don't think animating for 30 characters is feasible at this time. I haven't ruled out the possibility 30 characters for the sequel though. So as it stands, the count has been lowered to 20. Only two main characters where affected, the rest were hidden characters. Here is the final breakdown:

12 Main Characters - Available from the jump.
4 Hidden Characters - Unlocked by meeting certain criteria.
4 Boss Characters - 3 of the 4 unlocked after being defeated.

Seems a little slim but the remaining characters can handle the workload.


Matador . . .

I have to be honest, I find inspiration in the strangest events. Earlier I heard a Spanish airport announcement which reminded me that I didn't have significant Hispanic representation. I wondered how I would create a character that didn't fall into the typical stereotype. I found that matadors are big in the Hispanic community so I decided to make a play on the sport. Our guy "Raoul" will be a world renowned bull fighter that has never harmed a bull. He is so smooth and elegant all his battles end in the bull fainting from exhaustion. Being such a great matador isn't enough for Raoul though, he wants his booty to receive some recognition. Therefore, Raoul wears those Prince ass-less chaps during all his battles and doesn't hesitate to remind people of his fantastic booty. Come on . . . you gotta laugh at that. Fuego.


Commitment . . .

Previously, players were required to enter a confirmation tap during every exchange. In case you forgot, each exchange consist of each player selecting 5 commands and then tapping the game logo to confirm their choices. I'm dropping the confirmation requirement. After watching a recent Hopkins match, I realized once a fighter commits to throwing a punch there is no taking the it back. Gamers will no longer have that courtesy either. Whatever a player chooses during an exchange is what he/she will have to live with. No Indian givers allowed.


Name That Tune . . .

I decided on a name for the strategy guide/collector's item. The book will be called "The Ultimate Guide To Whoopin Ass". Maybe the Ass part will have asterisks. Or maybe not. Fuego.


Strategic . . .

I was never a big fan of strategy guides. I always felt they were for suckers/cheaters but after a little convincing from my peers I decided to create a different type of strategy guide. The book we will create will capture everything involved in the making of the game as well as insider tips/how to's hidden throughout the guide. Gamers can expect to find all the drawings, sketches, game play designs and anything else I used to create the game. Consider it a collector's item rather than a strategy guide.


No Place Like Home . . .

Still looking around Smashing Magazine's website for some inspiration. I need some ideas for the game's website layout and general design. I figure the site will basically serve as a information hub and allow gamers to exchange tips, bitch and compliment the game. That's about as far as I've gotten.


The Stage Is Set . . .

The backgrounds in FF will be fully utilized by every character. No additional damage will occur from background collision but players will definitely get a kick out of the interactions they will see. For example, the first background I envisioned is a elevated parking lot with plenty of cars, some parked and others driving past the players, for the characters to interact with. Imagine Bow giving Mary Ann a swift elbow to the stomach sending her flying thru on parked car. She flips out the other side as Bow chases towards her. She kicks the car sending it flying at Bow. Bow is blindsided by the car and sent crashing out the building as Mary Ann follows him to continue the fight on the street. That's just one small section of a bigger stage, wait till you see the beach house scene. Fugeo.


The Notepad . . .

The notepad, the iPhone replica and the Boombox are the three items present within every Hub screen. The notepad contains all the Advanced Techniques/Annihilators the player has mastered along with the names and brief tips on unlocking the ones they didn't. Question marks will be place holders for the areas the players have yet to uncover. For example: we know Guitar Zero's "The Rolling Zone" is performed by entering MP-HP-LP-LP-HP. However, if they player didn't unlock the move then the listing would look like this MP-HP-?-?-? = ?. Annihlators are listed the same way. Shadow figures below each Advanced Techique/Annihilator listing will aid players in uncovering every move.


Mini Games . . .

I decided against any other type of mini-games within the hub of FF. I think the game has enough appeal as it is. No need for any other distractions. After playing Fable II, I thought how cool it would be to have some type of "game within the game" thing. But I'm certain punching your closest friend or a total stranger's teeth in will be more than enough. Fuego.


Man Down . . .

I never mention the character Mr. Johnson but he was supposed to be this business type character that used various offices tools as weapons. He was gonna be a sharp young entrepreneur that loved to moon people and streak naked showing his you-know-what. Hence the name Mr. Johnson. Well, he didn't make the cut. I decided to delete the character and substitute him with Guitar Zero. A moment of silence please.


What's In A Name . . .

I was looking over my vast font collection when I noticed certain fonts seemed to perfectly describe certain characters. I entered a marathon designing sprint and managed to match 22 of the 30 characters to fitting title fonts. The font's will be used primarily in the character selection screen. But who knows where else we can use them. Above is an example of Guitar Zero's screen font. Feels like a rock and roll title doesn't it? Fuego.


Guitar Zero . . .

The next character brought to life will be;

Name: Guitar Zero
Origin: Guitar Hero Hall Of Fame
Background: Guitar Zero is the world's greatest Guitar Hero player. He has mastered every instrument and level of the game. Guitar Zero is an overweight guy with looks similar to Jack Black. He carries an exact replica of the guitar from Guitar Hero and wears a funky rock n roll outfit that barely covers his large stomach. He has long black hair accompanied by little chest hair. All his attacks are executed through the guitar.


Gamer Badge . . .

The gamer badge is designed similar to XBL's Dashboard with sleekness of a Yahoo! widget. The badge will contain all the info each gamer in the system. Players will be able to challenge other gamers via this badge as well as adding Battle Buddies. The badge will include the player's Wins, Loses, Global Rank, Local Rank, Battle Buddies, User Name, City & State.


Travis . . .

TheDC can't run itself so we need a operator. I decided to immortalize one of my favorite drummers and one of the luckiest guys on the planet; Travis Barker. Travis will be in charge of TheDC. He will handle all the transactions and provide brief hints/tips for every player. Fuego.


Mary Ann Outline . . .

I'm still amazed at Roc's superhuman ability to bring these characters to life. Notice the slight drunken stance, the single rubber glove, the strong grip on the bottle and the coffee mug. I have no complaints. Time to move forward with the coloring. Fuego.


Mary Ann . . .

The next character brought to life will be;

Name: Mary Ann
Origin: Pickett Fences of Pleasantville
Background: Mary Ann is a red-headed drunk soccer mom. She is a master of the Drunken Kung-Fu fighting style, a style similar to Shun Di's technique in Virtual Fighter 4. She wears an outfit typical to the housewives of the 40s, 50s and 60s. An apron, polka dot sun dress and a pearl necklace. Mary Ann is an amazing fighter and becomes better the more alcohol she comsumes.


Death Match . . .

I know Death Match is completely cliche but the words suit the game's atmosphere. Death Matches will occur if gamers achieve three consecutive Draws. A Death Match will consist of a 30 command face-off using the rules of the Deciding Factor to determine the winner of each exchange. The player with the most exchange wins will be the victory and be reward with an Annihilations animation of the loser. In the rare instance a Draw occurs during a Death Match, the result will be a tie. Neither player will register a win or lose. The fight will simply end. A very unlikely scenario but I have to consider it.


Cancel My Order . . .

Think back on the Deciding Factor scenario. I forgot to address what would happen if both players choose the same initial attack. Let's say Player A chooses High-Punch and Player B chooses High Kick, the result would be called a "Cancel Attack". Meaning neither player strikes first but both players strike simultaneously. A Cancel Attack can also result in a Draw if performed at the end of a battle. With that said, what happens if players achieve consecutive Draws?


300 . . .

The maximum number of Battle Buddies a player can store is 300. I decided players will rarely challenge more than a handful of other players so there was no need for unlimited storage. I capped the number at 300 to show a little appreciation to the Spartans. *best spartan voice* Tonight we dine in hell.


The Deciding Factor

The above image displays what I like to call "The Deciding Factor". This diagram is used to determine which player strikes first in any given exchange. Translated into a readable form, the image means; High Punch & High Kick beat Mid-Punch & Mid-Kick, Mid-Punch & Mid-Kick beats Low-Punch & Low Kick and Low-Punch & Low-Kick beat High-Punch & High Kick. Think about the game rock, paper, scissors if you're confused. Rock beats Scissors, Paper beats rock, so on and so forth.


Unlockable Content . . .

What if, besides unlocking characters by meeting certain criterias, gamers could unlock game content? Like new songs, new backgrounds, new hub layouts or new avatars. Would be a easy way to sneak in some of my favorite artist too. Fugeo.


Krav Maga . . .

Remember Bruno? Brad Pitt's inspired character? He will be a specialist in one of the more dangerous fighting techniques; Krav Maga. Krav Maga is the self defense system of the Israeli Defense forces. A very dangerous and powerful counter attack system. Meant to be fatal not for escape artist. I plan to enter school in the near future. Not to hurt anyone but with the current state of the ecomony you never know.


Boombox . . .

The in-game boombox will be used to stream exclusive music during the game and while in the Gynamisum hub. Players will not be able to change tracks during actual gameplay but they will be able to browse all the music content while in the Gynamisum Hub. The boombox will be present in every area and players can listen or change any track at any time. I wonder if Steve will let me sell the soundtrack on iTunes or DJMixtapez.com?


Plus One . . .

The total number of available characters has been increase from 30 to 31. No particular reason. I just liked the way it looked on paper. Fuego.


Place Your Bets . . .

The "Side Bet" option has been created to generate addition income outside of the normal battles. I think my gambling habit contributed to this thought. Nonetheless, my hardcore gamers should welcome the idea. The side bet option will only be available to the challenger. So if I challenge you, I establish the terms of the bet. You can choose to accept/decline the offer but you will not be able to increase/decrease the terms. I decided against a bidding war because it would take away from the gameplay. The challenger was given control of the wager as an additional tool to entice higher ranked players to accept their invite.