JAEPO 2020 included exhibition matches and panel discussion feat. FAB(po), Summit(ch), Roi(so), Ain(ky) and Ishiwatari (general director) and Akira (battle director).
This is a quick summary of what I got out of the panel. This is not an exhaustive list. There was more content/details than I touch on here. And I’m not a native English speaker.
State of the game
– The panel really emphasized the dialogical approach they have to designing GGST. They are taking in feedback and working with it.
Akira (battle director)
– Is a former top level GG-player (just google Kawin/Akira).
– Ended the session by claiming that he would refuse to make GGST a game without a great depth.
Keywords for Guilty Gear
– Everybody got to present what Guilty Gear is to them, in terms of gameplay. The players said the same ol’: high degree of freedom, opportunities to express themselves, diversity in cast, etc.
– As an addition, ASW disclosed one of their internal keywords: “WARUSA”, from the Japanese word Warui. Here I jokingly translate it to “MISCHIEF”. For the game to be GG it has to have sufficient amounts of MISCHIEF. Internally they can be talking about how something needs more MISCHIEF, or that the MISCHIEF is lacking in some regards. Ishiwatari mentioned that we can see some MISCHIEF in the exhibition matches, but that there is much more under the hood. And he said this with a big smirk on his face.
– Big differences between tiers or more even balance? FAB posed this question from a historical perspective (GG has had both).
– ASW discussed this history with FAB.
– ASW is leaning towards a more even balance.
Jumps and AA
– ASW want to increase the risk with jumping.
– The players think the current AD is difficult to combat due to its variety of speeds and angles (which depend on the timing of the AD).
– The players think that it currently is stronger in neutral than previous ADs as it was difficult to find good reactive responses against it. For instance, high AD could make a reactive AA whiff when it would have hit the low AD which only comes a short time afterwards.
– ASW discussed design of ADs. ASW is experimenting with the ADs.
– FAB did not experience IB creating as much threat as before – obviously.
– In terms of design, ASW wants defense to be a fun part of the game as well.
– Ishiwatari is not happy with the current state of IB. He thinks that it is not really fun at all.
– ASW is experimenting to find new solutions.
– Yes, it is a placeholder and yes they will change it.
– Interestingly, Ain mentioned that it looks more like pop than rock. Ishiwatari definitely thinks that this is a problem, there must be a rock feel to it. But he also did mention that ASW would like to remove the gloomy atmosphere of past UIs.
– How will so called “okizeme characters” function in Strive?
– They talked about what a so called “okizeme character” is.
– ASW obviously do not want to say anything about which characters are to come, so they phrased it all in “what ifs”.
– Were a okizeme character to be in Strive, they would obviously have to have a strong okizeme game.
– BUT ASW wants people to more easily understand what is going on and not as strong loopability. They mentioned two examples:
1) They do not want characters that put out projectiles with large animations that cover the character, affectively hiding their mixup option.
2) They do not want players to be able to use 25% meter to put a meaty projectile from which the character proceeds to do a unreactable and safeup mixup.
– And we can still obviously use 50% to go into low AD or empty jumpin low from our 2D into CSE w. Ky.
– Summit contextualized his question about difficulty by saying that current FGs are becoming more and more simple, with autocombos and easily understandable chains and gattlings.
– In this context, Summit thinks that GGST is a very difficult game with its limited gattlings and tons of situational decision making.
– Summit asked what ASWs actual target is, given that FGs are going in aforementioned direction and that GGST is so difficult to play. Of course, all games end up having depth (the question is how much and how long players can remain stimulated by that depth.)
– ASW wants to get new players to come into the GG-scene. ASW often discusses what actually makes a game “easy” or “difficult”. They did not want to compare or mention other games. Ishiwatari does not believe that simple combos make for simple games. Akira mentions that in FGs, combos can look difficult but actually be simple. And that combos can look really simple but actually be really difficult. ASW is working hard to find a good balance in its difficulty so that established GG-players, established FG-players, and totaly new players, will pick up GGST and enjoy it.