What is this?! A ripoff of Mortal Kombat?! How dare you make this!
Phew.. I hope you don’t still call first person shooter’s “Doom clones”.
To answer that a little more in depth - no, it’s not a ripoff of Mortal Kombat. We understand it might seem that way, considering it’s a fighting game and we’re using digitized actors like the old MK games. But what if we told you we’re ripping off KASUMI NINJA?! (what a twist!)
But honestly, we love MK. We even showed Ed Boon early footage of the game, and he enjoyed it. I’d say at most, it’s a tribute to that team’s work. There are a lot of similar elements, but we’re also adding a lot of things to make it different in gameplay and in visuals. We consider it a compliment to even be mentioned in the same sentence as MK though - and we hope you’ll enjoy the game regardless of comparisons.
Wait, wait, wait… $35K? That’s all you're asking for? Buddy, you don’t know anything about game dev if you think that’s enough money…
Firstly, you’re right about one thing.. it’s not a lot of money. At all. In fact, for any kind of full dev budget, it’s miniscule at best. But let’s mitigate your concerns a bit - we’re all professionals here. We’ve all done work for major companies. One of us has worked in the AAA game industry for 22 years even (on titles you’ve most likely played). So we can set aside the “experience” concern when it comes to if we know what we’re doing. We do.
We’ve been collectively grinding on this game for approximately 1.5 years, and the creator (Richard) has been working on it’s design and art at an on and off pacing even longer. That’s straight up no money development, completely on fumes, and while trying to keep our own lives together. Just recently, we started putting real money into it, right from our own pockets. It’s gotten us considerable progress, but not enough to finish.
What we have now is a game that’s approximately 40% done. And we’re a small, resourceful core team of only 3 people. But making a game with 3 people is impossible you say! Well, no.. it’s not. That’s 3 full time people. We still contract out certain things, like music, actors, etc - and since we only need them for a short period of time, we keep our costs low by only contracting what we need out of them. Everything else we do ourselves. Also, it’s worth noting that the $35k goal is for the minimum viable product. What does that mean? Scroll down to "What can we expect for the full launch of the game? What features and fighters will be in it?!" to see what I’m talking about.
Still, that’s impossible you say! After fees and everything, that’s not enough to live on to complete the game! Well, as indies we understand that passion triumphs over comfort. We take considerable pay cuts to what we would usually work for to make this game a reality. It’s part of the sacrifice of being an indie. One of us has even agreed to working for just a royalty share and no up front pay. Ultimately - we still have enough to live on if we make our goal. It’s not going to be a lot for sure.. but it’s enough to keep us fed and a roof over our head, and we’ve all agreed that based on our cost of living, it’s enough. I hope that will put some concerns to rest.
And if it doesn’t - remember, MK1 was created by only 4 people in 8 months. With the technology of 1992.
Yeah, but this game looks like crap! You only have 2 characters, and the art looks awful. You shouldn’t be asking for money for this!
Sorry…? I think I just heard the airhorn of subjectivity go off. Hm.
While we’d love the chance to change your mind, some people are set in their ways. And that’s ok - this game might not be your cup of tea (just like any other game ever might not be? See how that works?) Does that mean it shouldn’t exist? No - because there are people who want to play it.
And of course we only have 2 fighters! We haven’t been paid to develop the game to this point - we can’t film anyone else. The 2 fighters are the original creators of the game.. it costs us nothing to shoot ourselves against a green screen. Of course we want to add more! But we need funds to do that!
So look, we’re not aiming to topple any current or past fighting game out there in the context of our art direction, design, programming, music, whatever - that’s not our goal. That said, we always mark the work we’re currently doing with the disclaimer of “this is early and subject to change”. Until we reach content lock during development, consider everything you see will improve. We have plans to re-shoot characters, put together higher quality costumes, and other things to make the game look better. You just gotta stick it out with us.
Or not - it’s up to you. No hard feelings, and thank you for at least checking the game out.
Aren’t you worried about the scope of doing something crazy like a fighting game? That’s a tough audience to please.
Oh man, you’re not wrong there. It’s insanely tough to please that scene. But this is where we need to make a very prominent distinction...
We are not making this game just for the competitive fighting game community.
Ok, so before I get kicked in the throat by SonicFox and his followers for saying that - think of it this way.. DiveKick is a simple fighting game designed to be picked up casually. It can be competitive if it wants to be. It found it’s way to the floors of some tournaments, with it's influences on timing and proper positioning.. but it was designed to be a pick up and play experience, and not a professionally competitive game.
THAT is what we’re making, but in the sense of a traditional arcade title. A pick up and play, yell at your friends, and rejoice in the unrealistic amounts of craziness experience. This is not a game meant for the main stage at EVO. We want everyone (even button mashers) to have a fun experience with Super Combat Fighter.
Now.. that doesn’t mean it can’t be made competitive. Even the golden child of the FGC, Street Fighter II didn’t start out with this intention, but it was adopted by the community in that way. What we’re saying, is that we’re not obsessing over how many frames are in each move in regards to balance. There will definitely be balance consideration and patches to promote fairness, but we’re not going crazy over implementing cancels, assists, and all this other meta stuff that turns fighting games into a jigsaw puzzle of gameplay strategy for most people just picking them up.
Also, it’s super important to remember that even if we wanted to go that direction - we’re only core team of 3 people. Not a multi-million dollar company like Capcom with hundreds of employees - and they get hammered by their communities over gameplay balance all the time. We have to be realistic and create the best experience we can with who and what we have. We think keeping the game simple is the best route to go to achieve that.
So, to paraphrase Iwata-san, this game must first and foremost be fun - for everyone.
When are you going to release the game?
Based on what we have now, if the campaign is successful.. we think a good estimate will be Q3 2019. We don’t know when in Q3 2019, but that’s the time of year we’re aiming for - that’s for a full simultaneous launch of the game on PC, PS4, and XB1. We hope to have the game on Switch eventually as well, but there are caveats to that, that we have no control over (like approval from Nintendo to publish, etc). We'll work towards that regardless.
It’s always hard to tell because of unknowns during development, the console certification process, and the fact that TONS of games come out every year - and we want to position ourselves to have the most impact possible, as well as the most bug free experience we can attain at launch. The last thing we want to do is launch during a busy holiday season against AAA releases that would absolutely bury us, and have a bunch of players pissed off at a broken game.
Ultimately, if worse comes to worst, you will see the game on PC at least in time. Console platforms are harder to anticipate with the aforementioned certification process, but rest assured we will be planning for that ahead of time as well, to ensure a simultaneous platform release.
So we seriously have to wait that long for the game?
Yes and no. Firstly, if you make it out to events like PAX, you might get a chance to play the game early and see what it’s about. But while that above estimate of late 2019 goes for the full release of the game on all platforms, if you are a backer of any reward tier on the Kickstarter campaign, you will get to exclusively play the game early during our closed 1 week alpha test in the first quarter of 2019, and give us feedback to help make the game better before anyone else has a chance to play it at launch.
The exact date we do this alpha will be announced well ahead of time, but you will get to play it then if you backed us. Nobody else will get this opportunity. It’s our priority to appease the fans of the game and those who supported it in any way we can.
What can we expect for the full launch of the game? What features and fighters will be in it?!
Here’s where I was talking about above when I mentioned the term “minimum viable product”. The answer to the question is - it all depends on the outcome of this campaign! The initial goal ($35,000) would mean we launch the game with the basic features and fighter roster present. This equates to 7 fighters, 4 modes, and 10 stages - plus a selection of match modifiers.
If we reach our stretch goals, it allows us to hire more help on a temporary basis, and book more time to video capture new fighters. This enables us to launch with additional features and content, based on which stretch goals we reach.
For example, having an “online mode” at launch would be near impossible with only the initial funding goal reached. We wouldn’t have enough to pay for engineering such a thing, as well as servers to host players. Having the extra funds for that stretch goal would allow us to hire a network engineer and rent servers to handle the traffic. No matter what anyone in game dev says, online multiplayer is not an easy endeavor.
But remember, online is not only a highly requested feature in any game, but also a requirement from console platforms. If we don’t reach the stretch goal to include it, we can’t launch on consoles initially. This will be carefully monitored and will be attempted through likely additional funding means, if we don’t make our stretch goal for it.
Will there be any female fighters in the game? All I see are a bunch of dudes!
To answer your question in short - yes, there will be 3 fully playable female characters on the final roster of the minimum game, and more planned for post-launch content.
To go into more detail, there’s a reason it’s a bit of a sausage party in here for the time being - every fighter you see in our demo is played by only 2 different people. One of those people is the creator of the game, Richard James Cook. The other is his good friend and artist on the game Daniel Worley.
As everything has only been worked on so far by these 2, plus our 1-2 programmers, with very little funding for programming duties and NO funding for art production - we’ve had to be resourceful. That means we can’t hire actors to play the fighters yet. We don’t have the money. We put ourselves into it for that reason, and thus is also the reason why there are no female characters present in the game demo. We can’t afford the actresses for them yet, and have no friends willing to play the characters in the game.
You will see concepts and stories for our female fighters revealed during the campaign, but unfortunately will not see them in game until we’re able to hire actresses for them.
The only way we can do that is if you help us fund the campaign! So do it!
Will there be any post launch content coming?
Yes! And in fact.. it will all.. BE FREE! What?! Are we serious?!
Of course we are. See.. we’re beyond this idea of paywall locked content and loot boxes. We believe that you only need to pay once for a game. All content coming down the pipeline after launch is yours, because you supported the game.
This will include new fighters, stages, and modes - ultimately resulting in the.. let’s call it a “Bloody Edition” version.. of the game. We hope to have a lot of additional fighters and stages, as well as several new match modifiers for you to play with when we eventually cut off content.
Now you may be wondering what I mean when I say “we hope to have…”. Well, to use a hypothetical - the amount of new content released will be mostly contingent on how well the game performs and allows us to keep developing it. Since all the content released will be free, we’re putting our time in to keep it that way. As all of us have lives to maintain, the amount of content that ultimately comes out will depend on how much time we have to put into it. That’s just the way life goes. We’ll put out as much as we possibly can on fumes, but the rest is up to the game’s performance in sales - since we’ll be spending a considerable amount of time maintaining new bugs and balance issues that arise after launch as well. We’re a finite team, so we have to use our time wisely.
The schedule and circumstances for DLC releases will also vary. For instance, if we reach our stretch goals for the “3 new additional fighters” and other features being available at launch - they will indeed be available at launch.
If we do not reach those stretch goals however, those features and content will be pushed to a later date after release where we can insure their viability and our ability to develop them, and we’ll announce them when they’re ready to be pushed out to the public.
What platforms are you going to launch the game on?
See the above question When are you going to release the game?
I really want to be backer, but I won’t have any money until after the campaign is over! Can I still get some of those awesome rewards?!
Yes! We plan on launching a backer-kit effort after the campaign concludes, up until the closed alpha test of the game to existing campaign backers. This will allow anyone who missed out on the campaign to contribute, and still claim some of the awesome rewards.
Certain rewards may have limited availability (like the signed posters, SNES carts, strategy guides, or invites to the set). If those tiers sell out during the campaign, they will not be available again, so plan accordingly!
Will we get to see any behind the scenes development during/after the campaign?
We’ll definitely be keeping everyone updated with the progress of the game, both during the campaign and after. It’s important to us to be completely transparent with the community about a game they put their hard earned money behind.
Most updates will come via the social pages - Twitter and Facebook. This will include development updates, announcements, and behind the scenes content. Your best bet to keep up with it all is to follow us there, as those pages will be updated very frequently. Here are those details:
Major announcements will still come via the Kickstarter campaign page periodically.