Yatagarasu AoC Developer Diary (Oct 20th)

Hello, Shiza from the Yatagarasu dev team here. Please accept my apologies for drop in communication since the arcade location tests started a few weeks ago. Here is this month’s update, which includes feedback to suggestions provided in the Yatagarasu Attack on Cataclysm Steam Discussion Group. Development Update As discussed in previous updates, character art production has run extremely behind schedule, but the end is finally in sight and we expect work to complete by the end of this month. Kotaro only has some final adjustments remaining and Aja is due to completed by that time. KOTANI has provided some reference pictures for Aja Salisbury for this development month’s update – please click the below images to see larger versions.

Aja Reference 1

Aja Reference 2

Since we started developing and releasing Yatagarasu, we’ve released new builds as quickly as possible, which is usually immediately after the graphics are complete. We made last month’s Alpha release before Azure was even graphically finished. While the reaction from the players has been very positive, it really wasn’t acceptable for us s developers and it was a big learning experience for us. From the next release onward, we will take the approach that it’s better for everyone if we put more effort into balancing and tweaking the gameplay before releasing. We’re working on finalizing the timing of the Beta release now and it should be ready soon. Please watch for our next announcement with an exact date. Location Testing / NESiCAxLive Apologies to everyone who took part in the location tests for the various bugs that arose – we are now addressing these so they never happen again. We’re grateful for the feedback of everyone who participated and even just watching people playing was a huge learning experience. Thanks to your feedback, we’ve been able to make various improvements to Yatagarasu Attack on Cataclysm which we think you will enjoy. Apologies also to everyone in Japan and overseas for who the locations test venues were too far away. We hope you enjoy the improvements and new directions that have come out of the location testing. Currently, we are pushing ahead with the NESiCAxLive development and it’s very interesting work! We’ve made some improvements that are made possible by NESiCAxLive’s unique development environment, and we are rolling as many of these changes as possible over to the PC version. We hope you’ll enjoy these too. That said, the NESiCAxLive version is taking a lot of work and we’ll announce the release schedule for this version as soon as we have more visibility. Responses to the ‘Official YAoC Suggestion Box’ Feedback Thank you to everyone who has provided feedback and suggestions so far in the YAoC Official Suggestion Box thread of the Yatagarasu AoC Steam Discussion group – I’ll respond to those points in the thread and paste below. Please have Juzumaru’s HP rekka move further forward. [JohnXuandou] This is not the best way to start responding to input, but we’d actually prefer not to have to give feedback about individual moves in isolation. The reason is that each individual move has to be evaluated while also taking into account factors such as: keeping the game fun to play, balancing, the effects against the whole character roster, and the overall game. If this approach isn’t taken, there is a strong possibility of undesirable effects happening elsewhere. That said, we appreciated you taking the time to provide feedback, and I’d like to give my personal opinion on the points you raised. Moves like Juzumaru’s Rimuse are hard to balance because their functionality changes significantly when the reach, number of frames, and damage change even a little. There are times when a point seems to okay to change, but buffing even a little can cause the character to become OP.  I checked the video links you provided and allowing him to connect does look interesting, but we need to seriously think about how that affects how fun he is to play. We will consider the the points you raised in the context of the overall game balancing – please leave it with us. Please improve the frame advantage of Juzumaru’s jumping B. [JohnXuandou] The current balancing with regards to Juzumaru’s cross-ups is deliberate. In previous versions, it was relatively easy to cross up, but on considering Juzumaru’s characterization, we decided his fighting style should be based around ground fighting and lateral movement. The new hit counter looks really bad and doesn’t fit the tone of the game. [Trisection] The previous hit counter had some good points, but feedback from many people that it was too small to make out. I always wanted to do something about that and finally got around to upgrading to a larger sized, graphical hit counter. That said, it’s easy enough to change the graphics, so we’ll work on improving it. Thank you for the feedback. Getting the message for a 1 hit combo looks silly. [Trisection] I used to think the same way and in previous versions we didn’t display the combo counter for only one hit, but many modern fighting games now displaying combo counts from one hit, so we’re following that trend. The particle effects look cheap. [Trisection] We made these quite a long time ago, so they probably feel dated. Modern style effects would probably require some kind of transparency-based flashing effects. We don’t have man hours available to allocate into effects at the moment, so this might be difficult for the short term, but we will consider this. Hanzo’s ‘EYAAAH’ is annoying. [Trisection] We like that VO! VO is a fairly subjective area, so they can be difficult calls to make. However, all of the VO will be changed in Attack on Cataclysm, so please check out the new voices. We hope you like the them! Please add a random character select!!! [Metafogos] The decision not to include a roulette is a deliberate one and we don’t presently have any plans to add one, but that’s not to say that we won’t at some point. Personally, I like to know that I lost to a character that they opponent selected on purpose when I lose a match. Please make the interface and title menu cleaner. [ggm] The dev team working on the game is extremely small, and the menu screens are probably the area that suffers most from this. We do realize that the menus are weak and we’d like to resolve this when we have man hours available to apply to it, but please understand that we’re forced to focus our scarce development resources on the characters and gameplay first. Put the launcher options in the game and eliminate the launcher. [ggm] We agree and would actually prefer to have this functionality included as part of the in-game options, rather than in a standalone launcher. The present situation is simply to free up man hours to apply to the actual game content – anything that reduced our workload by being in the standalone application, we put in the config application for the time being. Apologies for the inconvenience. Please have the game automatically detect Xbox controllers. [ggm] Presently players must check a check box in the launcher when playing with an Xbox controller (or any other type of controller), but we will remove this requirement by having the game automatically detect whether to use digital or analog input. Please remove the requirement to reset the game every time a controller is unplugged and plugged in. [thoth2020] We understand this is very inconvenient and will make this change a priority item. Yatagarasu wasn’t generally played much offline, so we’d put off making this fix, but we’ll make the change now. A Versus Mode Versus CPU would be great. [Metafogos] Would you mind if we pass on that…? Playing Arcade mode has basically the same effect. Please change the heads of Hina and Shimo, Crow and Kou to make them easier to distinguish. [JELIFISH] We’d definitely like to brush up the existing characters and, timing allowing, we will make more fundamental changes in addition to the heads. Please change the backgrounds to pixel art to match the characters and add animation, parallax effects, etc. [JELIFISH] Sorry, we don’t have anyone who can work on the background art right now… Please add an option to maintain the 4:3 aspect ratio when playing in widescreen. [JELIFISH] Whether the 4:3 ratio is preserved in fullscreen can usually be set in the graphic driver settings, so please make sure you have the most up to date driver and try adjusting from there if necessary. Can you add sidebars to the game so it’s not just black edges? [JELIFISH] The NESiCAxLive version is set to display images on the left and right black bars and we will probably roll out the same system to the PC version. My personal preference is to have black bars, but provided there are no technical problems, we’d like to prioritize the wishes of the players and add some kind of display here. Please allow all keys to be bindable in the control settings. [nilssab] Yatagarasu doesn’t actually support keyboard play due to various issues, such as not being about to detect simultaneous button press, etc. This is why there is no option to customize keys settings in the control settings. However, it is possible to customize the key settings by editing the GD.LST file. This is ‘unofficial support’, but please go ahead and open the file and edit the relevant lines to set the keyboard controls as you prefer. Please add support for Xbox controller analog sticks. [Bahamut Dragons] We haven’t looked into this yet, but we will add support for Xbox analog stick input. Please add a x2 zoom option for the game window. [Dascu] Depending on the system environment, the x2 zoom option included in the launcher may not work. We will fix this before the final release. Also, the NESiCAxLive version works at 1280×720 resolution and already has a x2 zoom option, so we’d like to apply this to PC version provided there are no serious compatibility issues. The entire lobby screen looks a bit off and “cheap”. [Dascu] The current lobby is bad because it was designed by a programmer, just to provide necessary functionality. Sorry about that. Our designer will redesign the lobby once he completes the higher priority in-game graphics. Please use Steam invites for online versus. [Dascu] We’ll get to work studying the Steam libraries! When you’re at super selection, please have the choices display super input as well as the names. [Pro Bono] Previous versions of Yatagarasu did show the inputs, but removed them from the Alpha release to free up the man hours required prepare the input graphics and minimize localization work. In our defense, SFIV uses text only in its super selection screen! Some characters’ normal moves feel weak and inconsistent and anti-air is difficult. [RunningWild] I can’t tell which characters you are referring to, but low priority moves are rarely a problem in Yatagarasu because parrying is such a big part of the game. Please try relying to make more use of parrying if you feel certain moves are underpowered. Counter damage is too high. [RunningWild] By ‘counter’, do you mean high jump counters? The damage is probably high relatively to other fighting games, but high jumps are unusually powerful in Yatagarasu, so frankly the high damage is to provide risk to offset that advantage. We could soften the trajectory of high jumps and reduce the counter damage too, but we feel comfortable with the current setting. How do you feel about the counter damage when also taking into account the advantages of high jumps? Please remove the ability to cross up in corners. [RunningWild] Yatagarasu is somewhat unique in that any character can cross up in corners, but we don’t feel that this particularly negatively impacts gameplay. Yatagarasu has parrying and so it’s easy to deal with situations where it’s difficult to judge left or right guardings. Please add a whiff animation for parrying. [RunningWild] We’ve received various suggestions about how to visually portray parrying. Mainly, the suggestions are to add more exaggerated, more easily visible parrying animations. We’re working on better ways to present this and will follow up when we arrive at a solution that we are happy with. Please improve the parrying sound effect. [JELIFISH] I’ll pass this feedback onto the person in charge of sound. Parrying is one of the finer points of the sound effects, so it may be difficult to revise. Please add an in-game moves list. [RunningWild] This really is a priority item and we’re terribly sorry that it’s not available yet. We want to add one, but it’s simply a matter of available man hours. Please assign a separate keyboard for P2 default keyboard settings. [Flotilla] Please see the answer to Q17 above. Please relocate the announcer quote boxes as they currently block the parry indicator lights. [FerrellJ] We’ve been planning to renew the UI layout including the HP bars for a while now and the Beta version onward will use a new layout and position, so all of this should soon completely change. Please provide complete and detailed changes lists. [dyshwomy?] Sorry that we haven’t been doing this! For previous releases, we did announce the changes and I’d like to officially announce the functionality changes at least, but there just hasn’t been time. That said, we deliberate limit the information we will release based on the following basic guidelines: ・We will release information about the game systems and functions ・We will not announce specifically what moves do, and especially not frame data Personally, I prefer not to release numerical data because it is too ‘heavy’. For example, if we announce that a move is n frames, for most people simply knowing that information takes precedence over actually trying and experiencing the feel of the move for themselves. We’d like players to appreciate using moves for themselves first and I think this is reasonable given the relatively small scale of Yatagarasu Attack on Cataclysm. I’m not saying that we will absolutely not release the information, but at least we won’t announce it at the same time as the release. Please incorporate in-game training tutorials (ala SFEX) for each character. [dyshwomy?] This would be great to have, but would be very labor intensive. Also, in Yatagarasu, how you play is more important than individual combos, so we don’t feel that this is a must-have… Please make information about the network functionality (O key, P key, etc.) readily available. [dyshwomy?] You’re absolutely right – we need to do this. Sorry that we haven’t officially released the basic information yet – we will do this in future. The dev team members have their hands full just with development work, so releasing information like this always ends up pushed to later… Use special move names in place of “Super Move 1” in the Training mode custom action settings. [dyshwomy?] Again, agreed. This is just a problem of applying time. We will make this change in future. Mix the tutorial and 1P mode into a “single player campaign”, as explained here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n_xG1Yg_QoM [dyshwomy?] We’d like to look into this when the main game (characters and system) are complete. We need to get the main game together, so please let us look into it after that. That’s it for this round of feedback. Overall, sorry about the number of come down to lack of resources for now. We do plan to make as many improvements as possible in future. In the meantime, please continue to post any feedback or impressions you may have on the thread and we will respond to as many as possible. Thank you! Shiza  

About the Author

4 comments

  1. Regarding the movelist and the combo training, I can, in my free time, try to compose a couple of lists explaining the moves and some “BnBs” and post them in the forum section here. Granted, it would be for the PC alpha, but it’s something.

    This really is a post production thing that we, the userbase, could be working on before-hand.

  2. I’ve been playing 4.3 like crazy but found out about the game after the crowdfunding campaign was over. Any chance that pre-ordering on Steam will give you a beta key?

Leave a Reply