Friday, August 22, 2008

Boot Camp - Basic Training!

~ Let me see your War Face! ~ (< Click it!)

As with most things in life, I think it is important to learn 'the fundamentals.' Before we start looking into how Sim wins many of his match ups, I think we need to understand more about Sim himself. Time for some basic training (click above).

For the most part, many of us see Street Fighter like this:

There is nothing exciting here: many people will just see Sim standing in the corner of Chun Li's stage. But if you think about it.... What is really here? If you can humor me, try to think of the game from a computer programmer's point of view. How would you have to program a 2D fighting game.

Street Fighter is just simply a game about moving geometric shapes across a 2D-Playing Field. (Check Out Sirlin's ST tutorial video off of Capcom's Collection 2 PS2 Game)

The programmer and even the ST game engine itself sees Sim's geometric representation look very similar to this:

Even further:

They see no graphics, no images, or backgrounds, but in simple polygonal shapes. To them this yellow box is Sim. It is very important to try and see the game this way. If you don't, the next few sections might not make much sense.

Here's another example of the above concept here.

In this image we see Sim executing his standing jab. The image is broken down into 2 components: a blue box and a red box. The blue box is Sim's damage sprite and the red box is his attacking sprite. If an opponent's red box ever overlaps Sim's blue box, the game considers the overlap a 'hit' and Sim takes damage. Conversely, if Sim crosses his opponent's blue box with his red box they are consider 'hit' and take damage.

So what does this mean to us, right now? Take another look at the above photo. Sim's jab has excellent priority. Where the priority of an attack would be defined as the percentage of Red Box overlapped or intersected by Blue Box. The lower the percentage of overlap the better the priority. In other words, priority is the ability to deal damage with out receiving damage. Think of a Shoryuken, it has the ability to deal damage without taking ANY damage. It offers the best priory non-super combo attack in the game. In our image of Sim, his standing jab extends far out side his damage sprite which allows him to hit the opponents while keeping is own body safe.

I like to think of it as a electric protective fence. If the opponents tries to cross the barrier they'll get hurt while the item inside is still protected.

~Electric Fence~

OK... So I am sure many of you all ready knew all this, and I hope many of you clicked the on the "Beer" image above... LOL

But honesty, I bet a few of you are thinking, "Hit boxes? Damage boxes? This is kindergarten stuff." Very simple and very boring. Or is it? Let's have a look here:

Above you have all of Sim's high priority jabs. Crouching Jab (1), Standing Jab (2), and BOTH hit sprites for the Back + Jab (3). The black out line is the damage sprite on the (1), the green out line is the damage sprite on (2), the blue out line is the damage sprite on (3), and the yellow out line the the damage sprite as seen above from the neutral standing posture.

If I have done my job in explaining priority so far, you'll see just how great these variations of jab are. They cover the entire top and front half of his body while protecting much of his damage sprite. They create a variable wall/ dome of defense. Learning to use Sim's Jab's is very important in many of his match ups. Knowing where and how to use these three moves will help you beat nearly all of the jumps-in the game, not to mention the amount of things you can do with the crouching jab (a post for another time).

Now don't get me wrong, there are many other attacks Sim needs to use to complete his game, and I promise will get to all those in time. However, the Jab attack and all of it high priority variations cannot be over looked.

Sim does not have a easy "go to" counter attack when he has to defend himself. He has no shoryuken type, flash kick type, or any other invincible attack (other than super combo), to throw into the "fray" when playing. Every move has to be strategically placed before it is even executed.

Learn those jabs, try to find the places to use them. Lean how they move the character's sprite forward, down, back, out, and up from the neutral position. Look at how the jabs protect Sim body at different angles. Try to see where your opponent is attacking from and think about which box shown above would best counter hit their attack. In the coming posts I will be referring back to the image above, so it is best to spend on time on them now.

Thanks for reading!


Fasces said...

Exactly what I've been missing in my life. I just hope you update more often than nohoho ;) Big up!

nohoho said...

I just hope you update more often than nohoho

Haha what the eff?!

fatboy - Great post, man!

Times magazine had an article about namaste this week made me think of your new blog.