Tuesday, October 27, 2009

We Have Moved to the hadoken network

We Have Moved!

After serving the community for 2 years with hot SF news, the sf blog will soon be no more. But fear not the Sf blog has evolved to something much more!!! the SF blog is now becoming:

What to expect from ?

In addition of bringing you the latest of SF news, will shortly be providing you with the following:

  • forums where you can discuss everything sf related with your fellow hadokeners
  • an ongoing SF1 manga written by me and drawn by the very talented fire.tisane
  • coverage of the sf related events and tournaments
  • reviews of everything sf (mangas, anime, comics, etc)
See you all on the hadoken network.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Nakky's blog post for 23/10/09

Big thanx to Jigsaw for another awesome translation!!!

Voice cast announcements & more Character Select!

Hello everyone!
Aah, the most exciting part of development on SSF4 is approaching fast, and the office is becoming a whirlwind of activity. I've mentioned this numerous times on the SF4 blog as well, but we've got staff doing their very best to make this a fantastic game. Moreover, in order for them to keep peace of mind and be able to work well, there are staff members supporting them from behind the scenes. All these people are the pride and joy that make the game. Development goes on!

Now, the last blog entry where I showed those Character Select illustration was surprisingly popular. I'm so happy! And to all you people who voiced your opinions on Dee Jay's portraits, thank you so much!

... The Character Select screen is literally taking shape as we speak. Actually, you might think we were making a decision between those two choices, but it seems our lead designer Gauge has really embraced everyone's comments, and provided a new and improved version!! (H-hey!)
Here it is!!

...well, I guess you might not be able to tell by just a glance...

Here are the two versions from last time. It looks pretty much the same, but he really went and redrew it?

Ah, well, it looks great, so I'm not mad. I guess complaining would be pointless.

Well, while we're at it, let's take a look at the creation process for the core character Ryu's Character Select portrait.

First, the screenshot is retouched.

Pretty much everything except his dougi is totally redrawn!

Breathe some life into him, and it's perfect!

With a little help of SF4's Art Directer, Ikeno, you can see the determination in his eyes, and the fighting spirit in his fists - and with that Ryu is born.

One more thing!
The Characters page at the official site will not just display the new characters, but little by little all 25 returning characters will be added! Also, although they only show pictures and character profiles right now, we're arranging some sample voice clips as well, so stay tuned!

By the way... the voice samples are still a ways off, but aren't you curious about who's playing Dee Jay, Hawk and Juri?
You want to know, right!?
Yeah, you want to know!!
...Right, so here's the cast!

Dee Jay: Kenji Hamada
T. Hawk: Tôru Nara
Juri: Eri Kitamura

They already did a little talking in the New Characters trailer, so I think maybe some of you already recognized the voices!

You might know Eri Kitamura as Yatterman-1 in Tatsunoko Vs. Capcom.
As Yatterman-1, you'd hear the energetic young hero say things like...
"I'm counting on you, Yatter-Wan!" 「頼むぞ、ヤッターワン!」
"The origin of Mecha!" 「メカの素だ!」
"He he, how about that!" 「へへっ、どんなもんだい!」

But as Juri...
"I'll sting you! Down to the bone!" 「食ってやるよ! 骨までなぁ!」
"Hey there... I'll kill you!" 「そ~ら・・・殺しちゃうよ!」
"Oh you're worthless, I can't feel a thing" 「おまえじゃぁぜんぜんダメ、感じない」

That's scary... real scary! It's like a completely different Kitamura!

She has plenty of other quotes that are exciting in every sense of the word, so that's something to look forward to!!

OK, so today I've talked a lot about the Character Select illustrations as well as announced the new additions to the voice cast!

Hey, next friday is Dee Jay's birthday! Hm, I guess I was a little early in presenting his Character Select portrait... On a related note, next Thursday is El Fuerte's birthday. And with that, I bid you farewell until next week.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Watch The Capcom fight Club live via Ustream

Today is the Capcom fight club day, where Super Street Fighter IV will be playable for the first time. Capcom was awesomely nice to broadcast the full event including the preparations live on Ustream, check it out:

Capcom still hasn't decided on an Arcade version of Super Street Fighter IV

Kotaku has just posted an interesting tibdit saying that they have been told from Capcom that no decision has been made yet as wether to bring SSF4 to arcdes or not, however if they decide to do so it should a very easy process.

From Kotaku: "Capcom's Seth Killian said that if Super Street Fighter IV was released to arcades, an arcade machine could be updated by simply installing new software and changing the cabinet's art work. "

I for one would like an arcade port just for the sake of the scene.

Source: Kotaku

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Street Fighter IV to have its own PSN Home space starting tomorrow

The Official sony playstaion blog has revealed today that a dedicated Street Fighter IV home spave will launch tomorrow as well as 25 SF themed home outfits.

From the announcement: " That’s right – Tekken 6 and Street Fighter IV are getting their own dedicated game spaces. These game spaces come loaded with Tekken 6 and Street Fighter IV-related content and will serve as the perfect hubs for all of you bare-knuckled brawlers andPlayStation 3 pugilists that are looking for areas to organize game launching tournaments (or just looking for a new opponent to quickly pummel). To top it all off, 25 Street Fighter IV alternate costumes will also be released tomorrow, so head to the Mall to guile up and then get to swinging. "

I guess i have a new reason to check Psn home again.

source: Sony PS Blog

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Developpers blog post #3: T-hawk and Deejay

Jigsaw is at it again, with an awesome translation to today's ssf4 dev blog post this guy is surely awesome:

Developer Blog no.3

*T. Hawk and Dee Jay

-Feelings when their inclusion was decided (continued)

When we were making the console version, our schedule limited us to including only 6 new characters. We were having talks about who we should include, and Mr. Ono said "Why don't we listen to our fans at events like Comicon, and base our decision on that?". Since the game was in many ways a new version of Street Fighter II, of course it made sense to include characters from the original SF2, but we were also determined to listen to the opinions of our fans. Based on the results from various questionnaires and such, Cammy and Fei Long made the cut, but these two guys didn't (laughs).

-You're being quite frank...

Yeah, unfortunately they just didn't seem all that popular. But they were still always on our list of characters that we wanted to include in the game. We always felt like, "OK, we'll include them if we can", and even created the basic framework for the two, but eventually we had to create the more popular characters, so in the end they didn't make it.

As a result, we couldn't really call it a complete reunion.

-So the development staff are all feeling "finally!", now, huh?

Yeah, we must've made those two guys feel awfully lonely, so it's nice to finally be able to invite them this time.

*Regarding T. Hawk

-First of all, tell us a little about T. Hawk

Well, T. Hawk's image has always been that he's simply strong and proud of it. From the start he was neither a technical fighter nor an expert martial artist, and he will still be the type of character who overcomes all obstacles with brute strength. "He's huge!", "he's tough!", "he's strong!", you know, that sort of feeling.

He was the largest character in the SF2 series, and as a big guy he will still rely on strength more than cunning.

-Simply put, he's strong

Naturally, if that's all there is to him, he wouldn't be much fun, so he will still have the same mid-air moves that he had in Super SF2. A huge guy assaulting you with sudden attacks, that's what T. Hawk is all about.

He's big, but he moves fast.

Well, he's big and he occasionally moves fast. He's not really a quick character per se. Basically, he's a big character, so the opponent are always under pressure. But as they're trying to keep away from him, T. Hawk will suddenly swoop down on the opponent and throw them. That sudden shift of speed is important too.

-When implementing T. Hawk in the game, were there any particular difficulties?

Actually, the biggest problem we had was that all the characters might not be able to even jump over him. T. Hawk is really tall!

The trajectory of the jumps are different for all characters, you know. The shorter characters were critical.

Ah, well, it did turn out fine in the end, but just barely. The dev team were pretty horrified at first though. "He's too big!"

-So at that time, you didn't consider changing T. Hawk's size to make him fit in the game better?

Not really. T. Hawk's size is essential to the character, so that was never really even discussed. T. Hawk should be huge. Bigger than Zangief, even. That's his defining characteristic. His size makes him an easier target, but I think that's fine. Well, you should always try not to get hit, of course (laughs). But in T. Hawk's case, he can take a hit and still be fine, because he can still retaliate in a big way. It's important to have that link between appearance and gameplay, so that's why we didn't even think of changing things.

-What can you tell us about his animations?

Actually, T. Hawk was my main character, back in the ST days. His animations are a bit peculiar, and I always thought the way he holds his thumbs in the palm of his hand in his neutral stance was really cute. It looks like something a baby would do.

-So you liked that enough to make him your main character? (laughs)

No, well, I liked it, but that wasn't the only thing I liked about him. (laughs) I would really love to ask the original developers this, because I really don't know if this was their intention, but when I look at T. Hawk, a lot of his moves remind me of a baseball umpire. His crouching MP looks like a "safe" gesture, and his crouching HP looks like "out". Even now his movements kinda make me laugh. He was a cool looking character who did all those ridiculous poses with a completely straight face. If I could land his "safe", his Super Combo was pretty much guaranteed, so I would often jump in and try to hit with the "safe".

Sounds like a "safe" tactic. (laughs)

Whenever it worked, the opponent would be "out". (laughs) Anyway, those types of poses are definitely unique to T. Hawk. So this time, we're doing our best to preserve that same uniqueness that he had back then. The "safe" is still in.

"Out" too.

"Out" as well, yeah. In any event, this goofy awesomeness is T. Hawk's trademark, so we won't tamper with it. The designers are hard at work creating moves and motions for T. Hawk that will fit in with the world of SF4, but needless to say it's all based on memories of that golden era, and the most important thing is to maintain that feeling. Well, this goes for all the characters, really.

-What about presentation? It seems his eagle is back as well

Animating animals is a completely different beast from dealing with humans, because their movement has to be really perfect, or else it will look really bad. So when we decided to put the eagle in the game, the animation designers sighed heavily. They were like "Aah, we're doing this after all, huh... well, guess we need to get to work".

There were times when we'd raise the tension, going "Eagle! Eagle!", but the designers know that a lot of expected from them, and it seems like they were well prepared.

Well, I guess there's a limit to how much you can make. Personally, I'd love to see more animals, but of course, the eagle is the most important. It's really part of T. Hawk's character.

-What's the current status of T. Hawk's development?

T. Hawk has a clearly defined concept of "dynamic movement", so there was no need to reinvent the wheel, and new moves such as the Focus Attack will feel natural as well. In Street Fighter IV, the screen feels a little more cramped than in the old games. Actually, there are times when the camera will pull back slightly, so in reality it's not that cramped, but the default camera view is kind of zoomed-in to show the characters better. With a guy as big as T. Hawk, this becomes kind of a double-edged sword. His attacks are far-reaching, but it's easy for him to get hit as well, and that balance is something we're paying a lot of attention to. Visually, he's coming along just fine.

-"Reinventing the wheel", are you referring to the balance of new and old moves?

Right. For example, we've changed his Condor Spire to the point where you could call it a new move, but many of T. Hawk's moves imitates the movement of birds, and that's something we're careful to maintain.

*Regarding Dee Jay

-Next, tell us about Dee Jay

Dee Jay is an all-round character, but in a different way from Ryu or Ken. He's got a projectile, anti-air, rush attack, a button mash move... He's got a sliding kick too. Dee Jay has been established as a character who's got all bases covered with a balanced mix of special moves, but being a charge character he's a little tricky. But more than that, we want him to be a refreshing mix of light-hearted and technical, and just a rhythmical, fun to play character.

-So he's the exact opposite of T. Hawk, then

Yes. He's kind of hit and run, finding a rhythm to your land attacks. For example, finding a flow like "I'll do a jump in HK and crouching MK, if that connects I'll do a hadouken", it's fun to come up with those kinds of attack patterns with Dee Jay, so I hope people will enjoy that.

-If you were to compare Dee Jay to any of the current characters, who would it be?

Speaking in terms of other characters, I'd call him an "offensive Guile". They both have similar charge moves, but while Guile is the type of character who waits for his opponent to mess up before he attacks, Dee Jay is more likely to annoy his opponent and goad him into making mistakes through a constant barrage of attacks.

And he wants to finish it off with a big move. So he has to stay on his opponent, the second he lets go, he's done for.

Yeah, it's like the joystick will be in motion constantly. Talking about characters like Guile and Dee Jay, you could say there are characters who want the opponent to jump in, versus characters who want to jump in.

Guile definitely wants the opponent to jump in at him.

And Dee Jay wants to jump in himself. He's got good moves against jumping too, though, his sliding kick is a great anti-air and even lets him move forward while keeping his charge. Dee Jay is synonymous with that sliding kick, and of course it will be as strong as ever this time too.

-Sounds like he'll be a tough opponent for some characters, huh

From the opponent's point of view, Dee Jay's onslaught might feel unstoppable. But in reality, if you know what you are doing, you'll be able to stop him. When playing against Dee Jay, you don't want him to get too close. In other words, you have to keep him at bay, somehow. It's important to take charge and not get stuck in your opponent's rhythm.

-By the way, you can't talk about Dee Jay without mentioning that huge smile of his

Dee Jay is really showing a lot of expression this time. It's difficult to make a character like him look serious, but he has plenty of different facial expressions. The designers went through both pain and joy creating them, so I hope you'll enjoy seeing Dee Jay make a variety of different faces. The 3D graphics give room for a lot more expressiveness in his movement too, so the designers are doing their best to create a lot of flashy dance moves and such for him.

-Dee Jay was an interesting character to look at even back in SSF2, wasn't he?

Putting the gameplay aside and speaking from a strictly aesthetic point of view, Dee Jay represented some of the best pixel art in SSF2. He was pretty much the pinnacle of pixel art at that time.

The first time I saw SSF2, I was pretty surprised. "Oh, I get it! MAXIMUM!". (laughs) "It reads no matter which side he's on!" I thought it was brilliant. Back then, you were constrained to symmetrical designs, since you had to be able to mirror the sprites. So having a 'B' or something on a character's back was no good, because it would look strange when mirrored. Seeing the word MAXIMUM along his long legs must've brought a great sense of accomplishment. It's a cool sounding word, and the idea worked great.

-Well then, please tell us about any troubles you had implementing Dee Jay

Well, we mentioned before that he's kind of an "offensive Guile", but simply making him like that makes him a little too strong. He has so many tools, and he's so fun to play, so the difficult part was to think about the balance with other characters, without getting rid of what makes him fun in the first place. You might remember Dee Jay being a powerful character, and I think the most important thing is to tweak him without him losing that aspect. Simply making someone weak isn't difficult.

-How are you feeling about the characters right now?

Well, there's still a lot of fine tuning to be made, but they seem to be shaping up to be capable characters, so that's good. We've been thinking about both Dee Jay and T. Hawk ever since we had to leave them out of the last game, so I feel we've had time for a lot of preparation. So I'd say it feels pretty good.

*For the fans

-A message to all the fans of T. Hawk and Dee Jay, please

These two are definitely minor characters. And for just that reason, I really hope that everyone who thought "I'm not surprised they didn't make it" will give these characters a try. When I use them now, I think both of them are more fun than ever. To all of you who mained one of these characters like I did back in the day, and to all of you who have waited so long, I just want to say "finally they're back"! I hope you'll enjoy the return of your favourite character. I know I am!

We're not out to disappoint anyone, but we're finally brining these characters back, while spicing them up with what makes SF4 special. We're mixing things up a little, in a good way; creating new, fun takes on these two characters. I really want you to check out these guys' new flashy Ultra Combos for yourselves, and I hope you'll be happy with how the two turn out, so please look forward to playing them!

Special Thanx to Jigsaw from SRK forums.