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smash basketball retrospective

the game

you're two stick guys fighting for control of a ball and have to dunk it in the other one's net. you can pick up the ball (and while you have it, you cant attack), and then release it as a throw or drop to put it in the other basket

but! your opponent has to stop you. you have a full set of smash-style up/down/forward aerial and ground attacks, and a punchy parry system, which stuns the opponent for a second if you time it right. if you beat the other stick guy up enough to deplete their stamina, they're stunned on the ground for i think around 4 seconds

that's it! that's the game so far. the ideal scenario would be a first-to-5-points type deal!


this game was so pleasant to make, no snags at all! just knuckled down for a few afternoons and re-used some old stuff. happy to do this several times over to refine the idea

this was my first game where i absolutely swore off making any art for it at all until it's a complete game. i want there to be as little resistance as possible if i have to completely re-work the game at a fundamental level and throw out all the art assets


i played this with my friend (rei!) and it was hilarious, and the netcode feels AMAZING, she's in florida and im in the uk and it felt like there was no delay at all, even dashdancing didn't produce any typical rollback artifacts. im quite proud of it! the game itself needs a lot of work, but im happy! a successful alpha!!


1. the taunt was the best part of the whole game lmfao

  1. rei felt that when you get stunned, it lasts for way too long. you can score up to twice during that stun if you're quick enough!

  2. i felt the actual combat wasn't good, we just ran into each other spamming the attack button and any direction, since all attacks have a too-similar function my main thought is that a ton of these attacks are redundant - this isn't a game about combos or anything, it's primarily about movement, zoning, etc.

new proposal:

a game with a bigger focus on movement options and zoning and less on intricate attack options

  1. twin-stick-shooter style ball throwing, where you can define the exact angle and power to throw at - which introduces a lot more skill and expression when hitting dunks (off the wall?! from THAT distance!? risky vs safe options etc)

  2. you can launch the ball at the opponent to knock them away

  3. but!! parrying a ball throw gives you control of the ball, so bait appropriately

  4. only one physical attack - a slash? punch? kick? knocks the opponent back. this one attack can change per character

  5. one special ability per character, which will lean into this "movement vs zoning" idea - like maybe a grapple hook, or fire-breathing which causes a hazardous area


i'll make a sketch for this another day but after having made and played this alpha, this idea seems like the right way to go, and seems way more fun. though, im getting much further away from a dream "fighting game" and more leaning into a quick 2-or-3-rounds party game im not sure how well that fits my vision of what i wanted to make or how confident i'd be releasing it, but i think it's an easy, fun thing to release as my first project

though when it comes to network programming and making a game that is a little more complicated and exact than just scripting, Lua as a language is missing a lot.. I'd really like to have strong types and easier debugging. i might pull out all the networking logic into its own shared .dll and make two-way lua bindings for it, which might make things a LOT cleaner! it'd be a good amount of work, but definitely worth it if i'm going to make more networked games in future

ive been working through ideas for this and i currently can't think of any permutation that isn't just Lethal League. i'll keep the networking code, but i think this idea needs a total re-do!

0 cools!!
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