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How MUGEN community builds the ultimate fighting game



Screenshot from video game MUGEN.
Enlarge / Admit it, you’ve always wondered if Goku can beat Ronald McDonald in a fight.

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The question, “Who will win a war?” has been at the root of many heated debates throughout popular culture̵

7;s history. The concept of piecing together characters from different attributes and media is interesting to discuss. And when it comes to letting fans make these debates, there are very few stores that are better than fighting games.

Even in a genre known for character matching interfaces, there’s a two-decade game that dominates when it comes to piecing together multiple characters. That program is MUGEN, derived from the Japanese word for “infinite”, is the proper name for a program that offers almost limitless potential for players to create new games and fighting characters.

MUGEN began just before the turn of the century as a scrolling PC-based shooter created by a small company called Elecbyte. The team was initially experimenting with creating an engine to handle the rigors of a so-called shmup game but found it wasn’t working as it had hoped to create. Inspired by Korean PC Street fighter 2 hack is called SFIBMElecbyte decided to switch from shooters to 2D fighting games.

The first public beta release of MS-DOS MUGEN released on July 27, 1999. This initial release differs from most fighting games, however, by offering a single “official” character, Kung Fu Man, and a single stage. Best. Everything else, from additional characters to even title screen art, will have to be made available by the user himself, usually through files shared across the Internet community. For the first time, fans of fighting games are not only allowed but also hope to create their own fighters and matches.

Build community build games

Though you don’t need any programming knowledge to create it MUGEN This process can still be time-consuming, especially if you’re creating your custom artwork. Over the years, the software created fighters like 2005 Fighter factory appeared to help facilitate this process. These third-party programs allow creators to import their own hand-drawn drawings or images from existing model-based games (making good use of the various drawing pages that are rampant on the Internet right away from the late 90s). With art in hand, Fighter factory allows users to fine-tune the values, arrange the shapes for animations and make things normal before exporting the created files for complete animation MUGEN figure.

Players have also tasked themselves with MUGEN’s core gameplay and logic. In the early years, AI gave MUGENComputer-controlled opponents are quite simple, like a novice player just randomly buttons different commands without any consistent strategy. In the decades since the game’s launch, the community has been digging deeper into the program’s potential, programming more powerful and complex behaviors for AI, and leading to exciting and challenging matches. much more with computers.

As MUGEN becoming more stable and as word of mouth spreads, communities continue to expand around the game, bringing creators and players together on the Internet. Many programmers and artists interested in the game gathered at The Mugen Fighters Guild, a forum that continues to this day.

Create professional and slick level fighters in MUGEN It takes a lot of effort and time, and these communities have proven to be the tools to support these projects. Hyper Dragonball Z is an exceptionally polished example of one MUGEN The project, packed with professionally made custom scenes and stages, helps to faithfully record the show’s characters and fights. What started off as an April Fools Day joke from the three creators is now on the fifth edition with up to 20 characters and tons of custom codes.

Iced, one of the creators Hyper DBZ and an administrator at MugenGuild, saying “games like HDBZ and Black Heart (another popular MUGEN fan project) push the limits of the engine itself … At the same time, you can download the original kid’s character made in MSPaint that it took two days to create. And that’s very important too, since the kid created a random MSPaint character that could enjoy pixel art and continue working on it, maybe one day creating his own full game. me. “

At this time, MUGEN Creators spend a lot of time fighting old technology, troubleshooting and coding their way to avoid the limitations of an old tool no longer getting official updates. For example, one HDBZ’s The standout features, the lavish ending cut scenes, were not originally intended to be part of MUGEN.

“Broken and warped”

“We broke and bent the throw system to make it happen, altering the kit originally designed to encode short throws so they do things like Goku does his genkidama move. or Frieza summons his army to defeat the opponent before throwing a giant orb of death. and erase them, “he said. “Those types of coding moves are quite complicated, and sometimes we break them or unexpected errors, so they did a lot of work … We ran into a lot of problems to make sure characters The other cannot get rid of these things. “

Felipe Xavier de Freitas (aka FXFreitas), lead artist in fan project Mega Man X: Fighting arena, explained the difficulty of the construction MUGEN character can be. “Most complicated [aspect] In my opinion almost everything in the game has to be made from scratch, he said. “The source game is a 2D shooting platform game, so we have to convert everything to a fighting game style, create custom models, find good references, or even create Our own gameplay for some characters and solves the tool’s limitations. “

Even using characters from existing games sometimes doesn’t save a lot of work, Xavier said. Mega Man X4 Iris characters, for example, have a limited number of “official” sprite taken from the original game. To fill in animations for a character’s unique move and attack set in a standard fighting game, a project artist must create additional models from scratch.

Ensuring that these new pieces match the art style of the original drawings and can smoothly transition into and out of existing artworks is not a simple process. Even with a character like Zero who has a lot of official characters, MUGEN Creative people are still interested in making completely new moves and making their project unique.


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