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Mike Z on Skullgirls: There are problems that fighting games currently have and I wanted to make something that really addressed the relevant ones

Posted by Steven 'Dreamking23' Chavez • January 9, 2013 at 9:48 a.m. PST
Mike Z on Skullgirls: There are problems that fighting games currently have and I wanted to make something that really addressed the relevant ones Michael "Mike Z" Zaimont, the creator of Skullgirls, was recently interviewed by Eighty Sixed in which he gave a bit of insight on the origins of the game and how he came to create it. Mike talks on how he started out as a developer for Pandemic Studios, how his motivation lied in addressing the problems found in modern fighting games and more.

Below is a bit to get you started.

What really motivated you to put this game together and do what you’re doing now?

It first started with playing video games, obviously. When I started playing fighting games, they kind of took over everything else I was playing because there was that extra layer of depth. After you learn the moves, then the meta-game starts to evolve.

When I was in college, I was doing computer science, so I started making a fighting game engine and I stuck to it because that was the thing I always wanted to make, because it appealed to me the most. I moved here and got a job with Pandemic and worked on a bunch of games that I am proud of being a part of. But the thing I enjoyed most was doing the melee combat still, like when I did the heroes for Battlefront 2. That was amazing because they had light sabers and that was totally different than blasters, which was mostly the rest of the game. So I kept working on my engine in my spare time because that’s what I really, really wanted to do.

The underpinning of my motivation is to do something right. I see that there are problems that fighting games currently have, I see the way that developers approach those problems, and I wanted to make something that really addressed the relevant problems in the genre.

Tip by an anonymous submitter.

Comments

Ihateweeaboos said on January 9, 2013 at 9:49 a.m.

55 second combo...

#1
Baller2765 said on January 9, 2013 at 9:51 a.m.

^ Lol so true and they seriously need to get the update to Xbox otherwise this game will have virtually no chance at revival

#2
Louiscipher said on January 9, 2013 at 9:56 a.m.

Mike, whoever else on the SkullGirls team who may be reading this: Just put out the PC version. I understand money problems and publishers being arseholes but if you guys get the game on Steam, and it's a good port, it will make money. Potentially more than on both consoles. The market is there. If the price is $15-20 it will sell, it could be a mega hit like Super Meat Boy on Steam. Ed Mcmillen and co. didn't make his money on XBLA, they got screwed. Meat Boy was a HUGE hit on Steam.

Please, just get a PC release going and give us an ETA.

#3
ruhulA said on January 9, 2013 at 9:59 a.m.

Battlefront 2 was awesome.

#4
dubgrass22 said on January 9, 2013 at 10 a.m.

is the update out for ps3 not that itll make muck of a diff.i only play this game casualy. if it had more characters maby but this games progress is slow

#5
NoizyChild said on January 9, 2013 at 10:04 a.m.

The only thing Skullgirls did right was its tutorial mode.

#6
CyberAthlete said on January 9, 2013 at 10:12 a.m.

@3 lol such wishful thinking...

#7
LK said on January 9, 2013 at 10:19 a.m.

@3

The PC crowd has never really been big on fighting games. It's not an opinion.

However, the best version of a fighting game tends to be on PC... oh the irony.

#8
Gailim said on January 9, 2013 at 10:27 a.m.

I was a bit confused as to why they didn't release the PC version first. It's free to update on PC and they could have patched out all of the rough spots much quicker and much more cheaply. and THEN taken that semi-"matured" version of the game to consoles.

the huge costs and extra hoops associated with patching on consoles are a huge part of why this game had so many problems.

KOF 13 did something a little similar. they had an arcade release a year earlier than the console release and used what they learned to make the console version much better. SG should have used a PC release in that manner.

#9
Oroku_Saki said on January 9, 2013 at 10:30 a.m.

@#8 LK:
The only reason the "PC crowd" isn't big on fighting games, is because the developers don't invest in them. I'm sure there are a number of people who learned how to play fighters with the keyboard, before they started using pads.
I remember having MK3 and a number of other fighters on PC. I played BlazBlue and a number of ArkSys games first on PC. Here's to hoping we get more AAA fighting games, I've got tons of doujin fighters and I'm hoping the SteamBox will increase the amount we get.

#10
HooliganComboFTW said on January 9, 2013 at 10:34 a.m.

Honestly wished this was a PC Fighter. Once it gets developed enough then it can be on XBL or PSN store

#11
EA575 said on January 9, 2013 at 10:47 a.m.

When this gets out on PC, I'll be all over it.

#12
bunny said on January 9, 2013 at 10:55 a.m.

that article was a waste of time...give me back my time!

#13
kanped said on January 9, 2013 at 10:56 a.m.

I'm in complete agreement about getting this on PC because it's a good game that, mechanically did everything right and even took a few risks that paid off great. The only fighting games on Steam, as far as I can tell, are SF4 and SFxT. IMO, both of these games are seriously mechanically flawed and I've liked them less and less since release. More and more people are playing games on PC now and the spec requirements for SG would be really, really low. My only issue is the limited roster; none of the characters 'click' with me but I would hope that the inevitable sales boost the PC version provides could be re-invested into additional content. The other issue is with the tournament scene regarding the size and price of a PC gaming rig vs a console but that is really starting to become a non-issue now, particularly with the Steam-Box concepts currently coming out at CES. It's still another thing to bring, I guess but maybe people would consider running more games on this platform, anyway.

#14
trufenix said on January 9, 2013 at 10:57 a.m.

@3,9, etc; PC Ports don't just happen, nor is it just automatically easier to release stuff on PC. SG launched on consoles cause thats where the market is and its stable. It was the best place to make the money they'd need to branch out.

Unfortunately, the rest of the cards came up real crappy for them. I hope they can turn it around though.

#15
Ihateweeaboos said on January 9, 2013 at 11:19 a.m.

@2 This is after the patch on PS3. I can only imagine how long it potentially could be before.

#16
illness690 said on January 9, 2013 at 11:24 a.m.

(This user was banned.)

#17
gammabolt17 said on January 9, 2013 at 11:26 a.m.

"I wanted to make something that really addressed the relevant problems in the genre."

Good job, fella.

#18
uguumachine said on January 9, 2013 at 11:36 a.m.

@3 "it will make money. Potentially more than on both consoles. The market is there. If the price is $15-20 it will sell, it could be a mega hit like Super Meat Boy on Steam."
hahahaha that's the funniest thing I have read all my life

#19
DuranDuran said on January 9, 2013 at 11:41 a.m.

@19 Super Meat Boy made more money on Steam even after the numerous Steam sales. Micro$oft screwed them over when it came to many ways including how the game was released and patching. Even though they sold a bit on XBLA, a lot of that money went to paying Micro$oft. There is a market on PC for fighting games, AE is played often and there's a strong community for it on PC.

#20
Him said on January 9, 2013 at 11:57 a.m.

Question is; How many PC gamers were waiting for this to happen?

#21
FullAnime said on January 9, 2013 at 12:08 p.m.

Big words, still no update for 360 users, im addressing the relevant problem with skullgirls. Sorry. It was too good to pass up.

#22
godfist314 said on January 9, 2013 at 12:11 p.m.

PC Crowd isn't big on fighting games? Apparently many people haven't been on GGPO recently. The ST room alone had almost 120 players on it at one point. It couldn't be easier to just start up ggpo, connect and join a match in like 15 seconds.

Supercade is also awesome because you dont even need to be on the server to spectate games. Their website has hundreds of replays you can watch right now if you have the correct roms. You don't have to wait for game x on console y to get an update with replays.

Granted these are all classic fighting games but its still awesome.

#23
houtori said on January 9, 2013 at 12:17 p.m.

I really like what Mike did with skullgirls, Honestly I would have bought the game if there was just one male character. the idea of an all female cast will NEVER be appealing to me. Not once in the series does a guy show up and say "I'm gonna help that girl get that skull thing or whatever, i mean hell.. I just wanna fight!" the game design was awesome, the art style was amazing, the finished product left far too much to be desired for me tho.

#24
CyberAthlete said on January 9, 2013 at 12:20 p.m.

All you idiots talking about people play this game or that game on pc so there must be a market because the people that play ST on ggpo (which is free) or SF4:AE on pc will SURELY buy Skullgirls as well need to start living in the real world.

#25
Kawalorn said on January 9, 2013 at 12:52 p.m.

#1 You mean this combo? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hCvo50... :P

Just cause one person really dedicated to them can do them for so long that doesn't mean it's a normal thing in every match.

I really don't like how Microsoft is screwing with this and most of other indie games...

#26
Murdurus said on January 9, 2013 at 2:04 p.m.

#25: So what you're saying is that PC players are too cheap to pay for a game? Despite what you console-elitists want to believe, I don't have a console because I don't want to shell out 100-200 bucks for a gaming console only to play fighting games and have to worry about playing it for too long then have the console die after playing 6 months on it *coughredringcough*

The only reason why I wouldn't get it is if there are major problems with the game which as far as I can tell, there is none. I'm still (sort of) waiting for this game to come out for PC. However, after being told that it was going to be released some time in the summer of 2012 and never having heard anything substantial about it until recently when they addressed the PC release, I feel a bit disappointed in their ability to keep their potential consumers up to date.

#27
CyberAthlete said on January 9, 2013 at 2:10 p.m.

@27 what I'm saying is that just because people play ST (a game thats been out forever) or Sf:AE (a CAPCOM game) does not mean they will buy and play skullgirls. Releasing it on PC will be nothing but a waste of money, sorry.

#28
LK said on January 9, 2013 at 2:28 p.m.

@28

I agree with you. Although the chance of it being released on PC is slim to none at this point.

#29
Kawalorn said on January 9, 2013 at 2:28 p.m.

#28 The fact that non-high-budget games mostly do better on PC's seems to be saying something quite opposite. Besides SSFIV:AE might be a Capcom game but it and SFxT are also the ONLY well known fighting games on PC so in this case it really doesn't mean anything. This also means that PC isn't as saturated with fighting games like consoles are, so it gives Skullgirls a better start overall.

#29 Slim to none? Last I checked it was simply delayed but still worked on and LabZero even said we might get some info about it this month.

#30
godfist314 said on January 9, 2013 at 2:34 p.m.

I don't know whether anyone will buy Skullgirls on PC. I guess I'm just going off topic. I guess I'm saying I see potential for fighting games to succeed in the future if you can get people to play them on said platform, paid or not.

#31
HooliganComboFTW said on January 9, 2013 at 4:32 p.m.

#28

You must not know anything about the infamous impulse buys on Steam. Especially IF this game drops around a Holiday sale. Considering this game was not Big Budget to begin with and not having to deal with the hassle of jumping through flaming hoops dealing with Console Updates. The lack of fighters on PC as is would be refreshing ESPECIALLY since its Indy where there are people who love all things indy

#32
MaverickHunterX said on January 9, 2013 at 6:13 p.m.

Some of us PC gamers are already sick and tired of the rampant influx of shooters, MMORPGs, and strategy games. Fighting games will be a welcome addition to the PC games library. It helps that it doesn't force us to do repetitive grinding stuff everyday.

#33
Murdurus said on January 9, 2013 at 7:15 p.m.

#28: It's true that those are Capcom games but if you look at sales for SFxT, they are pretty terrible because it's not being patched and online play is horrid. To say that people are buying fighting games simply because of the company name is a fallacy. There are plenty of people buying games from companies/developers they haven't heard of because the quality of the game isn't based on the name.

#34
Smorgasboard said on January 9, 2013 at 9:41 p.m.

"One of the things I am happiest about is that my IPS (infinite prevention system) does what it is supposed to do. I am happy that the experimental stuff we did worked out and the IPS did what it actually what I wanted it to do."

And then he nerfed it in half.

#35
Shinobi_Moogle said on January 9, 2013 at 9:46 p.m.

I would buy this game on PC even though I have it on PS3, I just want to support. I'd prolly buy it on 360 too if I had drive space.

#36
Amerika said on January 14, 2013 at 8:53 a.m.

If he'd make a game that wasn't some odd anime-meets-40's fetish art style game featuring a small and all female cast with slow paced music I'd probably buy it. Mechanically Skullgirls is not a bad game at all. Stylistically it fails. It fails to capture the MvC2 or 3 flash while also still being great to play.

The netcode is great. The feel of it was good. Now just make a game that has more bad ass characters and you'll have something good.

I do agree it should have came out on PC first. Putting it out now wouldn't do much for SG so I doubt it will happen.

#37


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