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Zenless Zone Zero x Street Fighter Roundtable

3 min

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Zenless Zone Zero x Street Fighter Roundtable
Game creators share interesting design insight.

Zenless Zone Zero recently surprised the fighting game fans with an unexpected collaboration, in which the creators of the upcoming mobile game sat down with Street Fighter 6's dynamic duo, Nakayama and Matsumoto, to play and talk about their respective games.

The whole 35-minute talk is well worth a watch, and you can find it below, but to briefly cover what it was about we can point out the unified theme – player satisfaction.

Many of the different topics in this video ultimately converge on one deceptively simple question, how do you make players have fun? For Street Fighter 6 developers, the answer was to start from the basic building blocks. Simple moves that are easy to use for new players, but can provide a great sense of impact, Drive Impact, even.

All the Drive mechanics exist at the core of the game, but Impact and Parry occupy a special place. They are all deliberately easy to use, yet when they work, it's incredibly exciting. This is further helped by the dramatic slow-mo that we can see during the Drive Impact clashes.

Naturally, this was the whole reason for Modern Controls as well. What's more surprising is that this is not a new direction for the franchise. Nakayama explains that in the very first Street Fighter, special moves were secret techniques that were very difficult to pull off, but were extremely rewarding. As fun as that might sound, they thought it would be better to allow everyone to use these fun moves in the sequel, so the input was made a lot easier, and some special only required mashing the buttons.

We all know how well that went, but over time, motion inputs became a barrier as well, both for old players who might have trouble with a series of quick inputs, and beginners who are totally new to the world of fighting games.

These thorough considerations don't exist in a vacuum either. By stacking these approachable mechanics and new modes like World Tour and Battle Hub, Street Fighter developers were able to construct a curve that leads the players to the prize. Because while some people might think otherwise, developers still want you to experience the game at its peak, they want you to enjoy the full depth of this immaculate design that they created, and simplifications are meant to be stepping stones on your way there.

It's really fascinating how much needs to be considered for a fighting game to really work.

Keep in mind that this is not tied to any sort of in-game events or collaborations, not yet at least. This is simply a case of game developers coming together to talk about things that go behind the scenes for the benefit of players.

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