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> Tone Control, an open invitation to the developers
post Sep 5 2015, 07:27 PM
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Team ACE,

When Abyss Odyssey came out, I jumped on that as quick as I did with any of your other releases. I've been a huge and loyal fan since Zeno Clash. Your games are unlike anything I've ever played, and while I know you draw inspirations from other mediums, none of those are interactive.

I came to this board shortly after the game came out (I forget the user name and email I used) and asked why the game was so short, and what the plans were for the future. I almost immediately got an answer, and I cannot tell you how comforting it is to talk directly to a developer about their game, and get feed back; so thank you.

Now for the meat of this thread...

My best friend just doesn't like the game. He isn't one to admire a game purely based on its art direction, story, or audio, he is almost always trying to find that "feel" that makes a game like Super Mario Brothers so great. Now, considering I've been playing the game on and off for a year, I can see where his concerns come from, but do not agree with him when he says it feels "stilted and clunky" because this is very much a game of committing to what you do, and knowing when/how to commit.

Now unlike the many "arguments" we've had over a game and if it is good or bad, this is one game that I am genuinely interested in figuring out why he doesn't like it, and refuse to let it go. So my question to you Team ACE is this, do you feel like the controls of the game are "stilted" and "clunky", if not, can you see how one may come to that conclusion?

Also, if interested, would any of you like to conference call on Skype to discuss this as well? While this isn't some shameless plug, I have been wanting to do some type of journalistic en devour about video games, and my favorite developer (you guys) would be the perfect christening.

Thanks for everything.


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Andres Bordeu
post Sep 7 2015, 09:15 AM
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Hi there. I think the perception of controls in this game comes down to two factors: your personal expectations and your willingness to invest time in developing skill in the combat engine.

I think many people that got into Abyss without knowing much about it might have thought this was another Castlevania type game, which generally has very basic moves which have instant feedback. Since Abyss is based around a fighting game the basic functions like attacking had to take into account things like move strength, speed and vulnerability. If we made any particular attack 'perfect' (with no weaknesses) then we'd break that character's balance. Everything I just mentioned is pertinent to a fighting game. But if this was a simple action platformer, the character would not be designed with these considerations in mind. So I can understand that for people that were expecting a regular action/platformer, not getting involved with the fighting basics behind the game can lead them to think the controls are awkward.

Still, I don't want to convey the idea that the system is perfect and it couldn't be improved in any way. Even though the title is built around fighting game principles, (mainly Super Smash Bros and little SF), there's always areas of improvement that could have given the characters a more fluid feel. Please take into account that we had the added difficulty of developing a full roster when creating the enemies, since these had to be as complex as the players, (unlike your typical platformer where the 90% of your enemies are basic units that have one or two functions). However, if we had invested more time polishing the combat mechanics I'm still pretty sure there'd be people who would still find it clunky, again, due to expectations.

Regarding the second thing I mentioned; willingness to develop skill in the combat engine; I think this also plays a key role in how much you will enjoy the game. Abyss Odyssey, like any fighting game, truly shines when it's played with a certain understanding of the mechanics that lie in the design. And people who learn those mechanics will get much more out of the experience than people who superficially gaze through them.

If you look at an experienced player versus a newbie the difference can be night versus day. Have you seen the following video?:

(I always use this example tongue.gif)

You can tell this guy had a blast with the combat mechanics. He developed moves/combos that go beyond what we thought were possible. He's actually better than any player here at the studio. And I think that's only possible when you have a super robust gameplay engine.

So again, it mostly comes down to expectations. I understand that this has been a very polarizing game, but we're very happy that there are a lot of people who have appreciated our unorthodox approach to the genre and have taken advantage of what the game mechanics offer.

In any case, I'm really glad you're supporting our design. I hope these arguments make your friend see the game in another way. Thanks for sharing your thoughts! And if you have any other questions drop them here.
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