We're gonna go over some of the questions regarding the Skullgirls engine licensing drive that's going on RIGHT NOW.
Won't this be a tonne more work?
The bulk of the work (and as labzero can tell you) is going to be art. Concepts, poses, animating, stages, gui. Music, sounds, voices. All of that needs to be redone regardless of engine. Learning a new engine will be a little bit more work, but there are also a lot of rewards for that work, as you'll see right.. HERE:
So what does the Skullgirls engine give you over FM2K?
MikeZ sent us a nice list of benefits that we can share with you:
For the players:
- Widescreen and HD resolution support
- Per-pixel lighting on sprites, a first for ANY 2D engine
- Real shadows
- 2D and 3D environment support
- Camera zooming
- Negative-edge and multiple-button-input special moves (QCT+PP, etc)
- No corner problems (rapid sprite-flipping, etc)
- Continuous collision: characters don't pass through each other when they shouldn't, no matter how fast they move
- Unlimited palettes per character
- GGPO* integration for seamless, non-delay-based online without a separate client
- Input display, save/load state, dummy record/playback, and all the other Skullgirls training mode features
- Frameskip that still accepts inputs on skipped frames, eliminating timing-based problems such as unblockables or dropped combos
For the developers:
- Full source code and any existing development tools; the ability to fix any problems with the engine themselves instead of having to just DealWithIt
- Tech support
- Future engine revisions and bugfixes
- HLSL shader support - any graphical effects your little heart desires can be created
- In-game palette editor, customizeable debug keys and many other time-saving features
- A scripting system written in plain English, with move motions written in regular fighting game notation and a robust munge tool
- The ability for sprites to tell when they have left the screen, rather than just the stage
- Support for 32-bit (i.e. truecolor, unpalettized) art for sprites when necessary, and mixing of truecolor and palettized frames
- Support for teams/assists and a console release, if ever desired
So lots of good stuff that we'd love to play with.
GGPO basically lets the game be played multiplayer over a network. It's widely regarded as the best networking software for fighting games. SUPPORT for GGPO is included in the SG engine, but if we want to actually use it we'd have to purchase it separately. And yes, we would very much like to do that if we get the SG engine, because having good network multiplayer is extremely important to us!
Will it run on my crappy computer?
Short answer is that we don't know. MikeZ develops on his less-than-stellar laptop and it runs fine, but we don't know the exact system requirements yet.
Are you going to put the game on steam/ps3/360 if you get the engine?
Another one we don't know yet. All we know is that the SG engine would make all of those options open to us.
Isn't 725k really expensive?
Well, that's not the price of the license. That's just a stretch goal of their campaign that would mean we get it for free. It's just the easiest and quickest option for our team.
Why can't I just donate to you guys instead!
If we start accepting money, the SG engine would probably be one of the first items on our shopping list anyway, so some of the the money would go to labzero one way or another. As mentioned above, the stretch goal option cuts out a lot of the complication involved with that.
Will this mean it will play like skullgirls?
Not at all! Well.. apart from it being a 2D fighter. The engine is just a tool. Gears of War, Arkham Asylum, and Mortal Kombat 9 were all built on Unreal engine, but they are drastically different. Plus, as we've mentioned, we want to keep our already developed gameplay ideas mostly intact. Also, there is nothing in the SG engine that says it only works for certain kinds of characters (like 2-legged), just as there was nothing in FM2K that made it better for our 4-legged characters!
Is it Galaxy Girls? It's Galaxy Girls isn't it.
While we agree that the Galaxy Girls are kickass, Lauren is designing new characters for us. Like, NEW new, not old new. We meet with Lauren every week to talk about and develop these new characters together.
Speaking of which, we think it might be cool to show you guys three of the character concepts we've come up with so far. We thought it would be fun to show you them in silhouette form first. See if you guys can figure out who's who and what's what!