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Guilty Gear Strive Dev Team Interview

Learn what the dev team had done for developing and fixing aspects of the game, and also see what we can expect in the future.

By Choysauce • July 2, 2021

Guilty Gear Strive has taken the Fighting Game Community by storm after its release on June 11, 2011. With it’s amazing graphics and smooth rollback netcode, it’s no wonder that it’s currently one of the most popular fighting games being played right now.
We got a great opportunity to email the GG Strive devs some questions regarding the development process and other aspects surrounding the game. We covered topics like roll back netcode, improvements to the lobby system, and what we can expect in the future of the game.
Unfortunately, we couldn’t get any names for who actually answered the questions, but we received these responses through a PR firm, who wished to remain unnamed, that has been assisting with the marketing of the game.
Here’s the interview below:
1. If we’re not mistaken this is the team’s first game with rollback net code considered from the start of development. What have been some of the challenges that the team has faced? And what were some breakthroughs the team have achieved?
A:  We came across a number of difficulties in development, especially since we didn’t design the game around the rollback netcode system, but instead tried to adapt our software to fit the game’s design.

We had to use our standard delay-based netcode for the Closed Beta seeing as it’s not possible to create a proper rollback netcode without a complete general framework.

To give a concrete example, one issue was tackling frame drops. With rollback netcode being more processor heavy than delay based, and Guilty Gear -Strive- being our most ambitious title yet, we struggled right up until the end of development to get it running smoothly.

2. Fighting Game training modes have been evolving a lot with more recent titles. Games like Skullgirls used their rollback technology to allow recorded matches to be played out in training mode to recreate the scenario for practice. Will there be any new features like this in Strive’s training mode that will push the limits of its utility?
A: We’ve created features that are completely new to the fighting game genre. Unfortunately, though, they will have to be implemented post release as part of an update.
We’re planning to include a number of new features in the very near future, so you shouldn’t have to wait too long.
3. We know the GG series traditionally hasn’t included guest characters. But is there a possibility this time around for a guest character in Guilty Gear Strive?
A: We’ve received a lot of requests for this, and while it’s not completely off the table, we’d like to prioritize bringing characters from previous titles and brand new fighters to the game first.
4. Has the team considered implementing accommodations for players with disabilities such as the physical, hearing, or visually impaired?
A: We are considering implementing custom lighting settings that take into account color vision diversity and a UI that allows color-independent discrimination when controlling the same character.

At the beginning of the project, we were considering implementing a comprehensive voice system so that people with visual impairments could enjoy the game. Unfortunately, we won’t be able to implement it in time for the launch of this title, but we are very much looking forward to making it a reality.

5. We’ve seen glimpses of altering character appearance in Granblue Fantasy Versus with weapon skins. Are there any plans to take this further and implement something like weapon skins or downloadable costumes for Strive?
A:  We’ve received a lot of requests for this, but we don’t have any plans for it presently. Our current priority is to add more characters to the roster.
6. The backlash for the online lobby system for the Strive Beta was pretty harsh and we know your team is working on addressing the issues. Are there any new changes to the lobby system that Strive team thinks will make players excited to use the online lobbies?
A:  To list a few examples of improvements we’ve made:

– We changed the way that viewable battle spaces are selected
– After winning a match, the player can stay in the same place in a battle-ready state unless their rating changes
– Added a rematch option
– Expanded the area in each lobby, made it possible to hide the News display, and added a dash movement for avatars


7. The Developer’s Backyard is a great idea for addressing community feedback. When can we expect to see the next one? And will this be ongoing after Strive is released?
A: We had hoped to hold one every month, but haven’t been able to due to our developers’ tight schedules.
We’re hoping to continue communicating with our playerbase even after the game’s release.

8. The GG series has been known for drawing inspiration from music for it’s themes and characters. Has the team drawn inspiration from any particular genre of music for the new characters to the series like Nagoriyuki or Giovanna? What other inspirations went into their designs?

A: We can’t mention specific names because they cross over into multiple areas, but this work incorporates many live-action film techniques for expression and direction.
9. I’m sure there are a lot of veteran developers on the team working for Strive, so we want to ask them. Are there any lessons they’ve learned from working on other teams/games that they are implementing into Strive?
A: Most of the lead staff on the Guilty Gear team spend all of their time working on Guilty Gear.
Of course, they will occasionally help out on other projects, but the majority of their time will be spent working on Guilty Gear, so they don’t get many opportunities to participate and learn from other teams.
10. How has the team been doing working through the pandemic? Is there anything the team does to lift each other’s spirits? We hope everyone is healthy in mind, body, and spirit.
A: Around 70% of the staff at Arc System Works had to move to a work-from-home model.

Working remotely required an even more thorough management system than usual. Our lead staff in the Guilty Gear team are used to working directly with their team and the project, which made this change particularly difficult for them.

While this unfortunately meant that we had to cut quite a few elements and modes from the game, we intend to add them all in updates after the game’s release, so expect new content in the coming future.
Let us know what you think of the interview and any predictions you have about what’s coming next for the game?

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