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Super Street Fighter IV Blog Details Network Mode

Capcom tries to recreate the arcade scene.


Network play is the hot topic in this week's installment of the Super Street Fighter IV development blog. Technical director Masahiro Taguchi and others shared a few additional insights following Capcom's full network mode unveil last week.

Taguchi started off the post by admitting that the community aspects of the original SFIV were a bit on the weak side. The staff spent their time on the one-on-one combat. For Super, they're focusing on the elements that were weak with the original, and attempting to give the game "person to person connectivity." They've finalized where they'll be going with the title in this respect.

Getting more specific, Taguchi noted that the original did not convey the feeling of players gathering together for fights. For Super, they've made available multi player lobbies for this purpose. This is actually something they wanted to have in the original. They were faced with the choice of including multi player lobbies or going with single player lobbies, and they ended up with the latter, resulting in the game's arcade-style "Fight Request" system, where online fight requests will interrupt you as you play through arcade mode.

Getting the two types of lobby systems working together was apparently difficult. They ended up powering up the Fight Request system, making it so that the Team Battle mode that can be set to Fight Request. When set like this, you won't have to wait idly in a multiplayer lobby until you have a proper set of teams in place. While the teams are being set up and new players are coming in, you can play arcade mode. The game will interrupt you with the message "Match Start" when everything is ready.

During the team based fights, only two players actually fight, but all remaining six can watch the fight and take part in voice chat. Taguchi assured that the quality of the combat has not suffered from the extra burden of having to show the fight to multiple players. This required some engineering feats, he said.

Joining Team Battle Mode in Super's network play options is Endless Battle mode. This mode attempts to replicate the arcade experience of having to give up your seat to another player, and being able to study the combat of the player in front of you.

Your Battle Points and Player Points, which determine your overall player rank, are not affected in this mode, meaning you can consider this a method for everyone to practice together.

There's a unique feature for the game's network battle mode. Apparently, a big request following the original SFIV was that you not be able to see the character your opponent selects. This feature has now been implemented for all of Super's online modes. They've even made it so you can't hear the cursor sound when selecting your character (apparently, some players are hardcore enough to figure out which character you're selecting just by this).

The blog post also provides a look at the game's lobby menu screen:

Options to the left include "comment setting," "show player info," "show lobby settings," "gamer card," "kick player out," and "mute settings."

Here, the player has selected "comment setting." This option lets you set a comment for the lobby. Possibilities shown in the screen include "Has Voice Chat," "No voice Chat," and various fighting phrases like "Let's Chat With our Fists." There was was concern that players would use inappropriate language, so they refrained from allowing for free comments. There are a lot of default messages, though, slanting towards the positive side.

Next week's blog update will focus on the new Replay Channel mode.

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