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The Ryus You Never Saw in Street Fighter IV

The Super SFIV developers blog takes up character designs this week.


Street Fighter IV's Ryu looks like this:

But he might have looked like one of these:

As detailed by art director Toshiyuki Kamei in the latest post at the Super SFIV blog, SFIV's character designs went through a variety of changes before becoming finalized. In Ryu's case, the character saw over 10 different patterns.

The shaders used to render the Ryu model also advanced as the designers finalized a direction for the character. Here are three phases:

The post contains lots of details and trivia bits on the decisions the design team made for SFIV and the upcoming Super release. Here are just a few points.

According to director Takashi Tsukamoto, Chun-Li saw so many changes that he can't even remember the count. Her character's face was actually changed after the game's first location test. It was, said Tsukamoto, originally totally different from what we're seeing now. The change was made after a survey handed out at the location test revealed that players wanted something different.

Ryu was the first character converted to 3D for SFIV. From there, the designers created Ken. Producer Yoshinori Ono asked if they'd be able to make a special character, so they decided to try making Blanka and Dhalsim. The Dhalsim character ended up being as complex as it is because the SFIV project had yet to get the go sign at the time, and the designers were concerned that this could end up being the last time they'd get to make a Street Fighter character.

The various character parts for SFIV have deformation routines built in. When you do a punch, the character's fist may look a bit bigger, for instance. This apparently carries over from the series' sprite era, where a character's punching fist would be drawn a bit larger in order to leave an impression on the player.

Guy was the first Street Fighter Alpha/Zero character converted to 3D for Super. This particular character had some problems due to his basic pose. The basic pose for most fighting characters, expalined Kamei, has their legs bent. Guy's basic pose has one leg totally straight. Due to modeling requirements, a direct conversion to 3D would have ended up making Guy's legs extremely short -- so short that his punches would extend as far as his kicks.

There's a whole lot more in the blog post, and as usual I'm certain it will all be translated shortly at the Shoryuken fighting game site.

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