Way of The Warrior: last update by David Liu

Text by David R. Liu <davidliu@case.ai.mit.edu>

Way was very well received at CES. Should apper in stores in August; the rate-limiting step now is apparently signing on a good band to do the soundtrack. Just between you, me, and the 80,000 readers of this newsgroup, I'm glad of this slight delay since it gives the Naughty Dogs more time to ensure that the game is as polished as they can make it within their roughly one-year timeline.

(I'm a real stickler for polish)

Anyhow, the game was demoed in essentially its finished for except for the following differences which I forsee in the finished product:

  1. A soundtrack. I mean a real one, not the content library test music we have in now. Sorry, can;t disclose any info regarding the identity of the band (soon their identityt will be released probably).
  2. Some of the sound effects. There's a certain little "ooff" noise which some characters still make if they get hit. I always kid Andy that it sounds like a Goldfish Being Stepped On, so we call it the goldfish squish sound. I don't like it at all. I'd much rather hear a satisfying scream or at least a bass drum-ish OOOFFFFF! Sound effects like these are somewhat easy to change (although the size of some characters in RAM is making things a little crowded).
  3. The voice effects of FOX havent been done yet. No, they won't allow a mute big black bodyguard to remain in the game. Everyone makes voices and sound effects (my estimate is that every character has at least 20 or so such sound effect, plus the referee's 80 voice comments). So whoever keeps emailing me suggesting that Fox remain deaf dumb and mute, please stop.
  4. Easter eggs? Leave it to Andy and Jason to put in even MORE hidden stuff if they have some time on their hands. I've already seen lots of secret stuff... you guys are in for one multi-faceted piece of software.
  5. Fine tuning: I think this is pretty much done (I hope so else I've done my testing job poorly :) but it's always a good idea IMO to make sure that all the damage points for all the moves in the game (say a total of, ohh... 11x50+15... ahh screw it... a total of hundreds of moves) are well balanced, and that slower stronger moves tend to do more damage but have worse consequences if you get caught with your pants down, etc.
The graphics and art, both character and background, are more or less done now. More than 25 fatalities, and each character can do a total of say maybe 6 or 7 if you are good. And lucky.

BUT...i still think that eye candy aside, the game still grabs me after 350+ hours of playing (no kidding!) because the engine is quick, precise, and free of cheese. It was a long uphill climb for everyone to get the engine this fluid and controllable, but i think once you get accustomed to playing on your (DIAGONAL FIXED, right?) control pad, and learn the standard set of Way moves, you'll really be able to zing off strategic hits and combos like any fighting game Zen master...

When Way finally comes out, I won't post anything about special moves, fatalities, secrets, etc. unless the Dogs clear it first (although my guess is that they willo be pretty liberal about letting me post special moves and some fatalities). But if I see that someone who has taken the time to make a WOTW FAQ has a certain move wrong, i'll tell him that it's wrong (but not how to do it necessrily).

Oops! Fogot something important. After reading Brian Goss's critique of the acting in the intro, I should have mentioned that those of you who saw the intro at CES (shouldnt be many of you), you will likely see a DIFFERENT INTRO in the finished game. So don't fret yet...

(Although let's face it...does anyone really think that the FMV intro to a fighting game deserves even one iota of long-term value?)