Stop Bugging Me
Bugs that make and break the games we love
June 07, 2017
Infil blackadde

Welcome to Fightin’ Words! I’ve been interested in doing a blog on interesting fighting game topics for a while, but finally the pieces came together. I’ve also got a good friend to help me discuss some cool topics. That’s blackadde over there, say hi.

Sup dude. I’ve been hoping to do this kind of conversational blog structure with you for a while, since we’re always talking about fighting game mechanics in our private conversations already.

Hopefully this blog serves as a cool “deep dive” into some topics we both feel are very important to the landscape of fighting games. I think we’ll end up talking about topics that are both historically relevant and unique to today, and it should serve as a nice contrast to typical social media interactions which are always so condensed. You can’t easily have a meaningful conversation about stuff over Twitter you know?

Absolutely. That’s something that I feel is often missing in discussing fighting games - talking about whether a character X can do Y in game Z is cool, but I think the larger design decisions that shape what makes games fun or interesting to play in the first place are sometimes not given the exploration they deserve. Hopefully this format will allow us to dig a little and learn some things about what makes the games we love work, or not, as the case may be.

Yeah I think that’s the goal, hopefully we’ll end up providing discussion points for the community, whether they agree with our point of view or not!

On that note, the first topic we chose to discuss in Fightin’ Words is bugs in fighting games. We both have a lot of experience in the genre, so we have played and seen a lot of buggy titles. I thought it would be cool if we broke down some of the worst (and most entertaining) bugs in both classic and modern games, and discuss why these bugs exist and how they impacted high level play.

Right - there are a lot of different kinds of bugs in fighting games that we’ve sort of broken down into a couple of categories. The first kind are bugs that are totally game-breaking. Like, the kind where smoke comes out of the machine and the underpaid peon at the arcade has to come over and reset the board.

Yeah, those are clearly the worst possible bugs to have - the type that clearly adds no new strategy or interesting play to a game. From there, we’ll discuss bugs that don’t destroy games entirely, but drastically shape how the game is played. These bugs are typically ones that, if you don’t know about them, you are at an extreme disadvantage if you play against someone who does. I think a lot of the more interesting bugs in fighting game history are in this space somewhere.

Third, there are bugs that just kind of alter the games. They matter, but they aren’t like, totally game-defining in the way that some other bugs are. We’ll get into examples later on, I think.

After that, there are things that seem like bugs, but are actually just logical extensions of the way a game is intended to work, then bugs that are basically just cosmetic goofs. Does that sound about right?

Sounds like a plan. I think newcomers to the genre might be surprised to learn just how many important, game-defining bugs exist in many people’s favorite of all time fighting games. Hopefully this blog can provide a bit of interesting perspective for both new and old players alike.

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Fightin' Words