Daoka Q&A: Fighter Within and the Power of a New Generation

Discover “Fighter Within,” the Xbox One exclusive game that provides you with the excitement of a real fight, throwing you into the most immersive total-body combat experience ever made. Enter a world of sweat, timing and training thanks to kick-ass motion recognition. Brawling with you friends will never be the same. Check out the Xbox Wire exclusive interview below with Luc Verdier, Producer from Daoka on “Fighter Within” and stay tuned for more news and insights from other renowned developers of the hottest and most anticipated games coming to Xbox.

What are you most excited about for developing on new generation hardware?

A new generation of hardware is always an exciting turning moment in video game history, and as a game creator, you have no other choice than to be enthusiastic and excited. This is the perfect opportunity to create new things, innovate in game design, redefine genres’ frontiers, try things… all coupled with new technological capacities. When you think about it, everything is exciting about a new gen!

When it comes to our project, “Fighter Within,” the most exciting part is probably to be the first studio to have the opportunity to bring a new generation motion-fighting game. The motion-fighting genre is one of the most recent genres to have emerged; therefore it is not standardized yet. There are a lot of things to be done, and rules to be defined to find the perfect game design. With that perspective in mind, it is simply thrilling to be part of its first steps, and to take advantage of this new generation of hardware to deliver our view on what a motion-fighting game should be.

How will a new generation of hardware impact the future of motion-based fighting games

Obviously, the technological gap is huge between the Xbox 360 and the Xbox One. This improvement in hardware allows us to do things we could not have done before — from shading, lighting, and shadowing to anti-aliasing and post-processing. We are really happy with the graphics, which we find stunning! The new generation Kinect is also a masterpiece of technology. It allows us to realize our vision of intuitive and more immersive controls.

What are the benefits with developing a fighting game using Microsoft’s next-generation Kinect sensor?

There are multiple benefits offered by the new Kinect. First of all, the recognition is way more precise. The sensor can actually track each of your fingers, and even your eyes. The good news is that the exclusion of objects has also been greatly improved so this great recognition is not disturbed by all the items around you, or people passing behind you while you’re playing.

The local multiplayer has also been drastically improved, and you can now play 1 versus 1 in small apartments without breaking anything or kicking your friends (at least unintentionally). And of course, the responsiveness is way better thanks to the Xbox One’s power. We used all that to respond to critiques that were made from players and journalists about the first Kinect fighting games, and we think we now can deliver on the long-awaited motion-fighting promise that was made to players a few years ago. Playing “Fighter Within” is fun, responsive, and physical: the perfect way to fight with your friends without hurting anything else other than their pride!

There are many other improvements offered by the new Kinect, like the muscle tracker, but we chose to only use the technologies we needed to offer a fun, immersive and straightforward fighting experience. I hope that we, and some other developers, will continue to explore the possibilities offered by this device to create new gameplay mechanics to enhance the motion-fighting experience in the coming months and years.

What are your favorite combat moves you’ve seen implemented in gameplay? 

My favorite one is the Counter High. To perform it, you have to dodge a punch by ducking and strike your opponent “in their face,” at full strength (for maximum pleasure)! This is so rewarding and fun. I also love the Grab/ Throw, as this move reminds me of the real sense of competition in Jujitsu.

Who is the ‘king of the ring’ amongst “Fighter Within” developers? 

We have a mini-tournament every Friday afternoon to test the game, share our thoughts and blow off some steam (surprisingly, fighting is good for team building too). Last week I ranked second. I missed the gold star when the lead QA threw me out of the ring with a Swap (jumping over my character to invert positions in the arena) and followed quickly with a nasty roundhouse kick… now that I have said that in public, I can’t wait for a rematch!

How much space is recommended for a positive (and safe) multiplayer experience in ones home? 

Offline multiplayer is one of the major improvements brought by the new Kinect. You actually do not need much distance to play. A few feet is enough to play, though I’d recommend about 5 feet, as I have a large TV screen, like most gamers I guess. And to play 1 versus 1 safely, you’ll probably want to leave a couple feet between you and your friend too!