'If fighting games didn’t exist, I'd have probably gotten into Karate'

Our weekly Quick Q&A series is only ever four questions long, which should make it the perfect format for a man who came up with a minimalist fighting game that requires only two buttons. Today, that man, Adam Heart answers our four questions and poses one to you.

1. Your new fighting game, Divekick, has 13 characters. Is there an ideal number of characters you like to see in a fighting game? Or at least a range? What's the minimum you'd like to see in any fighting game? The max?

Adam Heart, Iron Galaxy Studios: I think, when adding a character to a fighting game, you should ask what he or she adds to the game. If he or she plays really similarly to another character, why add them in at all? Roster diversity means a lot more to me than roster size. So, as long as the characters included are pretty diverse, I'm happy.

I enjoy a range of play styles, but, more importantly, many players want to focus on only their own play style, so you want to have a character or two to appeal to each of those personalities.

I guess there is a point where you might have too many characters. Many of their gameplans overlap drastically, but learning all the match-ups becomes really, really difficult or unreasonable. I'd have to look at it on a case by case basis, though. For instance, I'd want more characters in UMvC3, but I don't need more in SSF4.

2. Divekick can be played with only two buttons, which might be a first for fighting games. Do you think, in general, fighting games and even non-fighting games use too many buttons?

The number of buttons isn't really important. I think the goal of every game design should be fun-first. Don't design with an aim for simplicity or complexity, just make something people can't put down.

3. What is it about the mental part of fighting games that you like so much and what aspect of that do you think is unique to fighting games as opposed to, say, first-person shooters or chess?

Fighting games are a real-time one-on-one affair. Split-second decision-making is of the utmost importance in any real-time competitive game, but in fighters, all of the data you need to make those decisions is on one screen. In an RTS, or an FPS, there is a lot of data hidden. In many of these games, you play on teams, so, when you lose, you have someone to blame. In a fighting game, its just pitting your skill, decision-making, and will against your opponent.

I think if fighting games didn’t exist, I'd have probably gotten into Karate tournaments, or maybe tennis or something. It's just a feeling I crave, and I know there are many out there who crave it too.

4, Have you ever been in a real one-on-one fight? If so, how did that go? If not, what's your secret to avoiding fisticuffs?

I got into a silly one when I was in the 2nd grade, but neither of us were strong enough to really hurt the other. I spent a lot of my youth in martial arts, particularly Tae Kwan Do.

I have great balance! It's quite hard to knock me off my feet.

I'd like to say that I don't avoid fisticuffs, and that it's fisticuffs that avoid me! However, I just try to spend my time in the right environments with the right people. Hostility is overrated. Be excellent to each other.


... and, here is Adam Heart's question for Kotaku:

1. What is your longest Divekick winstreak online, and can I see some photo evidence?

To contact the author of this post, write to stephentotilo@kotaku.com or find him on Twitter @stephentotilo.