Greetings, everyone! This is Miyauchi, the producer, and Katano, the director.
The Guilty Gear series recently celebrated two anniversaries: the 25th anniversary of the series (since the release of the original Guilty Gear on May 14, 1998), as well as the 2nd anniversary of Guilty Gear -Strive- on June 11.
Thank you so much for all these years of continued support, love, and appreciation of Guilty Gear.
Your passion and enthusiasm over the years has been a consistent source of encouragement to us and the driving forces behind the series’ continual proactivity and growth. We once again express our heartfelt gratitude to all of our loyal players.
In this volume of Developer’s Backyard, we would like to both discuss future updates and touch upon what the development team currently has in mind going forward.
We’d also like to introduce Bedman? and Asuka R♯, although it’s been quite some time since their initial release.
Be sure to read through to the end!
- Introducing Bedman?
- Introducing Asuka R♯
- Season 3 Update
- Tournament / Event Information
Bedman? Joins the Roster!
The third Season 2 DLC character, Bedman?, was released on April 6.
Bedman first appears in Guilty Gear Xrd -SIGN- but then meets his demise in Guilty Gear Xrd -REVELATOR-. His mechanical bed, the last remnant of him now, makes a reappearance in Another Story.
No longer under the control of an occupant, the bed is now seen trying to protect Delilah for unknown reasons. It almost appears as if Bedman’s will still remains within – leading to the new character’s name, “Bedman?”.
Find out the truth behind their connection by playing Another Story and the Bedman? scenario in Arcade Mode.
Bedman? appears in its state from after the events of Another Story. Those who played through the scenario may have noticed it has suffered additional damage afterwards, and now fights with one arm dragging behind.
At early stages in the design process, we had planned for Delilah to fight alongside Bedman?. In the end, we opted to highlight the concept behind the character by having Bedman? protect Delilah, leading to her instead following along after it during battle.
Many members of our development team poured their hearts into showing how Bedman? protects Delilah as it fights, down to the small details of the in-battle animations. Please do take a nice long look at them.
Using Bedman?’s special moves triggers an automatic follow-up attack after a set length of time.
Mastering it requires formulating a strategy for your neutral and offensive game making use of the automatic follow-up attacks.
Its ability to control the air due to its 8-directional air dash also stands out.
While the inputs required differ from the rest of the cast, assigning a button to the dash shortcut should make the controls feel intuitive.
Despite the rather simple properties of each special move on its own, Bedman? can feel challenging to maneuver much of the time.
In return, mastering this character rewards you with an experience like no other when you pull your strategy off.
Asuka R♯ Joins the Roster!
The final Season 2 DLC character, Asuka R♯, was released on May 25. The “♯” symbol in his name is read with the German pronunciation, “kreuz.”
Asuka R. Kreutz has been known by many names throughout the series: That Man; Gear Maker; or even The Devil. He made his initial appearance in Guilty Gear: Overture, and his true face and name were revealed in the previous installment, Guilty Gear Xrd.
An in-depth explanation of his background would involve a deep and arduous dive into the history of the Guilty Gear world itself, so please check the GG World mode in Guilty Gear -Strive- for further information.
True to his original declaration in the story mode of Guilty Gear -Strive-, Asuka currently resides on the moon and continues to broadcast “clear numbers” through radio waves. Some of these numbers are recited at the beginning of his playable character trailer, but they were recorded specifically for that introduction and cannot be heard in-game. There were a few numerical tidbits that didn’t make the cut, such as a census of bounty hunters and other figures. We hope to find an opportunity to share those with you sometime in the future.
While he already made an appearance in the Story Mode, Asuka dons a cloak as a new addition for his playable character design.
Incidentally, this cloak was made by Asuka himself and appears to be more than a mere garment.
With a vast array of magical spells at his disposal, it would be safe to say that Asuka is an incredibly complex and difficult-to-use character.
While many Guilty Gear characters require challenging technical inputs, Asuka stands out as demanding a special degree of situational awareness.
In fact, his initial mechanics in the development stages were even more complex, and it took a considerable period of time and numerous play tests to settle on his current rendition.
(For example, due to his character being extremely fragile and weak enough for a single punch to take him out, we explored him needing to constantly keep up a defensive shield, etc.)
Many characters in Guilty Gear -Strive- are somewhat simpler to play in comparison to previous titles, so Asuka is a new addition that certainly stands out in that regard.
However, this degree of complexity and difficulty was fully intentional on our part, so he holds a special place even in our eyes.
All of this together means that the sense of accomplishment that comes with fully mastering his mechanics will undoubtedly be unlike any ever felt before.
Please keep your eyes peeled for players using Asuka in future tournaments and events.
Season 3 Update
With Guilty Gear -Strive- entering its third year, we are working on a large-scale update for Season 3, planned for release in summer of 2023. And while we must be somewhat tight-lipped at the moment, we are planning multiple updates that should bring a fresh new experience even for players dedicated to playing one main character.
Our first step towards realizing this will be adding not only new faces to the roster but also implementing balance changes for the entire cast, new battle mechanics, and new special moves for some of the characters.
In addition, the network lobby is planned to receive improvements to stability, and we intend to push forth a number of other updates in preparation for future changes that are to come.
Please stay tuned for further details in the near future.
Q.Are there any plans to implement a Ranked Match system more akin to other previous installments?
The current Ranked Tower system implemented in Guilty Gear -Strive- places focus mainly on players who are not as familiar with fighting games, calculated around certain factors such as appropriate and fair matchmaking for beginners and elimination of stress regarding rank placement. Although this design philosophy has had many positive effects, we recognize that there is always room for improvement.
In previous installments of Guilty Gear Xrd, there were some apparent issues with the ranked system, such as difficulty finding matches at higher ranks, as well as the tendency for higher-placed players to stop queueing for ranked matches after a certain point and opting for player lobbies instead. As a result, the overall number of participants in the Ranked Match player pool, a system originally intended to have players of similar ability competing against one another, had decreased. Players then would often have to search for the right opponents for them by trial-and-error in open lobbies.
Of course, the player population and competitive environment have changed between then and now, not to mention the lack of rollback netcode at that time. I believe this led to a greater focus on finding opponents with a stable connection rather than ones close in skill level.
The current Tower System was created in an attempt to overcome these issues previously affecting ranked matchmaking.
The above image displays the total distribution of players who entered each tower floor within all regions on June 11, 2023, exactly two years after the initial release.
Player count per rank tends to decrease as the rank level increases, yet the opposite is shown to be true for Guilty Gear -Strive- and the Tower System. From a more positive perspective, this would mean that there is no shortage of worthy opponents, even as one’s rank increases. On the other hand, it also means that the current highest floor, Celestial, inevitably matches players at different skill levels as even professional fighting game players join the mix there.
For future updates, we are considering options to further optimize the current system and reduce skills gaps on the top floor, such as adding another floor beyond Celestial or possibly even implementing incentive rewards for participating in Ranked Tower matches.
Q.For future GG games, have character costumes been considered instead of using color palettes?
The idea of adding alternate costumes has been bounced around a few times among the development team, but there are currently no plans to implement them.
Completely changing a character’s appearance would prove as challenging of an endeavor as developing a totally new character. Altering some parts of an outfit or even the appearance of certain weapons wouldn’t be impossible, per say...
What kind of character costumes or colors would you like to see added to the game?
Please feel free to use the Developer's Backyard Submission Form below to provide us with your feedback for future reference, but be aware that there is no guarantee that any submissions will be implemented.
Q.I want GGST to implement the menu shortcut setting that was in Guilty Gear Xrd Rev2.
In the previous installment Guilty Gear Xrd -REVELATOR- and REV 2, it was possible to assign a shortcut from the main menu to instantly select a desired menu item with the single press of a button, a function that allowed players to easily access frequently-used game modes with as few inputs as possible.
You may be pleased to hear that we do plan on implementing a similar function to Guilty Gear -Strive- that will allow players to once again select frequently-used game modes (with as few inputs as possible) soon after booting up the game, although the method for doing so may differ slightly from previous titles.
Please look forward to this feature in a future update.
Tournament / Event Information
And finally, we have information on tournaments and events.
ARC WORLD TOUR Finals 2022
Moving back the clock to the ARC WORLD TOUR Finals that took place on March 11 in California, JOZ|Mocchi blazed the competition with his Sol Badguy, taking first place!
Despite being bested in his first match in the Top 8 and falling into the loser’s bracket, he kept his cool and made a strong comeback, taking full control in his final match against TY’s Giovanna to claim a stunning victory.
ARC WORLD TOUR FINALS 2022 GUILTY GEAR -STRIVE- results.— ASW_esports ┃Arc World Tour 2023 (@ASWesports) March 12, 2023
1. @mugentoubu2 🇯🇵
2. @ty_ty576 🇯🇵
5.@Tempest_NYC🇺🇸 ,@zandowastaken 🇮🇱
7.@UMlSHO 🇺🇸,@smerinthinae 🇯🇵
Thanks for the best matchs in the world!
congratulations!#GGST #AWT2022 pic.twitter.com/QRP1guIGQ2
Each player who participated in the Top 8 put on an impressive performance – every match was a jaw-dropping spectacle!
Truly a fiery and suitable conclusion to ARC WORLD TOUR 2022!
We even have an archive of the livestream. While the AWT 2023 qualifiers are already under way, please feel free to look back on the event to get fired up for the electric displays of skill that these contenders are sure to bring.
EVO Japan 2023
And up next is EVO Japan 2023, held over three days from March 31 to April 2nd at Tokyo Big Sight.
Gobou clawed his way back out of the loser’s bracket with his Zato-1, showing off his overwhelming prowess and unbreakable mental fortitude before a packed and mesmerized audience as he went on to defeat LOX’s Giovanna during the Grand Finals!
EVO Japan 2023 #GGST results.— ASW_esports ┃Arc World Tour 2023 (@ASWesports) April 2, 2023
1. @smerinthinae 🇯🇵
5. @pokachansan 🇯🇵, @makotyurarin 🇯🇵
Such a major event had not taken place on Japanese soil for quite some time, providing an opportunity for the participation of many talented players who would otherwise be unable to attend. Needless to say, no one could have predicted such an outcome.
Please feel free to check out footage of the explosive battles from the Top 8 for yourself.
ARC WORLD TOUR 2023
Moving on, let’s cover the events of ARC WORLD TOUR 2023.
The qualifying tournament kicked off with Headstomper and Battle Arena Melbourne held on June 9.
This year’s World Tour Finals will see an increase in the number of finalist slots: 12 slots for qualifying tournament winners; 3 slots for entry via Tour Points earned throughout the qualifiers; and 1 LCQ slot up for grabs on the final day of the qualifiers – for a grand total of 16 slots.
Battle Arena Melbourne
At the Battle Arena Melbourne tournament held in Australia, IBUSHIGIN|Leo. from Japan used Faust to slice through the ladder with medical precision, rising from a previous defeat at the hands of NASR|Latif’s Zato-1 to take revenge and snatch first place for himself!
Meanwhile, at the Headstomper tournament held in Sweden, Zando from Israel mirrored his previous feats of strength at AWT 2022 using Ramlethal to carve straight through the competition, surpassing BC|Jonathan Tene’s Zato-1 in Grand Finals and securing the top spot!
Headstomper #GGST Results.— ASW_esports ┃Arc World Tour 2023 (@ASWesports) June 11, 2023
5.@SoraniFGC 🇬🇷,@MrJ3tstream 🇮🇹
Brussels Challenge Major Edition
Not too far away in Belgium, the Brussels Challenge Major Edition was held from July 14 to July 16.
Twis|Slash from Saudi Arabia made a huge splash with his May, showing off his exceptional defense and calculated combo game against two Happy Chaos players in the form of ONi|Tiger_Pop and TSM|Leffen, ultimately snuffing out TSM|Leffen’s attempt at revenge and claiming first place!
Brussels challenge #GGST results.— ASW_esports ┃Arc World Tour 2023 (@ASWesports) July 16, 2023
5.@Armix27 🇮🇹,@MysticSmash 🇬🇧
Congratulations!#Brusselschallenge #AWT2023 pic.twitter.com/BxnP3guelu
Footage of the event can be found below.
The current Tour Point rankings are displayed below.
Zando, IBUSHIGIN|Leo., and Twis|Slash have earned the right to advance to the finals through qualifying tournament victories.
The competition for securing these precious points is sure to be fierce, so keep an eye out for those vying for the top spots.
And last but not least, a look at one more ARC WORLD TOUR 2023 qualifying tournament: the upcoming EVO 2023 event scheduled to take place in Las Vegas on August 4.
A record-breaking 2481 entrants signed up for Guilty Gear -Strive-, the largest number for a Guilty Gear title in the history of EVO.
We are very grateful to all of the players who have chosen to participate.
Katano and Miyauchi are both scheduled to be at the venue.
We can’t wait to see all of the players from around the world gathered in one place.
Arc System Works will also have a booth set up again this year.
We have a variety of events planned, so make sure to stop by if you’re at the event!
That’s all for Volume 14 of Developer’s Backyard.
Thank you for reading through to the end.
We’re currently accepting submissions for topics you’d like us to discuss in a future Developer’s Backyard as well as questions and comments via the form below.
Check out the official GGST Twitter for the latest info!
For English tweets follow https://twitter.com/ArcSystemWorksU