Capcom was originally interested in taking the opportunity of Street Fighter V to evolve its character designs by making them more realistic.
Patrick Miller, community manager of Rising Thunder and former employee of Riot Games, shed some interesting light on the initial development of Street Fighter V at the Game Developers Conference (GDC) this week.
Much like previous installments in the series, the characters of Street Fighter V are nowhere anatomically correct. Disregarding bizarre muscle structures, majority of the game’s characters have abnormally large hands and feet.
According to Miller, Capcom wanted to ditch that design and began experimenting with more human-like proportions for Street Fighter V. However, it made it incredibly hard for players to follow what was happening on the screen. As a result, the developer was forced to bring back the older design to protect the two-dimensional gameplay aspect of Street Fighter V.
Manual is 20 years old but still very useful for IDing points of emphasis. Arm proportions based on perspective help communicate attacks. pic.twitter.com/OfAMJFakdB
— Its ya boy Patrick Miller aka Hat Trick Killer aka (@pattheflip) March 3, 2017
This is not the first time that we’re hearing about the reasoning behind the exaggerated proportions. Previously, game producer Yoshinori Ono confirmed that the unrealistic body proportions are there to act as visual markers. They help players to follow attacks with ease. In the case of Ryu, preparing to block a fireball in time is easier when his hands are large.
Elsewhere in the conference, Miller shared that the idea behind the critical arts of Street Fighter V was to pay tribute to other forms of media. Rashid, for example, features a critical art that calls out to Genie from Aladdin. Similarly, Laura’s critical art is to remind players of Sonic, the Hedgehog.
The Street Fighter franchise has been around for over two decades, and to this day still follows the same character design guidelines. While the community has requested for changes in the past, there is a reason why the game has remained the same in certain aspects.