Devin: Bobthepetferret, I was the designer on Sir Daniel at SuperBot. A friend of mine just pointed me toward this video and I gotta say, great job! It's nice to see this game and Dan in particular, get some love. We did a lot of research into the Medieval games in order to do proper justice to the source material. It feels good knowing that the effort hasn't gone unnoticed!
Bobthepetferret: Oh wow, it's awesome to get feedback from someone who worked on the game. Glad you enjoyed it! You guys did some phenomenal work in porting the characters over from their original games to the point where my recap sections showing the moves side by side were very easy to sync up.
And if you feel I got something wrong or missed something in regards to the origins, I'd love to hear about it direct from the source! :D
Devin: Not much to add, you did a great job covering it all. The only thing I can add is some color commentary on why some of the moves ended up they way they did. For instance, the spinning sword move was chargeable at one point. I actually tried it as a button mash as well. We had problems trying to get either of those to "feel" right.
It's been awhile since I've really tried to remember all of this, but if I recall correctly, the biggest changes were to his supers. I believe his level 1 was initially the spinning sword. The lighting[ ] was his level 2 and could be aimed 180 degrees. I never really liked that the sword attack, a basic ability of Dan's, was his super. I wanted to work in something a bit more central to the game, and that's how we ended up with the Cup. Which I personally LOVE. So we pushed the lighting down to level level 1 where it just over performed. Actually, any of the horizontal supers do. Ratchet's was another that we just couldn't get to a fair place. So the lighting got the nerf bat and ended up as this somewhat awkward move.
Actually all of this happened pretty late in development. At that point we were pushing really hard towards completion and we had a whole mess of characters that were way out of wack, balance wise. Of the things Dan suffers from, in my opinion, the under performing supers can be directly traced back to the that decision to shift them. I still stand by it conceptually, but I wish we could have done a better job giving him a more comfortable level 1. At that point we had so many over performing characters though. The general thought was the rest of the cast was going to get brought down a bit. It just never happened like I would have liked to see.
You can also see some of the late dev change issues with Dan's level 2 as well. I remember there being some inconsistencies with which level geo would block it and what wouldn't. It was also a real pain to tune. The "seeking" characteristic was really sensitive on the orbs. We'd change a few attributes and it would go from easy to dodge to damn near impossible. I still don't feel that we got that nailed down correctly.
One of things you mentioned in the video was the drumstick and how it doesn't seem to do much. That was something we talked about as well. I actually wanted it as level 1 that would kill and drop a Dan only chicken. It was too risky though. horizontal level 1's were already getting the nerf bat left and right and the leads were rightfully hesitant. We could have eventually figured something out, but there were bigger fires at that point, and the lighting[ ] was already in and working.
Some other little tid-bits, the arrow was originally setup to be a charge. There was a proposal doc to allow Dan to choose different shields to pull out, one for melee and the gold I think would reflect projectiles. Don't quote me on that though. The move that gave us the most trouble was that hand. There were several iterations, we just couldn't find something workable that fit the source move in spirit and fit with PSABR. I think what we ended up with was a useful piece of kit that paid some visual homage if not so much in functionality. What do you do with a visibility/exploration move though?
Hope you find some of that interesting. If you have any questions about Dan or the game I'd be glad to answer them if I can recall.
- Devin Morrow, PS All-Stars Origins - Sir Daniel Fortesque on YouTube. Published 2017.