Virtual Fighting Championship is a new PVP fighting game that was recently released on Steam (as of September 21) by L&L Studio, co-founded by brothers Xind and Yang Liu of Melbourne. It managed to find a solid player base of its own, despite contending directly against Creed: Rise to Glory — for lack of a better phrase.
Now, the game recently saw a single-player content update with the addition of a new colosseum and a wave beat-em-up mode to accompany it.
After tracking Xind down on social media and chatting with him over a chain of emails earlier this month (before the launch), I got the opportunity to pick his brain and get his insight on the future of Virtual Fighting Championship.
Don’t bounce on this one; towards the end of the interview transcript, he offers some cool tips for players looking to master the game. What a guy!
VR Fitness Insider: What are some major features of the Colosseum update that players can look forward to?
LIU: “In the upcoming October launch on the single player mode, it will be a Gorn-like brawler game, but the player will be using fists instead, and it will set up a solid foundation for all future updates on the mode as well.
The end goal (with more development) is that we want players to play out the game in a smart and tactical way. This will be similar to Gorn, except the mobs will be smarter, and harder to beat. They communicate and collaborate with each other, and they also have their own personalities, so they will react to situations differently. They may also blame each other when their tactical plans fail miserably.
We have also drawn some inspirations from Dark Souls and Monster Hunter. We think a good and in-depth progression and ‘leveling’ system will drastically improve the replayability of the mode.
In the future of this mode, the player may acquire a sense of progression by purchasing various form of body part ‘upgrades’. The player is a robot warrior fighting through waves and waves of war robots. At the beginning of the game, the player’s robot avatar will only have fists, and player’s main quest will be to ‘complete’ their robot by ‘acquiring’/purchasing the rest of the body parts. And when this main quest is fulfilled, a new character will be unlocked to use in Virtual Fighting Championship’s PvP game mode (which is, of course, the robot warrior that you have built).
In building the robot body, each specific body parts will have a unique set of choices, and each choice comes with unique attributes and looks, so the player can really customize his/her choice when building the robot. And this unique build choice will be translated into the PvP game mode as well!”
VR Fitness Insider: What difficulties have you experienced while adding single player content to Virtual Fighting Championship, which has previously been all about PVP?
“In fact, developing this single-player mode has been a much smoother process. The technical skill sets associated with building a single player mode is well within our comfort zone and it was the multiplayer mode that gave us the most headache.
And with all the hard parts over, at this stage, we are able to focus on what is fun, rather than making things work. Still not easy, but it’s much more enjoyable work to do.
With a future Co-op mode in mind, our knowledge and experience gained when developing our PvP mode will also come in handy.”
VR Fitness Insider: Do you have any plans for future single player arenas?
“Oh yes, the plan is to have a single player content for each of the PvP characters, the Colosseum mode is for our 4th character, the robot warrior (unnamed).
And a 5th character is already under design, and that single-player content will also be a stand-alone mode of itself.
Not much can be revealed just yet, as it is still in contemplation and designing stage, but the theme is about martial art for sure (we have a national martial art champion in our family after all).
Also, it’s only natural that for a game like Virtual Fighting Championship, with PvP melee combat mechanism built within, would have been very fitting to have martial art themed character/game mode in it, and that will be the direction we’re heading towards after the Colosseum mode goes into a stable form.
After we have accumulated a 5 man roster for our PvP character pool, we will revisit our ‘classic’ character Karl, Poison, and Fala to rebuild and refine some of their abilities, and starts to design single-player content for them as well.
What VFC will look like in the end, will be a series of Single-player/Co-op contents for each of the in-game character, and a PvP arena mode to round them all up.”
VR Fitness Insider: Is there a definitive roadmap for additional content in VFC’s future?
“We do have a roadmap in mind for VFC, which is also shown at our store page, although it does subjective to change in terms of priority, the goal is clear: making Virtual Fighting Championship one of the most feature rich and content abundant game on the market!”
VR Fitness Insider: What excites you most about this new update?
“The most exciting thing for us is that we’re finally able to ‘make a game’.
Whereas before, making a PvP melee combat game felt like more of a ‘building an engine’.
So hopefully with PvP part been mostly accomplished (and receiving good reviews from the current player we have), we can now focus on building a fun and interesting ‘game’.
This colosseum mode will be the first ever single player mode for VFC, and will be an intro for our 4th character, inside it, we have dedicated a lot of creative ideas and fun easter eggs, for the first time in years, we are actually having fun when going into studio and punching on the keyboards!”
VR Fitness Insider: Do you have any words for your dedicated players?
“No words can properly describe the appreciation we have towards our current players.
In a situation where we’re facing an extremely shallow player base, and a PvP only situation, our players have been extremely supportive and understanding. Some even offered help in getting us out there on to some major Youtube influencer’s eyes, and one of our beta testers even offer to help in designing new arena maps for us.
Really, just thank you!”
VR Fitness Insider: How about any tips for new players?
“Note that this game will really test your physical strength, and make you move, so be sure to properly warm up before a play session to avoid injury, and make sure that your space is clear of any furniture and electronics, smashing them is not designed to be part of the fun.
Tips on playing Virtual Fighting Championship:
You need to put power behind your punches, learning proper punching technique will help you immensely in Virtual Fighting Championship!
Remember 1 big punch is > than 10 light jabs
Don’t let your guard down, your exposed face will be an easy target for your opponent to exploit, and same applies to you, you should always seek to strike where the enemy isn’t defending! Throwing too many punches into enemy’s defending arms will only make yourself tired!
Try to use your space effectively, move around, dodge around, work on your footwork to create space or close space, pace control yourself! Don’t tangle into a close quarter fist frenzy!
When you’re weakened (broken screen in front of you and a band-aid sign), STOP PUNCHING as your attacks will be rendered ineffective, you will need to stay defensive until recuperation then to resume the attack again.
Learn your character’s ability! use them to your advantage! (we are publishing character focused tutorial videos on our Youtube channel)”
VR Fitness Insider: Are there any additional thoughts you might like to add?
“This is a Reddit post we shared a couple days ago. We do really want to get the message out there for our community to see!
It has been an overwhelming week since Virtual Fighting Championship’s Early Access release onto the steam platform. During this past few days, we were heart warmed by some of our player’s kind words of support and compliments, some of you even private messaged us in discord and sending us emails on words of encouragement, so thank you (you know who you are!)
At the same time we have also listened very hard to the very valid criticisms and feedbacks from wider communities, confronting our fear and anxiety on the potential community backlash, we have forced ourselves to surf through forums and discussion pages looked over social media and even the tiniest of hints of VFC related discussions.
We think it is fitting that we should probably make a response message to everyone, in regards the launch of Virtual Fighting Championship, answering some of the FAQ that has often brought up in conversations. And hopefully share with you our future plans for the game, what you can expect from VFC in the future, and maybe cast a vote of confidence into our supporters.”
At the end of the email chain, Xind also addressed common concerns that players have with Virtual Fighting Championship.
“Firstly, let’s start with the FAQs:
– No single player mode? Multiplayer only VR game is doomed to fail! (and we agree)
We understand the importance of having a single player mode, as it is the key to ensure a reliable playing experience for our players.
VFC’s PvP mode was, in fact, complete and ready to brawl back in July 2018 (our beta testers should know this), but we didn’t release the game until September. So from July to September, our team of 1 programmer and 2 artists was fully dedicated to developing single player content for the game, and as soon as we were confident enough to nail down a date on this mode’s release, we had decided to make the call the release the game onto steam.
So, yes Virtual Fighting Championship has never intended to be a Multiplayer only game, and hopefully this will not be the final destination for VFC in terms of single-player content.
The foundation we have built for Virtual Fighting Championship allows for so many potential game mode to exist, in VFC’s final form, the currently existing 1v1 PvP game mode will only be representing 20-30% of the game’s total value.
– Why release it so closely with Creed?
Not saying we’re proud of this, but our first ever launch announcement date was set to June the 29th, then it delayed to September (because we kept wanting to add more to the game), we haven’t really taken much of the external factor into consideration when setting a release date (yes we should).
But in the event of releasing the game closely to Creed, funny fact is, we’re not unhappy about it, we think a big and successful studio like Survios entering the VR fighting genre is good news for everyone, it brings more eyes to the genre, and more players talking about the genre, and ultimately more players will experience the genre, and hopefully stay with the genre.
It is also exciting that us, an indie studio made up of a team of 3 people, is able to come and compete with a big studio like Survios, it brings a lot of moral to our team, and we’re ready to work harder than ever to improve Virtual Fighting Championship.
– Connection issues?
At the night of the launch, our server which was used to connect user database went malfunctioned by a coding dead loop, and we haven’t been able to find out this issue soon enough, so for the first 2 days since launch, the connection stability became a persistent problem. Luckily we have found and solved the issue in recent days, and we haven’t been reported much connection issue since then (there are still few instances of connection time out, but we have uncovered that it is because the player forgot to allow VFC through their firewall. If you have faced persistent connection problem, please reach out to us, so we can closely examine it!)
– Low player base
It is very much an understandable sentiment, that communities may find themselves hard to put trust in us at buying a Multiplayer only game when Creed is just around the corner (those of you who do, we ***** love you)
Hopefully, with more and more features and refinements been made to Virtual Fighting Championship throughout the future, we can convince the community to believe – “Yes this studio is serious about this game, and they are here for the long run.” – This is a message that we are trying to install via our own actions, and we welcome you to be the judge of our progress, we expect and hope ourselves to work on VFC for many more years to come.
Okay, the above are some of the major FAQ that we often see in threads and discussions. Now we want to talk a little more about what kind of game Virtual Fighting Championship really is, and where will it be heading.
Even after the above mentioned single player been made online, we still consider Virtual Fighting Championship been only about 30-40 complete compared to what we imagined it to be.
VFC will not be just a simple 1v1 fighting game. What VFC has right now is a ‘showcase’ of the foundation of our melee combat mechanism; a smooth and intuitive multiplayer melee combat system, and a one that works well even during higher latency environment.
The goal is to transfer this foundation of game mechanics, building on top of it, and produce many more fun and creative game modes, and adding them into Virtual Fighting Championship, making VFC a bundle of everything VR combat, and at the same time polishing on what Virtual Fighting Championship has at its core: the PvP combat.
Yes it is a lot of work, but with your vote of confidence, we will be able to do it, because after all, the hard technical part is over, and now it is all about creativity and good dedication, and with a vibrant community keep providing us with great ideas and suggestions, we can focus on what we do best without worry – developing great content.
That is all our rambling for today. Again thanks to all of you who shared your support to us. It is a hot-soup-on-a-winter-day to us, we are now refreshed and fully pumped to head into development for Virtual Fighting Championship’s single player mode. Stay tuned!”
VR absolutely needs more PVP fighting games, and I wish L&L Studio luck on making Virtual Fighting Championship the best VR fighter they can.
Are you already a fan of Virtual Fighting Championship? Leave your thoughts in the comments.