Guilty Gear: Strive Developer’s Backyard First Volume

Guilty Gear: Strive

Arc System Works has released the “Developer’s Backyard” for Guilty Gear: Strive, reviewing information gleaned through surveys and the closed beta test.

International survey data and statistics from the closed beta test have been included in the presentation. Development Director Akira Katano and General Director Daisuke Ishiwatari also address common questions and concerns that arose among fans during the closed beta test. The recent Developer’s Backyward has been made available in English.

Interesting facts and figures include how the three most popular characters were Sol Badguy, Ky Kiske, and May. The top three most requested characters in Japan were Bridget, Johnny, and Ramlethal. In North America, Europe, and Asia; they were Baiken, Johnny, and Dizzy.


You can read the “Answers to Your Concerns from the Developers” segment below.

Concern: The damage is too high

Mr. Ishiwatari: A central idea behind this title is that you can deal big damage without memorizing long combos as was required in previous games.

Mr. Katano: We made the damage extreme in the beta test to get that idea across. Before the game’s release, we’ll be adjusting it carefully by looking at player feedback and match results.


Concern: There are fewer gatling combo routes*

*Gatling combos refers to the combo system by which you can combo normal moves into other normal moves.

Mr Katano: In previous Guilty Gear titles, players could cancel many normal moves into their combo parts with relative freedom. In GGST, we’ve made restrictions on this so that it’s more difficult to combo into damaging moves from fast, small normal moves.

By doing so, we’ve introduced a greater emphasis on choosing which normal move you use to start your combo based on the situation and your goal at the time.

This change makes it difficult to put experience from previous titles to use in GGST, and we’ve heard many concerns and criticisms from fans of the series. In addition, we’ve heard the opinion that being able to get a combo simply by pressing each button in order made combos simple, meaning that GGST is more difficult.

Mr. Ishiwatari: One important concept in this game is placing greater importance on choosing your moves based on the current situation.

I do think it’s more difficult in the sense that muscle memory won’t really work, but there should be fewer mechanics for new players to learn before they can enjoy playing matches. Mr. Katano: If we think of it in terms of either the game being simpler to play in training mode or simpler to play in a match, I would say that GGST values the latter more.

In development, we’ve worked with the concept of making the choice and timing of each and every move important, in order to create room for invention and technical challenge for advanced players while also shortening the length of combos and block strings.

Naturally, we are continually adjusting what moves combo into what (including the differences for each character) by looking at the game from various viewpoints. This goes for not only gatlings, but follow-up moves and combos in general as well.

Also, we are planning to further increase the level of freedom with combos compared to previous entries in the series.

While this may seem contradictory to the reduced length of combos and the restrictions on gatlings, I believe we can make this happen through a combination of other mechanics.

Even in the closed beta test, there were many combo routes available. Unfortunately, however, only a limited number of routes were effective due to the extreme damage.

Our goal in moving forward with development, including our work on over-all game balance, is to make a game where each player can have a distinctive play style.


Concern: The 3D camera movement disrupts the game pace

Mr. Ishiwatari: Compared to ASW’s previous titles, in this game we’re trying out more daring 3D camera movement.
We’ve heard some players saying the movement gave them motion sickness.

While we’re working on improving this so that more players can enjoy the game without unnecessary stress, I’d like to continue with this idea of challenging ourselves to include new camera work like never seen before.

As of now, we’re looking into making this work in a balanced way as a team. Mr. Katano: We’ve also heard concerns that some camera work, such as the effect on counter hit, impacts the game’s pace, player inputs, and visibility.

As previously mentioned, we are taking the survey results to heart and working on improving this so that players can have a more comfortable and fun experience, while still trying out new effects.


Concern: The user interface (UI) during matches

*R.I.S.C. gauge refers to a gameplay mechanic where the player takes more damage as the gauge fills up. The gauge increases when blocking the opponent’s attacks.

Mr. Ishiwatari: I’d like to explain our ideas behind the user interface during matches, which is quite different in this game.

We’ve made it so that the Burst icon moves as the health bar drains in order to minimize the amount of eye movement required to check each gauge.

We’ve intentionally made the R.I.S.C. gauge less visible to reduce the number of gauges that first-time players try to be aware of.

The hit counter is so big because in previous games, it’s been difficult to see the number of hits due to being hidden by the character models (or vice-versa). This is an attempt at fixing that issue.

However, we’ve received many opinions looking critically at the user interface in terms of visibility and design.
As of now, we are seriously considering everyone’s comments, and our team is discussing these critical issues to create the finalized design.


About the GGST online lobbies

Concern: The online lobby system has errors

Mr. Ishiwatari: Our plan during development, as with the rest of the game, is to create something entirely new for the online mode.

Mr. Katano: However, we ran into many bugs and other problems during the closed beta test. In addition to fixing those bugs, we’ll be taking a new look at the matching system as a whole.

We are working to be able to provide everyone with a pleasant online experience by fixing these issues and creating another opportunity for you to try out the game.

We apologize sincerely for all of the problems with the beta test.


Concern: The online lobby’s design

Mr. Ishiwatari: With GGST, we’re trying out a new design compared to prior ASW titles by using 2D pixel art style 3D avatars and such.

This venture is necessary to create new mechanics and fun that wasn’t possible with the 3D avatars we’ve used previously. While they weren’t included in the closed beta test, we’ll be showing them off at the next opportunity.

In addition, we’ve seen many opinions that the style doesn’t mesh well with the world of Guilty Gear. In regards to this concern, we hope you’ll keep on the look-out for new information as we’ll be showing you new designs that weren’t included yet in the closed beta test.


Concern: The UI design

Mr. Ishiwatari: Regarding the user interface in general, we’ve seen many comments that the design isn’t “rock” enough. Rest assured,
we will make it rock!

Guilty Gear: Strive launches late 2021 for PlayStation 4.

Brandon Lyttle


A basement-dwelling ogre, Brandon's a fan of indie games and slice of life anime. Has too many games and not enough time.