Interview – Sonic Zong Hui

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What if you could take two of the most successful franchises in video games history – one being Mega Man and the other being Street Fighter, and create an even better beat em up? Sounds too good to be true hmmm? Wrong! Hopefully, a lot of you will have played the excellent (and audaciously retro-inspired) Street Fighter X Mega Man – for those of you who haven’t, you really need to (like right now…go!). I’m happy to say that our Adrian managed to catch up with Sonic Zong Hui, the maestro behind this game (slash, work of art) for this insightful Q&A…

 

Hi Sonic – thanks for giving us some of your time! What inspired you to make the excellent Street Fighter X Mega Man?

I was still a student back in 2008. I wanted to work on something to learn more about game development.

Somehow I came across Mega Man sprites online and started working on it for fun.

After programming the basic physics, I was inspired by SF4 as I started playing the game a lot.

I then decided to use SF as the bosses, since I was already drawing some 8 bit SF sprites for forum avatars. I also made the Evo moment #37 8 bit video.

 

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Can you briefly explain what exactly went into making this game?

Programming, drawing, and designing. I was alone in the beginning, I was lucky to be able to get help from Luke Alex Esquivel to help out with songs, and Geo for background tiles. They are very helpful, with fun as our only motivation, it is hard to get help at all. Other work include getting the right values for Mega Man. An example will be gravity being about 0.25 and 4.75px for initial Y speed etc… Till today I still remember some of these values. This were done during my school time, whenever I take a break from school work or had some inspiration.

 

You started the project on your own, but Capcom soon got involved. When you first started making the game did you always feel Capcom would be so supportive and how exactly did they help you complete the game?

I was at Evo Street Fighter 4 tournament as a competitor. It was also my first trip outside Asia. After losing my tournament, I wanted to show as many Capcom staff the Beta of SFXMM as I can. I was quite an introvert. I kinda have to prepare myself mentally each time I showed the staff and tried not to be too nervous. After showing like seven different people, I managed to get help from Christian Svensson, he is no longer with Capcom but he help pushed the project a lot.

I wanted to consult Capcom about their IP because before SFXMM, I helped out in a fan project named Street of Rage Remake (like our friend David Burton – Ed), it got canned by SEGA and that was very disappointing for everyone. I just didn’t want the same thing to happen to my game.

I was super happy that Capcom eventually agreed to back the project. They helped to QA, advice on and provided some funds for the project.

They were all supportive of the project and it was a pleasure to work with Capcom USA.

 

Is the finished game exactly how you hoped the game would turn out?

It felt a little incomplete, but someone once told me, a game is never really finished to its developer. There’s always so much more to add to any game, more weapons, more characters, more level. I am really pleased to see many streamers play our game and enjoy them.

 

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You are obviously a huge fan of the Street Fighter and Mega Man franchises – if you were forced to choose a favourite – what game would you choose and why?

Street Fighter (to play), the community is awesome and I love fighting games.

Mega Man (to make), but I really do hope someday I could help out in SF VI, I missed SFV…

 

It is reported that the initial demand for the game was so huge it almost crashed Capcom’s servers. How does it make you feel that you were involved in creating such a well respected and in demand cross-over game?

It could have been due to the demand for MM games as well as the SF community…

I am kinda happy their server crashed 🙂

 

Can you reveal how many people have actually downloaded the game?

It was announced by Capcom that it exceeded 1.5million within the first year, I didn’t follow up subsequently on the figure (we’re guessing it’s a LOT more than that now 🙂 – Ed).

 

If you could make another cross-over game of any two games from any company and platform – what titles would you like to combine and why?

Guilty Gear and Street Fighter. I love the character design. On a side note, I really hope Justice makes it into Guilty Gear Xrd despite being the 2nd lowest in the voting…

 

What Street Fighter character do you feel you best replicated in your excellent game?

Akuma, I think I was at my peak at that time when I added him, most of his moves are in.

 

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What advice would you give to any game developer who is looking to launch their own video game?

I am still quite young in the industry. I think my personal advice would be, don’t be afraid to fail, be yourself. Focus on doing (rather) than thinking about something.

 

I like it! What projects are you working on at the moment?

I have developed a small project lately, with multiple game companies’ IP involved, most notably will be the street fighter characters. This game is much easier as it is used to introduce the platformer genre to the current generation.

It’s been used to cross promote the event GameStart in Singapore; a game convention there. It is completely free for iOS and Android, and we are currently porting to PC too!

 

GameStartPixel Battle

 

 

If you could share a few drinks with any video game character – who would you choose and why?

Ingrid from Street Fighter, she is some kind of ultimate lifeform or goddess! I was stuck at this question for a while…

Lastly, shoutouts to Luke Esquivel(twitter:@8bitpimp) and Geo.

 

Duly shouted! Thanks so much for your time Sonic, we look forward to hearing about your future successes! Readers – you can follow Sonic on twitter @SonicZH

 

Adrian

 

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