Puzzle Fighter Interview: The Rebirth Of A Blocky Legend

A while back, you may have recalled the release of a Capcom puzzle game called Super Puzzle [...]

Puzzle Fighter

A while back, you may have recalled the release of a Capcom puzzle game called Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo, which took the whole concept of competitive fighting and turned it on its ear with strategic block placement. The game was a smash on PlayStation and Sega Saturn, and would soon after get a digital re-release for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.

But then Capcom did something peculiar with the series. Last year, it effectively brought back Puzzle Fighter, but as a mobile release, focusing on responsive controls, new characters (including some from the Capcom fold) and enhanced visuals. The game has become a big hit as well, and has left us to wonder what's next.

To get an idea of the success behind the returning puzzle game, we chatted with the game's associate producer, John Faclane, to get some info on its development and, of course, to ask about a potential return to consoles. Because, you know, an Xbox One/PS4 version would hit the spot right now.

First off, what motivated you guys to bring back Puzzle Fighter for a new audience to enjoy?

Puzzle Fighter has always been one of our most beloved series. Before our announcement, and subsequent release, fans have often asked us for a new Puzzle Fighter game.

This combined with the fact that the puzzle and strategy genres have really come to the forefront of the mobile games space; we felt it was the perfect time to bring Puzzle Fighter's signature brand of gem crushing puzzle action mixed with fun Capcom fighting cross-overs to mobile devices.

How hard was it to convert the play style to touch-screen, in favor of traditional controls?

Since Puzzle Fighter is a game that is all about timing and making last minute moves, controls were extremely important. While smartphones do have cutting edge technology to ensure input accuracy, there still was a challenge with modernizing the play style to touch-screen devices. Our designers and engineers up at Capcom Vancouver spent a long time tweaking and adjusting the controls so that you have the tightest, most responsive control experience on your device.

Puzzle Fighter 2

How did you decide what kind of multiplayer features you were going to add to the game?

We looked to the original game for inspiration. One of the fondest memories I have of playing Puzzle Fighter in the arcade was playing against other people. Since mobile devices are designed to fit into the palm of your hand, we decided to take the battle online for multiplayer.

At the core of our game is a genuine love for the Puzzle Fighter experience, and we wanted to make sure that a new generation of fighters would be able to experience playing the game against others, not just AI.

In addition to online multiplayer we've added a team building mechanic and gem affinity system that allows for even deeper gameplay. In the original game you only had one character, however with this installment you'll be able to create a team of 3 characters, one main and two supports. Each of these characters will also have gem color affinities that can give you an advantage in battle when you create a team of the same color affinity. These two elements add a layer of planning and strategy that, once mastered, can lead to even more exciting multiplayer battles than in previous entries.

We've already seen an impressive array of stars join the ranks. Could we be seeing more come down the road?

In bringing this game to modern audiences we wanted to bring in a ton of characters across the entire Capcom universe. The most recent character we've released is one of my favorites, Viewtiful Joe. (Henshin-a-go-go baby!) While we don't have any future characters to announce at this time, we can assure you there are more coming so please stay tuned.

Since we're continually updating the game with new content as well, we'd love to hear from the fans. What characters from the Capcom compendium would you like to see in the game? Reach out to us on Twitter and Facebook and let us know!

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How has the game done so far on the mobile front? Has it been successful?

Since the game's worldwide release in November we've received a lot of support from the fans. It's exciting to see the communities of players forming from players' love of the game. Since the development team is also made up of Puzzle Fighter fans, seeing this amazing reaction is definitely a mark of pride for us as a team. Recently we've found out that fans have even been organizing their own tournaments online.

We really are excited to see how the community continues to grow and connect with the game.

Finally, is there any chance that we could see Puzzle Fighter make a return to consoles?

No announcements have been made and we're focused on the mobile game at this time.

You can check out Puzzle Fighter now for iOS and Android.