Project Zenith – An App for the FGC

Hey, it’s Moki. I’m trying to post updates on what I’m building once every week or so!

My main focus right now is what I will call “Project Zenith.” Over the years, I probably have amassed hundreds of hours of playtime in games like Super Smash Bros. Mortal Kombat, Tekken, Marvel vs. Capcom, etc. Fighting games are one of my favorite genres, but admittedly – I never considered myself that strong of a player. My friends and brothers would usually outsmart me with clever combos and tactics, but I was happy to put up a fight, at least.

One summer in college, I had a decent amount of free time, and I got hooked on BlazBlue Central Fiction.

Source: Nintendo Store Page

This was the first time I remember trying to improve and learn about the terminology, combos, frame data, etc. It was really fun. Throughout this process, I started to learn a lot about the FGC and got an idea for an app.

What is Project Zenith?

One thing that I started to realize is that the barrier to entry for fighting games is pretty high. I was a bit overwhelmed with combos that looked like random strings of numbers and letters, known as Numpad Notation. Similarly, there were all these terms, such as jump cancel, okizeme, and dragon punch. It makes a lot of sense once you get used to it, but it takes time.

In addition, I found myself searching tons of different websites, wikis, and videos and even joining Discord servers to figure out more about characters and playstyles, and I saw people looking for opponents to play with.

I was inspired to use what I have learned and my experience as a Software Engineer to build an application that supports the fighting game community at large. I envision it becoming a centralized hub for all things related to fighting games.

Starting Small

There is a saying that goes, “Rome wasn’t built in a day.” I realize that in order to actually get something off the ground, I should start with a small problem area and build up from there. This is why, first and foremost – I am focusing on building a matchmaking feature.

One of the main things I remember from my experience in BlazBlue was that the game was incredibly fun, but the players were split across many platforms. I was playing on Playstation 4, and I remember it could be pretty difficult to find someone to play with, especially depending on the time of day. The lobbies were relatively small, and I often found myself fighting people who were way more skilled than I was.

Source: Video Chums

At some point, I joined a Discord server for BlazBlue and saw many text channels for matchmaking and netplay. It is unfortunate that some amazing games may not be played just because it is hard to find an opponent (that isn’t the CPU).

A very early prototype of defining a catalog of fighting games and characters.

Zenith is still very very early in its development, but I am having fun building it and at the very least, want to release a usable product into the world. Today I focused on some rough implementations of what a matchmaking interface could look like. I am deciding what my data should look like, where things should live, etc. For now, I am only focusing on Tekken 8, and Street Fighter 6, as these are the games I have played most recently.

Stay tuned!

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