It’s the fighting game that’s going where no other fighting game has gone before: Street Discussion, from DeathSkull Studios, is breaking new ground by asking a new question: what are we all fighting about, anyway?
“When you think about it, the only real differences between us is that he’s on the left side of the screen, and I’m on the right side,” said lead developer of Street Discussion, Phillipe Rori. “Like, what, is he just trying to walk by? You’re good, my man. Just walk on by. No need for all of this violence.”
Rori didn’t just let us take his word for it during our interview: to our delight, he’d invited Ricki Ortiz, competitive fighter legend, to talk us through a little bit of what sets this game apart from the rest.
“I’ve never experienced a fighter like this before, man,” Ortiz began. “You think you’re doing pretty well, keeping up the basics, making eye contact, really trying to listen to what your new bro is telling you, and then he KOs you with sympathetic sentiment about why your newfound friendship means so much. The emotional hitbox detection is so accurate—it really connected when he started talking about his relationship with his Mom. No wonder he’s so angry, ripping people’s hearts out all the time. She ripped out his when she wouldn’t let him audition for Benedick in Much Ado About Nothing.”
Street Discussion features groundbreaking new combos such as “sharing” and “active listening” that competitive players believe will help change up the genre for good. “I’ve really had to work on my lightning-quick reaction times when it comes to empathizing and understanding my opponent into the fucking ground,” Ortiz told us. While he was speaking, he finished the game he was playing against an online player, and a bloodied text reading “mutual understanding” popped up on the screen as the two characters hugged it out.
We also spoke with Dr. Paul Hollister, a psychiatrist who worked on the game. “I’ve been having meaningful discussions my entire life. It’s literally my day job,” he said. “I really poured that into the characters of this game, and made sure that the options available to the player emulate a soul-bearing conversation that will let two people put aside their differences and leave stage right as better people and closer friends.”
“Also, I’ll fucking destroy you at this game. Bitch-ass mommy-problems-havin’-ass bitch. I have a PhD in this shit.”