One of my favourite video game genres is fighting games. I’m a martial artist, so I have a thrill of playing characters that use the styles that I practice. I also like them for the pure, distilled-down-to-only-the-necessities storytelling and cathartic gameplay. I love them so much I wrote a 4000-word critique of how they are kind of terrible when it comes to displaying the bodies of characters.
One of the main complaints of fighting games is how hard they are. It’s true; my favourite fighting game, Virtua Fighter 5, has only three buttons and I haven’t even cracked the training mode. But one day after a long round of VF5 I got thinking, I want to make a fighting game. I decided to keep it simple and made it into a board game, so that there were no complex systems working away in a game engine and so it could be tweaked and modified as I went on.
And now, here we are, almost three years or so after I first laid the groundwork for World Of Fighters. I wanted to create a game like Virtua Fighter; a simple 3-command input, with characters and moves based on real martial arts (no Hadoukens or fighting Pandas here). I spent months going back and forth, trying to calculate unique attacks for each character, adding more and more playable characters, each with unique statistics. While I tried to keep the fighting styles as close to their real-life counterparts (boxing having good punches, Taekwondo having good kicks) it got to the point where balancing needed to take over real life. If you feel your martial art is a little imbalanced compared to real life, this is why.
So, after much beta-testing, adding new characters and abilities and making sure even the joke character was able to win a match, and finally redrawing all the cards and trying to make them a bit better, I thought it was time to send it out into the world. Down below are PDFs to Character, Movement and Action Cards, the Game Board, The Rules and the story of each character and tournament if you’re interested in learning the backstory. Print them out and have a go yourself!
As my artistic skills get better I’ll end up feature creeping the Action Cards and drawing the characters (there are visual descriptions for each one in the Narrative PDF). I’ve also got plans for a fourth season (including two, possibly three new characters and movesets), so when they are done I’ll add them in a new PDF.
Print in Portrait mode, vertical centring on A4.
Print Action Cards twice for optimum play, as there are more cards to pick from rather than having to shuffle the deck every other round.
Print on card for best results (available from most retailers). This is due to being able to see the Action cards from the other side. Alternatively, you can cut some backing for the cards and stick them yourself.