Sifu is an upcoming brawling game from the creators of Absolver. For Sifu, the team are focusing on one specific martial art: Pak Mei Kung Fu. To help bring this style of combat to life, Sloclap is working with combat choreographer Benjamin Colussi.
The latest video takes a deep dive into how the Colussi brought the specific style of Pak Mei into the game. This was primarily done using reference video and motion-captured data. However, this data then needed to be processed into something suited for the game. The systems in place then allow the player to create the choreography of the fight instead of relying on pre-prepared combinations.
Colussi says that a lot of the Kung Fu seen in media is “Opera Kung Fu” and that this isn’t how anyone fights in reality. Instead, the goal was to find a hybrid between what looks good and what is authentic. As such, Colussi’s style of combat is the inspiration for the main character’s movements. However, some situations required adaptation in the moves to achieve the best feeling movements for a game.
There was also an emphasis on respecting the Chinese culture that Sifu is based upon. This includes the life and training that a Kung Fu student would experience. As the video explains, the level of care extended to every part of the game, even as small as where a door should be in a training space.
Sifu itself will have over 160 moves, and each one needs to be credible, effective, and beautiful. This includes situations where single mistakes can be deadly, and unfair fights feel unfair.