When SMASH LEGENDS was first being developed, it was a four-player free-for-all with the intention of being a party game. The rules were simple. Players had three minutes to collect the most points and win by SMASHING opponents to earn a point, getting SMASHED and losing a point, or intentionally falling off the map and losing two points. Fighting opponents was important, but the main goal was to land the final blow and ultimately earn enough points to win.
This four-person free-for-all was easy and enjoyable. However, it had some drawbacks, such as the fact that luck seemed to be the most important factor in determining who would win, and that players would often avoid fighting as a result. The game itself was entertaining for a few rounds, but it was insufficient to motivate players to practice and improve their skills. As a result, we determined that this mode did not meet our criteria for being the game’s main mode.
We were still aiming for it to be a party game at this point in our development cycle. But then we changed our minds and decided to try to create a mode that required more strategy. As a result, players could enjoy the game for a longer period of time, and thus the 3:3 Capture the Flag mode was born. It followed the same rules as any other capture the flag mode, but with a twist: there was only one flag in the middle of the map, and it could be taken by anyone. When a team secured the flag, it earned them a point every second, and the other team had to SMASH the carrier of the flag in order to steal it. The team to reach 80 points first won the game.
To be honest, we enjoyed the capture the flag mode. It had one carrier, two defenders, and three attackers attempting to steal the flag, all of whom were constantly switching roles. This mode, however, had a critical flaw. By nature of the game, it was difficult to hit players in SMASH LEGENDS who were focusing solely on avoiding fights, which ended up putting a lot of pressure on the attackers. Later, we added a rule that the carrier’s movement speed would be halved and they would be unable to jump, but even then the outcome of the games would often result in 80:0. Furthermore, with six players brawling it out, it was difficult to identify who the carrier was, so we decided to scrap the mode out entirely during development.
Our next attempt was a more straightforward mode: the 2:2 Duo Deathmatch mode. It had rules that everyone was familiar with. It was a 2vs2 team match in which each team earned a point for SMASHING an opponent, and the team with the most points at the end won. The time limit was changed several times after that, but the mode remained largely unchanged. We were thinking about making Duo Deathmatch our main mode, but when it was about to be revealed, the consensus of the game being labeled as a “fighting game” worried us that it would not appeal to a wide audience. Duo Deathmatch relied heavily on battling. Also, it did not help that fighting games were perceived as a niche genre that only a few people enjoyed playing. In the end, the main mode of our game was changed to 3:3 Dominion.
Other modes we recall being created were 1:3 Mode and Soccer Mode. Both were enjoyable to play, and we will discuss them further when the opportunity arises.