I was thinking about how we'll handle cross-platform play in Fantasy Strike. The plan is that you'll add a friend to your in-game friends list, even if they are on another platform, then you can click on them there to directly challenge them.
I was looking into how Street Fighter 5 handles your in-game friends list. They went a different way with it. Below is a log of my experience.
Sirlin: I'd like to give everyone some unsolicited advice on setting up your SF5 friends list.
Sotek: ok sirlin, what is the advise
Sirlin: You might want to add someone as your friend in SF5. Or maybe you should put them on your favorites list? Or maybe those are the same thing? No, because favorites was in since launch but friends are new. So how should you start?
Sirlin: In the game, you go to CFN, then the submenu has choices: blacklist, Pending CFN Friend Requests, Favorites, Replays, Rival Search, Replay Search, and Ranking.
Sirlin: Keep in mind you can't read those choices all at once. You can only read them one at a time as you scroll through a horizontal list.
Sotek: Capcom Friend Network?
Sirlin: Capcom Fighters Network
Sirlin: "Pending CFN Friend Requests" sounds like it has potential. Maybe you can add a friend there?
Sotek: obv not, you accept requests there
zem: cfn is the united id service since there’s cross platform play
Sirlin: Favorites sounds like even more potential. Maybe you can add a favorite there. Or a friend?
Sirlin: No and no.
zem: i do remember seeing the friends list added and not finding the option to uh.. use it
Sirlin: Ok, "Rival Search" then?
Sotek: I enjoy this "advice"
Sirlin: You can choose from Refine, Search Using Fighter ID, or Search Using Steam ID. We're on the right track folks. Let's choose Search Using Fighter ID, type it in, hit enter, and see what we get.
Sirlin: A list of users! Including the one searched for and others with names containing that string too. Ok click on the one you want.
Sirlin: Oh sorry, mouse cannot be used anywhere in the menus. So press accept on the one you want, which is the B key, told to you no where. But you already had to know that to get anywhere near this far.
Sirlin: Doing this brings up a "details menu" with exactly two items (not that detailed?). "View Fighter Profile" and "Add to Favorites"
Sirlin: damn it, I wanted to add them as a friend? Is that like not possible? It's really baiting to me add as Favorite. If you add as Favorite, then go to the Favorites menu and see them there, can you THEN add them as a friend?
zem: will we ever find the option to add as friend?? i’m on the edge of my seat
Sirlin: The favorites thing was a decoy. What you really want to do in the "Details menu" of two items, is choose the OTHER item, which is "View Fighter Profile"
zem: ah.. should’ve known
Sirlin: Now we pause for a moment since the game crashed for the 2nd time in the last 10 minutes as I idle in the menus
Rexford: The mix-ups????
Sotek: the shocking twists, lol
zem: that’s the game’s version of random super (or chaos super, my preferred term)
Sirlin: Ok, we are now "Viewing Fighter Profile". It's a screen full of junk. The most prominent thing taking up most of the screen is a radar graph of how much arm wrestling, vs olympic 1st 2nd 3rd vs heart that player has. With the radar graph completely empty and non-functional of course.
zem: when it builds enough meter (memory leaks) it can play super (crash at any point)
Sotek: arm wrestling vs podium vs heart
Sirlin: There are 5 tabs of info, navigable only by LB and RB (good luck finding those on keyboard)
Sirlin: Damn, which of these tabs should we go to?
Sirlin: None of them.
zem: yes, there’s a sub menu!
zem: of course!
Sirlin: In the corner, outside of all these stats, is small help text for "Y: Sub Menu"
Sirlin: Don't actually press the Y key though.
Sotek: wow I was just defeated
Sirlin: Press the keyboard key that corresponds to Y, which is actuallh H.
Sotek: oh ok
zem: was that an intentional typo because it works perfectly
Sotek: lol that typo
GRAG∶ The Translations Guy™: :100:
Sirlin: This brings up a sub menu that looks like the "Details List" except it's not called anything this time. You can: Compare, Add to Favorites, Send CFN Friend Request (!!), Add to Blacklist.
Sirlin: We did it folks, we found friend request.
Sirlin: But what will this actually do once accepted? We already have a favorites list. So is there a favorites list AND a friends list??
Sirlin: Any guesses on that
Polari: I love the stair climbing ability stat
Polari: can't wait for it to be implemented for real [Editor's note: this chat line was written 22 months after the game launched.]
Sotek: I guess: there's a friends list somewhere separate from a favorites list
Sirlin: Before we discover the answer to that, what is a "favorite" anyway?
Sirlin: Someone in your favorites, you can stalk them and determine when they are online / offline, what they are doing online, and when they last played. (Hmm, seems like this should have required their permission??)
zem: my opinion is that favorites was what they implemented before they finished their (clearly well thought out) friends feature
Sirlin: that's so much stuff, maybe we don't need them as a friend? Oh, but what about actually playing against them. How do you challenge a friend to a match from the favorites list?
zem: i have a bonus twist to this story that’s ps4 only
Sirlin: er, challenge a person on your favorites. Not a "friend", because you aren't friends in this example.
Sirlin: The answer to that one is...
Sirlin: you can't.
Sirlin: You can't challenge people on your favorites list to a match. To play them you create a lobby somewhere and invite them. I won't detail that, I assume it's some other whole excruciating process though.
zem: my twist comes in during that process
zem: it is
Sirlin: If anything, that makes the friend feature more exciting though. Because you need to be able to really challenge people and favorites can't do it.
Sirlin: Ok, so you send the CFN Friend Request, they accept, and now you're friends! Awesome, lets' check that friends list.
Sirlin: Oh...there isn't a friends list. There's still just a favorites list? It adds them to that list, exactly like anyone else. The "friend request" just adds you to their favorites too, instead of only adding them to yours.
Sirlin: So you still can't challenge them directly.
Sirlin: The end.
Sotek: Surprise ending
zem: here's the ps4 twist: if you're streaming using the ps4 OS feature, there's no way to send or receive an invitation without halting the stream. opening up your favorites to invite someone to your lobby halts the stream. opening up your "system messages" to accept someone's invitation halts the stream. no other way to play with friends as far as i know
Polari: the friends list was dead all along
Sirlin: Yeah I noticed that. I guess they are trying to prevent streaming of everyone in your friends (er...favorites) list? Like a security thing?
zem: apparently! or your important messages, which include invitations from people who might know you, and system messages about getting fight money or downloading updates
zem: at least the buttons are labeled right though!
Sirlin: I was going to close SF5, but it just crashed for the 3rd time and closed for me.