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OFFICIAL: 2022 SGM ROADMAP

MightyZug

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It’s that time again - our preview of what to expect from Skullgirls Mobile in 2022!

DEVELOPMENT STATUS

Just like last year, this post is going live a little later than usual - and the factors at play are a bit similar.

As many of you know, much of 2021 involved us getting our sea legs as a studio balancing development and resources across Skullgirls Mobile (SGM) and Skullgirls 2nd Encore (SG2E).

While we’re proud of all of the things we were able to accomplish over the course of 2021, our content release cadence wasn’t quite what we had originally hoped. The good news is that we’ve been able to bolster our team over the course of the past year, and are now in a much better position to start to ramp things back up again.

Needless to say, thanks (as always) for your patience and support! <3

2021 RECAP

In our 2021 Roadmap post, we talked about a LOT of features that we had planned. While not everything on that list has made it into Skullgirls Mobile just yet, before we dive into 2022, we wanted to provide a quick recap of all that we accomplished over the course of the past year:
  • Event Quality of Life improvements - We took a hard look at our existing events and made a slew of changes to maximize support of player progression:
    • Holodeck Hazards now provide an efficient means for players to rapidly level up their fighters (there’s only so much of that Master Peacock Origin Story node we all can take)
    • Diamond Prize Fights were added, providing more challenging opponents, juicier rewards, and an opportunity to get Diamond Keys multiple times per week!
    • Guaranteed Gold Fighters from Prize Fight Milestones to take some of the guessing game out of securing the Gold Fighters you need to bolster your collection.
    • Extended Event Prize Fight durations so you don’t have to somehow blitz 500m points in 2-3 days (we’re looking at YOU Kevin Pepino)
  • Prestige Abilities were added, granting more value in duplicate Fighters, alongside...
  • Auto-granting Skill Points upon Sacrifice – no more guilt-laden grinding for fighters you have no intention of using!
  • Fighter Acquisition Agency has been improved via the CoC Tributes tab (which occasionally offers rare GOLD FIGHTERS) and Spotlight Relics with much narrower rewards to help you target that fighter you’ve always wanted (stay tuned for more about them in our next update!)
  • Although a certain salty sister eluded us, we nonetheless added a number of New Fighters (Prism Plumage, Vector Protector, Biting Cold, Blitz & Glamour, Creature of Habit, and Dream Demon to name a few) and made some Character Updates to Filia and Valentine to add more utility to their kit
For a trip down memory lane, we recommend browsing through all of our Update Notes to see how far we’ve come.

On to 2022!

DISCLAIMERS

Just like our 2021, 2020, 2019, and 2018 Roadmap/Preview posts, the features below are going to be discussed in very broad terms. This is intentional. While we have clear goals, the route we take to achieve them often changes once we sink our teeth into the task at hand (and a little air of mystery is nice from time to time).

As such, what we describe below may not 100% match exactly what makes it into the game - it should at least give you an idea of where our priorities lie in the not too distant future.

2022 ROADMAP

While there’s a lot to talk about, the sets of features we have planned for 2022 fall into these main categories:

HIGH LEVEL GOALS
  • New Content
    • The #1 most requested feature from our most recent survey was – unsurprisingly, NEW CHARACTERS. We plan to release not one but TWO new Characters in SGM this year!
    • We will also look to add new Fighters and make Fighter refinements so every feature and move has relevance in the modern state of the metagame.
  • Quality of Life Improvements
    • We made a ton of progress on this in 2021, but there’s still more to be done. Daily Events, Rifts, and Moves (more on those below) are all at the top of our list!
  • “Everests” and Aspirational Endgame Challenges
    • We want to ensure that folks who are looking for the next challenge to overcome have non-Rift based content that they can use to test both their skill and their collection.
    • This may even involve a certain feature that has been COMING SOON for some time…

With that out of the way, let's dig into specifics. A number of the items on this list are things we had hoped to tackle in 2021, so where relevant, I’m going to quote last year’s roadmap to give a bit of context.

BRAND NEW CHARACTERS
As you may recall from last year…

As noted earlier, we are hard at work with Future Club on our 2nd brand new character! Unlike Annie, who launched on mobile first and then made her way to SG2E months later, we are building this new character with the intention of both characters being made available at (more or less) the same time.

Expect all the standard goodies that come with a new character -- a slew of new Fighters, Prize Fights, Daily Events, Relics, plus a new stage and more. We’ll be announcing the new character in the near-ish future, so stay tuned to our social accounts (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram) and/or the official Discord for the latest news.

First things first, Umbrella will be made available in our next major update (due out in late April/early May).

In addition, we’re excited to announce that we will ALSO be planning to release Black Dahlia before the end of the year!

We’re hoping to sprinkle in some new Fighters for existing characters along the way, but our primary focus will be getting both of these characters (and all their supporting content) out to all of you ASAP.

DAILY EVENT & MISSION REFACTORING
These are next in the queue to get some much needed love and care!

Per last year:

While Dailies provide a reliable source of Skill Points, Gold Moves, and Canopy Coins, the process of “mining” the event for those rewards ceases to be compelling as players progress into the mid-late game. We are looking into ways in which players who have established mastery over that content will be able to glean those rewards with far less effort and overhead.

All of this still holds! Keep an eye out for revisions to these systems in one of our next few updates.

In addition, we’ll be reworking our Daily Missions so they are more engaging, less RNG dependent, and more effectively encourage you to do the sorts of things you’re likely doing already as an active player.

RIFT REFINEMENTS
While we love Rifts, we know that they are overdue for a bit of a shakeup. Whether it’s defender diversity (to encourage more varied defenses), seasonal modifier cycling (to encourage different defense setups), or minor scoring adjustments - everything will be on the table for consideration.

We’re not trying to overhaul Rifts to the same extent we’ve done in the past (with new map layouts, etc), but we’re confident that a few select adjustments can go a long way to make Rifts more engaging for everyone.

MOVE SYSTEM REFINEMENTS
As the saying goes, behind every great Fighter is 5 amazing moves laden with stat bonuses.

In 2022, there are three main refinements that we’re going to be looking into to make upgrading and building movesets more palatable:
  • Move Loadouts - Basically allowing you to set various movesets that can be “hot swapped” between characters
  • Offensive/Defensive Movesets - Letting you equip a moveset on a Rift or PF defender that isn’t impacted if you swap out your offensive moveset
  • Move Stat Agency - Resources that will allow you to selectively reroll and/or augment existing move stats
Each of these adjustments are more complex than they may seem, and require careful consideration in terms of how they are implemented to meet the needs of advanced players without overcomplicating things for newer players. That said, we know optimal Move management (especially at high level play) is sufficiently frustrating that something needs to be done to make it better.

XP CONSUMABLES
In the words of 2021 Zug:

While it can be awesome to get a new Fighter that you’ve been coveting for ages, we know it can be disheartening to know - even with XP Boosts - how long it will be before that Fighter will be leveled up enough to be in a usable state. As such, we are exploring XP Consumables that you could collect and spend to immediately provide significant spikes of XP.

Not much more needs to be said! There should be avenues for players to make investments in advance that will reduce the amount of time it would take to take a brand new Fighter and get them into a “usable” state ASAP.

ORIGIN STORIES
Once again, I’ll let 2021 Zug do the talking:

Master Origin Stories
We are excited to provide (long overdue) Master versions to our existing Origin Stories! Specifics are TBD, but you can expect that they will roll out in the order that they were originally released.

Brand New Origin Stories
These are a little bit trickier to predict given the array of resources required to deliver them (and how some of that overlaps with the resources needed for new Character development), but we are itching to do more of these as soon as we can.

Stay tuned for more details!

LAST BUT NOT LEAST… GUILDS?!
As we’ve mentioned previously, this is a pretty substantial undertaking, so we’ve been hesitant to commit to it until we knew we could give it the attention it deserves.

“Guilds” (final Skullgirls term TBD) will refer to methods by which players can band together and face both collaborative and competitive challenges in pursuit of exclusive, coveted rewards. Guild features will likely be rolled out in phases, so the odds of us releasing everything we have in mind for them in 2022 are slim, but we’re eager to properly get the ball rolling once and for all.

SOON can’t come soon enough!

IN OTHER NEWS


SKULLGIRLS ANNIVERSARY!
Believe it or not there are two major Skullgirls anniversaries this year. It’s been 10 years since the launch of the original Skullgirls, and 5 years since the launch of Skullgirls Mobile!

In celebration, we’ll be giving thanks to all of the players that have helped us reach these incredible milestones. Keep an eye out for more details!

LIVE EVENTS & GIVEAWAYS
It’s been over 2 years, but Hidden Variable will be returning to live events over the course of 2022 - starting with Combo Breaker (Chicago, May 27-29), followed by Anime Expo LA (Los Angeles, Jul 1-4), and then Evolution Championship Series (Las Vegas, Aug 5-7) where Skullgirls is a Main Stage game!

If you’re planning to attend any of those events, be sure to swing by the Skullgirls booth to meet us in person and score all kinds of FREE booth exclusive giveaways and prizes. We hope to see you there!

ONLINE GIVEAWAYS
As many of you know, two of our intrepid team members stream regularly on Twitch and are known to periodically give away free stuff every 3 weeks or so. If you don’t already, be sure to follow JuJuBlu (Twitch, Twitter, Instagram, Tiktok) and TheAlmightyBones (Twitch, Twitter) so you don’t miss out!

Also, JuJu usually hosts open lobbies for Skullgirls 2nd Encore on Twitch on Fridays, often featuring one or more devs in chat. Come hang out with us sometime!

SKULLGIRLS DEVELOPER AMA
In the near-ish future (when some of the dust settles surrounding our upcoming releases), we’ll be doing an informal AMA via one of the aforementioned streams featuring me as well as the odd surprise guest or two.

Be sure to follow Skullgirls and Skullgirls Mobile for the latest info - hope to see you there!

WRAPPING UP
That should do it for our 2022 Roadmap! No doubt there will be some adjustments to our plans as the year progresses, just know that all of us at Hidden Variable are doing everything in our power to help ensure Skullgirls Mobile continues to grow and thrive in the years ahead. Although it’s been 5 years, in many ways, this is only the beginning!

Lastly, if there’s anything in particular you are hoping to see in 2022 (either as a part of the items mentioned above or as something new entirely), don’t be shy about sharing them below - we’re always listening!

Thanks once again for all of your support - we hope to see you all in game, on stream, or even in person!

<3 MightyZug (Charley) and all of us at Hidden Variable:

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Simp De fukua

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also balance changes to characters would be a good idea to give life to variants that are not used
 
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BallotBoxer

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2021 was simply amazing so 2022 will be a hard act to follow!

With April rapidly approaching, I'm curious if all the month-long holiday PFs have been planned. Any hints for the months that never had a holiday (April, June, August, and November)?

(we’re looking at YOU Kevin Pepino)
lol @Kevin Pepino

Does someone search the database or is there an alarm that goes off when someone grinds two billion in a Valentine's Day PF?

“Guilds” (final Skullgirls term TBD)
I wonder if it will be predetermined factions (e.g. Medici mafia, Skullgirl thralls, Black Egrets, ASG Labs, etc.) or make your own teams (e.g. Minette's Minions, The Channel 0 Chatters, {some random nonsense name}, etc.)

Of all the guild synonyms, I think "order" has the closest Skullgirls™ flavor
 

Rainbow Dragon

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2022 looks very interesting for skullgirls and it's nice to see u guyz being part of events like EVO, keep it up! ^_^
 

Tart

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BLESS whoever thought of the reroll for move stats. This is a thing we've needed since forever. The RNG for getting three actually good stats is terrible.
Of course, rift bases will be scarier than ever with HP overloads but. Oh well. Atk overload all the way.
 

Rainbow Dragon

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One thing I would like to see as an addition to the game is different avatar picture profiles (not necessarily fighters in the game, more like side characters, just to add a unique touch as a player).
 

Holy Goose

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in the not too distant future.
Somewhere in time and space?..
Sorry about that.

By the way, thank you for your hard work, Hidden Variable. You made an amazing game, and it becomes better and better with every year.

First things first, Umbrella will be made available in our next major update (due out in late April/early May).
Oh yeah, finally!
It's coming, after all this time...
Can't wait to see her in Mobile.

Move Stat Agency - Resources that will allow you to selectively reroll and/or augment existing move
You had me at this one.
A long-awaited addition.

In addition, we’re excited to announce that we will ALSO be planning to release Black Dahlia before the end of the year!
Great. Can we already speculate about that?

I wonder if it will be predetermined factions (e.g. Medici mafia, Skullgirl thralls, Black Egrets, ASG Labs, etc.) or make your own teams (e.g. Minette's Minions, The Channel 0 Chatters, {some random nonsense name}, etc.)
Great question. I never thought about guilds as predetermined fractions. But I suppose, it would be the latter choice for the game.
Anyway, count me in The Science Shark Supporters (even if I have to create them myself).
 

BellaFeng4Eternity

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Thanks for the update regarding Umbrella's release date, Zug! Really looking to Black Dahlia and any future characters being added to SG2E and SGM in the future along with many more adjustments and improvements to come. Keep up the great work! ❤️❤️
 

iskileto1

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Thank you very much Skullgirls devs! I’m glad to see new updates and umbrella’s journey to mobile! But will there be a new filia variant because the rest of the cast has a +1 variant in their catalogue?

P.S. All of you are awesome!
 

Ejiroghene

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I want to be able to grind exp on master holodeck hazards
 

Diony

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I'm excited to have Black Dahlia on the Game. She looks so cool
 
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