Hi, crowtongue, thanks for reply! It's a nice feeling that you can feel someone's support :]
I must admit that I had a thought yesterday before going to sleep, but to secretly leave for a while idea to making new characters, and try again to improve fighting mechanism. Some of your suggestions I had already, and your another ideas are new for me, but I think there are issues which I should consider.
1) AI: It's nice to see that there is a red rival who will walking in direction of you, trying to knock down you using blows and sometimes using fly kick. Maybe it has a charm, but it's easy to outwit him (too easy). As you saw in the game, red fighter, after knocking down a white character using series of his blows, begans to retreat until our white fighter doesn't stand up. Now I think that red should retreating also in another situation:
-sometimes after making or receiving blows, so when in close contact with white warrior. This implies that rival will not only walking in our direction, and then stay and attack us as long as we will knock him down to the ground. So rival could become more mobile, which would force us to chase after him.
2) Background with active objects - yes, this background has little to do with the backyard climate. I drew it beacause I couldn't stand the previous background, and the new picture was made at hoc. I planned to make backgrounds showing such dirty street alleys, backyards of dangerous housing estates, maybe downtowns, etc. But this requires an appropriate approach and a sizeable amount of work, so I decided to leave this issue for later.
Weapons are for sure a great idea, but I'm not sure if I'm able to meet this challenge. Personally, I haven't seen weapons in the classic brawlers, excepting Little Fighter 2, but in that game this solution has worked fine. But look: it often needs additional graphic sprites of characters (for example: picking up wapons, throw, using for blow (if it's f.ex. baseball bat), lifting over head (if it's wooden box or heavy stone etc.), making action events for it, so it costs much more of work and time. I would like to do it for making BF more attractive, but I'm not sure whether it will succeed.
3) Track stats is a feature which was necessary for a long time. Actually we can beat our rival, and that's all. It will be good if the player could play with a view to stats. I thought about the stats system, which for example could reward for using a variety of fighting techniques unlike to standing in one place and use only fists... because it's the most convenient method... For now I'm still thinking about it, let's see what will come of it :]
4) I think blocking is the most important thing which is missing in the game. And you're right - standard block button isn't a best idea. Remember when you said about "true test of a fighting game, which is if I can beat the game by standing in one spot and continuously punching"? I think standard block would cause something like that problem will be appearing. If we will be able to use one key for blocking, the game could look like that:
1-I'm blocking when rival is punching
2-I'm waiting until he stops
3-I'm attacking now
4-I'm blocking when rival is punching
5-I'm waiting until he stops
6-I'm attacking now
I think your idea about timing and dodging punches can be a good way, but I want you to write something more about it, because I can't get it at all :)
Once again, thanks for posting, and many ideas, I'm glad to read your opinions ;-]