Following this tutorial is a great way to get started with editing fighters in PF Sandbox. For a full reference of every operation check out the Manual. All controller inputs mentioned in this tutorial use the Gamecube controller layout.
It is important to create your own package to put your fighters in. If you instead modify the example package, when an update is released for it, your modifications will be lost!
Press '~' to open the command line in PF Sandbox.
Then start a local game with the example fighter as player 1 and 2.Ensure your controller is player 1 (leftmost on the character select screen) Player 2 can be a CPU or a different controller.
It will look like there is a stage with no fighters.
However the fighters are there, they just have no collision boxes to make them visible.
1 to select player 1.
Now press F8 to toggle on ECB (Environment Collision Box) display.
Now we can see player 1's location as the newly appeared ECB.
Now press F8 again to toggle it off.
Turn on the ECB display for all players.
- Press 1
- Press F8
- Press 2
- Press F8
Unpause and move your fighter around.
Pause the game, select your player (1) before continuing. Press F3, to enable player state debug information. You can now see debug info at the top of the screen.
Hold X on your controller and press spacebar on your keyboard. Your action will go from Idle -> JumpSquat. Press spacebar again your action will go from JumpSquat -> JumpF. Press spacebar again and again until your fighter lands.
Playing with colboxes
Ensure your fighter is in its Idle state again.
Position your cursor, near your fighter (the green ECB), and press
Player 1 should now have a colbox (Collision Box).
Press F again somewhere else and notice that your new colbox is joined to the previous one.
This time deselect your new colbox by left clicking empty space. Then press F again and notice your new colbox is not joined.
Now select any colbox with left click. The colbox should be fully green. Use the square bracket keys, [ and ], to resize the selected colbox.
Hold shift and left-click to select multiple hitboxes. Press the A key. Now you can move the the selected colboxes by moving your mouse. Left click to confirm the new position.
Click and drag, with right click to select multiple colboxes. Select all your colboxes and press D to delete them all.
Play around with colboxes to your hearts content, then test out your creation in game.
At the conclusion of your testing you would have noticed that your colboxes can only be seen while the player is standing still. This is because only the idle action has any collision boxes. Lets fix that.
You could manually recreate the same hitboxes on every action the fighter has but thats a lot of wasted effort. Instead lets copy the fighters idle action frame and paste it over the frames for the other states. Then we can tweak it from there.
Ensure the fighter is in its idle state, the game is paused and your player is selected. Press V to copy the current frame. Press X on your controller and space on your keyboard. Now the player is in its jumpsquat frames. Press B on your keyboard to paste the copied frame here.
Repeat this process for all actions you can think of. Test out your fighter again, you can even disable the ECB (F3) if you want.
Return your player to the idle state, pause the game, and select your player.
Notice how the player state debug information says
This means the Idle action has only 1 frame and the player is currently on that one frame.
0 refers to the first frame as that is easier to work with when scripting.
Lets add another frame to this action by pressing M. We can now see we are on frame 1 of 1. Make some changes to the colboxes on this frame to differentiate it from frame 0.
Press M again and now we are on frame 2 of 2. Once again make some changes to the colboxes.
Press space to advance through our 3-frame animation cycle.
We can see the debug info go
frame 2/2 and then restart at
For some actions this will affect game logic. Try adding 30 frames to your fighters jumpsquat action. Notice how each frame needs to complete before the fighter will lift off the ground.
Restore your jumpsquat frames to something sensible by pressing N to delete frames, while in the jumpsquat action.
As you are editing your fighter you will want to manually control the camera to better see your fighter. Zoom in and out with the scroll wheel on your mouse. Reposition the camera with middle click. To give control of the camera back to PF Sandbox press Backspace.
Press '~' to open the command line in PF Sandbox.
A command looks like this:
We use the help command to learn what an object can do and what other objects it contains. By looking under the Accessors section, we can see that the package contains fighters, stages, meta, and rules. Lets further investigate fighters.
Run the command:
Wait for the 'Save completed successfully' message to appear.
Close PF Sandbox and reopen it to verify that your changes are still there.
Make a change to your fighter and then run:
Verify that your fighter is the same as when you last ran
Keys & Context
This is a keyed context vector of fighters, that means it contains multiple fighters. (accessible by both a key, an index and context)
We can access a specific fighter via its filename, assuming you have a fighter with filename base_fighter.json then we can run:
But thats generally not useful. (We dont want to have to check the filename of the fighter we are editing.)
Instead we make use of the context system.
? as our key, we tell PF Sandbox to automatically choose the fighter to access via in game context.
In this case it uses the fighter used by the player we have selected with keys 1234.
If this doesnt display the fighter help, ensure you are in a game, pf sandbox is paused (spacebar) and you have selected a player (1)
Lets play with some of the fighter properties we can see from running the help command.
This will get the number of aerial jumps the fighter can do:
Try setting the number of aerial jumps the fighter has:
Try setting other properites listed by the help command and see what happens.
Descending the tree
Individual colboxes can be accessed and manipulated, however they are stored in an object in an object in an object in an object.
To find them we are going to do some exploration with the help command.
We see that the fighter contains an
actions property which is a context vec.
(once again this object contains multiple actions, however they are only accessible by index and context.)
We can use an index to access a numbered element of the vector
However once again this is rarely useful so we stick to using context. This way we access the current action the selected player is in.
We can see two properties: iasa and frames.
We can see the colboxes property among numerous other properties.
Nice, now we know how to access colboxes, and (hopefully) better understand how frame data is structured.
Now select a hitbox by clicking on it in pf_sandbox and run this command:
Variants & Hitboxes
Select a colbox and run this command:
This changes the role of the colbox to be a hitbox. Test it out in game.
Now that we have set the role to hit, we have access to more properties on the role.
We set the base knockback for the hitbox to 9001 Test this out in game!
While in game commands are run on the game object.
However while in the menu, commands are run on the menu object.
Both contain the current package so you can always access that, but the rest is different.
So commands that work in game wont necessarily work in the menu and vice versa.
:help while in game and in menu to see the differences.