According to Bencich, the gameplay would have been "mainly based on Super Smash Bros, but we'll be injecting it with mechanics from more traditional fighters, like Street Fighter, Marvel VS Capcom and Blazblue, to attempt to make a deep, technical fighter that even high level players can appreciate and enjoy." Controls are based around two attack buttons (light and heavy), a jump and a block button, and directional input from an analog stick/arrow keys. Life and Special meters are assigned to each player.
Pre-Alpha 2.6 includes John with all light moves, one heavy move, and one projectile, local two-player, a basic menu, some hilarious voice clips, and most importantly full playability and matches. It can be downloaded here, along with the older tech demos and a tool for making your own palettes. The full version will include a roster of twenty characters (the 4 original kids, the 12 original trolls, Doc Scratch, Bec Noir, Andrew Hussie himself, and a super-secret character) as well as online multiplayer and several other gameplay modes. The first official beta release (which is the dev team's current goal) will include John, Rose, Karkat, and Vriska, along with stages based on LOWAS, Sweet Bro and Hella Jeff, and Equius Zahhak's robot cage.
The main website can be found here, which contains links to the development thread, the recruitment blog, the game itself, and other helpful pages.In 2014 the game's development went on indefinite hiatus and in 2019 the created assets were made open source, almost certainly confirming the project dead in the water.
Homestrife provides examples of:
- Bouncing Battler: John's planned Pogohammer Bounce special will let him be one.
- Cluster F-Bomb: When John launches something out of his Sylladex. "Oh shit!" "Shit!" "OH SHIT!"
- Dream Match Game: Not only will the final release include 20 characters from all across the canon, planned DLC releases along with a pubilc release of the character editor could make this as dreamy as M.U.G.E.N.
- Drop the Hammer: John.
- Fighting Clown: Gamzee Makara will almost certainly end up being one of these.
- Free Floor Fighting: Most stages are like this, although the game will include stages and mechanics from Fixed Floor Fighting games as well.
- Joke Character: Hussie will possibly be one, or at least the closest to it.
- Launcher Move: Each character with a viable aerial game will have one of these. Current examples are John's Up Light attack.
- Life Meter: Each character will have one, being the first major departure from Smash-style gameplay. Each character will also have a Mana Meter with mechanics exlcusive to each of them. For example, John's Prankster's Gambit meter will fill significantly when he uses a Prank special move of some sort.
- Mirror Match: This is all the second tech demo is capable of. The final release will have this too, although each character will have plenty of Palette Swap options to make it easier to tell the players apart.
- Recovery Attack: John's Oven Cannon special.
- Shout-Out: Besides canon palettes for different outfits, each character will also have palette swaps that make them look like characters from other media. John has outfits that make him look like Sissel, Joker, and a member of the Ghostbusters.
- Stage Fatality: Some stages (like Robot Cage) have none, but some (the Sweet Bro/Hella Jeff stage) will have many.
- Suddenly Voiced: Although the source material contains no voice acting, Homestrife will have voice clips implemented for all characters.
- Super Armor: Many characters will have this, especially tankier ones like John and Equius.
- Summon Magic: One of many considered playstyles for Tavros.
- Ultimate Showdown of Ultimate Destiny: The title might have clued you in.