Seth Killian

Episode № 211
hosts John Lindvay /

Seth Killian is the business of fighting. He’s been a fighting game player for most of his life, and through his own efforts was given an opportunity he couldn’t refuse, he worked on Street Fighter 4 and contributed to the fighting game scene in numerous ways, including helping start a little convention called EVO. I had the chance to chat with him at IndieCade 2015, and now you get to listen to that conversation.

Seth Killian used to be a philosophy professor. But his whole love he had been playing fighting games. So when Capcom offered him the chance to work on the design team for Street Fighter 4, Seth took it. It wasn’t with out trepidation. Seth enjoyed his current profession and also went to school 10 years so that he could teach philosophy. But he knew that if he “..had a chance to make Street Fighter even 1% better, it would be worth it.” So he did.

Since then he left Capcom and is now working on his own fighting game called Rising Thunder. It is unconventional in some ways, but comfortable in many others. It’s comfortable in that sense that if you are familiar with fighting games it feels good, it has that same sense of Yomi, or reading your opponent, that is a high-mark of any exceptional fighting game. It has footsies and supers and all of that which has become familiar over the years.

Where it deviates is in that its an ONLINE PC game first and foremost. That was the key to everything Seth said, if it didn’t work online and on a PC, it wasn’t going to work at all. Seth is looking to bridge that gap that has existed where fighting game fans existed over on console/arcade island, isolated away from the general and huge gaming population that exists solely on PC. But it’s not just online play that is novel, even though excellent lagless online play is a true feat on its own.

Rising Thunder interesting to people like myself, that is to say someone who has been a fan of fighting games, but sucks… SUPER bad at them. It’s because Rising Thunder is way more accessible than any other game I’ve played, while retaining much of the depth that makes these games resonate with players. There is no complicated series of button commands that one has to memorize, its just a action bar with skills that work on a cooldown. The design goal is to remove all the things he feels are unnecessary to get to  the goods, the mind games, the zone control and the strategy of fighting games.

Rising Thunder is currently available to play in the Technical Alpha. The game is still being built but so far Seth and his team are really happy with how the numbers are looking and how the game is holding up. So you  can head over to the Rising Thunder website and sign up to check it out, or you can follow Seth on twitter to most likely stay up to date with development. I mean even if you are into fighting robots you should probably check it out. I love me some fightin’ robots.