Like many gamers, Seth Killian spent his youth feeding quarter after quarter into his local Street Fighter II machine. Those summers spent doling on shoryukens and hadoukens helped to shape Killian into the man he would become, leading to him taking a position at Capcom.
While at Capcom, Killian would oversee the development of Street Fighter IV, offering insight into particulars that only a hardcore fighting fan would understand, like frame data and input time. Killian eventually parted ways with Capcom, leading to him accepting a job as lead developer at Sony’s Santa Monica Studio to oversee PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale. Killian would eventually also leave Sony and find himself at a crossroad. Instead of lending his services to yet another big name company, Killian decided to bring his vast fighting game knowledge to a small upstart with serious fighting game cred.
Rising Thunder, Killian’s new robot-centric fighting title, is unusual in the fact that is features no traditional fighting game inputs. That means no quarter circle forwards, no charge moves; in Rising Thunder, everything can be accomplished with the push of a button. Supers, combos, and ultras can be pulled off simply by tapping the right button at the right time. With this set-up, anyone can pick up a controller and be able to jump right into the action. No move lists to consult. No combos to memorize. Just fighting.
Killian says the game was inspired by big name games such as League of Legends and Counter Strike, owing their popularity to the fact that the games do not have complex inputs. With enough time, someone can get really good at a game like LoL, but a complete understanding of the game is not required to enjoy it.
Rising Thunder comes from Radiant Entertainment, a small company primarily consisting of Killian, EVO Championship Series (which attracted some celebrity fans this year) founder Tom Cannon, and his brother Tony Cannon, who developed the fighting game-centric online middleware GGPO. Together, the team wanted to buck trends found in the fighting game community: Rising Thunder would be easy to play, it would launch for PC, and it would be totally free to play. Like League of Legends, Rising Thunder will be free out of the gate, but will offer cosmetic DLC such as new skins or voices at a cost.
Killian admits that the concept of Rising Thunder is sure to raise a few eyebrows in the fighting game community, but he is confident the end product will speak for itself, stating:
“We know that a lot of people will listen to this and go, ‘Eh, bullshit.’ Or, ‘You don’t understand what you’re talking about.’ And it’s like OK cool. I don’t want anybody to take my word for anything.”
While Radiant has not revealed a release date for Rising Thunder, the team is hard at work polishing the game. The idea of a simple to play game that still manages to appease hardcore fans may sound like a pipe dream, this team of seasoned vets may be able to pull it off.
The release date of Rising Thunder is TBA