Shadowloo had the privilege of interviewing the one and only Seth Killian. Even though he is a very busy man especially around this time with Super SFIV release right around the corner, he still took time out to sit down and answer our questions.
We wanted to ask some questions that have not really been asked yet, which is tough since he has been asked so many questions already, and we didn’t add in any questions that might get a “Can’t comment on that right now” answer. So with that out of the way, enjoy the interview.
Thank you for taking some time for this interview with us Seth, no need to introduce yourself to the Shadowloo community. EVO is the worlds biggest Street fighter tournament, what do you think the main reason is that helped it achieve this title?
I think the main reason behind EVO’s success has been its openness and great sense of global history. Unlike a lot of games, fighters have a long competitive history all over the planet, and all the greatest fighting champions from around the world—both past and present—have been on the EVO stage. Anyone can have an event or offer up a prize, but to win at EVO is to truly become a part of fighting game history. That sense of history is what fuels the crazy excitement you get during a finals—the event is bigger than all of us, and you can feel it in the room.
Other factors include things like being consistently well-run, and one of my favorite things about EVO is that it’s open to all comers. If you think you’ve got what it takes, anyone is welcome to step up and play against the very best in the world. There’s nothing to hide behind, so skills talk and posers walk.
There have been a few tournaments announced this year with the major prize being a trip to EVO not only to attend, but also to compete there. Do you think we will see this grow into something more in the next year or so, as in official EVO qualifiers in multiple countries sponsored by Capcom and any other sponsor willing to chip in to fly the winners to the US?
It’s exciting to see people around the world supporting their local scene, and working together to send their very best to compete with the best from everywhere else. EVO has had qualifying events across the US, in Brazil, and the U.K., and this year will be expanding into the Pacific region. It would be great to see a qualifying event everywhere there are great fighters who want to test themselves on a global level.
Have you ever been to Australia? if not, do you ever plan on coming down and checking out the scene?
I was almost able to make it down last year, but had to cancel a trip at the last minute. I’ve played a number of strong Australian players, and would love to come down and see everyone in action. Everyone I know that’s been to Australia says it’s beautiful.
When are we going to see a Seth Killian come back at EVO? We could do a whole documentary about it, from the moment you announce that you will be competing at the next EVO, your training in the US, Japan, Aus, EU with some montage music playing in the background, all the way up to your EVO matches!
That would be fun. I’ve had some top 10 EVO finishes, but the experience has taught me that helping to run the event and competing in the event are not a great mix. Basically both are extremely stressful in totally different ways, and I’m not able to devote myself fully to either. Since I would never do anything to compromise a well-run event, I end up trading away my own play preparation and mental focus. When you’re playing against world-class experts, you really can’t get away with that kind of split and hope for your best performance.
My other problem is that although I still play a lot of fighting games, most of my time is on pre-release development builds of Capcom games. This is a dream-come-true in a lot of ways, although it’s not so good for my competitive skills. I do a lot of poking around with our games hoping to get things exactly right, but where we find room for improvement, the games change. As a result, most of my playtime is spent on versions of the game that almost nobody else ever plays. So while I might be pretty good at 14 different versions of Super SFIV, they are unfortunately not versions anybody else will ever see. Once the game is out, I’m off and working on another new project, so when I do get a rare chance to play the finished product, it’s usually only for a few hours late at night and online.
What is the likelihood of seeing EVO on TV someday? So people can get comfortable on a Friday evening once a month and tune in to watch their favorite players battle it out for pride, prizes, rank points. Some pro commentators (Already some around in the community), entrance music and pyrotechnics when the players make their way to the stage?
After the incredible numbers of stream viewers last year, I hear there’s been some TV interest, so time will tell. In the meantime, there’s been a huge wave of great online streams. I’d love to see EVO on TV, but at least for the current audience, there’s never been more great fighting game footage available from the community—both live and recorded. At the moment, I think it’s TV that needs to catch up to the internet, rather than the other way around.
With these new lobbies that will allow us to have team matches in SSFIV, will there be any clan support feature? So you could check your teammates ranks, stats, clan tags, things like that?
Right now it’s still up to the players to form their own groups outside of the game, but it’s something Capcom is thinking about. We are going to have a great ability to record and share your favorite matches (both your own and those of others), in addition to the leaderboards, so Super SFIV is certainly moving in a good direction.
The Halo series has Bungie.net that keeps a huge amount of stats that anyone can go online and check, will we ever see something like that for the SF series? Things like character leaderboards, region leaderboards, things like “Hadouken’s thrown”, “Hadouken’s hit”.. Yeah I’m a stats fanatic.
It’s on our minds. Hopefully all the good match recordings that will come out of SSFIV will be even more useful than stats, but I know what you mean—more is always fun.
King of Fighters XIII is on it’s way, if the art style is similar to SFIV, can we assume CvS3 in development?..
I’m not sure I follow your reasoning there, but I’m afraid that would not be a safe assumption.
In our lifetime, will we ever see a Street Fighter v Mortal Kombat?..
Nothing like that planned at the moment, but Capcom loves surprises and crossovers, so I’d never say “never.”
Akuma/Gouki is one of the most bad ass characters in the world of gaming, now do you think his 2nd Ultra suits him or just makes him look cheesy?
Depends on your perspective, I suppose, but let’s just say I agree that it’s hard to top the mysterious beatdown of the Raging Demon.
Since we are all hyped about new characters, if you can bring back any character who hasn’t been announced, who would it be and why?
I’m a big fan of the “twin” characters, so I’d like to see either Juni and Juli, or Yun and Yang. If I had to stick to just one, it might be Rolento. All the fans talking about him got me to go back and play him some more in SFA2 and SFA3 (my copy of CVS2 is busted), and he’s a really flexible design that would be fun to bring into the next gen.
Besides Fighters, what is your favourite videogame of all time?
I’m a big nerd for excellent basic mechanics, so if you exclude fighters, it would probably be a tie between Super Mario Brothers, Metroid, and Mega Man 2.
Any final thoughts for the readers at shadowloo and for the Australian SF scene in general?
Support one another. Every scene you hear all around the world about got started because of a core group of players pushing each other as far as they could go, and then beyond. Fighting games are so deep that you can always learn something from playing other people and talking about the game, so be true to your own style and play as hard as you can.
Thanks again for taking the time out of your busy schedule to answer these questions. If you ever need us for an interview someday, we’ll be more then happy to oblige.