On September 28th, 2017 Killer Instinct’s final update was released, bringing it to Steam. No longer restricted by the less-accessible Windows 10 Store and Xbox One exclusivity, the game has the opportunity to reach more people than ever before. However, in tandem with this, developer support has ended for Killer Instinct. While its online modes continue to work, the game will no longer be refined as it was every few months for the past four years. Developer support ending typically means death for a modern fighting game. As NRS and Capcom moved to their next generation games, their players went with them, to continue competing within the companies’ respective pro tours. Now, older titles are left for the side tournaments or occasional special feature of a tournament.
Killer Instinct has always been a stand out, so what happens to it now? The community steps in. Today I present to you an interview with Broken Tynado, server owner of the Killer Instinct Discord. He runs regular online tournaments for the game, with various prizes. We learn about how he got into the game, how he sees himself within the community, and where he thinks the community is at right now.
Gunnar Burden: I wanted to start off with this question: what got you into video games? Sometimes Fighting Game Community (FGC) members do not play video games outside of what they compete in.
Broken Tynado: Way back when I was like 4 or 5-ish I used to play this old hockey game on the SNES with my Dad. I think it was just called Stanley Cup, then I got Super Mario World and it just went from there.
GB: What was the first fighting game you played?
BT: I think it was the SNES version of [Killer Instinct] to be completely honest, haha! I got that and some other weird knock off fighting game at a garage sale.
GB: Were there any fighting games you competed in before Killer Instinct? Any exposure to the FGC?
BT: The first game I got competitive with was probably Mortal Kombat 9, then Ultra Street Fighter IV. I don’t think I’ve ever won anything though, ha.
GB: Do you think your prior experience in the FGC has allowed you to be the community leader that you are for the Killer Instinct Discord?
BT: Honestly, I don’t really see myself as a huge community leader. While I do moderate the chat and help put together events with the other mods, we do kind of work as a team rather than one guy leading the whole thing. I look at people like Ovis, Element, and Atsu to be bigger leaders than me in our discord community, hell, probably the whole KI community for that matter. They’re always around willing to help guys out, run sets, map out frame data, things like that.
GB: So you feel like you’re more of the host than the big figurehead?
BT: Yeah that’s a good way to put it.
GB: That’s a great way to look at things! Going from that, what made you decide to create the server? Were you talking with some of these guys and just decided to make it and it got big?
BT: Haha, I actually didn’t start the server. I joined right after the PC launch and got along with people well enough, so they made me a chat mod, then a server mod, and then the old owner left because of other obligations he felt were getting in the way. Through what I guess was a combination of other people not wanting to do it and people thinking I’d do a decent job, the ownership title went to me.
GB: Oh I see. I was under the impression that you’d owned it since its inception. So being given the server, was there a lot of pressure in your head for things like online events, or are you pretty relaxed about it?
BT: I’ve had the server owner role for almost 2 years now. And, yeah, there was pressure, and still is. I love the game and know that other people in the discord love the game as much, if not more, than me. I try to make things as best as I can with the resources we have. It’s always a bummer if an event doesn’t go as planned or doesn’t meet expectations because I do think that online communities and online events are what’s going to keep this game going.
GB: What made you get into this specific KI?
BT: Way back when it was announced I thought it looked amazing! Like I said before, I played the other KI games when I was younger so obviously it hit that nostalgia for me as well. I casually watched it and bought it the second it came out on PC. It’s just a super fun game, it plays great, runs well online, sounds and looks great considering it is a slightly older game.
GB: Having already been in the FGC prior to its existence, how do you feel about the whole cross roads of the larger FGC, the FGC guys that are only into Killer Instinct, and the unique users who are into Killer Instinct and not the larger FGC?
BT: I think the FGC guys that play other games do a pretty solid job out giving shout outs to the game, it seems like it’s this game everyone loves but few play as their main competitive game for some reason, haha. I do think anyone who just plays KI should expand and play other fighting games, we’re in a great spot right now where there are a ton of different games with a ton of different mechanics and now’s the best time to play and watch anything you can, because there might be a game they love that they just haven’t played yet.
GB: Is there any shout outs you’d like to do?
BT: Other than the few guys I already gave shout outs to, I wouldn’t mind thanking the other mods for the work they do.
Oh and Gurren!
Thank you very much to Broken Tynado for the interview! If you want a great community to help you get into Killer Instinct, you can visit his Discord here.
Come back next week for the community survey, where various Discord members speak their minds on the state of Killer Instinct.