The free, open source edition of cancelled fighter Rising Thunder is now available

Rising Thunder open alpha

Update, January 18 2018: Rising Thunder: Community Edition is now available.

There was quite a bit of ambition behind Rising Thunder, a fighter built by a number of FGC veterans to make inputs more accessible and open the genre to a wider audience while maintaining its depth. The game was canned when Riot acquired developers Radiant Entertainment, but we learned recently that the work-in-progress version of the title would be released to fans for free.

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And so it has. Rising Thunder: Community Edition is now available – you can grab all the relevant files via the official post on Reddit. That includes the main client, which has been fitted with some “basic modifications” to allow for offline play with keyboards and fight sticks. These things have been only “marginally tested,” so do expect some bugs along the way. There’s also some brand new server software available, supporting rudimentary matchmaking and two-player lobbies, with room for ambitious folks to mod in more substantial features.

They’ve also dug up and collated a bunch of artifacts from the development of Rising Thunder, including everything from videos of prototype versions, pilot lore, concept art, and more.

“Once again, thanks for all your support for the game,” Radiant co-founder Tony Cannon says. “We’re hard at work on something new at Riot Games, so unfortunately we’re going to go dark for a while again after this release. I’ll try to lurk on the RT Reddit from time to time, but expect this to be the very last official release of anything Rising Thunder related. Good luck, and godspeed!”

Original story, December 18 2017:Rising Thunder was a fighting game from Radiant Entertainment, built in part by FGC luminaries like Seth Killian and Evo founders Tom and Tony Cannon. It was to have all the depth of a traditional fighter, but with a simplified, infinitely more accessible control scheme, but was cancelled after Radiant were acquired by League of Legends developers Riot Games. Yet Rising Thunder is not gone, as the developers are releasing the final build of the game to the public.

Rising Thunder: Community Edition will be released in January, completely free. “Our intent here,” reads the announcement on Reddit, “is to give the game back to you guys, the community, and let you run with it.”

This build has essentially the same features as the final alpha in 2016, but the developers have “tinkered” to add offline local play and some smaller improvements. The game only supports local keyboard versus controller matches, but “it should be straightforward to hack in 1p controller support through external scripting.”

Radiant are also releasing an open source version of the Rising Thunder server, letting you set up matchmade games online. This is a “first pass at a bare-bones server” that will allow for basic matchmaking and rudimentary features, and the community will be free to tinker with the source code to make their own improvements.

The team have moved on to develop something new, and they promise more info “when the time is right.” The real question is whether this new title is the same as Riot’s next game, which they’ve been teasing for ages now.