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Sep062011

« INTERVIEWS: Get to Know Your KOF Community Sites & Their Founders! »

Hi folks! I've seen that the KOF XIII hype is stronger than ever so I believe it's a good time to introduce some of the KOF exclusive communities for those folks new to the KOF world. While this is not an exhaustive list of every single KOF website out there, it's good enough as a starting point into the KOF world.

Each founder/admin was asked these questions:

Tell me about your community : When it was founded,main country that represents,etc. Why KOF?

What does KOF have that pushed you to form a community?

How do you think that KOFXIII will impact your community?

Check out each admin's response and thoughts on the KOF community after the break!

 

 

 

DREAMCANCEL.COM

Founder/Admin: nilcam

 

 Q1: Dream Cancel was founded on July 23, 2010. The idea came out of a thread on SRK in the KOF sub forum. Many players seemed unhappy with the KOF community being buried in a sub forum.After about a day of thought, I set up the site. The primary goal is to provide a gameplay-centric site for the U.S. KOF community to interact with, discuss the series and encourage player growth through knowledge and gaming sessions.

Q2: The KOF series is the perfect fighter for me. The game places emphasis on movement and offense but is not as over the top as air dashing games. The KOF characters are very interesting in both appearance and gameplay. I love the passion that the KOF community displays. However, the main reason I started Dream Cancel is because I am not a tournament player but I wanted to give something to the community.

Q3: I suspect all KOF communities will see incredible growth, I've already seen a significant increase in registrations since the console port was announced. Beyond Dream Cancel, I see KOFXIII as the perfect opportunity to unite the U.S. KOF community. In the past, the community has been split over several titles.If the KOF community rallies behind it like the Street Fighter community supported SFIV, we will see real growth in both the quantity and quality of the community.

 

OROCHINAGI.COM

Founder/Admin: Gunsmith

 

 Q1: This community came together a long long time ago, and has always been fragmented across the world: it's greatest strength and also it's weakness. It was founded in the UK while I was studying at University, like many, enjoying the benefits of a strong Internet connection. The site attracted attention from fans all over the world because we organised international events: UK vs France, Belgium, Sweden, Hong Kong, Japan and USA. Fans would spend lots of time arguing over who was the best - note that this was before netplay was available so you can imagine the ridiculous trolling.

Q2: SNK had a good presence in UK, moreso in central London, near Chinatown. I had played Fatal Fury, Art of Fighting and Samurai Showdown and was just hyped for KOF 94 and 95 (just re-released on PSN). However, I didn't like the look of 96 and didn't play it till just before the release of 97. You could meet people in arcades back then, but there wasn't an online meeting ground. Shoryuken was just starting and KOF has always had a rivalry with SF; the fans wanted their own space, but nobody wanted to pay for the hosting. Free websites would rise and fall, they weren't reliable. So I stepped up to the task and orochinagi.com was born.

Again it was very tough keeping in touch with everyone because of different timezones, but on the other hand, there was always somebody online to talk to about KOF! Fans loved to talk about how to do combos but also shared their creative ideas in fan art, fiction and designs. At one point, KOF sites seemed more focused on the art than the game itself!

Q3: Now that KOF XIII is just around the corner, forum activity shows that all the fans of the 'fun' side of KOF have given way to the hardcore players. People have grown up, not to say that liking cosplay is childish, but that they have less time for that. Most of the fans here only have time for a quick game and the odd laugh at a funny image - getting better at the game is more important. Many people complained that XII (12) was incomplete and got rid of the game as soon as possible. SNKP has more than addressed these issues, XIII will bring back all of these fans and more. The funny thing is that this might also bring back the type of fan that likes to draw KOF characters in new costumes! It's never a bad thing but the plan at Orochinagi is to keep the focus on making everyone a better player.

ON still has that problem where it's hard to organise a local meet up because your online friend is probably in another continent. Still, it's a good place to pick up tips on how to get better at the game: one of the only forums that has dedicated character threads, per KOF series! Hopefully more of the solid fans will come back and help out with our XIII tutorials on eLive and Youtube. It's looking to be a great season for KOF - it's a definite turning point - you can see lots more sites covering the game, lots of streaming, lots of videos, it's going to get even more hype - and that's the most important thing - more hype means more players to play with - I can't wait!

 

CYBERFANATIX.COM

Founder/Admin: Don Vecta

 

 Q1: Cyberfanatix was founded in 2000 by Pakistani player and combo maker remukhan. The main concept of the site was to have a space to show bug videos from KOF 2000. After that, the site got lot of followers so as the time went by it became a site dedicated mostly to show combo videos, bugs and some gameplay tips.

While its roots are mainly from Pakistan, KOF Cyberfanatix have had a wide array of followers coming from Mexico, Argentina, Peru, Morocco, Australia, Brazil, United States, Korea and China so pretty much we cover the places where KOF has been played hardcore

Q2: KOF's been quite popular in our countries and we wanted to deliver something curious or useful with combos and techniques for competitive gameplay. The response from the community was quite positive so we formed the forums (back in the day, together with Orochinagi founder Gunsmith in our 1.0 incarnation then by our on in 2.0 and 3.0). So we went beyond the combo making and became a stable site for news, cosplay, fan stuff, non-official tournaments and resource info.

Later on we also wanted to cover a little bit more from other fighting games like Street Fighter, Tekken, Mortal Kombat , even some old school non-fighting arcade titles from Neogeo, but in the end we have been mainly a KOF niche so people come here mostly for SNK-P stuff.

Q3: Well, for good or for bad, we are a SNK-P niche so our traffic and attendance it's paired with SNK-playmore's activity in the scene. Right now, when the company started to show their advances for the console ports of XIII and the quite surprising KOF-i, sure the activity in our forums and community sky-rocketed.

It seems that after several years, many players stopped playing the classics (mainly 98, 2002) and their interest in those games are not as strong as they used to be not long ago, but now XIII it's catching their attention into playing something new, which is always a good thing. From our stand, we will continue supporting the SNK-P community with the best we can offer which is mostly combo videos, news and fan stuff. And of course also giving out some extra news from other games as well to keep a bit of variety and flavor to our followers. Thank you very much for this interview. I do hope we can hear from you guys at IPLAYWINNER.

 

SPEKSNK.ORG

Founder/Admin: Wesker

 

 Q1: It's been many years since SpekSNK's birth. The site was created Spain, 1999, as a project to let everyone on the net our vision about the arcade world, granting special attention to SNK and its games. At first, it offered news about everything related to Neo-Geo and its launched and announced games. The site was updated on a daily basis with news, plenty of articles as previews and reviews, as well as game screenshots and art, soundtracks and other interesting content.

Much time has passed since those days. SpekSNK has evolved a lot since then, and our current objective is offering a SNK database as big as possible. We created an online encyclopedia where any user can add their own game reviews or guides, character bios, listen to original soundtracks...not only from SNK, but from other similar games from other companies, but on less of a number.

Another section that makes us proud is the Image Gallery. We offer thousands of official artwork, screenshots, wallpapers, cover arts, scanned user manuals from classic games, promotional material, character sprites...and, as with the Encyclopedia, we have material from other brands sagas, too, such as Street Fighter, Tekken, or Dead or Alive among many others. At the moment, our gallery has more than 16000 images, and it grows constantly. We believe that it's very interesting to preserve and to offer all of this material for everyone to appreciate SNK's greatness and its games no matter how much years pass.

But without a doubt, SpekSNK's most important part are the forums. SpekSNK's community has grown a lot these last years, and we've been forced to expand categories in order to discuss other subjects. It's not about chatting about SNK only anymore, but to offer forums dedicated to videogames in general, emulation, comics, cinema...and we're very satisfied with our users response about this. While SNK is still the top priority, we managed to make an active and respectful community, becoming a point of reference among Spanish regions. We always wanted to offer quality content freely- There are absolutely no ads at SpekSNK and we hope it stays that way. We also think we accomplished the making of a big project with common effort, and it would be unfair to "bomb" users with unwanted content. SpekSNK has to be a big database about SNK, not a business.

Q2: While we don't focus on The King of Fighters exclusively, we do have an enormous amount of news and info about that saga -- it would be impossible otherwise. Sadly, SNK Playmore seems to have forgotten other great games we could enjoy on Neo-Geo, and now KOF is the main topic.

I think The King of Fighters stands out for its very own nature, let's not forget it was created in 1994 as a fusion between SNK's most beloved series of games. It's a game starred by stars. A game that offered an exclusive and original gameplay and superb visuals and sound. With all of these ingredients it wasn't hard to create a successful game. Each chapter in the series created huge expectations. People around the world awaited their first images with true passion, wanted to know which characters would be included that time, what the story was gonna be...there are lots of games on the market that compete with KOF, but plain on that aspect. I'm not saying they're worse, but on many cases they tend to just make characters fight each other with a simple storyline.

What made KOF big was the love for its characters: They have relationships with each other, not only making teams, but during the fights too. There's always an interesting storyline backing them, the characters evolve, and of course there are big changes gameplaywise with each iteration...sometimes with better aim than others. In my opinion, SNK has abused this saga, and many people got tired of it. We're not blind, and after KOF 2000 it became clear that the quality began to descend dramatically. This seems to have changed with games like KOF XI and XIII, and this time it's creating a lot of expectations. I'd love to see games like in good times, but adapted to this new era of gaming. And following this path I'm sure SNK Playmore will make it.

To me, The King of Fighters is one of the sagas that better represent arcade fighting games. All-time classics that are enjoyed by a lot of people even today and with characters recognized by everyone around the globe. Accomplishing that isn't easy, but SNK did.

Q3: With The King of Fighters XIII, we increased the number of daily news by several times, as well as visitor numbers willing to read them, hungry for new info. Everyone seems so excited that we've created some extensive coverage to the game. Right now we have two official topics dedicated to KOF XIII: Arcade and Console/iPhone versions. They're trully huge, and we included all of the info we can get: Every official artwork, a look back on the saga, all of the teams backstories translated to spanish, character sprites, command lists, trailers, videos, rumors...everything, in short. You don't make that in a day or two, we put lots of time and effort in creating this extensive database, but the greetings and cheers from the users encourage us to continue.

I'm very satisfied about the results of our work, my mates and myself. Everytime new info appears, everyone celebrates it, they discuss about the roster, the gameplay, game balance...this game is hugely anticipated indeed. Everyone's very excited about its launch and can't wait to lay hands on it. I'm sure the game will be played a lot by SpekSNK users. As for me, I hope the game delivers good character balance and goon online features to increase its life span as much as possible. I don't want to see another case such as KOF XII, with many disappointed players abandoning it very early on XBox Live and PlayStation Network.

All in all, SpekSNK reaction to KOF XIII has been very positive and it made lots of new (and old) fans know us. I'm convinced that SpekSNK users will organize lots of online matches and tournaments. And SNK Playmore better be ready, because without any doubt they'll demand a KOF XIV!

 

MMCAFE.COM

Founder/Admin: Professor

 

 Madman's Cafe is not a KOF exclusive website but every KOF fan worth its salt has lurked or posted there. 

Q1: MMCafe's community started when its bulletin board was launched in May 2000, which was three years after the site began. The community grew pretty big and peaked around the release of Capcom vs SNK 2. After that, with SNK's downfall and the lack of fighting games in general, updates on the front page slowed down and the community began to downsize. And thus the site's community became the cozy, Cafe-like atmosphere that it is now.

It continues to be a complete mix of people from all countries and interests. There's quite some colorful personalities there, but everyone generally gets along with each other without need for any moderation; they're all great people, and they're the treasure of the site. The front page still doesn't get updated too often, but the community is still alive and continues to bring in some of the fastest news when it comes to fighting games.

As for the site itself, it's pretty laid back right now. Still, there's some new nifty features that have been silently added, like the Nicovideo redirector, Tokyo arcade map, and the fictitious map of South Town. More features are slated to come in a hopeful preparation for a future face-lift.

Q2: Actually, MMCafe's community isn't dedicated to KOF; it covers all sorts of games and Japanese pop-culture topics in general, all in a sea of randomness that'll never get you bored. That said, its roots to the NeoGeo community is pretty deep.

Before it became a site, MMCafe started off in 1994 as just a tread on Prodigy, a closed network in the US. Its main coverage were SNK games such as KOF94.. in fact, I think KOF94 was the first game covered there. So who knows-- if it wasn't for KOF's debut title, the site might have never existed!

Back in those years, the Internet was still at its early years and fan activities were very grass-root. SNK was a big thing back then. In fact, some big names in the gaming industry have been fans of SNK since those times, too.

Q3: The pre-release hype is already on, and a lot of the community members in MMCafe are showing interest. For the hardcore members, the next three months to the game's release is definitely going to be a long wait. For the more casual members, it wouldn't be surprising if it interests them in returning to the franchise.

Leaving aside XII, this title is a major advancement from the previous sequels that were abusively inheriting the old engine and graphics for well over a decade since 1996. So, if there's enough members that show interest and the console version's net code is good enough to warrant cross-country matches, this could well end up being the first time we hold a tournament within the community.

Reader Comments (5)

I approve this article.

September 6, 2011 | Registered CommenterFersis

Great set of interviews. Shows just how long the sites have been around and how dedicated the community is even during times when it seems like all is lost for SNK and their games.

September 6, 2011 | Registered Commenterhaunts

super gdlk!

September 6, 2011 | Registered CommenterRandomUltraDavid

Awesome stuff, IPW! This is the sort of feature (as well as everything else) that will help make IPW one of my first stops for overall fighting game coverage. Keep it up.

P.S. Having trouble posting comments on the recent VF Videos article. The trouble with posting comments might be limited to the Chrome browser. I'm now posting with Firefox.

September 6, 2011 | Registered CommenterChanchai

great

September 7, 2011 | Registered Commenterpeter lee
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