While Arcade1Up is working tirelessly on their current round of products, our team here at Code Mystics dedicated the last few months' of our evenings and weekends to adding features that both you, the community, and we have been longing to see. With the help of some closed testing with select members of the community and subsequent open beta, we're now ready to share with everyone! Introducing...
Code Mystics' KI Spectating (and more)
Though Arcade1Up's team is fully occupied with their current and upcoming products, we've gotten their permission to release our labour-of-love to the community.
This update is being offered by Code Mystics not Arcade1Up, so we kindly ask that you direct all issues to us in our forums. or on our #ki-spectating Discord channel. Arcade1Up/Tastemakers Customer Support will not be able to help you with issues related to this update, and we don't want to distract them from what they have in the works for you. :)
So without further ado, please enjoy the instructions and new features below...
Whenever you are in an online game, you now have the option to see who you are playing against and how many matches you each have won since you connected. This is shown in a ribbon that appears on the bottom of the screen:
You have a choice when to see this Match Stats ribbon, which can be independently changed in Killer Instinct's, Killer Instinct 2's, and Battletoad's Game Settings:
"Never" will disable the stats ribbon completely, "Always" will make it appear so long as you are in an Online Match or have spectators, and "With LIVE Menu" will hide the ribbon if you are not viewing the in-game LIVE menu.
It used to be that whoever's game you joined had the right to end it without leaving by "kicking" you out. Now, once you pass the GAME OVER screen, whoever won the last match gets to use the Kick option in the LIVE Menu. This means that spectators can stay with the winner in an online match as they fight a succession of worthy opponents. Of course, you can still voluntarily leave the match even if you are the winner. The Kick option is found, as before, within the LIVE Menu by highlighting your opponent and pressing a button:
And now, we've arrived at the main feature! Even when a match is full, you still have the option to spectate! Full matches that are available for spectating will appear in your Available Games list with an "eye" icon:
Simply select the match as always, and you will be able to watch the other players:
For players and spectators both, if you have the Match Stats ribbon visible, you will see the number of people spectating to the right of the "eye" icon.
While spectating, if you press a START button, you can join the queue to play next:
The stats ribbon on the bottom of the screen will indicate to all participants and spectators how many people are waiting to play. This number can be found to the right of the "coin" icon. Also, if applicable, it will state your position in the queue.
When "on deck" to play next (a.k.a. #1 in the queue), you will not join until one of the current players leaves. By default, we allow players to decide for themselves when it's time for a person to "go to the back of the line." Once they decide it's time for the next contestant, the defeated player can either choose to leave, or the winning player can kick them. After that, the next "on deck" player will be summoned to play next.
When you are summoned, you will automatically be added as the next opponent for the host as if you'd joined the game normally.
If you want to have a Best of 3, Best of 7, etc. match read on to the next section.
When you've decided it's time to step aside and let someone else play, you can still stay to watch, and even queue up once again at the back of the line! If you chose "LEAVE THIS GAME" from the in-game LIVE menu, you will be given a "Stay to Watch" option as long as there are other players still available to play:
Likewise, if you are kicked by the winner, you can choose to stay to watch:
When you have a group playing, you can have the game automatically summon the next queued contestant when you reach a set number of wins. To do this, press the LIVE button while playing and select the PLAY NEXT IN QUEUE option:
Enter the number of wins you want to reach before moving on to the next contestant, and, when that number is reached by either player, if another player is waiting "on deck" the losing player will be kicked to make room for the next contestant. If they choose, the losing player may still Stay to Watch upon being kicked.
By default, this option is set to "If Player Quits or Kicked" which means that you will keep playing the same opponent forever no matter who is queued, until either the winner kicks the loser, or one of you decides to leave. You can go back to this default again at any time by clearing the number and then selecting "Done".
This feature will only activate if there are other people queued to take to place of the loser. If no one is queued until after you've already reached the threshold, nothing happens until the next match is over. At that point the new contestant replaces the person with the least number of wins.
While you're watching another game, you will also be listed in the Available Games list for others to join you (according to your usual Availability settings). If someone tries to join you, they will see a prompt like this:
If someone wants to start a game with you while you are Spectating, you will be notified:
Note: if you receive an "invitation" in this fashion, you will never auto-join the other person, regardless of your "auto-join" setting. You will always be prompted.
You may accept or decline these invitations individually. If you do not want to be interrupted at all while Spectating, you can set your Availability to "Invisible while Spectating" (or any other choice you prefer) via the in-game LIVE Menu:
Note that if you choose one of the first three Availability settings, it will persist for all future games, even when not Spectating, until you change it again.
If you want people to be able to see you in the Available Games list (according to your Availability setting), e.g. to Spectate, but only want certain people to be allowed to play against you, you can set a Passcode for joining your game. You then share this Passcode outside the game (social media, email, etc.) with people you want to be able to join you. This is useful if, e.g., you are part of a tournament; players would set their Availability to "Visible to Everyone" but the host would set a Passcode to join their session.
The Passcode can be set on the in-game LIVE Menu:
Games with a Passcode set will still appear in the Available Games list according to your Availability setting, but with a "lock" icon on them:
When you try to join a Passcode-locked game, you will be prompted for the Passcode:
If you know the host's Passcode, you can enter it here to join the game. Otherwise, you can select the "Watch" button to Spectate.
When you disconnect (either as a player or as a Spectator) and that person is still hosting a session, that player will appear on the top of your Available Games list with a "reconnect" icon next to their name when you first you return to the Main Menu:
After 10 seconds pass, or if you select a different game in the Main Menu, the Reconnect icon will disappear.
Like many devices capable of online multiplayer (including Xbox and PlayStation), you may find that your router needs special configuration to connect to other people reliably (or have them connect to you reliably). The specific instructions to do this vary from router to router, so you'll need to consult your router's instruction manual, but the particulars you need to know for Killer Instinct are that you need to do one of the following:
If all that sounds pretty technical, don't worry. All game machines follow the same principles, so you can search any of these suggestions and find plenty of guides, often for your very router if you include its brand and model in your search terms. The only thing that changes is the port number, so remember that Killer Instinct is port 19273, and then use any of those guides. Additionally, you can find more information in our Forum post about troubleshooting NBA Jam connections. (But for NBA Jam, the port will be 1972, so substitute 19273 when reading.)
We want to extend a special thanks to several members of the community who graciously volunteered their time on multiple nights and weekends to test our work and offer suggestions before we unleashed it onto the public. They helped us field-test our changes under a variety of network conditions and play styles, to help us find those sort of bugs that just don't show up "in the lab." So, we offer our gratitude and cheers to our enthusiastic first-round testers: Travis "I told you so" MCP, careerhigh, Jayde SheLion, OTG, UAG, Tony Mc Partland, Killer Arcade Games, plus a member of Team Encoder. And also an extra special thanks to David Arnspiger of Tastemakers for his support and paving the way for this release! Thanks to all of you for helping make this possible!
And that's it! Enjoy folks!