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  #1  
Unread 12-08-2018, 04:04 AM
Adam Ryland Adam Ryland is offline
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Default TEW2020 Announcement & Developer's Journal

Total Extreme Wrestling 2020 Announced

I'm pleased to officially announce that my next game with Grey Dog Software will be Total Extreme Wrestling 2020 and that the ever-popular developer's journal will be starting this coming Monday, the 10th December.

Below I've put together a short FAQ on the subject.

When is the game coming out?

The original aim was to release the game in the summer of 2020. However, things have been progressing so well that I suspect we may now be looking a little earlier than that, possibly even Christmas 2019. You'll be reading about the progress in the upcoming developer's journal, and so the release date will be clearer as we move through the next year.

Why is it such a long way off?

The game has already been under development for some time and will have likely had about two years of work before it is released. The reason that this is so long (about double what we normally do) is simply that this is the biggest, most ambitious project to date.

Usually each TEW game gets written on top of the previous one - this is the most efficient way to do it as it means that I don't have to "reinvent the wheel" each time. The drawback of this is that some often-requested features are simply not possible because the structure / architecture can't support them.

For TEW2020, I've instead completely taken the game apart, rewritten the underlying architecture, and then put each feature back in one-by-one, revamping and upgrading as I go along. The end result is that while you're still going to recognise the game as being part of the TEW series, it's effectively a much sharper, quicker, more intuitive, better quality piece of work. This is going to be the biggest jump forward in terms of quality the series has ever seen (I can say that with confidence because it's already blowing TEW2016 out of the water and there's still at least a year of work to come!)

What will the developer's journal cover?

You've probably noticed that the journal will be running for a long time. Normally it lasts a month, this one will last over a year!

The journal will effectively be split into two. For the next few months we'll be in 'catch up mode'. During this time I will be explaining what we've done so far - what changes have been made, what new features are in, etc. Once we've gone through all the changes (and there's already hundreds!) we'll move into a "live" journal. This will last for the remainder of the project and will effectively let you follow along with the game's progress as I'll be telling you what I'm currently working on, how testing is going, etc.

The journal will not be a daily thing, purely because that would take away too much time from the development. Instead, you can expect two or three entries per week.

How can I get involved?

The game is already fully designed and work is well under way but there's still scope to incorporate some new suggestions, so if you have sudden brainwaves the Suggestions forum is the best place to go and post.

I will be inviting a limited number of playtesters later in the project's life cycle. As usual, this will be invitation only and based on people's behaviour and attitude on the forums. Applications / requests are not accepted and will automatically mean that person will not be considered.

The main place to get involved will be the TEW2020 discussion thread which is further down the board.

Developer's journal contents page

Phase 1: "Announcing and discussing features that have already been completed"

#1: Playing as child companies
#2: Quality of life changes
#3: On-the-fly booking
#4: Switching Player Order
#5: Event Intent
#6: TEW2020 save game to database converter
#7: Venues and locations
#8: Areas and regions
#9: Attributes
#10: Company sizes
#11: Indy Wrestler Of The Year, injury effects, day one narratives
#12: Scheduling
#13: AI event instructions, "sticky" searches
#14: Dojo revamp
#15: Area and regional battles
#16: Company relationships, excursions
#17: Various title belt changes
#18: Talk To Worker
#19: House Shows
#20: Merchandising
#21: Ticket pricing
#22: Contract structure
#23: Spiritual homes and politics
#24: Angles
#25: Angles II
#26: Pushes & perception
#27: Cosmetic immersion touches
#28: Broadcasters
#29: Broadcasting deals
#30: More about broadcasting
#31: Even more about broadcasting
#32: Independent wrestling
#33: Match booking
#34: Experience
#35: User reputation, free pictures
#36: Stables
#37: Loans
#38: Stars and attendance levels
#39: Tag team types, worldwide tag search, numbered TV shows, new match types
#40: Worker styles
#41: New road agent notes
#42: Products
#43: Five small changes
#44: AI Booking
#45: E-mail settings
#46: Momentum
#47: Relocation and luchas de apuestas
#48: Editor changes, quick fill addition
#49: AI gimmick matches, ager / de-ager, bald free pictures, editing contracts
#50: Pre Booking
#51: Pre booking change, fast advance, multiplayer fast advance, tecnicos and rudos
#52: Financial model
#53: Regional battle addition, re-calibrated attendances, sticky screen position
#54: Brands
#55: Merchandise figures and cuts, stables and products, clearing the decks
#56: Financial breakdown, developmental tolerance, transparent coloured lists
#57: Belt profiles, worker potential, downside changes, start data variance
#58: Skill change drip feed, PM options, health levels, star quality
#59: Tournament tracker, swipe arrows
#60: Delayed call ups, owners and other companies, match styles
#61: Moving titles, editing titles, owner preferences
#62: Search by skill, technical wrestling, years of service
#63: Skill comparison, popularity comparison, floating booking ideas
#64: Worker promises
#65: Scouting, Pro Mode, Contextual Rosters
#66: Stored performance, contract offer auto set, editorial skill comparison
#67: Child company size, closing child companies, game world screen, sub-medium costs
#68: Close company, more accurate visibility, young lions, in-game skin change
#69: Popularity caps, crowd burn out, editing relationships, editing chemistry
#70: Era details, name searches, AI tag signing, aggressive predator hiring, visible expiry dates
#71: Legacies, import employment history, default area status, worker overuse
#72: Belt prestige, randomness control, painkiller benefits, coming off steroids
#73: AI pushes, AI feuds, new nationalities, starting money, inactive alliances, player job applications
#74: AI releases, new match aims, manager upgrades, picture requirements, eye candy penalties, financial warning mails, venue name size, body type change detail, new language, tag team copying, battle scores
#75: The remaining minor features

Phase 2: "A 'live' journal of how the project is going and what's currently being worked upon"

#1: Current status of the project and upcoming schedule
#2: Recently added features
#3: Recently added features (part II)
#4: Recently added features (part III)
#5: Intro screens, talent trades
#6: A peek-behind-the-curtain look at gimmicks
#7: Pre-phase II additions
#8: Pre-phase II additions (part II)
#9: Social media storms
#10: Regular social media
#11: Gimmick week, initial testing
#12: Gimmicks
#13: Performance skill revamp
#14: Tidying up
#15: A quiet week
#16: Masked worker names
#17: Testing and other things
#18: Grunt work and prepping the CornellVerse
#19: Attribute suggestions
#20: Auto booker, redo schedule
#21: More auto booker
#22: Products and matches
#23: Coming schedule
#24: This week's attribute additions
#25: More attribute additions
#26: Unsurprisingly, it's even more attribute additions
#27: General status update
#28: Initial database work
#29: More database work / new products
#30: Product suggestions
#31: Progress report
#32: Continuing database work
#33: Moving into 2020
__________________
Adam Ryland
Designer of TEW, WMMA, WreSpi, and Comic Book Hero
adamryland@hotmail.com

Last edited by Adam Ryland : 12-11-2019 at 04:27 AM.
  #2  
Unread 12-10-2018, 05:30 AM
Adam Ryland Adam Ryland is offline
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#1: Playing as child companies

A new addition to the game is the ability for the user to play as the owner or booker of another promotion's child company. This mode works in the same way as running a normal company, except that the player must deal with several extra challenges - primarily that the parent can send workers there for development, call workers up, fire workers, and has the final say on all matters which means that they can, for example, block certain actions that the child company wishes to take. They do, however, have the advantage of not having to worry too much about finances (as any profit or loss is absorbed by the parent and so it's impossible to go bankrupt), although the parent is not going to be happy if the financial performance is overly poor.

The child company has the option of whether to proactively sign talent or just utilise the workers they are provided with by the parent. However, they have no power to fire workers who have been sent there on developmental contracts and so must be very careful about roster management, especially when it comes to negative influences.

This mode is unrestricted in that the player can run a child company regardless of whether the parent is human or AI controlled. If the parent is AI controlled, they will always give the child a warning ahead of time if they are planning to call someone up, giving the user time to switch any titles, do a farewell match, etc. If the parent is human-controlled then it is entirely up to that player - they are free to do things without warning if they so wish.
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Adam Ryland
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  #3  
Unread 12-12-2018, 05:44 AM
Adam Ryland Adam Ryland is offline
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#2: Quality of life changes

In this entry, rather than looking at a new feature I'll instead be discussing some of the small changes that have a big improvement on the user's quality of life.

As we've confirmed before, TEW2020 is going to be at a 1366x768 resolution which means that it's physically wider than previous games. One of the things you'll notice when playing the game is that the extra space has been used to combine many screens into one. To give just one example, the Brands screen, which used to consist of many separate windows, is now housed entirely on one screen. This means less clicking for the user and is more intuitive as you'll have access to more information in one place.

TEW2020 will also feature the same sort of interface as WMMA5 given that that was so popular with people (if you haven't played WMMA5 you can see an example in screen shot #3 here). This means that there'll be a customisable control bar at the bottom of the screen where you can have quick links to various sections, jump to worker or company summaries, etc. This makes life a lot easier for the player as you can set it up, for example, so that you can go straight to your roster or past results without ever leaving the main web site screen. Again, this potentially saves you lots of clicking and is more intuitive.

A very small change that will have an enormous benefit is the new "flash message" system. In the horizontal taskbar at the top of the game is an area that tells you what version you are currently playing. This doubles as a message display too. For example, suppose you hit the Save button. Normally you'd get a pop-up confirmation window which would require you to pause and click OK to shut it. In TEW2020 this confirmation window is entirely removed. Instead, the version text disappears and the word "Saved" will flash up (in a different colour to get your attention) for two seconds before fading out and going back to showing the version. This system replaces all the confirmation windows in the game, thus potentially saving you hundreds, if not thousands, of pauses and clicks.

The final small change I'll be discussing today is the new look for windows. Each window in the game now has three icons in its taskbar (as in the bar at the top of the window you use to drag it around): Notepad, Handbook, and Close. Firstly this means that the notepad is always available, no matter where you are. Secondly, it means that you can always get to the Player's Handbook with a single click. The Handbook is extremely detailed in TEW2020 and also has the added advantage that it will automatically jump to the correct section - so if you're in the Finance section and hit the Handbook icon, you'll not only open the Handbook window but also immediately be looking at the section related to finances. Finally, the Close button is now in the top right hand corner rather than it's traditional place in the bottom right. This will take you a few days to get used to when you play, but is ultimately more user friendly as it means the windows make better use of the available space.

A quick (unrelated) note about operating systems

There has been a few people asking about whether the game will be available for Apple devices. To clarify, the game has been taken apart and redone but is still in the same (Microsoft-based) programming language as before. So, if you want to use it on an Apple product (or any other non-Microsoft platform) you would still need to use emulation software.
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Adam Ryland
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  #4  
Unread 12-15-2018, 03:50 AM
Adam Ryland Adam Ryland is offline
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#3: On-the-fly booking

This will be a very short journal entry for a very large change!

TEW2020 will feature on-the-fly booking for the first time. This means that when you're running a show you can "drop out" of the live event and back to the booking screen whenever you like. Obviously you won't be able to alter segments that have already taken place, but you can edit the rest of the show.

This allows for both proactive and reactive changes. In the former camp, you might feel you're losing the crowd and so move one of your more exciting matches forward in order to wake them back up. You might want to change someone's character details so that they can work multiple matches on the same show under different identities. As far as reacting goes, injuries or audibles might force you to rebook parts of the show, or you may just be so impressed or horrified by someone's performance that you want to rebook a later segment to add them in or write them out.

All in all, this just gives you a lot of extra flexibility and makes the shows feel more like a real live experience.
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  #5  
Unread 12-17-2018, 03:50 AM
Adam Ryland Adam Ryland is offline
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Spoilers: Christmas is next week. As a result, I'm not sure I'm going to be able to post much, if at all. So, what we're going to do is go old school dev journal this week - one post every week day. That way if I am not around next week we're not getting behind schedule, and if I do post...well, you've got bonus content. Win-win.

#4: Switching Player Order

In previous games you've always had to play in turn order but that's now been thrown out the window. During AM mode, there's now a Switch Player button on the left hand menu. You can switch back and forth to your heart's content, even multiple times per turn. So, player A can do his thing, player B can then come in and do some stuff, player A can come back and do things, etc, etc. The turn only ends when all the players have set themselves as being done. Obviously this has no impact if you only play single player games, but I think this is a real bonus if you're doing a multi player game or like to control multiple companies at once.

(This next bit is super minor, but I'm going to throw it in as it's so closely related to the above.)

In PM mode, in the past it was always split so that all the players ran their shows, then the AI. There's nothing particularly bad about this method, but it did mean there was one annoying niggle in that the AI would have to "guess" who would have been used on the big AI-controlled shows and this was not always 100% accurate - it meant that occasionally smaller companies did not have access to talent that technically they should have.

What happens in the new game is that the shows happen in size order, regardless of whether the company is controlled by a human or the AI. This means that the guesswork is removed, so if a bigger company does not utilise one of their roster then that worker is potentially available to work for a smaller company that night. As I said above, this is a really minor change and, honestly, I doubt if most people would have even noticed, but it does get rid of a small irritation and I wanted to flag it up so that people didn't mistakenly think that they could switch player order in PM mode too.
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Adam Ryland
Designer of TEW, WMMA, WreSpi, and Comic Book Hero
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  #6  
Unread 12-18-2018, 03:52 AM
Adam Ryland Adam Ryland is offline
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#5: Event Intent

Each event in TEW2020 can be given an intent; this tells the game how it is being promoted to the fans and what its aim is. The four levels are Normal, Lesser, Tour, and Throwaway.

Normal is the default and is what you're used to from previous games.

Lesser shows get a slightly reduced attendance level and are less powerful with regards to altering the company's popularity - a show needs to be much better or worse to trigger gains or losses. This type of show is for events that have a relatively weak line-up or aren't being treated overly seriously.

Tour shows are specifically meant to be part of Japanese-style tours (more on them in a later entry) and are not designed for use outside of a company that is running that sort of schedule. These shows are automatically not broadcast (but can be taped for highlights) and the attendance levels are much lower than normal. The fans are more lenient however, so a show has to be particularly awful to lose popularity. It's very hard to gain popularity from these type of shows due to their nature.

Throwaway shows are specifically designed to be used for charity shows, one-off tributes, etc, where there is no pretense that the card is going to be a serious spectacle (or even fit continuity). Attendances will be very low and a show would have to be absolutely amazing or dire to have any affect on popularity.

These intent levels therefore give the user a little more creative leeway and allow for some real life situations to be covered.
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Adam Ryland
Designer of TEW, WMMA, WreSpi, and Comic Book Hero
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  #7  
Unread 12-19-2018, 04:05 AM
Adam Ryland Adam Ryland is offline
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#6: TEW2020 save game to database converter

I think this is one of the more requested features over the years, so I'm glad to finally be able to include this one.

TEW2020 contains a new feature which turns a save game directly into a new database. It's located in the Options menu (right above the existing button to make an MDB file). The resulting database then works like any other mod - you can edit it via the main editor, use it to launch new games, etc.

(I know some people only skim read these posts, so I'm just going to highlight that this is converting a TEW2020 save game into a database. It does not mean you can continue TEW2016 saves in the new game.)

This could potentially be useful in a number of ways. If you're playing and end up with a particularly interesting game world, this would be a great way to turn it into a mod and share it with people. I'd imagine it's going to be incredibly useful for those of you who like playing organic mods. It's also has a lot of potential for ageing scenarios - for example, you might take the default data, run ten years, and then use this to create a "CornellVerse 2030" mod. It's also going to be good for creating "what if?" scenarios.

As the resulting database is made directly from the save game there shouldn't ever be any need to do any subsequent work to make the mod playable, although as I'm guessing most people strip out the unused avatars at the start of each game you might want to do a quick import to add some back in.

The one thorny issue that this does bring up (at least on these boards, this wouldn't be a problem elsewhere) is the ownership of the database you create if you are playing a game based on someone else's mod. For example, if you play 10 years into the future and use this feature, the resulting database is going to have literally tens of thousands of changes to it. Could you then be considered the co-creator? If the game world is utterly unrecognisable is it realistically a new piece of work? Would you need the original maker's permission to distribute it? I'm really not sure what the best way to handle this will be. What I suspect we'll do is just play it by ear post-release and see what the general feeling is.
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  #8  
Unread 12-20-2018, 05:38 AM
Adam Ryland Adam Ryland is offline
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#7: Venues and locations

This is more of a structural / conceptual change rather than a playable feature, but I think it will have a very positive impact overall.

The Locations that you're familiar with from previous games are now categorised into two groups, Locations and Venues. (They're still within the same file within the editor, so there's no extra clicking involved.)

Venues are specific buildings (like "Madison Square Garden"). These have all the detail you're used to, like a capacity and open and closing dates. They also have a new field, "Limited to one company per night", which you can use if you don't like seeing multiple companies occupying the same place at the same time.

Locations on the other hand are geographical (as in "Brooklyn" or "Melbourne"). These have less detail, being limited to a maximum capacity (to stop situations where you might have 100,000 people turning up to some small rural town) and an importance rating.

The big advantage to this is that a singe Location can give a region all the destinations it needs to serve any number of companies of different sizes, so database makers are potentially saved a ton of work.

For example, if you take the Southern England region, in previous games you'd need to realistically provide at least eight different places to work - one to hold a few hundred people, one to hold a thousand or so, one to hold several thousand, and so on. Under the new system, you could make a single Location, "London", with a high maximum capacity and that provides for everyone. Whether a company is drawing 30 or 30,000 fans, they're covered. Or you could make "East London", "West London", etc, if you want to just give a little more variation. So database makers who are happy with that level of detail (or just want to have placeholders for a short time) can fill their game world extremely quickly and when you're reading the results you're going to see "Promotion drew 150 people to London", "Promotion drew 20,000 people to London", and it'll all make sense and look correct.

Of course, the database makers who want to go super detailed and have nothing but real venues can also do it their way, they just use multiple Venues rather than Locations. Or you can mix and match, so you might have nothing but real life Venues filling somewhere like Tri State but give Hawaii just a single Location.

I hope that's all clear, I appreciate that this might be one of the features that's a little tricky to appreciate without seeing it in action. If you have any questions, ask them in the usual thread.

Just a reminder that tomorrow is the end of this run of having a journal entry every day, and as I'm away for Christmas there probably won't be another entry after that for a while.
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Adam Ryland
Designer of TEW, WMMA, WreSpi, and Comic Book Hero
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  #9  
Unread 12-21-2018, 05:26 AM
Adam Ryland Adam Ryland is offline
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#8: Areas and regions

I've been asked to provide a breakdown of the areas and regions of the game world, so that will be today's entry.

USA: Great Lakes, Mid Atlantic, Mid South, Mid West, New England, North West, South East, South West, Tri State, Puerto Rico, Hawaii

Canada: The Maritimes, Quebec, Ontario, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, British Columbia

Mexico: Occidente, Centro, Sur, Sureste, Noroccidente, Noreste

British Isles: Wales, Ireland, Southern England, Scotland, Northern England, Midlands

Japan: Hokkaido, Kyushu, Shikoku, Chugoku, Kansai, Chubu, Kanto, Tohoku

Europe: Eastern Europe, Scandinavia, Central Europe, Southern Europe, Southern Mediterranean, Iberia, Northern Europe, Russia

Oceania: New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Victoria, Western Australia, Tasmania, New Zealand

India: North India, Central India, South India

So, you have an expanded Mexico, Wales coming in, Europe getting reorganised, and India debuting.

The game world screen has also been totally redesigned so that's it's a single screen, no pop ups, and each area and region has a proper bio and stats screen giving you text descriptions of exactly what each region covers (i.e. what states are in each US region, what countries are in each Euro region, etc), the spillover, etc, so that should be much more intuitive and user friendly.

I'll finish by wishing everyone a Merry Christmas. As I said elsewhere, I don't know whether I'll get a chance to post next week, so you'll either be getting the next entry late next week or in the first few days of 2019. Have a happy and safe holiday everyone.
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Adam Ryland
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  #10  
Unread 12-27-2018, 05:37 AM
Adam Ryland Adam Ryland is offline
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I hope everyone had a good Christmas.

I need to make a quick correction to the last journal entry: I gave "Northern Europe" as one of the regions, that should have read "Western Europe".

#9: Attributes

Coming into the game from the WMMA series, Attributes will be making their debut in 2020.

Attributes are essentially tags that can be assigned to workers to give them specific quirks or abilities. These range from personality changers (like "Party Animal" and "Troublemaker") to lifestyle effects (like "Former Hard Drug User" or "Straight Edge") to ones that change what a worker is willing to do (like "Daredevil" which means they are always willing to do crazy and stunt bumps). A worker with no attributes simply uses the default behaviour.

As you can guess from the above examples, this replaces the old personality system and the old lifestyle system. It also incorporates what used to be represented by the acting / musician / etc tick boxes.

Attributes can be assigned via the editor and will also be gained, lost, and developed over the course of gameplay.

Each attribute can also be set as Permanent (meaning that it can never be lost, obviously) and Hidden (meaning that it will be invisible during gameplay; otherwise it will be freely seen when viewing a worker). Hidden attributes lose that designation if they become known (such as if a worker fails a drugs test).

There are several advantages to this system. From a player's perspective, it's now far more intuitive; rather than having to try and figure out what a worker's personality settings might mean, you can see immediately whether they are going to be someone who'll be up for taking crazy bumps, etc. Their personality and outside interests are also going to be clear in one look rather than having to search through sub-menus. You're also getting more unique workers who can have all sorts of different quirks to make them feel more alive.

For people writing or editing databases, this marks a significant cut in workload when creating workers. It also removes a lot of guesswork when it comes to behaviour as you don't need to try and fiddle with the various personality settings to try and create specific effects - you just pick the effect you want from the Attribute list and apply it. This also opens up options that weren't previously available; for example, if you really want a wrestler who is quite conservative in terms of personality but will happily engage in hardcore matches you can do this very easily.

Another advantage of this system is that it's very easy to add in new attributes when and if they're needed, so if there are any real life (or fantasy) situations where a specific quirk is needed to model a specific person, it's very easy to patch in the necessary Attribute.

I won't be giving a list of the Attributes at this point simply because we're nowhere near finished with them - at the moment only the basics and a few specific quirks have been added - and I expect there to be at least a hundred or so more added by the time we get to the testing phase.

As a side note, the TEW2016->TEW2020 converter automatically fills in Attributes for you, so that will also remove a lot of work for database makers.

As this is the last entry of 2018, everyone here at GDS would like to wish you a happy new year. See you in 2019!
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adamryland@hotmail.com
  #11  
Unread 01-02-2019, 08:35 AM
Adam Ryland Adam Ryland is offline
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Happy new year everybody.

#10: Company sizes

The way that company sizes work has been totally redone for TEW2020.

First of all, the names of the seven categories have changed. They are now Insignificant, Tiny, Small, Medium, Big, Large, and Titanic. This is primarily a cosmetic change as I didn't like Cult (as it has some pejorative associations and also has a different meaning in regards to products) and the old National and International names don't necessarily fit anymore.

The criteria for each level has been totally redone, with two particularly important changes.

The first change is that there's no longer both Importance and Popularity - now you just have the latter. This makes the system easier to understand as there's only one set of values and absolutely no maths involved, and it means you can't drop in size "out of the blue" because a region's importance level changed. Regions can still be more or less important though, as we'll cover in a moment.

The second change is that the criteria for each size is unique to your company's home base. That means that playing a company in the Tri State region will involve different challenges and strategies than playing in the North West, which will be different to Puerto Rico, which will be different to Scotland, etc, etc.

We'll now look at this in more detail.

Taking a Puerto Rican company for example, the criteria are as follows:

Tiny: "Laying The Foundation" - Achieve 17 popularity in your home region.
Small: "Building a Fanbase" - Achieve 35 popularity in your home region.
Medium: "Establishing A Stronghold" - Achieve 65 popularity in your home region.
Big: "Seat Of Power" - Achieve 89 popularity in your home region, plus 77 in Mid Atlantic, Mid South, and South East regions.
Large: "International Expansion" - Achieve Big size and also 71 throughout the regions of either Canada or Mexico.
Titanic: "American Domination": Achieve Large size and also 77 in every region of the game world.

The "Laying The Foundation" and "Building A Fanbase" are the same for every company in the game world, for reference, as they simulate building your company up.

By contrast, a Great Lakes based company would have:

Medium: "Expanding East" - Achieve 59 popularity in your home region, plus 35 in either Mid Atlantic or Tri State.
Big: "Taking The East" - Achieve 77 popularity across eastern America (Great Lakes, Mid Atlantic, New England, South East, Tri State).
Large: "International Expansion" - Achieve Big size and also 71 throughout the regions of either Canada or Mexico.
Titanic: "American Domination": Achieve Large size and also 77 in every region of the game world.

As you can see, with a Puerto Rican company you're going to be concentrating hard on your home base and will be very insular until eventually making a move into mainland America only when you're already firmly established, whereas the Great Lakes company is going to be spreading outward pretty quickly. The same thing applies throughout the world, so a Scottish promotion is going to want to be looking to Ireland and the north of England before eventually spreading down towards London, whereas Mexican companies are always going to be drawn towards Mexico City. The expansions are always logically based on geography, but you'll still have a lot of freedom as to where you want to go: for example, if you start with a company slap bang in the middle of America you're going to be able to have a lot of freedom over which direction you want to expand toward.

The criteria are shown on the Size screen in-game so that you'll always know what is expected of you to go up (or down) in size. They take exactly the same form as I've written them out above, where you have a "title" and then an exact description of what popularity you need in which regions.

The nice thing about this system is that key markets become strategically very important, more so even than in TEW2016. For example, if you're playing as a Mexican company then you know that to be a player on the national stage you're going to have to go into Mexico City at some point because that's the most important place in the country - without making a splash there, you're not going to be able to rise to the bigger sizes. However, everyone else knows that too: whether the other companies are AI or human controlled, they're also going to be eyeing up Mexico City. So, as a consequence, regional battles are going to naturally flare up and become very important. This makes the game world feel more alive, more competitive, and will make you feel more apart of it rather than operating in isolation, as well as making real life key markets feel much more important than they ever have before.

The criteria are designed to be pretty similar in terms of difficulty, so there won't be huge advantages or disadvantages just by virtue of where you are based (other than the natural pros - obviously if you're in Tri State you've got access to a lot more people than a company in Hawaii). For American companies in particular, it's a little easier to get to the bigger sizes than in previous games. As you can see from the Great Lakes example, getting to Big (what used to be "National") doesn't require you to take the whole country, just to be a powerhouse on one coast. This allows situations like WCW in real life, where a company can be a player on a national scale but have the majority of their popularity be in only one half of the States.

Overall, these changes not only make it more intuitive for the player, but it also allows the AI to be smarter about being able to build their companies up over time too so the game should be more competitive from that standpoint. It also makes writing databases slightly easier as you no longer have to play around with regional importance to get the sizes right.
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  #12  
Unread 01-05-2019, 03:36 AM
Adam Ryland Adam Ryland is offline
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Just three minor items today.

#11: Indy Wrestler Of The Year, injury effects, day one narratives

The criteria for the Independent Wrestler Of The Year has been changed so that it is no longer limited only to workers on independent (i.e. not attached to a specific company) shows; instead, matches from companies below Medium size are also eligible. This gives a wider pool of potential winners and makes the award more realistic.

Injuries now contain an extra piece of information that informs the game how much of an effect they have on a worker's in-ring performance if they wrestle while carrying that injury. Previously this was decided by the injury's level, and so the new way allows a little more accuracy.

Narratives are now allowed to take place on the day the game starts, meaning that mod makers can populate the opening website with welcome messages, special events, etc.
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  #13  
Unread 01-08-2019, 03:42 AM
Adam Ryland Adam Ryland is offline
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You might want to get comfy before you start this one, it's likely to be long and pretty complex...

#12: Scheduling

The scheduling of shows has been totally redone for the new game. Here's how it works.

Firstly, each company has a Schedule Strategy. These are the options:

Monthly - The AI creates a schedule with a minimum of one event per month.
Almost Weekly - The AI creates a schedule of around one event per week; occasional weeks will be left free.
Weekly - A minimum of one event per week, every week.
Constant - The AI creates a schedule with regular events throughout the year so that the company never goes more than a few days without a show.
TV Or Monthly / TV Or Weekly / TV Or Constant - The AI creates a schedule using the Monthly, Weekly, or Constant strategies that have already been discussed. At the start of each month the company is checked for whether they have an active TV deal; if they do, the events are made dormant, if they don't then the events are made active.
Preset Tours - The AI creates a Japanese-style touring schedule based on the parameters it is given (see below).
Created Tours - The AI creates a Japanese-style touring schedule from scratch.
Preset Seasons - The AI creates a Chikara-style seasonal schedule based on the parameters it is given (see below).
Created Seasons - The AI creates a Chikara-style seasonal schedule from scratch.

In all cases, any preset events that have been added via the editor beforehand are incorporated into the schedule.

For Preset Tours and Preset Seasons, the user can give any number of start and end dates and the AI will work within them. Unlike previous games, there are no limits on these, so tours can start mid-month and can be as long or as short as you like. This also ties into the aforementioned Intent feature, as tours will feature lots of smaller shows leading to big tour-ending major events. The difference between Tours and Seasons is relatively minor, it's just that Seasons will consist of normal events (i.e. no touring shows) and they tend to be longer and have bigger "off seasons" than tours do.

When a new game is initialised the AI will create a schedule for every company (whether they're active or not) based on the settings given. This is different from the past where the AI would check every promotion at the start of each month and react according to what it found. This means the initialisation of a new game is several seconds longer, but it cuts down your daily loading times by half a second or more and so overall you're saving a lot of waiting.

The advantage of this new method is not only speed, but also that the player will always have a fully set up schedule when they take over a company - particularly important if you're running a touring company, as it means you don't have to spend ages putting together smaller shows.

There is also one final Schedule Strategy that I didn't include in the above list, and that's Fixed. This means that the AI will stick rigidly to whatever the database maker has preset for them in the editor. This is quite powerful as it gives total control. For example, if you want a company that has an irregular schedule - say two or three big events some months, some months where it's just one event, and sometimes big stretches without any events - that's entirely viable. This allows the database makers to simulate any schedule they want quite easily.

There is one potential drawback with this new scheduling system and that's that because the schedules get set-up at the very start and aren't then checked each month it means that AI companies don't have the ability to alter their events over time (with the exception of the TV Or schedule that I outlined above). That's where a second new feature comes in, Wake and Sleep settings. For every event, database makers can add in a specific date for when the event should "wake" and when it should "go to sleep" (these are optional). When the "wake" date is hit, the event will go from dormant to active (nothing happens if it is already active), and vice versa for the "sleep" date.

What this means is that database makers can create evolving schedules. For example, if you were making a real world historical database you could have the WWF start with the "Big Four" PPVs, with the other eight months having no events at all. Then you could "wake" the In Your House events in the 1990s, then have them go inactive ("sleep") after a few years to be replaced with newer events, then have the schedule change to its modern irregular style of having big events every few weeks.

Of course, player-controlled companies always have complete control over their schedule as they always have, so the player can do what they want, when they want.

So, overall, these new features mean you can effectively model any schedule you like, no matter how crazy; it gives you realistic Japanese tours; it allows, for the first time, you to get away from the "one event a month" model that TEW has been based on since its inception; and it gives database makers extremely powerful tools to create evolving, real-world scenarios. It makes for a much more active, realistic, and lively game world as a result too, as you're likely going to see independent companies in particular running shows far more often. This gives TEW a totally different feel.

I think this is one of my favourite new features and really freshens up the game. This is also one of the ones that would have been impossible without the rewrite.

The journal will resume on Saturday with another "small feature" entry.
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  #14  
Unread 01-12-2019, 05:26 AM
Adam Ryland Adam Ryland is offline
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Two more smaller changes to report on today.

#13: AI event instructions, "sticky" searches

The possible instructions for AI events have been expanded, including new match types and the ability to set specific main events as well as 'whole show' booking styles. The possible choices are:

Defend all valid titles (i.e. for "Night of Champions" style shows)
All 1 vs 1
All 2 vs 2
All 3 vs 3
All 4 vs 4
All 5 vs 5
All three way singles
All four way singles
Main event is 1 vs 1
Main event is 2 vs 2
Main event is 3 vs 3
Main event is 4 vs 4
Main event is 5 vs 5
Main event is three way singles
Main event is four way singles

These new options allow for a wider variety of shows to be simulated.

Search criteria are now "sticky", meaning that they remain in place unless the player explicitly resets or alters them. Furthermore, they are unique to each player, so the same screen can have different criteria saved for each user. This makes searching more user friendly as you can leave a screen, come back, and not have to re-enter your parameters.
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  #15  
Unread 01-15-2019, 05:42 AM
Adam Ryland Adam Ryland is offline
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#14: Dojo revamp

The dojo system has been overhauled and expanded to cover wrestling schools, dojos, and performance centres. The new name for this part of the game is "Training Facilities". The three types of facility are as follows.

Wrestling schools are usually owned by a specific worker although they can be privately owned (which simply means they are not attached to anyone in particular). Schools exist purely to pump out new graduates at a regular rate and these workers go directly into the free agent pool. Some graduates will gain a positive relationship with their trainer.

Dojos differ from wrestling schools in that they are linked directly to a specific company who get "first refusal" on graduates. A graduate who gets hired this way is considered a "true born" and will be very loyal to that company.

Performance Centres are effectively super dojos; they do everything a dojo does but have extra benefits. The first benefit is that they have a much higher chance of generating graduates who are former stars from other sports, and unlike dojos and schools, can also produce non-wrestlers like announcers and managers. The second benefit is that the company who owns the PC can send existing workers there to sharpen their skills.

Each facility has two ratings, Training and Facilities. The training level indicates the quality of instruction; the higher the level, the more likely the graduates are to have good skills and potential. The facility level is the size of the premises and how many classes it can support; this impacts how many graduates will be produced per year, and also how many workers can be sent to a PC to sharpen their skills.

Both these ratings can be raised over the course of the game through investment. Increasing the training level is cheaper but leads to higher running costs to pay the staff, whereas increasing the facility is more expensive as a one-off cost but does not raise the running costs as much.

The type of graduation can be set for each training facility. It can either be fluid, which means that graduates will appear throughout the year, or it can be fixed to a specific month when an entire class will graduate at one time. There's no real advantage of disadvantage to this, it's purely for the player's preference.

This new system both better simulates reality and increases the strategic element of the game as choosing if and when to invest, and what to concentrate on, becomes more important. This also makes training facilities less of an afterthought, as under the new system they play a much deeper role in providing the talent pipeline that keeps the game world running.
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