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  #46  
Unread 05-07-2019, 03:24 AM
Adam Ryland Adam Ryland is offline
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#44: AI Booking

In the past you'll have been used to seeing a handful of sliders in the product screen that set the percentage of singles matches, tag matches, etc, that the AI will use. I've been wanting to get rid of this system for a while as it's got some major flaws (namely that it's very rigid, doesn't take context into account at all, and makes creating realistic AI very difficult) so, as the AI booking system has been totally rewritten from scratch, I've removed these from TEW2020. In today's entry we'll be looking at what replaces them, and how the system as a whole works.

In the product screen you'll now see an AI Booking Style menu. This contains a series of options:

Old School Western: This is primarily singles and tag matches, with trios and battle royals appearing as special attractions.
Old School Puro: This is primarily singles, tag, and trios matches. Touring shows in particular are heavily tag and trios oriented so as not to overtax the workers.
Old School Lucha: This is again based on singles, tag, and trios, but with tag and trios being much more prominent than you'd get elsewhere.

Modern Western: Singles and tag form the core, but then you've got multi-man matches coming in to add spice to the card.
Modern Puro: Singles, tag, and six man form the core, with occasional multi-man matches appearing.
Modern Lucha: This uses the basic lucha format of singles, tag, and trios, but then with multi-man matches coming in to the equation too.

Evolving Western, Evolving Puro, Evolving Lucha: These are special versions which are time-dependent: they'll start at the Old School version until they reach a certain preset date, after which they'll start evolving towards their Modern equivalent.

Basic Singles: This is for companies who only use singles bouts.
Basic Singles and Tag: This is for companies who only use singles and tag team bouts.
Basic Tag And Trios: Again, for companies who only use tag team and trios matches.

Multi Man Singles: For companies using only three and four way singles matches.
Multi Man Overall: For companies using only three and four way matches for singles and tag teams.

Variety: This is for companies who use all the different match types and have very eclectic cards.

(NB: This is not necessarily the final list; I wouldn't be surprised if at least one or two more options get added once we've got to the testing phase.)

These get used when building the card, taking into account what type of show is being used, how long it is, etc. There are five levels of show: basic TV show, regular event, end-of-year / "season finale" event, tour show, and basic show (used for indy shows, for example). Each of these are slightly different to give better results. For example, tour shows naturally make much heavier use of tag team and trios matches to protect the workers' health than the other types, especially if you're using one of the specifically Puro styles. This ability to take context into account is a real boon, and makes it a massive upgrade on the old slider method.

So, in short, these settings tell the AI the basics of what a show should look like. If you think of creating an AI card as being like building a house, the AI Booking Style is making the foundation and frame.

When creating a card, the AI Booking Style then gets modified by the Product, which we looked at last week. The Product allows the AI to work out what matches to use, what ratio of matches to angles there should be, what sort of finishes are appropriate, whether certain matches are more appropriate than others in certain situations, etc - basically, it's taking the generic structure and making it unique to that product. To take the house analogy further, this is like putting in the brick work, connecting up the electrics and plumbing, etc.

I don't normally cover things that are yet to be done in this journal, but I will add a side note here that there is planned to be a third layer in this system. The idea is that the head booker's style and stats will come into play to add a further level of modification. To really stretch the house analogy to breaking point, this would be adding in the furniture and painting the walls. This is something that we'll likely be returning to in the next phase of the journal when we go "live".

The final phase is then to apply the bits and pieces of AI-improving features that we've already mentioned in the journal: things like the new tag team settings and stables, for example, which are designed to do a better job of teams than we've managed in the past. There's also some stuff that we'll be covering in the future: for example, the way that title reigns work has been changed to be more realistic. All these little things just boost the AI's realism a little more.

Now, with all that being said, I realise that most people don't actually care about what system is being used or anything I've just written, what they care about is one question: does this result in good output? This is again something that we'll be covering more in the "live" journal that'll be coming, but I can say that the results we've been seeing in testing are very, very promising even at this early stage. In particular, the booking of tag teams, trios, eight man teams, etc, are working ridiculously well, far better than I'd anticipated. Tour shows are also a real highlight, as they're looking like real New Japan tour shows.

Obviously, with this being core to the entire game, this is something that's going to continue to be tweaked all the way through the development of TEW2020, and there'll likely be other features that get added that continue to modify some aspects of this. What I'm hoping to do in a few months, during the "live" journal, will be to post some show results from various companies and eras so that you can get a better sense of what you'll be seeing when the game comes out.
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Last edited by Adam Ryland : 05-07-2019 at 04:49 AM.
  #47  
Unread 05-09-2019, 06:26 AM
Adam Ryland Adam Ryland is offline
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#45: E-mail settings

To bring the TEW series in line with WMMA, the new game will feature the ability for the user to set exactly what types of e-mail he or she wishes to receive, as well as how important each type is.

This is quite a dense section (currently it's 9 pages of options), but you will only realistically be needing to set your preference once, so it's not too bad.

For each option you will be able to set it as either Ignore, Receive, or Important. Ignore means that the mail never reaches your inbox, getting deleted automatically. Receive means that you do get it. Important means that you get the mail and it's considered important enough to stop any fast advance that is in progress.

I'm not going to list all the categories as there's so many of them, but to give people who don't play WMMA an idea, they are things like "Company Falls In Size", "Worker Negotiations End", "PPV Buy Rate Report", "House Show Held", and "Worker Relocates".

As with WMMA, this gives you a greater degree of control and is more user friendly as you can both turn off mails you don't care about and stop the fast advance from being interrupted by things you don't really care about.
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  #48  
Unread 05-14-2019, 06:40 AM
Adam Ryland Adam Ryland is offline
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#46: Momentum

The momentum system has changed in the following ways.

The scale in TEW2020 is different to what you're used to in TEW2016. Instead of simply being Major / Medium / Minor Positive or Negative, the new scale goes from White Hot at one end to Ice Cold at the other. This is just a cosmetic change to make things a little less clinical.

The things that affect momentum have also changed. In the previous games momentum was entirely about kayfabe success. In the new game, momentum covers both kayfabe and general performance. This simulates the fans being able to appreciate someone killing it in the ring or on the microphone even if they're not necessarily getting a lot of victories.

The biggest change is that TEW2020 now uses a two-tier system for momentum, with it being split into Short Term and Long Term.

Short Term momentum is a behind-the-scenes stat (i.e. it's not visible anywhere) and is what gets affected by matches, angles, and some external events. This is very volatile and goes up or down a lot. Its only effect is on Long Term momentum, which will be covered in a moment.

Long Term momentum is the stat you can see (via roster screens) and is what is used in any momentum-based calculations. It is rarely directly impacted by what you do in your booking (although there are some special instances where it can be) and is much more stable than Short Term.

The way these interact is that Long Term will slowly move towards the Short Term value each day, basically forming an average. For example, you could have a worker having lots of wins and lots of losses over the course of a month, meaning Short Term is moving a lot, but as Long Term is only moving slowly it will end up being a reflection of the booking over that period as a whole. This therefore gives a more subtle, nuanced simulation of a worker's current momentum and cannot rely on "quick fixes" - long-term strategy is much more effective.

As mentioned before, there are some circumstances where Long Term can be sharply changed. These tend to be bigger one-off things - for example, a worker getting busted in a scandal could kill their momentum off almost immediately, while a worker appearing in a movie could give them a quick boost.

This isn't a change that's going to hugely impact your game play - and indeed, you don't even need to be consciously aware of it - but it does add a little big extra oomph to the simulation aspect of the game and lets things unfold more naturally, so it's a noticeable step up from TEW2016.
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  #49  
Unread 05-16-2019, 12:02 PM
Adam Ryland Adam Ryland is offline
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#47: Relocation and luchas de apuestas

A new addition to the TEW series is the ability to relocate a company from one region to another. You can do this on your own company or a child. You are limited to doing this at most once every five years.

To help better simulate lucha libre, luchas de apuestas can now be specified via the road agent notes system. This 'betting match' means that the loser(s) is supposed to lose either their mask or hair (I know that they sometimes also include careers and titles as being wagers in reality, but this feature is only for masks or hair). This adds drama to a match, but if you do not book someone to either be shaved bald or get unmasked then the fans will be seriously annoyed.
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  #50  
Unread 05-21-2019, 03:13 AM
Adam Ryland Adam Ryland is offline
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#48: Editor changes, quick fill addition

The main editor has been revamped in TEW2020 to make life easier for people who want to create their own custom content.

In the first change, the major screens have all been consolidated into one. That is, the main screen (the one with Create Database, Clear Database, etc), the hub (the one that lists all the different parts of the database and how many items are in each), mass edit screen, and mass delete screen are all now a single screen. By putting them all together it takes away a lot of clicking for the user.

In the second change, mass editing has been upgraded significantly. It is now available for just about every part of the database and covers every piece of data where mass editing makes sense. This is a big quality of life thing for people who are converting databases or planning to make wholesale changes to them, as well as being a nice addition even for those who only dabble in editing.

The editor now also includes a name search feature - this works like the one you're used to from in-game, where you can type in a word or partial piece of text and you'll get back all the results that match it (i.e. you can type in "John" and get every record that contains that within it). This is again another quality of life thing as it can help find records when you may not remember the first name or can't remember how to spell something.

These three upgrades won't directly impact a lot of players as they're specifically designed to help database makers, but as it should allow mods to be created with less effort it should benefit everyone overall.

Finally, taken from WMMA5, a Quick Fill feature is available. This allows you to quickly add workers, companies, or broadcasters to your game. The way this works is that you fill in some basic data and the number of records you want to create and the game will auto-generate the content for you. For example, you may decide there's a lack of female talent in the British Isles area, so with a few clicks you can pop 25 new rookie female wrestlers there. This feature is available both in the main editor and in the in-game options menu, so you can use it either to build up your database or to freshen up an ongoing save game too. Therefore this benefits everyone, even players who don't care about the editing process.
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Adam Ryland
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  #51  
Unread 05-23-2019, 05:28 AM
Adam Ryland Adam Ryland is offline
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#49: AI gimmick matches, ager / de-ager, bald free pictures, editing contracts

To add to the realism of the game world, AI shows can now incorporate named gimmick matches like ladder, cage, etc, and these are shown in the match result text, i.e. "X beat Y in a ladder match".

A new addition to the editor is that there are automatic aging and de-aging facilities. The way this works is similar to a mass edit: you select the workers you want and how many years you want them to age or de-age, and the game will alter their skill levels accordingly to simulate that amount of time passing, using their age, debut date, settings, etc, to mimic what would happen in the real game. This takes into account context so, for example, you de-age an entire database and it's not going to regress people who haven't even debuted yet as clearly they've not even entered the game world. This feature can be a useful aid for database makers who wish to move their game worlds forward or backward.

As someone requested it recently, Free Pictures now have an extra piece of data that specifies whether the picture is bald or not. This allows the game to set the hair status of the worker who receives that picture correctly.

A small but useful change to the editor is that Contracts now have their own category, whereas before they were only available by going through Workers or Companies. This has the significant advantage that it means Mass Edit is available for them, potentially saving a huge amount of time when editing.
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  #52  
Unread 05-28-2019, 05:59 AM
Adam Ryland Adam Ryland is offline
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#50: Pre Booking

The pre booking system has been changed in the following way.

Firstly, each user can now set whether they want pre booking to be mandatory or not. If it's not mandatory then it follows the TEW2016 model whereby pre booking is purely an organisational tool.

If mandatory booking is turned on then a show's attendance will be reduced if the user does not book enough attractive segments to entice the audience. This works by looking at the 'draw' of the talent you've booked and comparing it to the fans' expectation levels - both matches and angles count, although angles are less attractive to fans. If you fail to provide an attractive enough show then the attendance will be lowered, with the level of penalty relating directly to how poor the pre booked content was: not bothering to provide any pre booked content would give the most penalties. For events, segments must be booked a week or more in advance to count, while for TV shows they only have to be at least one day in advance: this stops people from just doing the pre bookings immediately before the show takes place to game the system.

Lesser, Tour, and Throwaway events do not need pre booked content as the audience expectations are already lowered.

Pre booking does not increase attendances, it can only reduce them - this is because the attendance is already based on the assumption that you're providing the best quality card you can and so it's at its maximum by default.

While pre booking only directly impacts your attendance, you will be penalised if you advertise a segment and do not deliver it; this stops people 'cheating' by offering content that they have no intention of actually booking.

As an additional note, when pre-booking the match and angle screens follow the new streamlined approach that was outlined in an earlier entry, so booking is much swifter and more user friendly. Road agent notes can be pre booked.

The mandatory pre booking system is therefore for the players who like a more challenging or realistic experience as it forces them to act like a real booker and plan ahead in order to avoid penalties. For those who prefer a more casual gaming experience, they can simply continue with the simpler TEW2016 model.
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Designer of TEW, WMMA, WreSpi, and Comic Book Hero
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  #53  
Unread 05-30-2019, 03:39 AM
Adam Ryland Adam Ryland is offline
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#51: Pre booking change, fast advance, multiplayer fast advance, tecnicos and rudos

Based on recent feedback, a change to the pre booking system from the last entry is that there is now an additional option, "mandatory with bonus". This works in the same way as normal mandatory, but means that booking a particularly juicy match has the ability to give an attendance boost above the normal maximum. I don't recommend using this in multiplayer games if the other players aren't using it due to the fast that it would give a significant unfair advantage over those players.

The Fast Advance feature has been upgraded and enhanced to come in line with WMMA's. It is now a separate button on the side menu, removing the need to set it via Options, and includes many more options for how many days to advance, including the ability to set it to Unlimited (in which case the game advances until the user manually stops it by hitting the space bar).

Another enhancement to Fast Advance is that it is now available even for multiplayer games, meaning that one player can effectively 'go on holiday' and allow the remaining player(s) to do their day-to-day work without always needing to check in and hit the advance button. This makes multiplayer games much easier as there isn't the need for so much file swapping.

Finally today, the product screen now allows the user to specify whether the company uses the "face and heel" terminology or "tecnico and rudo". Previously this was location locked so that Mexican companies automatically used the latter. This allows companies like Chikara to be better simulated.
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Adam Ryland
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adamryland@hotmail.com
  #54  
Unread 06-04-2019, 02:35 AM
Adam Ryland Adam Ryland is offline
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#52: Financial model

In TEW2020, the in-game finances have been redone and rebalanced to try and get closer to real world values. The most obvious example of this is with the worker wage demands.

With the new re-scaling, the lower end of the scale now goes down below $10 per show as basic pay. This would be for the very lowest tier of worker. This allows the independent scene to be better simulated as the lower reaches of a card can be populated with very cheap talent.

(NB: I know we have some people who really want the ability to have talent work for free - this was considered, but it would be far too easy to abuse, and so will not be in the game.)

At the higher end, the biggest names can be looking for $400,000 or more as their basic wage. Note that this is just their basic wage, this does not include the money they make from bonuses, merchandise, etc.

Due to the bigger scale, the user can now type in the value when making contract offers. This is because using sliders for such a potentially huge set of numbers gets very clumsy.

Obviously changing the wage system cannot be done in isolation as it has a knock-on effect on everything else, and so all the other parts of the financial model have also been reworked. I won't be giving figures here as we won't finalise them until testing, however, I will say that running smaller companies should be a little easier - at least from a financial point of view - in the new game. Overall, the new model and figures will be a culture shock to those who are very used to TEW2016, but they should lead to a better and more realistic game.
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Last edited by Adam Ryland : 06-04-2019 at 05:34 AM. Reason: Spelling
  #55  
Unread 06-06-2019, 03:50 AM
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#53: Regional battle addition, re-calibrated attendances, sticky screen position

Back in entry #15 I mentioned that regional battles worked mechanically the same as before; what I forgot to mention is that there was actually a small exception to this. In the new game, you only take part in regional battles if you held a show (whether an event, TV, or house show) in that region during the preceding month. This ties in with the new company size system as it allows you to tactically avoid battles by skirting certain regions, but sometimes you will have to bite the bullet and get stuck into a battle if it's in a particularly critical region that you need to break into. It also aids smaller companies as they no longer get sucked into battles that have nothing to do with them.

As with the previously announced re-calibration of wage demands, attendances in the game have also been completely re-done so that they are closer to the numbers you'd get in reality, especially regarding TV shows.

Finally, to bring the game in line with WMMA5, it now has a 'sticky screen position', meaning that it does not reset to the center of your screen after each day's processing ends.
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  #56  
Unread 06-11-2019, 05:14 AM
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#54: Brands

The brands system has been upgraded in the following ways.

- The number of possible brands has jumped from three to five.

- Rather than just being Major or Minor, there are now several choices of level: Major, Showcase, Niche, Minor, Reserve, and Throwaway. These control the number of workers who will be on each brand and what level of worker will be eligible. For example, Reserve brands are specifically designed to be used for development, and so have no upper limit to the amount of workers and will have Recognisable and Unimportant level wrestlers.

- Each brand can be assigned a specific product (including an option to be "Company Default", which means it will automatically track to the one the company is currently using) as well as its own Match Focus and Angle Focus. This allows additional levels of customisation.

- A focus can be given, allowing the brand to be specifically biased towards Developmental workers, Veterans, Male Wrestlers, Female Wrestlers, Lightweight, or Heavyweights. This, again, adds to the customisation options.

- As mentioned right at the start of the journal, the Brands section is now a single screen in which everything can be done. This removes a lot of pop-ups and clicks and makes everything much more user friendly.

- The brand set-up for a company can be edited much easier than in TEW2016, in particular being able to drop one or more brands without needing to end the brand split entirely first.

- The Brands screen is now colour coded to make tracking easier. So when viewing the roster, those on brand 1 are in one colour, brand 2's workers are in another, etc.

- The Draft options include Full Draft, Sweep Up Draft (handling the workers who are currently unbranded), and Shake Up Draft (a mini-draft where a handful of workers from each brand get drafted to freshen things up). In all cases, the AI will automatically try and keep champions on their correct brand and keep tag teams together.

- The AI has also been improved in its use of brands. This includes their ability to use a near-annual brand shake-up to keep things fresh.
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  #57  
Unread 06-13-2019, 05:56 AM
Adam Ryland Adam Ryland is offline
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#55: Merchandise figures and cuts, stables and products, clearing the decks

Workers now have individual merchandise sales figures each month. This gives the user a more accurate view of what is happening, is more realistic, adds a new revenue stream, and adds extra strategic elements (for example, you may give a big merch seller leeway when it comes to bad behaviour or avoid turning them heel because of how much extra money he or she brings in).

A worker's contract now includes his or her cut of the merchandise. The user can manipulate this to makes offers more or less attractive in conjunction with the worker's likely merchandise sales.

A company's usage of stables can be defined via their product. This allows database makers the power to control what happens. This is particularly useful for Japanese companies who many use stables as an integral part of their on-screen product.

When a new booker is installed in an AI company they will often now 'clear the decks'; that is, they will often refresh the roster to their own liking with several new hires and releases during the first few weeks of their reign, and they will also generally have many of the titles changes hands in order to underline the change in regime and stamp their own authority on the company. This adds a little extra touch of realism and helps keep the game world fresh.

Bringing phase 1 of the journal to an end

As mentioned previously, the intention is to bring phase 1 of the journal to an end soon so that we can start phase 2, the "live" journal. Although I've announced all the major features that have been completed, there's still a whole load of finished medium and minor features still to plough through, so starting next week we'll be changing the format slightly.

As of Monday, instead of two posts a week there will instead be one every weekday. Most, if not all, will consist of two or three features. A lot of these will be fairly minor, unexciting things, but I need to get them announced so that they're out of the way before phase 2 begins. I expect this to last three or four weeks. Once we're fully up-to-date with the announcements of completed features, I'll be taking one or two weeks off, then phase 2 is intended to last right through to the release of the game. We'll be covering estimated release dates, the current state of the game, etc, when phase 2 begins.
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  #58  
Unread 06-17-2019, 03:46 AM
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#56: Financial breakdown, developmental tolerance, transparent coloured lists

The finance screen has been upgraded so that certain section can be clicked upon to access a more detailed breakdown. For example, the Workers row can be broken down into Basic Pay, Bonuses, Termination Fees, Signing Bonuses, Drug Testing, and Lawsuits. This allows for better financial analysis on the player's part, as well as making it easier to see why sudden increases happened.

Workers in developmental territories now decide when they want to leave based on their popularity compared to the child company's rather than by how much they can still learn. This makes it more user friendly as the user won't get messages asking for call ups very often and it allows the player to use their development territories in a more flexible manner.

Transparent lists are available throughout the game, which both look better than the usual solid versions because they blend into the background and also allow items within the list to be highlighted using different coloured text; for example, an injured worker could be highlighted in red. Unfortunately these new lists cannot have keyboard support due to a limitation of the programming language, so the user does have the option of using the old style lists from TEW2016 if they prefer.
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  #59  
Unread 06-18-2019, 05:05 AM
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#57: Belt profiles, worker potential, downside changes, start data variance

Title belts can now have a profile text, just like companies, workers, etc, allowing notable information to be stored. This is particularly useful for belts that have a specific intended function or have some other unique feature that the database maker wants to convey to the player.

A worker's potential is now split up into different categories, allowing database makers a finer degree of control. The categories are Primary Skills, Mental Skills, Performance Skills, Fundamental Skills, Physical Abilities, Announcing, Colour, and Refereeing.

Downside agreements are no longer required for small companies, only coming into play for Big or larger companies. This helps small companies to survive financially, as well as being more realistic.

Instead of just being on or off, the start data variance setting can now be Minor, Medium, Major, or Extreme. This allows the user to customise the level of randomness that the stats will encounter when starting a new game.
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  #60  
Unread 06-19-2019, 03:54 AM
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#58: Skill change drip feed, PM options, health levels, star quality

Rather than happening instantly, worker skill changes now happen in a 'drip feed' manner over time. For example, in TEW2016 if a worker gains 5 points of Brawling the skill increases immediately. In TEW2020, those 5 points would get stored separately and then the Brawling stat would increase by a small amount each day until those 5 points are 'consumed'. There is a limit on how many points can be stored for each skill at any one time, depending on the worker's skill level, experience, where they are in their career cycle, etc. This change has several advantages: it makes the game less linear, simulates a realistic learning curve (as, for example, it now becomes very easy to learn Brawling at a low level but becomes much harder to get up into the high 90s as the curve becomes steeper), means that people will learn at different levels, and also stops cheap 'power gaming' tactics (such as spamming dark matches to give a worker multiple boosts) because there's a limit to how much a worker can learn at a time.

The options menu is now available in PM mode too, allowing the user to alter settings, access remote assistance, etc, without needing to first finish their show.

The health system has been changed so that 0% now indicates a career-ending state rather than being below 30%; this makes the system more intuitive.

In previous games Star Quality was fairly static, only really moving in relation to changes in size or body shape. This has been changed so that during a worker's early career it can slowly rise to simulate them getting more confident and comfortable in the ring. There are now also more random incidents that can provide additional boosts.
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