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Unread 08-05-2006, 12:15 PM
Adam Ryland Adam Ryland is offline
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Default Total Extreme Wrestling 07: Developer's Journal

Welcome to the TEW07 Developer's Journal.

The idea behind this thread is that as the development of my new game, "Total Extreme Wrestling 2007", progresses, I will be keeping a regular journal of what's happening. This will allow you, the fans, to keep up-to-date with what is being added or altered within the game, along with an inside-look at the thinking behind some of the changes.

This particular thread will be kept closed so that only I will be able to post in it; this is purely to keep it free of clutter, so that people won't have to read through several pages of repeat questions \ arguments to get to the actual information. If you have questions or comments on anything in the journal, we encourage you to start a new thread in the main forum below.

One thing that we do ask is that you do not ask "is feature X going to be in?". This is simply because it will get extremely repetitive, and end up just being an exact replica of the Suggestions Forum. On that note, the TEW05 Suggestions Forum is still open, so you can still add to it. We will continue to accept new suggestions for as long as possible.

Before we begin however, let's clear up a few frequently asked questions:

Release Date and Price

For those of you who have not read the TEW07 press release, please note that the game is currently scheduled for Quarter 4 2006 (this is a tentative release date; we are aiming for around December, but it may be switched to January\February 2007 depending on how the project progresses) and will cost $34.95. There are currently no plans to reduce the price of TEW2005 before the release of TEW07.

Creative Team

Please do not e-mail or private message me asking to be part of the creative team. Generally speaking I keep the same creative team each year, with only a few changes. The people I pick to invite into the team will be people who have impressed me on the forums with their maturity and intelligence.

Why 2007?

Although the game is scheduled to be release in December 2006, we have decided to name it 2007 simply because it doesn't make sense to give it a name that would be out-of-date within 30 days of the release.

Suggestions Forum

Please do not ask if I read whatever suggestion you made in the TEW05 Suggestions Forum. I read every single post in that forum while preparing for this game. That does not mean I have chosen to use every idea, but it does mean that everything was at least considered.
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Last edited by Adam Ryland : 08-05-2006 at 12:24 PM.
  #2  
Unread 08-05-2006, 12:37 PM
Adam Ryland Adam Ryland is offline
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August 5th

My first journal entry is to get everyone up-to-date with happenings up to this point.

TEW07 has been in development for several weeks now, and already we have several major additions and modifications. Over the coming days I will be detailing these, one at a time. Please note that in these journal entries I will only be talking about features that are done. That means that if you read about it, it's in the game, and unless it gets a poor reaction during testing, it will be in the final product.

The first major point to highlight is the fact that unlike the previous two Total Extreme Wrestling games, TEW07 is not written from scratch. As the game engine behind TEW05 has proved to both be very stable and very popular with fans, I have decided to build TEW07 on top of it. You may be asking yourself, how does this effect me? Well, in short, it gives a lot of advantages.

The first one is that the framework of the game (i.e. the "behind the scenes" code) is already solid; it's had over a year of testing from thousands of players, so we know for sure that there's no nasty bugs lurking around. We also already have tons of feedback on what works and what doesn't, which is a huge help when doing the design.

The second is that it gives me a much better platform to develop from. Unlike with 04 and 05, I don't have to spend four months writing the basic things like the editor, how the finances work, etc, etc. These are already there, so I can spend those four months on more important matters, like adding new features. So from your point of view, you get more development time on the things that actually matter to you, rather than the things that are vital to the game but you never actually see.

Thirdly, and I'm sure this will be popular with Mod Makers, as the two games share the same base, converting data is much easier, and so taking your work from 05 to 07 should be a lot simpler than it was taking it from 04 to 05.

Please note that although it is being written on top of TEW05, that doesn't mean that all of TEW05's features are "stuck" there. A lot of the features are getting updated, or (in the case of unpopular ones) totally ripped out and remade. So if there was something about TEW05 you didn't like, you don't have to worry that it's "guaranteed" that the same issue will be there in TEW07.

So, you now know about the base for the game. Starting soon I will be going over the new features and additions that have already been completed.
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Unread 08-06-2006, 03:04 PM
Adam Ryland Adam Ryland is offline
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August 6th

One of the new features in TEW2007 is future workers. This allows you to create new workers who will not be part of the initial game world, but will debut later on.

The future wrestlers are defined in the same way as normal wrestlers, with the exception that they are also assigned a "start date". Once the game is in action and it reaches this date, the worker will become an active character. There is also one other new stat exclusive to future workers, which is the ability to link them to a blood relative who is already in the game. When the character debuts, he will automatically have relationships created, not only to the blood relative you have selected, but also to anyone else in that family. This allows for offspring to realistically be simulated.

This feature is primarily for historical mod makers such as the Death Of The Territories scenario, as it allows for real workers who would not yet have debuted in that time period to appear at the correct time.

This feature does not replace the existing creation of new workers that was already in the game, that still remains.
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Unread 08-07-2006, 05:42 AM
Adam Ryland Adam Ryland is offline
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August 7th

The contract system has also been expanded, doubling in scope from four possible types to eight. In addition to the existing types (written, pay-per-appearance, exclusive pay-per-appearance, and lifetime) there are the following additions:

Short Term contracts are pretty self-explanatory; they are just like regular PPA contracts, except that they are done specifically for people who will only be making a handful of appearances. This is very useful for bringing in legends for surprise appearances, new workers for trial matches, or surprise opponents\partners for the sake of storylines, without having to have them stuck on your roster for many months as a result.

Development contracts have been added so that mod makers can correctly simulate the WWE's real life relationship with Ohio Valley. A worker can be assigned a development contract to work with a "child" promotion. The worker is handled just like any other member of the roster, but is paid monthly by the "parent" company, and has all the protection of a written contract in terms of not being able to be stolen. The main purpose of the contract is for the "parent" to be able to sign promising young workers and give them experience without having to use them on your own shows, and without the risk of a rival stealing them.

Touring contracts have been added to compliment the improved touring ability of promotions (which will be covered at a later date). It is used to simulate the Japanese concept of bringing in workers for a single tour. This contract is very similar to a pay-per-appearance in terms of wrestlers getting paid per appearance and being allowed to work elsewhere, but it has a difference in that its length corresponds directly to the length of the current tour - once the tour is over, so is the contract. It's a good way for promotions to bring in workers to wrestle on shows, without needing to keep them around in the "off season" between tours.

Loan are probably the most exciting new contract addition. When a promotion has a Working Agreement with another, they can initiate a "talent trade", in which workers are loaned out for a short period of time. This is primarily used to simulate real Japanese concepts, but it has also been used from time-to-time in the US. Once a loan has been arranged, the worker appears on the roster like any other person, but is usually there for only a few appearances, and can still works for his "home" promotion in the meantime. During testing, this has been great to use to create "dream cards". For example, in a game as NOTBPW I used the talent trade system to bring in several "outsiders" for a pay-per-view. This led to Awesome Thunder and The Great Hisato coming in from WLW to wrestle my tag champs, Runaway Train coming in from SWF to fight Sean McFly, and, in the definition of a Canadian dream match, Steve, Ricky and Jack DeColt came in from CGC for a six man tag team main event against Dan Jr, Jeremy and Duane Stone. This new contract type allows for a lot of new creative directions when booking.
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  #5  
Unread 08-08-2006, 05:11 AM
Adam Ryland Adam Ryland is offline
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August 8th

Title Lineage will make its debut in TEW07.

Essentially, this allows the player to create a full title history for any belt, stretching back from its creation until the present day, showing all the champions (and optionally the date of winning and losing it).

This is primarily to add an extra strand of realism to the game, especially in the case of legends. For example, when starting a new game in TEW05, other than by their biographies there would be no way to know how successful legends like Sam Strong and Rip Chord have been. With the new title lineage filled in for the major belts, viewing Sam Strong's profile will show his multiple title reigns in SWF, BHOTWG and TCW, giving a better idea of what he has accomplished.

The title lineage also shows up when viewing any title, with the title changes that happen from the start of the new game onwards all added on.

When filling in the title lineage in the editor there are two "extras" to note.

The first is that when filling in champions you can both fill in the name of the champion in textual format and also link it to an existing profile if you wish. This allows you the option of having people in the title lineage who do not exist in the database (by filling in their name but not linking to a profile), and also the ability to recognise wrestlers under different names (for example, if doing a real life mod and filling in the Intercontinental title, you could fill in the text as "Razor Ramon" but link it to Scott Hall's profile; when viewing Hall's profile it will still show him as a multiple-time champ, but it will also note that it was held under a different name).

The second is that "dead" titles can be created, without being linked to a specific promotion. These can't be viewed directly in the game, as they have no "home", but they would appear in a worker's profile if he had held them. A real life example of this could be the WCW Hardcore title. Although neither it nor the promotion exists any more, you could add it to the database and do a title lineage for it. This would mean that if you then viewed someone like Norman Smiley, you would still get his WCW title achievments shown in his profile, even though they aren't actually in the game.
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  #6  
Unread 08-09-2006, 04:09 AM
Adam Ryland Adam Ryland is offline
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August 9th

I did want to clarify something before we continue, which is that there is no particular order to the features I'm introducing in this journal. So some days I might just talk about a small modification, sometimes it'll be one of the major changes....it's purely whatever I happen to think of at the time.

Today I want to talk about a feature that is not particularly exciting, but is pretty handy to have. For want of a better term, it's called the Game World Balancer.

As we know, sometimes the game world can find itself with a lack of skilled individuals in certain areas. For example, in the Cornellverse the first few years of the game often see a lack of road agents, at least until some of the older wrestlers retire and take that position. This new feature is a monthly AI "sweep", which looks through each area of the game and identifies any imbalances. It checks for Announcers, Colour Commentators, Referees and Road Agents, and sees if the current level of workers who can handle those responsibilities is at an appropriate level to the amount of active promotions. If the level is too low, the game creates a new character who can do that job and adds them to the game world.

As you can see, it's a pretty simple concept, but a very useful one to have as it means that players shouldn't find themselves lacking choices when hiring for those positions.
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Unread 08-10-2006, 08:24 AM
Adam Ryland Adam Ryland is offline
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August 10th

I think I'll make Friday the day when I'll talk about the big new features, so that it will give you a couple of day's worth of discussions so that I can take the weekend off from journal-writing duties. Therefore I'll just do a small feature today.

Well, I say small - it's only small in terms of description, it was actually a pretty big one to code. By popular demand, Advance Booking no longer limits you to a handful of match types, you can now advance book every match type available, everything from a singles contest to a four-way tag team match. As before, you do not have to pick a specific match (i.e. you wouldn't have to specify if a 1 vs 1 is a cage match, a hardcore match, etc), just the type. The specific match can then be selected when you come to actually book the match.
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  #8  
Unread 08-11-2006, 04:53 AM
Adam Ryland Adam Ryland is offline
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August 11th

One of the biggest changes from the previous TEW game is that the pre-set promotion styles (Cutting Edge, Hybrid, Hardcore, etc) have been removed, replaced by the newest feature, Product.

Essentially, it's almost a direct replacement; whereas in TEW05 you were forced to use one of the pre-set styles, which defined the AI the promotion would use and what its shows were like, the new Product feature allows you to create and customise your very own style. Basically you are defining what your promotion is all about, and telling the fans what they can expect to see. It is split up as follows...

Name: This is purely cosmetic, and allows you to give a snappy name to your style.

Booking AI: This allows you to define what types of match the promotion will use when under CPU control. So you could make the promotion entirely reliant on singles matches if you wanted (like INSPIRE in the Cornellverse).

Match Ratio: This defines what ratio of matches-to-angles the fans can expect. This was a "hidden" value in TEW05 that came with the style you were using, and was the reason behind messages like "the fans were turned off by the amount of angles you were using".

Expected Match Length: This defines how long the average match would be expected to go for three types; minor, medium and main match (referring to their position on the card). So you can set it that the main event should really go around 45 minutes if you wish to simulate the epic battles that AJPW used to headline with.

Match Intensity: This is how physically intense the style of matches are. So the plodding 1980's WWF style would be fairly low, while the brutal All Japan Misawa \ Kawada era matches of the 1990s would be very high.

Match Danger: This is how physically dangerous the matches are, in terms of crazy bumps and head-first drops. This refers to how likely people are to get serious long term injuries. So again, All Japan in the 1990s, where people were getting regularly dropped squarely on their heads with dangerous suplexes, would get quite a high rating, as evidenced by the physically condition nowadays of their main stars.

Women's Wrestling: This defines whether the promotion is male only, female only, or male dominated with a women's division. This is used by the AI in particular, as it won't hire female competitors unless there is a division for them to be in, which stops the old problem of talented lone females ending up on the roster and having nothing to do.

The final part is the most important, and is the Product Appeal. This defines what the actual product is made up of. It consists of twelve categories, which are rated on a scale between None (has absolutely no place in the product) up to Key Feature (is a major factor). The combination of ratings you give basically defines the promotion; it will effect what wrestlers fit in, what fans you attract, whether you are likely to get effected by industry slumps as badly as other promotions, what the fans will expect to see and how they will react to it....etc, etc. These can be changed in game, so that a promotion can be "evolved" as it goes along (although, of course, radically changing your style would be a bad move, as you'd essentially be driving away your existing fan base before you have new fans to replace them with).

The twelve categories are:

Traditional: The traditional values of (primarily American) wrestling, that being good guys who play fair vs. bad guys who cheat, with an old-school feel.

Mainstream (Entertainment): Entertainment that appeals to the whole family, i.e. over-the-top characters, harmless comedy, etc.

Comedy (Entertainment): Physical or verbal comedy, both in the ring and in skits

Cult (Entertainment): Non-Mainstream entertainment, the sort that is maybe a little darker or on the edge than is normal, a la classic ECW.

Risque (Entertainment): Very near-the-knuckle entertainment, so beloved of the Attitude Era in reality.

Modern: The modern type of match, where matches are fast-paced, featuring a blend of "oh my god" dangerous moves and crazy aerial spots, the sort you'd see in ROH or TNA's X-Division.

Realism: This is the Japanese style of working realistically, where you build up with low-level strikes and holds.

Hyper Realism: This is where there is an MMA-influence (NB: This does not mean the promotion is a legit shoot, it means that it is blending a lot of MMA techniques and concepts into a wrestling product).

Hardcore: When there is a lot of blood and weapons.

Lucha Libre: When lucha libre is used, the Mexican style of fast-paced acrobatics.

Pure: This is where the product has proper pure wrestling, i.e. the more "European" style of holds and counter holds, lots of mat wrestling, with submissions being a huge feature.

DareDevil: This is the high-spot oriented part of the product, where realism takes a back seat to crazy stuff that isn't big on psychology, but is big on amazing people.

The combination of all of these allows for promotions to have totally unique styles, and means that virtually any real promotion can be totally accurately modelled.

As an example of the effect these have, if you set everything to None, except for Realism which was set to be a Key Feature, you'd be defining a promotion that was entirely dedicated to wrestlers going to the ring, putting on a realistic match, then leaving. One of the effects this would have is that the babyface\heel divide would automatically be ignored, as clearly the fans aren't interested in characters, they would be coming entirely for the wrestling. However, if you then added some Traditional to the mix, the product would change, as you would then be expected to give them some good guy vs. bad guy action.

Of course, in this example you're also then making a very poor style (you'll be driving away a lot of fans who want Realism with the Traditional part of the product, and therefore seriously reducing your fan base), but that's your choice

There will be no journal entries over the weekend, as I've decided to only do these on week days.
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  #9  
Unread 08-14-2006, 04:11 AM
Adam Ryland Adam Ryland is offline
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August 14th

I thought I'd start this week by tackling some of the smaller additions, but to do three at once because they're quite small.

End Of Week Super Save

This is something that I came up with as an extra "safety" feature. It's quite simple; at the end of each week of the game, TEW performs an extra auto-save, to a different folder from the standard save. The point of it is that if something happens to your regular save game (a virus, a unintentional user error, a crash, whatever...) the worst case scenario is that you'll only lose 6 days from your save game.

Toggled Area Usage

When starting a new game, you can toggle on\off whether workers are restricted to certain areas. So, if you turn it on, it works like TEW05, where wrestlers are set to work in certain game areas. If you turn it off, it's like TEW04, where everybody can work in any area.

Deleting Angles \ Storylines

By popular demand, you can delete angles and storylines that you no longer want. The only restriction is that you cannot delete a storyline that is currently in use.
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  #10  
Unread 08-15-2006, 06:58 AM
Adam Ryland Adam Ryland is offline
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August 15th

A feature returning to TEW07 is the User Character, first seen in TEW04.

Essentially, this means that you exist as a character within the game world. When you begin a new game you can define yourself in exactly the same way as you would any other worker in the game; you can make yourself anything from an active competitor to a colour commentator to a completely inactive character. Your character always exists in the promotion you are currently using; he can be used on-screen if you wish, or left as an unused member of the roster (the user character will never complain about lack of use, unlike "normal" workers).
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  #11  
Unread 08-16-2006, 03:50 AM
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August 16th

Returning to the EW games after a short absence is title belt prestige. This is a measure of how highly thought of the belt is.

Each belt has a prestige rating between 0% and 100%. This rating is internal to the promotion itself, not to the game world; so a small promotion's 100% rated world title does not mean it's better than a global promotion's 98% rated world title, it merely means that it's extremely highly respected by that promotion's fans. This rating can change with every title match, depending on the champion, the quality of the match, the pedigree of the challenger, etc.

Each title has a certain minimum and maximum rating, depending on its level, so a Main Event level title would never be able to drop below 70%, while a Low Level title would never be able to top 40%. This is to stop the situation where minor belts come end up becoming more prestigious than the major ones.

The higher the belts prestige, the more it will add to the heat of a match.
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  #12  
Unread 08-17-2006, 04:47 AM
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August 17th

In TEW07, an addition to a character's usual stats is the Owner Control section. This is a selection of five statistics that allow his\her behaviour as the owner of a company to be defined. If none are chosen, the person uses the "default behaviour" that all owners used in TEW05.

Roster Size: This is an indication of how large or small he likes to keep his roster. Every promotion size has an ideal roster size, and this stat modifies that. The selection goes from Very Small to Very Large. As an example, if a Small-sized promotion had an ideal roster of 20 to begin with, and the owner was set to want a Very Large roster, he might add 25% to the number; so he would try to arrange a 25 person roster instead.

Pacts: This is a measure of his stance when dealing with other promotions. It includes Hostile (actively works against other promotions), Isolated (doesn't like to work with other promotions), Normal (default) and Open (is very receptive to the idea of working with other promotions.

Patience: This is how patient he is with his head bookers. A low patience rating means that he won't wait long before changing bookers if things aren't going well.

Roster Turnover: This shows how high or low his usual turnover of workers is. If he has a high rating, then wrestlers tend to come and go very often, with job security quite low. A low rating means he tends to keep people on the roster for a long time, and it's more unusual for people to last less than a few years.

Finance: This is used in most places where a promotion's money is used. The rating ranges from Mean (doesn't like to spend money if he can help it), Prudent (will spend money, but only when he feels it is worth it), Average (default) and Flashy (doesn't mind spending money to ensure success).

The partner statistic to this is of course the Head Booker Control section, which will be discussed tomorrow.
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  #13  
Unread 08-18-2006, 04:24 AM
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August 18th

As mentioned yesterday, each character has a Head Booker Control section. This consists of three statistics that define how he acts as head booker of a company.

Hiring Style: This indicates who is most likely to hire. The choices are No Bias, Bias To Background (i.e. he likes people who have a good solid wrestling background, people who have been well trained), Bias To Athleticism (i.e. he is more likely hire people with a strong athletic background), Bias To Looks, Bias To Charisma, and Bias To Potential (i.e. he likes to sign youngsters who he can groom to success). It is important to note that these just bias (i.e. alter slightly) his choice of who to sign; his primary concern will still be to sign people who have the right style for the promotion in question.

Firing Style: If he is forced to trim his roster, this selection indicates who he is more likely to get rid of. They are No Bias, With Brain (i.e. the decision is purely done in the best interests of the business), With Heart (i.e. he is more likely to keep loyal workers or friends on the roster), With Wallet (i.e. the decision is mainly financial), or With Foresight (i.e. he is more likely to protect the youngsters who he feels have a big future with the company, even if at the time they are still developing).

Title Changes: This indicates how often he changes title holders. It ranges from Rare (he likes nice long title reigns) to Very Often (the title switches hands on a very regular basis).
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  #14  
Unread 08-21-2006, 03:52 AM
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August 21st

In the previous game, your merchandise settings were taken from a selection of three options. In TEW07 there is now a forth option, Custom Merchandise Settings.

This new option allows you to dig down a further level, and micro-manage the merchandise. You can select which of your workers will have merchandise, what level of merchandise you will produce for them, and what items they will have (the selection including things like T-Shirts, Posters, and Foam Hands). At the end of the month your settings are taken into account when calculating your merchandise revenue. By accessing the merchandise section you can also see how each person performed in terms of sales.

For those not interested in micro-management, you can simply continue to use the three existing options, which take care of all of this for you.
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  #15  
Unread 08-22-2006, 04:17 AM
Adam Ryland Adam Ryland is offline
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August 22nd

Today we'll be looking at three smaller changes.

First, in TEW07, the option to start your own promotion is no longer a hidden feature linked to the Top Booker's Trophy. Instead, it is always available, with the only restriction being that you need to have at least a Good reputation to go ahead and make the new company. This is to improve usability, as in hindsight I didn't like having a feature hidden like that.

Secondly, by popular demand, all the screens that involve editing popularity (either for a worker or a promotion) now come with "master" slide controls; these allow you to set a whole area to the same value at the same time. You can still edit individual regions too, this new option is just an addition to save time.

Thirdly, a new statistic added to workers is the Announcing stat, obviously to be used for announcers. In previous games this has been simulated primarily by the Microphone stat, but I felt that they should be split up, as someone who is good at calling matches is not necessarily great at cutting an interview, and vica versa. Colour Commentators continue to use a combination of Microphone and Charisma skills, as I felt that was realistic.
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