Slammed! Previews and Primer


#1

Hi everyone! With the impending release of Slammed! On the 28th (fingers crossed!) I thought it would be a good time to do a sort of pre-release post. I intend to post something new here everyday (and answer any questions too), stuff like character bios and the like, to give you a glimpse at the characters you can meet in the game, but I also want to use it as a way of introducing the world of professional wrestling to those who may be unfamiliar with it.

You can play and enjoy Slammed! without any knowledge of pro wrestling, but if you’d like to know more about that world before playing Slammed! (or before deciding if it’s worth buying), then for today’s post, I’ve compiled a simple primer:

*What is professional wrestling?

Pro wrestling has been compared to many things – theater, MMA, soap opera, superhero comics, improv – but for me, what pro wrestling does is create an alternate universe. (It’s no coincidence that the WWE, the paramount pro wrestling promotion in the history of the industry, refers to its fanbase as the “WWE Universe.”) In this universe, men and women (who are often easily identifiable as good guys or bad guys) contend for various championships, and settle personal grievances, through a series of matches that come in many forms.

Those matches lie at the heart of my enjoyment of pro wrestling. While the outcomes of the matches (who wins and who loses, the way the match ends) is pre-determined, what goes on within the matches themselves can be entirely improvised by the wrestlers themselves on the fly, taking into account time constraints, unexpected injuries, or the way the crowd is reacting. (Hence it’s usually not correct to say that the matches are scripted, only the outcomes.) The best matches are both showcases of real athletic talent, as well as a means of telling a portion of the ongoing story of each wrestler. In my eyes, it is the paramount importance placed on the advancement of that story, more than the pre-determined finishes, that sets pro wrestling apart from other forms of athletic competition.

In Slammed! you’ll participate both in matches with pre-determined outcomes, and “shoots” or real fights, both sanctioned and unsanctioned, where you and your opponent are really out to get each other.

*How does pro wrestling tell a story?

Pro wrestling tells stories on many levels. The very best wrestlers can tell a story during the match itself, through the use of facial expressions, the way they react to blows (called “selling”, since you are try to get the crowd to “buy” the fact that you’re in pain), or how viciously they execute a move. (One recent wrestling match had the bad guy – or “heel” – and the good guy – the “face” – switch roles by the end of the match, almost solely through the growing malice behind the attacks of the heel.)

Much of the buildup to important matches – those that will take place on the pay-per-view shows, for instance – happens outside the ring. To make you want to watch a match between two wrestlers, conflict must be created between them. This is done in a wide variety of ways, usually with an emphasis on backstage segments (interviews with the wrestlers, or scenes of wrestlers interacting amongst themselves, or segments with wrestlers “on location”), or through what are called “promos”, where a wrestler picks up a microphone and directly addresses either the crowd or another wrestler/character. In recent years, promotions have also used social media and “leaks” to both official and unofficial news sites to advance storylines, often in an effort to keep fans guessing with regard to what is real, and what is “kayfabe.”

In Slammed! you’ll have opportunities to cut promos and engage (or react to) backstage segments. You’ll also be the frequent topic of posts on The Suplex Observer, the premiere unofficial wrestling news site, and those posts will reflect your actions/character.

*What is kayfabe?

I mentioned that pro wrestling creates an alternate universe – “kayfabe” is acting in a way that is consistent with that universe. Roleplayers would refer to this as staying “in character.” A wrestler who “keeps kayfabe” will not be seen publicly having drinks with a rival that supposedly stole her real-life boyfriend. Keeping kayfabe can also be applied to promotions, in terms of how well they can keep their secrets (such as the planned finishes to matches). In many cases, kayfabe comes down to how well you can convince the fans that something is real, when it isn’t.

In the old days, kayfabe was taken about as seriously as omerta (the Mafia code of silence). In the Internet Era, most promotions now allow – and sometimes encourage – wrestlers to show a break between their public and private personas.

In Slammed! you’ll be able to decide for yourself whether to keep or break kayfabe, and those early choices will affect the kind of angles (“storylines”) you can choose to be involved in later on.

*How is the world of Slammed! different?

The pro wrestling world as I depict it in Slammed! isn’t identical to the “real” wrestling industry as it stands today. This is both for storyline reasons, and because kayfabe makes it hard to really know the inner workings of the industry, without firsthand knowledge that I lack.

The major differences are:

(1) In Slammed!, in response to the emergence of MMA, the Global Wrestling Alliance (the dominant promotion in the game) has begun integrating official “shoot” fights in their programs. Some are announced in advance, but others are not. There are also “quasi-shoots”, where a match is turned into a shoot mid-way, then sometimes switched back to a regular match for the finish. All of this is done to leave fans constantly speculating about which matches were real, and which weren’t.

(2) In Slammed!, women’s wrestling has a prestige that is practically at par with men’s wrestling. Mixed matches involving both men and women are also common. I do reflect real world prejudice in the game, however, especially the “tradition” that only men can compete for the GWA World Championship. As a player, however, you may be able to change that…

(3) In Slammed!, the fact that the reigning World Champion is homosexual has shattered barriers and made the industry as a whole more accepting (at least, on the surface) toward wrestlers of any sexual orientation. I’m not saying that the current wrestling industry isn’t – there are conflicting reports about backstage attitudes – but I can’t think of many positive images of homosexual men and women that have been presented in pro wrestling, where one of the most frequent exhortations to battle is “Be a Man!”


#2

I like that concept a lot, I hope there’ll be a demo out someday…


#3

I’m excited to see the changes you’ve made since the beta. I’m sure it’ll be worth every penny. :slight_smile:


#4

Sweet. I used to love watching wrestling when I was younger. I am looking forward to this release.


#5

@JackHerge
The game releases in 4 days…


#6

@Ninjasplaycardgames2 lol … Unless he meant a free demo that you don’t have to pay for?


#7

Super-cool, that answered a lot of my questions (i.e. are we playing as Triple H or as Paul Levesque playing Triple H and so forth)


#8

Can we decide what our finishers are and name them? How will that work?


#9

@JackHerge There will be! I think the free demo will be out on Friday, along with the game itself. It’s pretty long, as free demos go :slight_smile:

@AiEmMe Thanks again for all the help with the Beta! I’m sure a few errors still slipped through, but it’s much more polished now, thanks to you guys.

@GameOver I hope you enjoy it! Let me know if it still manages to hit a nostalgia button or two, even if it’s based on the current state of wrestling (the so-called Reality Era).

@TDilz Glad it helped – yup, it’ll be the latter. I wanted to offer something different from the other wrestling games, POV-wise.

@ Derack Your first finisher is pre-determined, but you get to choose your next one from a list. No “create your own” finisher or finisher name, alas, partly for storyline reasons, and partly because it helped to be able to use uniform finisher names in the variables – there finisher you have can change the way a match flows, and having custom named finishers would have been just one more thing to keep track of. I hope you can find a finisher you enjoy from the choices I put in!


THE STATS OF SLAMMED

Today, I thought I’d give everyone an overview of some of the tracked stats in Slammed!, even a few that won’t be visible to the player.

=VISIBLE STATS=

* Energy: Covers both the amount of damage taken and the fatigue of the wrestler. Does not play a key role in every match, or every fight – certain unique fights can end in one move, regardless of how high your energy is – so sometimes it’s more a cosmetic indication of battle damage, rather than an HP gauge. (For instance, if you’re only playing though a portion of a match, and not the whole match.)
* Strength: Determines how hard you hit, how much you can lift, and can sometimes allow a player to power out of holds. Also influences the weight of the player character, as well as how intimidating he/she is.
* Technique: Determines the success and damage of holds, including submission maneuvers, and sometimes allows a player to reverse holds. It can also come into play in situations where accuracy or balance factor in.
* Promo Ability: Gauges the ability of the player to deliver a speech to an opponent or to a crowd, but it also covers general speaking ability, so a high promo stat can find application in situations/conversations outside the ring.
* Heat / Favor: This is a spectrum that determines whether or not a player is seen as a heel/villain, or babyface/hero. Either extreme counts as a success – a score in the middle means that the audience doesn’t care about the player, one way or another, or that the player is being inconsistent. Note that there will be situations where it’s not up to you whether your character plays a face or a heel, because it’s usually the promoter who makes that decision.
*Kayfabe/Reality: This determines whether your character likes to stay “in character” or “break character”, as well as whether or not the character is able to bring real facts/events into a storyline feud.
* Ring Flash/ Ring Awareness: This statistic is an indication of whether the priority of the player is to make himself/herself look good in the ring (Flash) or to make his/her opponent look good.
* Masters of Wrestling World Ranking (MWWR): This statistic is a way of gauging how much of a success – or failure – the player is in the world of wrestling, using the conceit of regular “rankings” released by the premier (in-game) professional wrestling magazine, Masters of Wrestling. The real world equivalent would be the PWI 500 (although that’s an annual, not weekly, ranking) [http://www.ewrestlingnews.com/news/8771/the-complete-pwi-500-list-revealed-details-inside]

=INVISIBLE STATS=

There are some stats that the game will be tracking, but which I’ve chosen not to display, for one reason or another.

* Wrestling Style: There are four distinct styles of wrestling which you can adapt, late in your career. These styles are Striking (emphasis on kicks and punches), Power (emphasis on power moves such as body slams), Technical (emphasis on holds and submission maneuvers) and High-Flying (emphasis on jumping, acrobatic moves). They don’t come with Strength or Technique pre-requisites, but of course some stats are more complementary to some styles than others.

* Relationships: Romances are possible in the game, but I decided against allowing players to track relationship “points”, partly because one of the possible love interests is rather… contrary, and I didn’t want visible stats to telegraph his/her feelings (or lack thereof) for the player.

*Anger: Playing an angry character may open some extra options for a player, but those actions could also have ramifications in a world where backstage politics is common place.


#10

It shows you’ve thought this through, And I’m glad there’s a lot of different things to tailor my character. Although I really don’t want my MC to become a villain, Just Anti-Hero >:)

Either way great start and I cannot wait for this to come out.


#11

Why is wrestling style a hidden stat?


#12

Please tell me one of the finishers is a swanton bomb but with a different name. That and sweet chin music are my favorite finishers


#13

Also do we get to choose our characters appearance? Like what kind of trunks they wear or if they wear regular pants, facepaint and stuff?


#14

Romance in the Ring! Awesome


#15

So incredibly stoked for this :smiley:


#16

@trollhunterthethird @Ninjasplaycardgames2 @alleykae Glad to hear it! I hope that it won’t disappoint :slight_smile:

@hahaha01357 Partly because you’re not forced to commit to a particular style until late in the game. Also because I wasn’t sure about explicitly stating the favored style, since you can choose to wrestle in a style you’re not good at, and because strength and technique also influence what you can and can’t do, and I couldn’t think of a good way to reflect that.

@Derack No Swanton Bomb, but yes to the Super Kick. No to the facepaint, but yes to the ring gear – the variables are limited to those things that everyone will have: gear, color of the gear, theme music, (later on) some sort of taunt…


For today’s preview, here are a few bios for characters you’ll encounter in Slammed! Some play big roles, some play small roles, and for some, their roles change depending on the routes you take.

[Note, when the bio is vague about the sex, that’s because that character’s sex is variable, depending on certain factors.]

THE CHARACTERS OF SLAMMED:

*Solitary

Quote: “I certainly don’t care who I’m fighting, man or woman, gay or straight…all I want is a good fight."

The Eternal Champion, a man who changed the face of professional wrestling forever. The current Global Wrestling Alliance World Champion has beaten the odds time and time again, and in the process has secured for himself an unprecedented contract with the GWA. Born Hodge Stevens, the thirty seven year old wrestler has broken through every barrier in his path on his way to the top, whether it be his slim stature, his homosexuality, or his outspoken nature. As the pool of legitimate contenders to his crown decreases with his every victory, Solitary’s biggest challenge may be finding a worthwhile opponent…

Finishing Moves: Three of Clubs (Flying Triangle Choke) [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VIC2RgBjcwk ] ; Ace of Spades (Shining Wizard knee strike) [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DbH6uBOksJE ] ; the Last Joker (a 540 degree jumping roundhouse kick) [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5CMNDBtQuuw ]

*Madison Rio

Quote: “I’m here to create a new me, one last time.”

Little is known about the past of the GWAs beautiful Latina color commentator, and for all that Rio can talk up a storm, she never talks about herself. The voice of the “smart” wrestling fan at the announce table during every episode of Wednesday night Wrestling, Madison Rio is a woman people either love or hate. For some, she is a welcome and authentic change from the staid voice of the venerable Nick Varnish, the GWA’s Great Narrator, and Rio certainly prides herself in being able to say on-air what wrestling’s most hardcore fans are thinking at home. But many more casual wrestling fans find her manner abrasive, disrespectful, and scandalous – and there are even those in the Internet Wrestling Community who view her as a sell-out for taking GWA money… but Rio seems to glory in the hate and the controversy, and her gleeful and witty engagement with her detractors has converted more than one to her side—at least, until the next controversy.

*Vincent “Vinnie” Gaider:

Quote: “What am I, a legdroppin’ charity?”

The promoter of the Borderless Wrestling Federation, and the man behind its recent rise to the top amongst the independent wrestling federations. He seems to have a pathological fear of staying still, but his keen eye for talent is a legend in the industry. He’s fond of cigars (not smoking them, just biting them) and has a tendency to substitute wrestling terms for cuss words, except when he’s really, really angry. Rough around the edges, but an honorable man, and one who is willing to talk about anything under the sun, except for two things: finances, and his ex-wife.

*E. Ecstasy

Quote: “People will always judge. It’s their nature.”

Ecstasy is easily one of the most popular people on the planet: a multi-platinum selling recording artist and one of People Magazine’s Most Beautiful People for three years and counting, with a new feature film due out this year to solidify Ecstasy’s place in the A-List. Quite the success story for a child who was given up for fostering at the age of one. What’s next for the young star with the ivory locks is anybody’s guess.

*Sagramore/Dame Sagramore

Quote: "What can one create in ten thousand hours, do you think? A temple, a garden, a fortune, a family? I’ve made nothing so concrete.”

Ask a devoted wrestling fan who the most underrated wrestler of all time is, and Sagramore is the only name you will hear. A legend in the United Kingdom, Sagramore was brought to the United States with much fanfare years ago – but then was never utilized as more than a midcard comedy act. Following a contentious parting of ways that is still shrouded in controversy (was the legend fired? Or did Sagramore resign?) the aging wrestler turned to the American independent wrestling circuit, and eventually found a permanent home with the Borderless Wrestling Federation, where Sagramore is enjoying a long reign as champion. Still, as the clock runs down on a career that is both storied and tragic, fans – and perhaps Sagramore as well – can’t help but wonder what might have been…

Finishing Moves: The Three Star Press (Shooting Star Press) [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gP-qrg8L0eM ]; The Lancelot (Spear shoulder tackle) [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s4tEK-Pklus ]

*Tepora Atua:

Quote: “"I’m not going to pretend I like you.”

Arguably the best wrestler to emerge from the prolific Atua wrestling family, Tepora can still wrestle rings around most of the GWA active roster, even is she retired almost a decade ago. A legitimate master of submission holds, Tepora now applies her technical knowhow at the GWA developmental school, forming the so-called “Triple A” trainers alongside Mr. Awesome and Arn Sy (the Dragon Drummer). Given the deadly nature of the Samoan’s repertoire of moves, such as the Tepora Twist, and her rather cantankerous nature, is it any wonder that the attrition rate at Near Fall Academy is so high?

*Paul Prototype:

Quote: “There is no way that you win this.”

Paul “Prototype” Meltzer is in a battle for the ages, but what’s at stake is not a title, but his legacy. Through a mixture of talent, charisma, and determination, Prototype has remained at or near the top of the industry for over a decade now. But no matter how much pull he has backstage, no matter how many children’s wishes he grants, Prototype is still haunted by the fear that he will only be remembered as the last man to hold the World Championship before the reign of the Eternal Champion. Behind the ever polished, ever smooth facade of pro wrestling’s former Golden Boy, one gets the sense of a creeping desperation. Whatever else may happen, rest assured Paul Prototype will not go silently into the night…

Finishing Moves: The Tabula Rasa (Jumping Cutter) [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l2Q8MeQZxLc ] ; The Primus (Crucifix Powerbomb) [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rJkbNx1t4r0 ]; The Imprimere (Fireman’s carry to knee to the face) [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yXn3dLxJrw8 ]


#17

Will wrestling styles make it so that you can’t perform certain wrestling moves and finishers? Like can a high flyer perform a super kick and is it possible to focus on being an all-round wrestler that isn’t focused on one style like a CM Punk, Ziggler, Y2J, HBK, Edge, Stone Cold, The Rock and others?


#18

Also are we limited to 1 finisher or do we get more than 1 like the other wrestlers you stated?


#19

I’m digging these previews you are putting out.


#20

@Derack Your choice of wrestling style determines what finisher you get, yes – I needed to plan finishes around those moves, and it’d easily have been ten times the work if I added variations for finisher + style combinations, as opposed to treating them both as one. That being said, you can still attempt something that isn’t your specialty, but your chances of success will be much less. The game also covers the early part of could likely be (Bad Ends aside) a long career for your character, and even the well rounded wrestlers you mentioned needed to be linked to specific styles early on – HBK was almost purely a high flier in his early days.

As for the number of finishers… it’d be a bit of a spoiler to go into that, but let’s just say that, in general, you get more than one, but you get them successively (again, speaking generally) not simultaneously.

@GameOver Thank you! Here’s another :slight_smile:


In the happy event that I’ve piqued your interest about pro wrestling with these, here are a few resources for those who want to learn more about wrestling, before the release of Slammed! Each of these resources has influenced the game, in one way or another, even merely as a source of inspiration.

=Webcomics=

BOTCHED SPOT: http://botchedspot.com/ The funniest wrestling related comic around, hands-down. Most of the strips require knowledge of “current events” in the WWE and the like, but Bothed Spot also has a storyline featuring an original cast of wrestlers that began here (http://botchedspot.com/tag/rad-bad-debone/page/15/) and resulted in a spin off comic: Over Like Olav http://botchedspot.com/over-like-olav/2012/03/04/the-rise-and-fall-of-skull-chopping-extreme-hardcore-wrestling/

RIVAL ANGELS: http://www.rivalangels.com/ For a comic that focuses on women’s wrestling.

=Podcasts=

THE ART OF WRESTLING: http://tsmradio.com/coltcabana/ Colt Cabana is a great independent wrestler who is also a stand up comedian, and his podcast interviews with wrestling stars – past, present, and future – are always both hilarious and enlightening.

=Videos=

WWE: BEHIND THE MATCH: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLqIVmFaHA8Bp1kerNq65Ku__tUQJvVBRK WWE wrestlers take a single match of theirs and break it down, providing a running commentary of the strategies they adopted. There’s some kayfabe elements, but it’s mostly good nuts-and-bolts stuff.

WORST PROMO EVER: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLPm-n-rk3omPpqeTsAdwauMz0wAMCtwl4 Another brainchild of Colt Cabana (Art of Wrestling), this is a humorous look at how NOT to do promo interviews as a wrestler.

VIGNETTES: Here are two recent examples of these small video clips meant to generate excite for the debut or return of a wrestler. They can be mysterious (Wyatt Family: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xb_R6vHUB4w ) or explicit (RVD Return http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AAIfA3NV6oo – the video you’re making in the first chapter of Slammed would be similar to this one, a highlight reel.)

=Wrestling Analysis/News Sites=

While the major news sites are places like Wrestling Observer (http://www.f4wonline.com/ ) and Pro Wrestling Torch (http://www.pwtorch.com/ ), my favorite sites are those which mix cynical snarkiness with genuine fanboy/girl enthusiasm.

THE WRESTLING BLOG: http://wallsofjerichoholic.blogspot.com/ This is the site that got me interested in reading wrestling analysis again. I may not always agree with the viewpoints presented, but they’re always presented in a manner that is intelligent and filled with an aching love of pro wrestling.

WITH LEATHER, WRESTLING COVERAGE: http://withleather.uproxx.com/tag/pro-wrestling While sometimes erring on the side of being too cynical, for the most part the With Leather coverage of pro wrestling is great fun. Their “Best and Worst” segments inspired the name of the in0game articles in the Suplex Observer blog.

CAGESIDE SEATS: http://www.cagesideseats.com/ A more all purpose site with fun “This Day in Wrestling History” segments.

=Tumblr Sites=

Wrestling fans have some of the best Tumblr sites. By far my favorite is the Maltese Suplex (http://maltesesuplex.tumblr.com/ ) where literary quotes are juxtaposed with images from fairly recent wrestling episodes. Non-regular viewers may not get the deeper meanings, but the selection of images are awesome, and going in blind and making up a story in your head can be fun too. Other excellent sources of images: http://pg-attitude.tumblr.com/ , http://robschamberger.tumblr.com/