In-depth Interview on the PS3 Exclusive 5 Star Wrestling

While at GDC 2013, PSLS had a chance to sit down with Dan Hinkles, the CEO of Serious-Parody, to conduct an in-depth interview regarding their first console project set to release exclusively on the PS3.

Tell me a bit about Serious-Parody.

Well we made Wresting Manager on the iPhone and iPad. It was the first wrestling strategy card game for mobile devices and the first iPhone/iPad game to introduce mod tools to the community…We have over 500 cards including hundreds of characters and we knew wrestling fans would love to mod this game, so we gave them the tools to do it and the beauty is, they don’t need to have any kind of programming skills or anything like that.

So is Wrestling Manager going to be connected to Five Star Wrestling? Or is this more like an evolution of the project?

They’re not really connected but this is definitely an evolution of the product. It is not a wrestling management game this time, it’s a full blown wrestling game like the WWE games. We have the very dark arena, we have the minitrons – which is kind of a meme for wrestling fans. The biggest thing I would say we are bringing to the table is that we are putting ring psychology into the genre. That is a very hardcore thing to do for wrestling games, what I mean by that is, up until now, if you were playing a wrestling game, if you were to attack somebody’s legs they would just basically limp and that would be the outcome. That’s not really a gameplay kind of outcome, because he’s just limping. You can make them submit faster if you use a leg submission, which makes sense, but that’s it. In our game we are taking it to a whole different level.

For example, if you injure your opponents legs to the point where they can barely stand up, they won’t be able to lift you up, which means they will no longer be able to do some of their most powerful moves. That is the reason why technical wrestlers like Bret Hart and Kurt Angle attack the legs in wrestling, especially when taking on much stronger opponents. It’s a strategy for leveling the playing field and it’s a basic wrestling concept that’s been missing from wrestling games until now.

One of the biggest matches in recent history was the Undertaker vs. Shawn Michaels, and Shawn Michaels spent the entire match working over the guy’s leg. He did that to take away The Undertakers finishing moves for example Undertaker tried a choke slam but his knee gave out and it left Shawn in control. In our game that is exactly what happens, if you have worked the guy’s legs and he has to do a move that requires him to lift you up, like a powerbomb, he runs the risk of blowing his knee out – causing him to fall over and become vulnerable.

So you are still able to achieve those moves, but there is now a risk factor being associated with them?

Yes, in some circumstances if your knee has been that badly beaten and you try it, you could really run the risk of losing the match.

So is it a ‘game over’ state from blowing out your knee?

No, the match would still continue, but if your knee is that badly beaten and your opponent puts on a leg submission, chances are that you are going to submit.

Are there any indicators to what is happening with your character in regards to damage?

We have a silhouette of the person, and a color code to indicate damage to certain areas. You will also notice him start to limp because if he you attack that leg that it is going to happen and there’s visible bruising, blood, etc. We think that this a massive improvement on what is out there, even in the broader fighting game genre in a lot of respects. Even in UFC games you can kick a guys leg all day, and then he kicks you with the same leg, which doesn’t really happen in real UFC matches because he stops kicking due to his leg hurting and often they will change stance to protect the leg.

What we are also bringing to the genre is that… if you play a WWE game right now, and you do a finishing move, you always do the same finishing move animation. So, for example if you are using John Cena he will do his “Attitude Adjustment” and it is the same animation every time, no matter if it was the first move he did in the game or the last. If he has wrestled for an hour and all of a sudden he is using the exact same animation, its just odd. In life the guy will get tired, for example in that match at Wrestlemania, the Undertaker hit the Tombstone on the outside and it looked devastating but he was too tired to capitalize on it and he could hardly get back to his feet. It adds a bit of drama to the match like at the end of Rocky 4, where he throws the big punch and they both go down together. Well in our game, if your guy is exhausted and you try your most powerful moves there’s a good chance you’ll be too tired to get up and capitalize on it right away.