Finished: FACE VERSUS HEEL (Pro Wrestling game)

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Finished: FACE VERSUS HEEL (Pro Wrestling game)

Postby Ghislain » Sun Nov 28, 2010 7:18 pm

(edit: I changed the working title from "Catch" to "Face VS Heel" -- more on that in a post below).

I spent much of the afternoon working on the custom char graphics (using the C64's "Ultrafont") for my new upcoming game: CATCH-AS-CATCH-CAN -- a pro wrestling simulator. While I am using a C64 tool, it will still be a VIC-20 game, and I will try to make it fit on the unexpanded machine.

Image

I did make RINGSIDE WRESTLING about 20 years ago with PETSCII graphics, but it was a pretty simple game -- press a key from 1-8 and the wrestler executes the hold. There was no transition or anything: a random number generator determined if you or the computer was successful in executing the selected move.

This time, the player will be presented with a list of moves depending on the context. From a standing position, the player can choose to punch, knee or grapple. From a grappling position, the player can choose to elbow, kneelift, throw to the ropes, or lift the opponent high into the air, etc.

There will be health bars to show each wrestler's stamina. The wrestler with the higher stamina will tend to dominate the match. So the player might want to execute easier holds at first to wear the opponent down.

The screenshot above depicts various anatomy segments of the wrestlers: head, upper body, hand, torso, thigh, legs in as many conceivable positions I could think of. From these pieces, I can already think of depicting moves like body slam, drop kick, atomic drop, piledriver, etc. As you can see above in the screenshot, I arranged the available custom chars to depict a pinning position.

The term "Catch-as-Catch-Can" was a term used in the 19th century to describe the style of wrestling that was popular back in those days. Back then, wrestling was a "worked shoot" -- where wrestlers were showcased in carnivals and would wrestle "worked" exhibitions where they would lose on purpose to a planted audience member (the latter who worked with the carnies) in order to goad "marks" from the audience to bet money to make them think they have a chance against the carnival wrestler. The carnival wrestler was fairly competent to beat most members of the general public. The "work" (fake) part was the carny wrestler doing badly against a "plant", and the "shoot" (real) part was the carny wrestler easily beating the "mark" for his money.

Pro wrestling today is entirely made up of predetermined "worked" matches, and the promoters and wrestlers actually use "carny talk" from the 19th century and they use terms like "marks" to describe fans in the audience when the 'insiders' talk amongst themselves.
Last edited by Ghislain on Sat Dec 18, 2010 6:25 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Postby orion70 » Mon Nov 29, 2010 2:54 am

Sounds fun :D . Will it be a turn-based or a real-time choice?

I didn't know that wrestling was such an ancient show (I wouldn't call it sport, as the result is strictly predetermined).
Interestingly, in the statistical sample of my friends and relatives it seems to appeal more the elderly than the youngsters. My grandma used to follow pro wrestling in late night TV shows :shock: .

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Postby Ghislain » Mon Nov 29, 2010 5:55 am

orion70 wrote:Sounds fun :D . Will it be a turn-based or a real-time choice?

I didn't know that wrestling was such an ancient show (I wouldn't call it sport, as the result is strictly predetermined).
Interestingly, in the statistical sample of my friends and relatives it seems to appeal more the elderly than the youngsters. My grandma used to follow pro wrestling in late night TV shows :shock: .


While the success of wrestling moves will be based on a random number generator, the player will be expected to make a choice within a few seconds just to get the action going. The game will have the choice of joystick or keyboard to control the action.

As with "Theater of War", this is the kind of game I always wanted to make. "Ringside Wrestling" was only a partial success because it was PETSCII graphics, and like I said before, there is no flow, logic or transition for the holds being executed. This version will actually "feel" like wrestling.
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Postby Ghislain » Mon Nov 29, 2010 6:46 am

I decided to give the game a different title: FACE VERSUS HEEL. The term "Catch-as-Catch-Can" actually refers to a style of legitimate wrestling, though it's rules were incorporated into carnival matches where the results were fixed with "plants" and legitimate when the carnival champion would dispose of a gullible "mark" to beat him for his money. "Catch as catch can" is a very archaic term.

While I still would like to pay homage to "carny talk", I decided to go with the current title. In carny/wrestling insider lingo, a "face" refers to a popular heroic wrestler who follows the rules while the "heel" refers to a villainous hated wrestler who cheats every chance he gets. The new title is more appropriate to the current formula for professional wrestling. Although in recent years, "extreme wrestling" was popular for a time where the ones who were cheered (or considered "cool") would be the ones who cheated and used curse words while the bad guys were fine upstanding citizens, but considered "uncool" and boring. (Example: Steve Austin was a face wrestler who cheated and was loved for it, Kurt Angle was a heel "scientific" wrestler who followed the rules).

FACE VS HEEL also gives the two opposite wrestlers each simple distinctive names. If memory allows, the computer opponent will use "heel tactics" (such as groin strikes, manager interference, etc) in order to give the game more of a challenge to the hapless 'face' player who will not only have to match the computer heel opponent's wrestling skills, but also his cheating tactics.
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Postby Ghislain » Wed Dec 01, 2010 3:07 am

I started to write ML routines to initialize the game and to draw the ring on the screen.

Here's a mockup, where I manually 'typed' out the 2 wrestlers (composed of custom chars). Colors are a bit limited, so these are the best color schemes I could come up with:

Image
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Postby Ghislain » Wed Dec 01, 2010 12:39 pm

I made an excel spreadsheet to document every single custom character that I will use in the game.

Code: Select all

#   ASC   CHR   DESCRIPTION
0   64   @   solid block
1   65   A   human head facing right
2   66   B   human head facing left
3   67   C   human head facing down
4   68   D   human head facing up
5   69   E   human head (upside down) facing left
6   70   F   upper body facing right
7   71   G   hand facing right
8   72   H   hand facing left
9   73   I   human stamina 7/8
10   74   J   upper body facing left
11   75   K   upper body (face down) facing right
12   76   L   upper body (upside down) facing left
13   77   M   upper body (face up) facing left
14   78   N   upper body (face down) facing left
15   79   O   upper body (upside down) facing right
16   80   P   upper body (face up) facing right
17   81   Q   human stamina 6/8
18   82   R   human stamina 5/8
19   83   S   hand (face up) facing right
20   84   T   hand (face up) facing left
21   85   U   hips pointing down
22   86   V   hips pointing left
23   87   W   hips pointing up
24   88   X   hips pointing right
25   89   Y   human stamina 4/8
26   90   Z   computer stamina 7/8
27   91   [   computer stamina 6/8
28   92   £   legs vertical
29   93   ]   legs horizontal
30   94   ^   Punch-jab facing right
31   95   _   Punch-jab facing left
32   32       Space character
33   33   !   upper body generic
34   34   "   computer stamina 5/8
35   35   #   Punch-cross facing right
36   36   $   Punch-cross facing left
37   37   %   Hips leg extended facing right
38   38   &   Bended knee facing right
39   39   '   Single leg facing right
40   40   (   Hips leg extended facing left
41   41   )   Bended knee facing left
42   42   *   Single leg facing left
43   43   +   Back leg facing right
44   44   ,   Back leg facing left
45   45   -   Waist bended facing right
46   46   .   Waist bended facing left
47   47   /   Elbow smash facing right
48   48   0   Elbow smash facing left
49   49   1   Waist bended (on back) facing left
50   50   2   Waist bended (on back) facing right
51   51   3   Hips on knees facing right
52   52   4   Hips on knees facing left
53   53   5   computer head facing left
54   54   6   computer head facing right
55   55   7   computer head facing down
56   56   8   computer head facing up
57   57   9   computer head (upside down) facing right
58   58   :   computer head (on back) facing left
59   59   ;   human head (on back) facing right
60   60   <   computer head (upside down) facing left
61   61   =   human head (upside down) facing left
62   62   >   foreign object pt 1
63   63   ?   foreign object pt 2


Image

The image above is from "Magidraw" a custom character graphic editor I made in the early 1990s. I think I should be able to depict several pro wrestling moves with these custom chars I designed.
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Postby Ghislain » Thu Dec 02, 2010 4:18 pm

I'm in the process of designing every animation frame that will be shown in the game. Here, the computer-controlled wrestler has a "grappling advantage" over the human-controlled-wrestler:

Image

From here, the computer can execute moves like an elbow smash to the head, a knee to the face, an irish whip to the ropes or lifting the opponent. I can even think of more moves like lifting for a piledriver/tombstone, or even executing a Triple H facebuster.
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Postby Ghislain » Sun Dec 05, 2010 11:32 am

I'm still designing the animated frames that will comprise all of the wrestling moves. I've designed 49 frames of animation so far. Here is a sequence depicting the human controlled wrestler pinning the computer, followed by the computer kicking out of the pin attempt after which the human player then bends over to pick up the opponent:

Image

I anticipate close to 100 frames of animation. Of course, many frames will be re-used (see above).
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Postby Kweepa » Sun Dec 05, 2010 1:34 pm

Looks like the Kama Sutra. :shock:
Sorry, somebody had to say it.

Very ambitious game. Looks good!

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Postby Ghislain » Sun Dec 05, 2010 2:10 pm

Kweepa wrote:Looks like the Kama Sutra. :shock:
Sorry, somebody had to say it.


LOL. Well, that wasn't my intent. Without using sprite graphics, the positioning of the bodies and limbs will look funny, and might give the impression that you imply. When this sequence of images is animated, it looks pretty good, however.

Very ambitious game. Looks good!


My biggest worry is running out of memory. Sure, I could make it a game for memory expansion, but by using the unexpanded VIC-20 as my 'canvas', it serves the following purposes:

-I limit the amount of dev time I spend making it
-I will be able to fit a collection of games on a disk (of which "Theater of War" is going to be the first).

I was thinking of making this a joystick-controlled game, but I think the function keys will be all that's needed to execute wrestling holds. F1 representing the easiest, F7 representing the most difficult.

Like "Theater" I will also put in a splash intro screen, and a loader screen that has instructions. I _might_ also include a two player option.

Other game ideas for the collection include:

-United States Presidential election
-Edgar Allan Poe-themed text adventure
-graphical remakes of 1970s text-based games like Wumpus, Camel, Hammurabi, etc.
-Dunjon III
-Battle of the Plains of Abrham (Quebec 1759)
-a mini chess variant that is on a 6x6 board (no knights)
-horse racing
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Postby orion70 » Sun Dec 05, 2010 11:59 pm

Ghislain wrote:Other game ideas for the collection include:

-United States Presidential election
-Edgar Allan Poe-themed text adventure
-graphical remakes of 1970s text-based games like Wumpus, Camel, Hammurabi, etc.
-Dunjon III
-Battle of the Plains of Abrham (Quebec 1759)
-a mini chess variant that is on a 6x6 board (no knights)
-horse racing

I like those ideas! It will be a great collection of the most diverse game genres. I particularly like the ideas for a Poe text adventure, and the historical wargame :wink: .

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Postby Ghislain » Mon Dec 06, 2010 6:00 am

orion70 wrote:I like those ideas! It will be a great collection of the most diverse game genres. I particularly like the ideas for a Poe text adventure, and the historical wargame :wink: .


Thank you. I used to write text adventure games in BASIC back in the 1980s for the Commodore 64. I mostly used Usborne's very excellent "Write Your Own Adventure Programs" as a template. It's one of the very best books about programming in general.

I also just finished reading the 1000-page "Complete Tales and Poems of Edgar Allan Poe" (which is much closer to 1500 pages because it's in small print with narrow spacing). There will definitely be passages lifted straight from the stories and poems. Because it's going to be on the unexpanded VIC-20, most of the text and room descriptions will be stored on disk.

As for the Plains of Abraham, I want to try to create a VIC-20 version of Sid Meier's "Gettysburg", if I can. I've read a few books about this battle, and it could have gone either way (if Montcalm had not panicked and resisted the urge to do a full frontal assault against Wolfe's well-entrenched line, he could have summoned his forces behind the British and squeezed them from 2 opposite directions). I don't want to toot my own horn too much, but I'm actually descended from the farmer who owned the land where this battle took place.

I was planning on visiting Quebec City on the 250th anniversary of the battle, but there was too much bickering from 'nationalists' who thought that this was going to be a slap in the face of sorts. I mean, this is _the_ penultimate battle of Canadian history. Whoever was going to be the victor (English or French) would control the continent (well, at least West of the Appalachians). Let's just say that if the battle went the other way, the language of popular culture and the internet today might be French.

Personally, I didn't see anything wrong with a bunch of war nerd/re-enactors having fun while in full 18th century military regalia. Americans find an excuse to relive many of their Civil war battles, have a jolly good time getting drunk and hurling humorous insults at each other.
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Postby Kweepa » Mon Dec 06, 2010 10:04 am

Please drop everything and start work on that Poe text adventure!

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Postby orion70 » Mon Dec 06, 2010 11:50 am

...But also on the wargame... OK, Poe first :D .
What about including graphic screens like in the Island of Secrets? It would add a thrilling atmosphere in the interactive fiction.

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Postby Ghislain » Mon Dec 06, 2010 1:22 pm

orion70 wrote:...But also on the wargame... OK, Poe first :D .
What about including graphic screens like in the Island of Secrets? It would add a thrilling atmosphere in the interactive fiction.


Well, the other wargame will be put off for a while (after having just completed one).

I was thinking of making the US presidential election game as the next one.

As for the Poe game, since it's going to be for the unexpanded machine, I'm not sure how I would incorporate graphic screens. Unless the game engine could be allowed to quit itself, load a graphical screen and then come back to the game engine itself. I could even use Rackham's illustrations (recently falling into public domain) from TALES OF MYSTERY AND IMAGINATION.
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