If you have been watching Grey Dog Software and their history of creating Wrestling titles you will know TEW 2020 is coming up this year. I managed to talk to game designer at Grey Dog Software to bring you this Total Extreme Wrestling 2020 interview.

The game will be the latest in a long line of Wrestling manager simulation games, where the player must manage finance, shows, venues and backstage politics. Have you ever wanted to pick wrestling’s next big thing?

If the answer is ‘yes!’ then prepare to dig into TEW 2020 below. Feel free to ask any questions in the comments and let me know if you are a fan of the game series. Or fancy checking this one out.

Please introduce yourself and TEW

Total Extreme Wrestling 2020 Interview Image 1
Total Extreme Wrestling 2016 database.

My name’s Adam Ryland, I’m the designer of the Total Extreme Wrestling (TEW) franchise of wrestling “booker simulation” games from Grey Dog Software (SEE SITE), which has been going since 2004, as well as other games like World of Mixed Martial Arts and Wrestling Spirit.

Prior to making commercial games I made the Extreme Warfare Revenge (EWR) series of freeware wrestling games.

I’ve been making games since 1994 and am currently working on my biggest one to date, Total Extreme Wrestling 2020.

What can fans of the series, and new players expect from the game?

TEW 2020, is the first time since the series began that the program has been taken apart and had the “insides” rewritten. So as well as being larger and better than any previous game, it should also remove any of the niggling issues that had crept in over the years.

It’s certainly opened up some new avenues, such as being able to add in the new “Attributes” system that I recently announced in my ongoing developer’s journal (HERE).

As someone who is naturally very organized, it has been very nice to do a spring clean of the code too.

The TEW fan community get very involved with the games creating databases, images, and sharing universe builds online. What is the craziest fan contribution you have seen?

Total Extreme Wrestling 2016 Hall of Fame Screen

We do have a very large and creative community, yes, which makes picking out any one thing quite difficult.

I’d say some of the custom artwork stands out the most for me, probably because I don’t have any artistic talent myself.

The people who have created entire game worlds of character pictures have done amazing work.

How do you come up with so many names for your characters and are there any consistent names always involved in your games?

There’s a handful of characters who appear in more than one of my four-game franchises. But for the most part, I try to keep the products separate so that I can keep the internal chronology and canon distinct.

For example, the first couple of games in my World of Mixed Martial arts franchise were set in the same world as TEW. But it soon became really complex to keep all the dates and happenings lined up, so I abandoned that after a while and made them separate worlds.

As for coming up with names, a lot of it is influenced by pop culture references and people I know. For foreign names where I don’t have a frame of reference, often I’ll just take obscure people from that country – low-level athletes, historic politicians, etc – and jumble up the first and second names.

I try not to do that too much, but when there’s a mass of characters to name it’s a quick and effective way of ploughing through them.

What games in general are you obsessed with? And what games are you looking forward too?

Total Extreme Wrestling 2020 Interview image 3
Darkest Dungeon highlighted by Adam

Strangely given my job as a game designer I actually play virtually no computer games at all – I’m far more interested in board and card games.

As far as computer games go, I’ve played a few levels of Darkest Dungeon recently as a friend gave me a copy as a gift, and that’s certainly a cool game, but other than that the last “big” game I played was Skyrim several years ago.

If you could book any dream Wrestling match what would you book and why?

My era of wrestling was late 80s and early 90s, so I’d probably do something like a proper Legion of Doom vs Demolition match where both are in their prime and both are booked strongly.

Will the TEW games be coming to other formats? Will the game be getting any ports or a mobile version?

The game is written in a Microsoft-based language, so there’s very unlikely to be any ports to other platforms.

I wouldn’t completely rule out a mobile version at some point in the future. That’d likely be a long way into the future if it did happen.

When developing a game how do you manage what goes into the game and what ideas have been rejected at brainstorming?

Total Extreme Wrestling 2020 interview image 4
Total Extreme Wrestling 2016 Ranking Screenshot

We go through literally thousands of ideas, if not tens of thousands, so naturally a lot of ideas don’t make the cut.

Usually, it’s because either they would require a huge amount of extra processing time or data storage for a benefit that is very small, or because they’d only be a novelty.

For example, an idea that keeps getting suggested is the ability to create your own DVDs and go down to the level of picking out individual matches and then have the sales reflect the quality of your choice.

But realistically that sort of thing would be cool to do maybe once or twice before it became really boring, so it’s not worth spending hours coding a feature that will get no use.

Imagine that I know nothing about TEW, how would you sell 2020 to me?

I think it’s important that people know what they’re buying, so as well as announcing all the new features and changes in advance via my developer’s journal on the Grey Dog Software forums.

We also always provide a trial version of the game so that people can “play before they pay”. So anyone who was interested in TEW could do a lot worse than follow the journal and then give the trial a play when it comes out.

If you could get any Wrestler involved, who would you have as a box art star?

AI actually wouldn’t have any one star – I think the great thing about the game is that your only limitation is your own imagination and you can play as any company.

In any game world, real or fictional, doing whatever you want. It’s wrestling itself that’s the star, so I’d put a squared circle on the cover.

The Final Bell!

What about you gamers and wrestling fans? Will you be checking out TEW 2020 when it comes out? Let me know and ask anything about the game in the comments below.

TEW 2020 has a tentative Q4 release but you can keep an eye on news here on My Games Lounge.

I’d also like to thank Adam once again for chatting with me, as a fan of the series it was a real pleasure to talk with him.

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