042 - Wrestling Game Pin Fall and RPS Mechanic

Had a really long day today taking the kids out to the Chinese New Year parade in the city, but hey, I still need to do some kind of creative work. Why not continue to work out the design for my wrestling game?

I spent some time working out the RPS (rock-paper-scissors) mechanic of the game where you have grapples, strikes, and blocks. The RPS mechanic in games is pretty common, but not aways expressed literally as rocks, paper, or scissors. You'll probably have seen it like archers defeat swords, swords defeat pikemen, pikemen defeat archers, or something like that. In the wrestling game it's grapples > blocks > strikes.

In the case of the skill game mechanic, you don't have to "win the skill game" if you're executing a block against a strike. However, if you do, then you get a bonus, which in this case is a "reversal". It plays the highest level available to you for free. Blocks can never beat a grapple unless the skill game is won.

In the case of the strike versus the grapple, you don't have to "win the skill game" for the strike to beat the grapple. What happens is that the mana that you're fighting for gets reset and each player receives 1 (or something similar). However, if you do win the skill game, the strike is able to win all of the mana minus the 1 that is always given to the loser.

I've also decided that the pin fall gets executed when the momentum of a specific wrestler is shifted completely to the other side. I'm borrowing the tug-o-war mechanic from WWE Champions on iOS. And the pin fall skill based game is much like the one seen in WWE 2K15, but a horizontal bar instead of a donut. There will be a sliver in which the pinned wrestler will have to press the action button while a slider moves across on top. The sliver gets smaller as the wrestler is more damaged. The slider also moves faster if the wrestler is more damaged. If the slider reaches the end, that's a count. An extremely damaged wrestler won't even have a sliver for the 1-count, again just like WWE 2K15.

I didn't want to create a game where you're button mashing. The really old wrestling games of yore, like Saturday Night Slam Masters or WWF Wrestlefest in the arcades, were all about mashing those buttons. While I'm not approaching it from a simulation game, like the 2K series, it is still more skill and timing based.

The ideas of what sets one wrestler apart from another, however, is a different story. I haven't figured that out yet. The individual move sets themselves are probably more fluff than anything else. The critical parts are the stats, namely the strength for the moves and how quickly the "super bar" fills up. So maybe for a very popular wrestler, it only takes 3 fans to fill up the super bar one level (thus able to execute a level 1 grapple), while a jobber requires 6 fans to fill up their super bar one level.

I also started thinking about how the computer AI would even be coded, but I sort of dropped that for later. I have the sense of a computer has better and better reaction time buffers as they get harder, but I'm at a loss of how to have the computer "make an educated guess of what move to execute" without it literally cheating and first evaluating what the player selects and then making an appropriate decision on its own in the background.