10 Questions With… Adam Ryland

If you play wrestling or MMA simulators, you have most likely played an Adam Ryland game. From the classic Extreme Warfare Revenge to my favorite game of all time, Total Extreme Wrestling 2008, to this year’s World of MMA 2, Adam Ryland and the good folks at Grey Dog Software are churning out some great games for the wrestling and MMA fan. Adam was gracious enough to answer ten questions for us, so let’s get down to it, shall we?

1. So, to start off with a softball, what the heck went wrong with Wrestling Spirit 3?
– There were several key ideas that were going to be used as the basis for WreSpi3, and unfortunately they didn’t gel together in the way I wanted. Rather than trying to force them together, which would have resulted in a disjointed game, I thought it was better to shelve the plans and go back to the drawing board at a later date.

2. What is your next game going to be? Is it TEW 2010?
– Yes, TEW2010 will be the next release, sometime in the first few months of the year. It’s going to be based upon TEW08 given that there’s no point in reinventing the wheel, and will be jam-packed with new features. My developer’s journal that reveals new features on a daily basis will be starting sometime in November.

3. Are you surprised by the popularity of the Cornellverse?
– No, not really; I think if you put enough effort and commitment into a project like that, it’s bound to connect with people. I just wish more people would approach it with an open mind rather than dismissing it without playing because it’s not “real”.

4. What Cornellverse promotion or worker most baffles you with it’s popularity?
– I can’t say that any promotion comes to mind, as nearly every promotion is in the game specifically to cater to a particular type of player, so it stands to reason that there isn’t going to be a company that nobody plays as. The only major worker I can think of is Rick Law, who was meant to be a fairly bland inoffensive babyface but seems to get used extensively in a lot of diaries.

5. Is there a Cornellverse promotion or worker that you expected to be more popular?
– I think 4C aren’t as popular as they perhaps should be; when you consider that they’re in a very similar position to MAW, being a small promotion with a good roster and a lot of potential, it’s strange that the amount of MAW diaries outweigh the 4C diaries by a considerable margin.

6. Will there be a Wrestling Spirit style game for World of MMA?
– Probably not, as I can’t see how a text-based game would incorporate the subtleties of MMA, particularly the striking element, as it’s not so much the moves you pick as your timing, reflexes and heart – concepts that don’t really lend themselves to a WreSpi type of game.

7. Are you planning for more crossover between the TEW and WMMA corners of the Cornellverse?
– At the present time, it’s unlikely; not because there’s no potential for a wrestling-MMA crossover, but simply because the WMMA game is set in the past and features fighters who would typically have a much shorter career length than wrestlers, so it’s unlikely than many of the “name” characters would be active in the wrestling world a decade later. There probably wouldn’t have been any at all if it wasn’t for the fact that the three big MMA names (Raul Hughes \ Buddy Garner \ Mike Watson) were already in TEW before WMMA came out, and so already have established time-lines.

8. Is there an aspect of MMA or wrestling that you wish your games reflected more accurately?
– There’s still lots of scope for WMMA to improve upon simulating the real world of MMA, but that’s to be expected as the game is only on its second iteration. I’d imagine that it’ll continue to get more and more realistic over time, just as TEW has. With TEW, I think the vast majority of the wrestling experience is now covered quite well, but there will always be room for extras, simply because the world of wrestling has such huge variety in it.

9. What is your favorite aspect of the Cornellverse fandom? What is your least favorite aspect?
– The art work that people for the CornellVerse is very good, the amount of good quality renders of wrestlers is staggering when you total them up. I definitely think that’s the best part of the fan base.

10. What are my chances of getting some midget workers in Mexico, so the lucha promotions can finally have minis?
– At the moment, very little; they’re still one of the hardest parts of the game to simulate, as midget wrestling is essentially its own subculture within wrestling and so they really require the game to have a totally separate set of rules and code for them alone.

Well, I would like to thank Adam for granting the interview and I know I speak for the whole Diehard GameFAN crew when I say that I cannot wait for TEW 2010!