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History of MDG's creation


Apr 1, 1998
Urbana, OH
I thought it would be a good idea to post a bit about how MDG came to be. As a youngster, I had played a wrestling game called Champions of the Galaxy. As I go into this, I want to make sure that I'm clear in my respect for what has been done w/ that game. The company continues to expand, taking the simple, dice-based concept, and building on it with Legends of Wrestling, Chikara, and now Ring of Honor. This simple game had filled my fix for fantasy wrestling, but it had one glaring weakness. I would read about people playing it together, but when I got my friends to play CotG w/ me, it never worked. In their words, it was boring, and my belief was the lack of enjoyment was due to the limited choice by a player. CotG's system was great as a dice-based simulator where someone is the booker and the challenge is in working a story when you never know the outcome of the matches, but it didn't do much in the way of competitive gameplay. I began tweaking w/ CotG's gameplay to try to make it stronger with more moves available and more options for a player. This was a start, but far from what we have today.

Enter the internet.

Always interested in wrestling, I typed into a search engine the words "fantasy wrestling" and ended up in what is the forebear to this site - the CSWA's home. I joined, met a lot of great people, and decided to start my own group up - the MWC. It was a fed using a mix between a simulator and roleplay, where the roleplays were rated and then impacted the simulators outcomes. It was during this time that MDG began to develop, w/ me getting permission to use several of the characters in the game - Eli Flair, Tsunami Shiretsu, and the Sands of Pain (created by the late Chad Dupree). It was also during this time that I began developing some of the characters I, or my wife, had created - BATT, Jamiliah Creed, Nigel Hawthorne, Mark Maverick, the LE, and of course - Deacon. When my life situation changed, and time available dropped with it, I handed the MWC off to other, more capable people, and put the game away.

Occasionally, I would pull it out to look at the mechanics. I played another game, non-wrestling related, that used cards to force choices, and it struck me how I could combine what I had previously done, using cards instead of dice. It opened up the option of using card suits to impact gameplay, a wild card, and it could be played either alone, by simply flipping cards over, or competitively where you work w/ a hand of cards. Though I was happier, it still needed some work, requiring a bit more math than what I wanted, so I let the mechanics ruminate for awhile longer. I sent it to a group of people to playtest and awaited their thoughts.

I added specific items to a wrestler, moves that they used in specific situations (such as Jamiliah Creed's Van Chickenator dropkick). I added both advantages, situations where a stat or move would be increased, as well as disadvantages. And balanced it all to keep all leveled out.

It was during this time that I began solidifying the roster. Throughout, I had been collecting art, initially from the amazing DJ Coffman and then a variety of artists. I received 2 versions of Deacon, multiple attempts at BATT, and various other characters. (I plan to write a breakdown of where the characters came from and what transpired in my usage of them.)

Throughout the ruminating, I worked on simplifying gameplay and researching what people would say on message boards in regards to wrestling or fighting games, trying to incorporate as much of it as I could into MDG. This is how several options made it into the game - providing a way for a self-made character to grow and then fade as well as the "company status" concepts where you track a company's growth and influence over the market. It was also through this research that I realized the desire for people to play in groups, and to have something for the rest of those "watching" the match to do. This one was problematic and would require some work.

I'm going to fast forward a bit, all the way to the summer of 2012. I had been able to simplify the game as much as possible and play enough so that I felt the concept was strong. I was on vacation and had realized the game wasn't doing anyone any good on my hard drive. It'd been fun for me, and so I thought maybe others would want it as well. I decided to just put this game out there & see what happens. I purchased the final bit of artwork and established a 1 year plan to put out 4 expansions and a smattering of specialty/gimmick matches. The only weakness to the gameplay remained what non-active players did during a match, but I comforted myself that I had done the best I could.

I sent the game out and then inspiration struck. Non-active players would be a part of the crowd, but as the crowd impacts the decisions in real wrestling, this crowd would do so as well. And just as the crowd wanes and flows, sometimes completely switching sides in regards to who they support, so we would do in this game. It would all tie into those cards and their suits, where each person in the "crowd" would get a card, and the suit would tell them who they support. If an active player controlling a wrestler didn't like his hand, he could "pull energy from the crowd" by trading his bad card to a "fan" and get their card. Then, the fan may have to switch sides pending the suit of the card given, and if the fan wanted to get rid of the bad card, all they had to do was make everyone at the table laugh to draw a new card off the deck. Since, when I play games, I'm usually pretty happy w/ someone focused on being entertaining.

One of the wonders of current technology allowed me to instantly introduce this rules adjustment into the basic game, so anyone who purchased the original would be able to get the updated version.

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