Old School gamer chats with Rowdy Wrestling developer Colin Lane, who details the development process and inspiration behind the mobile wrestling game that takes simplicity and fun as its main inspiration and combines it with a ton of video game and wrestling nostalgia.
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Old School Gamer Magazine: How was this game born?
Colin Lane: A couple of years ago I made a crazy Wrestling game called Wrassling, I loved the simple concept but always felt like there was room to add more to the gameplay. I decided to revisit the concept of Wrestling early this year, eventually after a long period of prototyping Rowdy Wrestling was born.
Old School Gamer Magazine: What was development like?
Lane: It was pretty brutal really, I explored a lot of different concepts around grabbing and throwing wrestlers, but due to being absolutely useless at coding I just couldn’t get it working. For a long time it looked like the concept was dead but eventually I had a breakthrough and it flowed pretty well after that.
Old School Gamer Magazine: What makes this game special?
Lane: My favorite aspect of this game is the random interactions with the AI, especially in tag mode. Your teammate hitting you over the head with a chair by mistake or drop kicking a guy that has just been thrown out of the ring, I love those interactions.
Old School Gamer Magazine: Why does wrestling still matter?
Lane: Wrestling is just good fun, it’s like a live action movie. I love the variety of characters, I have always been a fan of the giants, these almost mythical beings taking on 2 or 3 guys at a time.
Old School Gamer Magazine: What games influenced this one the most?
Lane: The main influence is of course my first wrestling game Wrassling. Then it’s games like WWF Royal Rumble on the SNES and WCW Vs NWO on the N64, and of course the wacky physics is heavily inspired by Soccer Physics on mobile.
Old School Gamer Magazine: Any fun stories or wild moments during development?
Lane: The final week of development was a delirious week in Spain on holiday. My 2 year old daughter was ill and not sleeping, projectile vomit, it was blazing hot, no WiFi, just chaos.
Old School Gamer Magazine: Do you think preserving older gameplay mechanics in new games is important?
Lane: For me, I see the AppStore as the return of mini-games and short arcade games from the Flash game days. Most of my game ideas are 2D concepts and thanks to the AppStore there is a new home for them.
Old School Gamer Magazine: What’s your favorite memory as a gamer?
Lane: Hmm, it’s either the Phil Collins concert in Vice City Stories on the PSP or the first time I took down Little Hunter in Nuclear Throne. I’d been stuck on him for weeks and I finally just rushed him with the Auto Shotgun, sweet, sweet victory.
Old School Gamer Magazine: Who will enjoy this game the most?
Lane: People who enjoy chaotic, wacky sports games and don’t mind losing to RNG in hilarious, tragic ways.
Old School Gamer Magazine: Any thoughts for a port on the Switch? Mobile games the likes of Fallout Shelter and Uno have done great on the system.
Lane: I’d love too but I’m not very technical, maybe if I find someone to help me with the port.
Old School Gamer Magazine: Bottom Line, why must someone play this game?
Lane: I would say only play it if you think it looks fun, these sort of games are not for everyone, many people will dislike this game.
Old School Gamer Magazine: How do you want this game to be remembered?
Lane: Just as good, stupid fun.
Old School Gamer Magazine: What’s next?
Lane: I’m working on a top-down golf game called Golfing Around that will be our end of August.
Patrick Hickey Jr. is the author of the book, “The Minds Behind the Games: Interviews With Cult and Classic Video Game Developers,” from McFarland And Company. Featuring interviews with the creators of 36 popular video games–including Deus Ex, NHLPA 93, Night Trap, Mortal Kombat, Wasteland and NBA Jam–the book gives a behind-the-scenes look at the creation of some of the most influential and iconic (and sometimes forgotten) games of all time. Recounting endless hours of painstaking development, the challenges of working with mega-publishers and the uncertainties of public reception, the interviewees reveal the creative processes that produced some of gaming’s classic titles.