I interviewed the developers about WWE 2K20… (GM Mode, Creation Suite, My Career, & more)

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all right so today I have with me Mark littell and Lionel Jenks from the visual concept / – ke dev team and we’re gonna be talking all about WWE 2k 20 so thank you guys for joining me today I know you guys got a lot on your plate at the moment but I appreciate you taking the time to do this thank you for being here Chris what’s that it’s always good to see you oh yeah I’m sure it is try to keep this as short and sweet I have some questions prepared so Lynch up right into it if you guys are all ready let’s do it so the lead-up to this game’s release has been a little different than in previous years from what I’ve seen people are a little concerned about kind of the lack of information that’s been revealed so far today the gameplay trailer did drop but still no word on roster reveal not too much info on other modes can you guys kind of talk about the reasoning behind some of the secrecy this year if you will you know we just were a secret team not playing I mean you know like 2k 19 you saw like that 2k Deb guy just kind of like yeah that did mi a same thing this year like you know with everything that we’re trying to do especially this year with us you know taking it on completely we’ve been really busy and so you know all those things that you know I used to have the Liberty to do in post cool things that I saw on a daily basis and cut those videos personally and all those things and take a backseat to you know to make sure that we’re putting our efforts into making sure that we give you guys the best game we can sure alright but if you look at it like you know we’re really only two weeks off of where we were at last year we get you guys with your boy Xavier woods you know moves you have with Xavier surprise so we know we led that that charge for us with lot of info early on so we can you know continue to do our jobs and try to make this as sweet as possible all right I appreciate that all right so over the years in wrestling games there have been a lot of really really cool modes and features that have been removed and haven’t really found their way back into the current game you guys probably know where I’m going with this the one that fans including myself have loudly requested the most is a mode called GM mode I don’t know if you ever heard of it with no sign of it being included this year why has that been kind of overlooked for the last number of years yeah I don’t know that it’s overlooked I mean obviously there’s no way we’re not hearing you guys and we do listen to you guys I think I think we’ve shown that over the years you know it a lot of it has to do with just fitting in with what we’re trying to get done and so like this year we really really wanted to build out the female my career in the female my player that’s another thing that people since we introduced my career they’re like why isn’t there a female my player I can’t do this with women and so you know with the theme of this year being so much into the women’s revolution you know having Becky on the cover we really that was where we put a lot of our energy and focus for this coming year and I mean obviously a lot of that is a direct result of listening to the fans and understanding what you guys are wanting to hear so you know we hear you guys loud and clear and don’t think we’re not listening because we are with that being said is it something that is kind of on your list for possibly future installments absolutely you know I think that there’s that and a few other things that we hear clearly that people would like to see come back or be rethought in the future as to yeah and I think that’s one of the thing that I know and I like to try and do is it’s like we don’t just want to bring something back the way it was we want to think about how we should build it now because times are changed and what what what can we do that’s better and more innovative and more exciting and so you know I think that that’s part of now that the game is being developed by our own visual concepts team we’ll have a lot of liberties as we move forward and we’ll be able to push a lot on – okay well let’s think about what the fans really want we know what they had we know what they liked but now what can we give me even better right okay now kind of piggybacking off what you just said earlier this year it was announced that uke’s would no longer be working on the 2k franchise can you guys talk about how that split has affected the development of 2k 20 either positively or negatively yeah for me you know it was one of the things we were like you know we’ve you know I like huge men like they were they were you know awesome to deal with and develop you know the previous games with but they came to time where you know we you know we wanted to take art our our shot and you know making the game that we’ve always wanted to make and the only way to do that really was you know just do it internally and with that comes a lot more responsibility a lot of new people had to get hired and get familiar with this franchise and it was it’s been a growing experience and it’s been actually really cool like forming this team that we have now we’re in two different locations Mark’s in LA right now we built an LA studio along with our team over here in northern Cali to make this game along with you know some some help from other studios as well I it’s just it’s one of those things where it’s like it’s it’s been a fun experience just collaborating with you know new people new ideas and trying to make sure that you know we have like the same goal in mind and giving you guys like I keep saying they’re like the best wrestling game we can it’s been hard you know because it’s been a you know a learning experience things that you know you see was you know they had the keys to you know it was now our responsibility and you know was it was up to us to get those things done and it was fun you know it’s fun I mean it was challenging as well right and so for me it was it was good to get back into into that driving seat with Mark and and become like the the sole developers on a product again hmm what would you say was the biggest challenge from with them leaving uh you know just there’s so many things that they they were you know they were implementing for us right like it was like their tools and things like that where we had to basically rewrite a lot of that stuff and come up with ways in which we felt like you know we had to do it in a different way because times have changed and trying to get up-to-date and more current that was really challenging right but at the same time you know we’re get exposed to like you know new techniques on how you know other Studios did things or how you know new programs that are you know out there now you’re like oh let’s try that let’s do this or write something from scratch to allow us to do certain things that we weren’t able to do in the past and so but with that you know comes a lot of design a lot of decisions need to be made and a lot of people are getting familiar with you know this product and it’s been challenging but again like it was fun like it truly was and and for me it was just like getting to know like we still have like our core people from from years past on the design team but like building you know out a whole art team a whole you know engineering team like it is in production like it’s been crazy I can’t believe we did it so fast but uh mark can speak a little bit more on that he’s been heavily involved on setting up that studio over there in LA and it’s it’s been a crazy year yeah yeah I think you guys are excited about it which is really cool too yeah the thing mine own I used to always laugh about in have didn’t hire years the hardest thing is there’s been no one to say no to us anymore so every crazy idea every cool idea that line element us and the team come up with we’re like yeah let’s go try it and sometimes we need to be like we need to that’s probably too big of an idea with everything taking this year like taking over this entire game building the team you know fixing a lot of problems that have existed in the game for a long time so but it’s super exciting to be able to do that and be able to have kind of that freedom to think about things that way and and realize it’s it’s really it’s up to us at this point you know as much as we can do year over year is how fast this games going to grow and move yeah sweet that’s got to be a pretty good feeling to do to kind of be in control of your own destiny so to speak and not have not to say anything was hanging over your head but not to you know not really having like you said anybody to tell you know which is someone that creates anything is a pretty freeing feeling I’m sure yeah it’s it’s the if we can’t figure it out it’s on us you know and that that’s a great thing and you know I’m sure like everything we’re gonna succeed it lots of stuff and we’ll probably have a few stumbles along the way but that’s you know as a team and as a game that’s how you grow right and that’s that’s how you find greatness in the long run which is our goal I mean Lionel and I have always said that you know you know obviously the other team in our studio makes a pretty good basketball game we’ve heard that game but you know we want to one day top of it you know like that’s that’s our goal like that’s what we want to do with this franchise moving for Disney we have yeah we want WWE 2k to be up at that same level as NBA 2k and beat it in some ways and we think we can I mean the storytelling stuff we’re doing already with the things we’ve done with career mode and stuff is already surpassed and a lot of the things that they’re able to do and that’s that’s some of the exciting stuff about being in the restaurant john rowe for us it there’s a lot of freedom there’s a lot of exciting cool things we can do awesome awesome moving to something that hasn’t been talked about too much yet I’m not sure what you can say at this point or by the time this video goes up I’m not sure exactly what’s gonna be revealed by you guys are there any major changes with the creation suite this year any new things that you can create maybe like a finisher or something along those lines and can you give me some info I kind of what’s just going on with the creation suite in general this year and crazy sweet like it’s one of things were like like we talked about like unravelling like just this beast of a mode and making it ours and writing tools just to get it to a state where it was in previous years was a huge challenge for us right like that thing like it is probably the deepest you know with create an arena from to you know kind of superstar it’s so deep right and so that thing took a lot of hard work just to unravel it and putting back together and get it to function in a way that you guys have known to use it right and so our focus was on just providing you guys with more content right it wasn’t really about adding a ton of new features I was about making sure that the features that existed are you know are polished and making sure that you know we’re we’re adding more content for you guys to customize your characters with or your arenas in the form of like like you saw the the announcement with the originals right providing you with more more tools there in cool parts and props and things like that to place memories you know so in going back to like having you know a team of artists like and having like concept artists and like hey this is the idea like when we came out with a bump for the night you know it was like hey here’s kind of the theme and the concepts we were getting were freaking ridiculous we’re like oh my god this is amazing and we’ve been kind of accustomed to you know lowering our expectations on like say like the quality of these certain environments like you know last year’s environment when we had the Hawaii compound idea in our head and we saw it come to fruition was like it didn’t really hit that mark right where now when we you know come up with the concept and we’re actually to be able to execute it to where the concept without the actual final in-game model that’s exactly like the concept you’re like oh my god like this is what it’s like to have like you know a team that’s local that gets it in and you can hit that bar that they were establishing and and again I’m not trying to throw you know youth under the bus or anything like that it’s just you know having that face-to-face interaction with with someone and being able to describe what your vision is and see it come to you know see it come come through actually it’s a new and an amazing experience for us finally so I got you know I watched somebody’s you know uh you know reaction trailer this morning to the to the to that oh uh what was it the gameplay trailer mm you know that the Coliseum in Hell right like that’s something that was probably in in years past right we’re like concept looks exactly like the in-game model right where the lava spitting and all that you’re like when we first saw be like yeah there’s no way we can do that and then the artists were like how do we got this I mean like oh my god oh it’s things like that right we’re you know I’m most proud of and excited about like just seeing the quality that were able to give you guys for once right – it just matches our our vision of the game sweet speaking of creation sweet creating arena things like that WOB likes to do this really fun thing where they completely change their sets and logos like three weeks before a game is about to drop they never do that what was the reaction from the dev team when you saw that double to be completely rebranded their shows and their sets right before this game was about the drop it was kind of course like oh of course they of course did the good thing is we’ve been working with them for quite a while now and so we’ve learned to expect the unexpected and check know as a company and it’s in the core DNA and how they run their business they change on that on a heartbeat if they feel like they need to and they pivot and they do all this crazy stuff and obviously you know we talked to them all the time and say hey you know if you could it would be nice if you could give us the heads up and some of it’s just they move so quickly you know we’re always going to be probably a little bit behind their latest new idea this one’s unfortunate but I’m sure people gonna get a lot of use out of that create an arena this year they gotta get I gotta give props to the to the creators too because if anybody is unable to be on the roster for whatever reason or if arenas change stuff like that community creations thing it’s like almost immediately to out like two hours later you’ll have an arena up you’ll have whoever’s not in the game is up it’s like crazy what these guys do so I’m like we love we love going up there to like I’ll spend weeks up there after we launch and download stuff and try and figure out how they built it yeah I’m looking at and I’m like yeah how are they doing that right you know you download it and you take a look and you’re like that’s really smart and then I know I actually use that to figure out well could we do something better for them that would make this easier for them in bread that’s right something I think it was trying to just support the best creators out there absolutely and there are some seriously amazing creators for sure I love seeing all that stuff yeah it’s always fun to see so getting back to I think the most important aspect of any video game is the gameplay itself you know I know 2k 19 took a took a pretty big step forward in making the gameplay a bit more fast-paced speeding up some animations paybacks etc are there any significant changes to the core gameplay this year I think that the way I put it is like we’ve worked on the controls a lot this year and so you know some of what we’re trying to do is make the game a little bit more accessible for people that are new to the game but also keep the depth for everybody else right people have played a long time want to have a lot of control and they want to do it so you’ve heard us talk about you know our updated control scheme a lot of what we’re doing were things to try and reach that goal so you know there’s some are simple things like we moved the reversal button to a different spot so instead of being on the trigger it’s now on the Y you know I saw on the the top button depending on laughs right and so we did that because we realized that reversals are a very very split second thing the trigger takes a long time to pull people were missing because the trigger was the trigger pull slow time I think I don’t yeah putting it on the face button makes it a lot more immediate and you don’t get a lot you get much more accurate results from people they’re much more successful at it but on top of that we also looked at the reversal system and just tried to retune it and rework it so it was much more consistent move to move much more predictable that the prompts happen a lot better you know and all these things are small but they lead into a just unplayable game and you know we’re definitely state keeping with the kind of the the pace and speed that you were seeing into UK 19 and just kind of trying to improve upon right awesome so jumping into we kind of talked about a little before but jumping into my favorite mode every year which of course is the career mode that’s kind of my bread and butter first-ever female inclusion like like you mentioned can you give us some details about what we should expect from that career this year does it span one year or a number of years is a little more open-ended you know can you kind of just spill whatever you can for me if you will it does span multiple years so yeah longer than two canteen is the story gonna be gonna be longer in length than 2k 2k 19 okay um it’s thick right now what is it mark like 25 hours Wow yeah at least yeah really yeah we got a lot more voiceover from superstars like Mark Zandi of the female was was Jeff was John Cena available this time then we tell my name was John Cena man did you see what he looked like that’s John Cena hmm just didn’t sound like the you know I’m sorry I’m sorry you were saying I’m sorry I could I sorry I couldn’t I’m sorry yeah you know we have voiceover shirt from from a lot of superstars I will say like the performances we we have this year we up the ante man like it’s sometimes uh when you hear some of these guys you’re like oh man like they were really into it and it adds to the story it adds to that feeling that you know you are part of the W Ian these people actually don’t like you right if they’re you know you know if you’re going up against them and so yeah there’s a lot of cool twists and turns and you know I know you like the the fun crazy stuff so no we we definitely uh a little crazy kid nice I love and and but it doesn’t compromise the story doesn’t compromise you know what the WT is all about right and that’s entertainment mm it is still grounded in reality even though we we tend to throw in some cool stuff and there it all makes sense at the end and it’s it’s a cool journey like I really like what we did with the relationship between you know the male and female they are best friends there’s no romance going on so it’s just you know that it’s it’s a cool you know kind of coming-of-age story coming up through the WWE and there’s some nice surprises in there that I really can’t wait to watch you play through it man nice I can’t wait to play it like now no it’s like 25 hours compared to what was last year maybe the 1012 something like that maybe brother yeah wow so it’s like double the length that’s that’s crazy that’s good to know that makes me happy you know Chris danger but Christina danger we’ll see so alright we’ll get into the lore at some other time well circle back to that so I actually got one more question I would assume one of the hardest things about releasing a game on a yearly schedule is fan fatigue Madden goes through it NBA FIFA all these games I’m a Madden fan but I’ve skipped releases before that’s just kind of the way that it is sometimes so if you had to make a pitch the fans who are on the fence about it how do you believe 2k 20 will be different from 2k 19 and why should they purchase this year’s game for me it’s it’s I want them to see what we’re about right like when we first got the license we always felt like it wasn’t a true representation of what visual concept stands for right like Marc was the executive producer on MLB I was our director on NBA so that’s in our DNA right like and when you come from those products and you come from those games and those teams you can’t help but have a higher bar right where we’re like what you know we just expected more from ourselves and from the product and again I’m not you know dumping on us but it was just like they had their way of doing things taste you have their way of doing things and we just we were different right and so we never really felt like we could make our mark on the game we would change things here and there we would try to add things that were different but just at the end of the day it never really felt like us right and so now that we have a you know a chance at showing what we’re all about like I really want people to see what you know all the hard work the blood sweat and tears that we put into this year’s game this whole entire team has put forth their absolute best to try to you know get you guys the game that you know we’re all proud of and you know no game is perfect we understand that right but for us it’s about making sure that you guys see we’re all about and what we’re building towards in the future and this is a glimpse of what you know our vision is for the you know for what this game can evolve into in the next you know year two years three years right like we wanted to you know be the absolute best hands down you know there’s no you know old you know n64 games and the conversation is just us right that’s where it needs to be in and that’s our goal in like like Mark said one day you know when people say 2k day they’re talking about ours you know that’s it’s a question mark it’s not just a statement right we know what 2k day is right now and that’s MVA and they’ve earned that right and for us it’s like we just want to be in that conversation right I would love to see that day come where 2k day doesn’t just mean NBA anymore cuz obviously you guys know a big fan of the franchise and they has a big wrestling fan that’s that’s what you want anybody like oh you should grab the new 2k and I’m like yeah wait we’re probably not marquee I think they add on top of that yeah for me it’s a lot of the same as what Lionel’s saying you know and you know we’re not going into all the details you know today but there’s a lot of little things in this game that are there for the fans you know and they’re there for the people and we in things that we changed purposely because it’s a better direction for the game for us and for the fans and so you know like a very simplistic one I’ll touch on is like we brought back lobbies for online you know like we have a good sized user community but split them up across 40 game modes online and guess what there’s not a lot of people playing our Royal Rumbles online at night if you’re right but this way people can see what they’re trying to do trying to get into you know we want have people wrestling we want people having fun with each other online this that’s what this game is great for like your bodies your friends you know that’s the sort of stuff that we’re gonna keep pushing on and keep making better and keep focusing on it how do you have these great entertainment experiences how do you have more fun with your friends or with other people there are fans of wrestling you know that’s what this game is is really like Glenelg says it’s kind of like the starting point of where we think we’re going to be able to take it in the in the future but you know there’s a lot of great stuff in there already right all right awesome that’s uh that’s pretty much all I got for now hopefully nothing too crazy for you guys we pretty much covered everything I’m looking forward to getting my hands on it whenever that may be and kind of seeing how it feels and all that but thank you guys for taking time I really appreciate this hopefully the community appreciates you know you guys being you know honest and forthcoming about you know how you feel about the game III know I like I’ve worked with you guys for a couple years now I know how passionate you are I know that everybody in this call wants this wrestling game to be amazing and we all want we want every wrestling game to be great you know we don’t know we don’t have a whole lot of we’re not exactly at the top of the of the popularity totem pole when it comes to video games so knowing that you guys are passionate and just gung-ho about this like that that excites me and that that makes me feel good so I’m glad you guys are waged took the time to do this and I’m glad that you got another game coming out in a couple days and so go get back to making the game then and make it great thank you for your time great all right thanks guys Daisy

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