A new challenger approaches as “Mark Out! The Wrestling Card Game" steps into the digital squared circle.
The wrestling video game market has yet another new entry as “Mark Out! The Wrestling Card Game" is now available in Early Access on Steam. Playing as more of a collectible card game, entirely different from the well-established WWE SuperCard mobile game in the wrestling game space, Mark Out emphasizes innovation and custom creation in an attempt to carve out a unique gaming experience.
Prior to the game's release, Fightful’s Robert DeFelice spoke with Shannon Williams, the developer, and producer of the game, about his inspirations, his hopes for the game, and what he wants to ultimately accomplish
For Shannon, it wasn't so much WWE SuperCard that wound up being the inspiration for the game but rather the Animation Throwdown card game featuring many animated favorites from famed FOX Network franchises such as The Simpsons, American Dad, and Family Guy.
“It's interesting because I played SuperCard years ago, like when it was really first coming out and getting popular. It was never something that kept my interest for long and I don't know what it was, I think it was just the element of using wrestlers as cards, I'd never been in the card collecting as much as I am now. So I didn't really catch on early on. I just had the game on my phone. But there was another game that came out. It was ‘Animation Throwdown,’” Shannon said.
“I was playing that game and I just would randomly pull my phone out and start playing that game and I started looking at different elements for once Mark Out started coming together, because there are so many different influences that crafted Mark Out and I was like, ‘Okay, well, I'll kind of use this game as an idea-base for Mark Out. So, it doesn't play like SuperCard at all. That's what I wanted to really get into SuperCard. Because when people see the game, they always think it's a SuperCard ripoff. It’s nothing like SuperCard, each wrestling card -- each card is a move. It's not a wrestler, and you actually play a full match. So you craft your decks and you can go out probably about 10 to 20 cards in a match and then you watch the match happen. The only thing on this closely related SuperCard is: it’s wrestling and it’s a card game, so people will always put those two together.”
Talking about game modes, Shannon would say that there will be a steel cage match in the game and there is also a storyline mode coming down the line.
“I'll build my favorite one. So first of all, just a simple one vs. computer, Online mode, that's the head to head in Steam is something that I think is going to be really, really fun to play. Those are the match types, or at least the match modes. There'll be a storyline coming down the line, I don't want to force that in for the initial release. But there is a story I actually wrote out and it will be coming into play.”
He continued, “Now comes the fun things for me, which are already card-related activities. So there are different things you can actually do with your cards, for the most part, it comes down to collecting and then crafting. So you collect cards, you actually buy packs in the game, virtually, all virtual currency. You don't actually use any real money if you purchase the game. It's all virtual currency that you earn in different matches and you can use those to buy card packs, and when you buy the card packs, those unlock the different cards, and then as you level up, you actually get access to additional card packs. So the first aspect is just unlocking those cards.
“The next step, the next part of it, is upgrading those cards [...] The entire point of the game is to get your opponent's spirit level to zero and you will do that by just throwing our cards and damaging them in different ways. Now my favorite part, my favorite mode of the game is actually the card creator. So have you ever played a card game and wanted to just create your own card? You know what, that would be really cool? That's literally something you can do in the game, fully animated and everything. You don't have to choose from pre-selected poses that I've created. You can go in, use the post created, craft your poses, up to 10, and then put them in your assortment for your card, name your card, choose one of the pre-selected images for the card, and then choose a battle stat template, that's the best way to put it for your car. then you can buy versions of your card from the virtual store and use it in the game and that's my favorite feature in the game because I've seen creativity going crazy.”
Shannon is looking forward to building the game throughout its time in Early Access and working with the community to help create an even better experience. Shannon called upon VikingSizeGamer, a popular 2K content creator, to be the community manager for Mark Out.
VikingSizeGamer, whose real name is James, gave the following comment to Fightful about coming on board to help build the community for this new video game.
“I was really happy to come in and help strengthen what Shannon had already built as a community. Finding ways to get people engaged in something they might not have been aware of to widen the eyes on it is thankfully something I've had experience with in the past. Shannon giving me a chance to apply that to an actual video game was amazing.
The recent rise in wrestling video games, in general, warms my heart. I've been playing wrestling games for 30 years and I don't think we've had games as ambitious and diverse as we have coming now. Competition breeds innovation,” said James
Overall, Shannon just wants players to come into this new experience with an open mind and hopes to see this game flourish through its creative freedom and growing community.
“I would say come into it with an open mind. Because first of all, it's not going to be like anything else you’ve played wrestling-wise. Just different modes I'm putting in, the aesthetic, the characters are Slender Man. So that's something that you will have to adjust and get used to. But I think once you start getting into the game and you really just start learning how the game works and what combinations work for you, what fusions work, when to level up when, when to level down, I think you'll really enjoy it. Just understand that I'm open to feedback. I'm willing to work with the community. I'm not saying I'll take every single idea, but I'm willing to work with the community and really just try to build a community of its own. I want to build a cult following Mark Out, I'm not sure how possible it is. But I would love to have an audience that really just loves this game."