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CHIKARA: Action Arcade Wrestling Interview

CHIKARA: Action Arcade Wrestling

CHIKARA: Action Arcade Wrestling Interview

We recently had an opportunity to interview David Horn, Producer and Creator of CHIKARA: Action Arcade Wrestling. You can read more about the game and back it on Indiegogo here.

What is Chikara Wrestling and what is different about this game versus other options on the market?

CHIKARA Action Arcade Wrestling gives players an option to experience the crazy world of pro wrestling in a totally unique way. Most, if not all, of the wrestling games that are currently available present the players with a very “simulation” style interpretation of pro wrestling. CHIKARA Action Arcade Wrestling is the evolution of games like Wrestlefest and Saturday Night Slam Masters. It gives players the ability to experience pro wrestling with a fast-paced, fun, totally arcade-style fighting and brawling gameplay.

On the licensed stars, how much of a variety in terms of styles are there?

We probably have the most wide-variety of moves ever in a wrestling game. It’s rare to play a wrestling game where you can do a snap mare or a headlock on you opponent and then follow it up with a lightning blast or a fireball to the face. The players can assign different moves to different wrestlers to totally change the feel of the game. You can have a traditional wrestling match with Scorpion Death Locks and Bodyslams. But if you do want to do a Superman vs. Batman wrestling match, we do have moves where you can shoot lasers out of your eyes if you want to. It’s whatever the player want to do… and it’s all presented in a very arcade-like style of gameplay.

You say the game is inspired by 16-bit era wrestling, what are some of the things gamers can look forward to in the squared circle?

We’re taking (what we think) are some of the best parts of the wrestling, fighting and brawling games of the 90s and combining them with modern day features. So you play on a 2.5D plane with simplified controls and fast-paced gameplay. So if you have ever played the game Wrestlfest or at least hear of it, imagine if it was released today. It would still have that same fun pickup-and-play style, but feature things like an edit mode, cloth and rope physics, dynamic lighting, etc.

What kind of customization options will be present?

We’re doing something fairly unique with our edit modes. Really no wrestling game is complete without a creation suite nowadays. But ours is a little more like a helpful mod tool. So you’d load it up on your PC as a free download. From there you can create wrestlers and rings by selecting from many different options… but we’re also adding functionality like importing custom texture mods, normal maps, assigning movesets, etc. We’re even looking into importing custom FBX models and attaching them to a bone on the model itself. From there you can share them as well as import them into either the PC or console versions of the game. There’s obviously still a lot of testing to be done on the process, but we just feel that any type of user-creation should be able to take full advantage of a PC-based system and not be limited to what can only be done on a console.

What game modes will be featured in the game?
Well we’re not ready to list all of the modes yet, but we will have a plethora of match types:

  • One vs. One
  • Tag Team
  • Three-way match
  • Four-way match
  • Four-way elimination
  • Trios match (6-man tag team)
  • 6-man elimination
  • Infinite Gauntlet
  • Battle Royal
  • Cage Match

What kind of control scheme will the game have?

This is another area which sets us apart. Even the really great wrestling arcade games that have come out like WWE All Stars still had a fairly complex control scheme. Again, as a nod to the old arcade units, we have two main action buttons – grapple and strike. That’s it. So it’s incredible easy to pick up and play – even if you’re not really familiar with wrestling games in general. Additionally, when I spoke about taking some of the best parts of other games that have influenced us, the main area where that becomes apparent is in the controls. The movement is inspired by 2D brawling games like the previously mentioned arcade games as well as games like WWF Raw for SNES and Genesis. The grappling takes its inspiration from one of the best pro wrestling games of all time, WWF No Mercy. Even fighting games like Street Fighter and Killer Instinct have inspired our defense allowing players to double-tap to dodge forward and back as well as hitting “away” to block strikes.

The visuals look pretty unique, what is the inspiration behind them?

When we started with the prototype, we had the traditional realistic look and feel. At least as close as we could with our small team of developers. However when we took a step back, we realized that going for a cel-shaded or toon-shaded look would be awesome and honestly, it has been one of the best decisions we’ve made from an artistic standpoint for lots of reasons. First, It promotes the fact that this is a fun arcade game and NOT a slow simulation. Second, CHIKARA is about fun. This look fits more with the “comic-book super hero” branding of CHIKARA. Third, it will be MUCH easier for players to mod and create their own textures/wrestlers/rings using the creation suite edit mode I talked about. And finally, it’s a nod to the nostalgia of the arcade games that inspired it.

Lastly is there anything else OSers should know about Chikara?

CHIKARA is all about making pro-wrestling that not only delivers amazing in-ring performance… it’s fun. It’s fun to watch, it’s fun to experience. It doesn’t insult your intelligence, and it doesn’t cater to the lowest common denominator either. It’s vibrant, colorful fun that’s suitable for just about any age. And it’s filled with people that love wrestling video games as much as we do! Folks can check out the awesome stuff they do by going to their YouTube page ( and dive in deeper to their vast collection of performances at their website (

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