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Herr Matzat

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he did not only talk to his wife like they had the monney for shure he did talk to the people like that aswell, so let´s crush him :P

Welcome to the Wrestling Gamers United newsletter #135

1) Friday

2) Saturday

3) Sunday

4) Monday

5) Tuesday

6) Wednesday

7) Thursday

8) Today

9) Question of the week

10) Link of the Week

1) Friday


I spent all day Friday at home with my wife and daughter just imagining how

life was going to change after the email from the government arrived telling us

we were finally going to get our funding. I was a wreck. Sure I tried to relax and

I tried to keep occupied to keep from thinking too much about it but it was

impossible. I imagined how good it was going to feel for all the PWX supporters

to finally know with 100% certainty that we were finally going to be making the

game they wanted. Over two and a half years and countless disappointments littered

the road to this moment. Hard work pays off and good things come to those who don't

give up. Today would be proof. Finally at 4:30 pm the email arrived. My wife called

me to the office and held my hand as we prepared for one of the happiest days

of our lives together. My family sacrificed so we could pursue this. We cut off

t.v. channels, bought second hand clothes, stopped going to movies, and lot's

of other things so we could afford for me to do less paying work and focus on

PWX instead. It was all going to be worth it. This was the moment that made

it all worth it...

"Dear sir,

I regret to advise you that Telefilm Canada will not be participating in your


Our decisions are made in accordance with the Canada New Media Fund Guidelines,

with particular reference to the criteria set out in the Canada New Media Fund

Evaluation Grid. In our increasingly competitive production environment, we are unable

finance every worthwhile project.

These are difficult decisions for us and I can assure you that your project was

given careful consideration."

My wife read it out loud. I don't really remember hearing much after the first


"Dave, why aren't they giving us the money?" Her voice was shaking.

"I don't know."

"I though they we're giving us the money? What happened?"

I sank in my chair. "I know. I don't know."

"David...what are we going to do?" We both started tearing up.

I let everybody down. That was my only thought. How could I tell everyone? They

believed we could do this. They believed me when I told them we we're practically

guaranteed to get this funding. We were. I really believed it. My wife's nursing

school tuition was due. $2,500 and we were almost a month behind on all our bills.

Christmas is coming. My wife had faith in me when I told her, "Don't worry. It will be ok

because I know we are going to get this funding and I can take a bit of a salary

to take care of the bills. We're going to be ok."

We weren't fucking ok.

My wife and I had our little moment where we freaked out and said "what are we going


do?" a few hundred times. After about ten minutes of that she handed me the phone.

"Call them. Find out what happened." I wasn't going to do it if she hadn't asked me

to. After all, what difference does it make 'why' we didn't get it. It's done now.

We didn't get it no matter what the reason was.

I called a rep from the fund and to my suprise she was actually taking calls. I pulled

myself together and told her I knew she must be extremely busy handling calls today after

the decisions were sent out. She was pleasant as usual and I was a bit taken back by

how genuinely sympathetic she was to the crew and I. She explained that all projects

were evaluated based on marketability, potential to earn money, crew experience, and

Canadian content. PWX rated extremely high in terms of being good business idea that


potential to be very successful. However, a few projects received an unusually high

number of bonus points for Canadian content. "So, what...", I said. "We were beat out

by www.HockeyMooseBeaverMappleLeafQuebec.com? "Essentially, that's what it

came down

to." she said. "Plus," she explained, "the funding was split up between regions and we

only had $300,000 we could spend on Western Canada projects." Wow, considering

each project

was probably asking for $100,000 or more that doesn't leave a lot of cash. I asked her

just how far down the list we were. Did we come close to getting funding or did we get

completely killed and had no chance then? Here's where it gets cruel. "Actually,"

she explained, "you were number five in line for funding." Ouch. I would almost have

preferred to be number 99 and at least know there was no chance in hell. It felt like

getting all the lottery numbers right except for one.

And then she continued, "Actually, we were going to call you. You we're so close to

getting funded and there is still a chance in the next 30 days we could get more money

for projects. Because you were so close you would be next in line if more funding comes

in. Projects almost always fall apart and we get what we call 'fallout' money." A light

at the end of the tunnel? "Seriously," I asked her. "I can't expect my crew to hang on

to something so remote. Is it even practical to expect we could get some of this fallout

cash? What are the odds, something like 1 in 10?"

"Oh no. Better than that. It's very possible. We were going to call and tell you."

She encouraged me to submit any details that may have changed in our project that

could help us score better in the Canadian content area as well as crew experience. We

lost a few points because we had never made a wrestling game before. That's fine, I

expected that. Sucks that we hired a 3D guy from a major wrestling franchise three

days earlier but at least we can submit that bit of news and improve our chances

of fallout funding.

I hung up the phone and explained the decision to my wife. Knowing they evaluated the

project as a solid business idea and we lost out because we had too much good taste

to fluff the proposal full of Canadian flags made us feel a bit better. Kind of like

putting a Band-Aid on gaping head wound.

I had been cooling some beer in the fridge all day to celebrate. By this time I was

down two pints. God bless my wife. "What is your backup plan?" I told here the plan

was to

make budget cuts and ask the investors to stay with us and push ahead without the

government funding. By this point the option seemed unlikely. The confidence of the

government participation brought all the investors to the table in the first place.

Would they still want to invest? Could we make enough budget cuts to do this with

the money from the investors alone?

"Let's just do this. I've watched you for too long to give up on this. This project

gives us hope. If we quit now, what then? Call your crew and ask them how much they'd

be willing to work for. Let's figure out how much we can do the prototype for and then

call the investors. We've got nothing to lose by trying."

Of course she was right. But at that point I just felt numb. Like I was dreaming and

everything around me was distant. An instant message popped up on my screen. It was

James asking if we heard anything yet. "Aw fuck. How can I tell the guys? They're

expecting good news today. How can I let them down again for the tenth time?" I just

did it. I picked up the phone and dialed. Some crew took it really well. Some took it

pretty hard because they had been betting on this funding to survive. Calling the crew

was like calling family to tell them someone had died. Explaining why we got cut

didn't really help smooth things over. Fifth in line? Not Canadian enough? Only had

$300,000 to fund the projects? Cruel.

We have the best bunch of people on this project. Period. This was a huge blow and

for some I expected they would justifiably bow out of the project. C'mon, two and a

half years of failure? Every call renewed my sense of hope. Without fail every

single crew member agreed to work for free or take a massive pay cut. Not only that,

they were adamant we fight on regardless of funding. It was a brutal blow but they

weren't down for the count. We we're going to no-sell the bad news. We have the


crew in the world. I expected them to leave by now but they keep coming back for

more punishment. Here are a few quotes:

"I would certainly hope that salary expectations for our little pirate gang would be willing

to take a back seat to the bigger picture. Like I said, J and I are more than happy to

work for loose change and rainy-day guarantees if it helps us achieve our ultimate goal of

making the game. After all, nobody wins if we don't all sacrifice. We got your back,

Dave. Good luck with the homestretch." -Mel

"Another way to think about it... this journey of this game is like the journey of a pro

wrestler. People doubting we can make it. Not being paid money we were promised.

Doing it for the love of the business. Sacrificing guaranteed money in other careers.

Starting with a small fan base. See? We're just paying our dues... all we need to do is

hang on for the

ride..." -Eric

My wife sat beside me as I made the crew calls. I had list with all of their names

and during each call I'd either make a check mark or an X if they we're still with us

or not. Every name had a check mark. Thank F'n God. We still had a crew. The project

still had a pulse. Next call list: investors. Oh boy.

While I was taking deep breaths and getting the phone numbers together the phone

rang and my wife answered it. It was an investor asking for news. My wife explained

the entire situation. Why we were cut, our plan to continue with budget cuts, and that

the crew was all onboard to work for less to get the project started. The investor

was still in. One down, four to go. There were two investors who were planning to give

$10,000 or more. If I lost one of them we were screwed. We at least needed these two

investors to stay alive. One was home, he listened, and he committed to going forward

without the feds if the crew was willing to make such sacrifices. The next investor

wasn't home. She was away on business so I emailed her. I got an email back that read:

"Hi Dave,

What bad / good news - I love roller coasters don't you? Unfortunately Greg

& I will be out of town until 25th October & I may have to detour off to

Ireland after that as my mother is not doing well health-wise. However, you

will of course go ahead without us & grasp all of the opportunities you

mentioned with both hands. Greg & I are comfortable with the project & very

optimistic about the future so go for it.

Having said that, we would like to meet with the rest of the gang. Perhaps I

could have everyone here late Nov, early Dec. Then again we'll likely be

having a company meeting /convention by then in the Bahamas, right? Move

over Bill Gates.

Keep us posted,


So by the time I went to bed that night a miracle had happened. All crew was

on board and willing sacrifice even more. All investors we're still participating.

Their faith was in the project, not the government funding. The project was off

life support and breathing on it's own. But it was going to take a lot of hard

work, even more than before. How were we going to survive and make this happen?

We needed to make a plan....

2) Saturday


My wife and I got up at 5:30 so we could plan and get organized before our daughter

woke up. There is a 10:00 Mucha Lucha date in this house every morning no matter

what. The first item on the list was a new budget. We took the new figures and made up

a budget that showed what the crew deserved to be paid and what they agreed to work


after the cuts. We cut out all items that wouldn't directly affect the production of the

prototype. Bye-bye trip to Japan. We could pay the crew with the private investor

money and if we happened to get luck and get the fallout cash it would take care of

paying the crew the amount they deserved. Budget's are no fun but we managed to finish

it by noon even with the Mucha Lucha break. Things we're looking up although we both


our moments where we still felt sick to our stomachs. We prepared a letter for the

feds telling them our full plans for Canadian content and the new crew member. We were

going to have to cut $30,000 out of the market research budget and that meant my wife

and I would have to do it ourselves. A friend in the market research business offered

to consult for free. We needed a new survey so we started writing it up. I spent the last

part of the day responding to email from people waiting for news. We went to bed that

night still feeling scared but at least with the knowledge we were all doing something.

We never left the house that day. We made calls, sent emails, planned, organized,

brainstormed. Even with the private investor funds we needed to raise more to keep

the project strong. We needed to fight for every penny. We needed to sell personal

items we didn't really need so we could afford to work even harder on PWX and still

pay our personal bills.

3) Sunday


Another 5:30 morning. This time we sat down with a pencil and paper and looked


the house. What could we sell and put in the paper on Monday?

-Studio gear. A friend of mine offered free use of his studio downtown. I had stopped


new studio clients anyway. An Alesis ADAT and new mixing board should fetch at least


-Marshall road cases. I had them custom made by a builder when I was in high school.

I'm never going to need them. My rock star world tour is not very likely.

-Baby stuff. We've got an attic full of baby clothes, toys, car seat, etc. If we have

another baby we'll buy more.

-Motorcycle. This one hurts. It's my baby. I bought it four years ago. I had wanted one

all my life and I spent the summer taking safety courses before picking it out at a

local dealer. I spent the next two summers driving all over Vancouver. The mountains,

the ocean-side twisty roads. It was my only selfish purchase I ever made since getting

married. This summer I couldn't afford to license it. It sat in the driveway anyway.

One day I'll buy a better one. I don't have time to ride it now so why not sell it

while it's worth more?


Later that night my wife got a call that from on of the key investors. He was coming

over to talk to me. Uh-oh. This is either going to be really good or really bad. The

three of us sat together in the living room talking about the project. Turns out

he wanted to talk more about an idea he had to help us raise more cash. He owns an

auto salvage yard with a large indoor shop area. Why not throw an invitation only

wrestling show in the shop? The wrestlers could completely destroy the place and all the

cars in it if they wanted to. Sure, it would be a gimmicky night and not exactly a

Ring of Honor show but if we filled the place with a few hundred people at 10 or

12 bucks a seat we could make a few grand towards PWX. It would be fun, and if we


get people to donate their time it could be a nice cash infusion for PWX. What the

hell. He floated the idea before but I pretty much dismissed it. I thought the idea

of a hardcore wrestlefest in a wrecking yard was a bit hooky but the more I thought

about it the more I thought it could work as a fundraiser. Might even get some

publicity because it was so odd. Tomorrow I would call a local promoter to see what

setting up a show would entail.

Speaking of publicity, earlier that day I was chatting with an indy wrestler about

submitting his moves etc. to PWX when he off handily remarked that he worked for a

major wrestling magazine and he would be happy to write something about PWX and


story in an upcoming issue. WHA?! What a great break!

So by Sunday night were sitting in a pretty damn good place considering how we

felt Friday afternoon.

4) Monday


We could try selling new PWX shirts to raise more funds. Even if we only sold

100 shirts at a $10 profit we could scare up another $1000. Eric and I worked up

a killer new PWX logo and we got to work on a design for a new shirt. I'll asking for

your input in this week's question of the week.

I got a hold of local wrestler, Scotty Mac. He's always been a great guy and always

willing to help out with PWX anytime I asked him. I explained the situation and the

idea of running a fundraising show. Not only did Scotty offer to help out, he said

he could get the best local guys to probably do the show for free to support PWX.

Guys, could I ask you for a favor? Could you please stop reading the newsletter for a

moment and send a quick thank you note to Scotty? He doesn't have to help us, he's

the most popular wrestler in the local scene, but he never fails to support us and this

latest act of kindness could sure use a few thank you's from the rest of us.

Thanks guys. It'll just take a second..


Of course, I don't know shit about promoting or booking a pro wrestling show so I

called a local promoter who's been running some shows I've been enjoying. He also

agreed to help out and I'll be meeting with him tonight with my wife to learn the

ropes. My wife has been largely helping out on the little things up until now

but she committed to helping run the business end of things to free me up for all the

PWX stuff that only I can do. Trust me, the last thing on earth my wife ever thought

she'd be doing is promoting a wrestling show. I though getting her to become a fan

of Star Trek: The Next Generation was the peak of my accomplishments. Clearly I do

not know the limit's of my own powers ;-)

The last half of Monday was spent writing a long update letter to my investors and

researching customer database software. We need to sell a lot of Support PWX shirts

and I want to be totally organized before we even take the first order.

5) Tuesday


Tuesday morning was spent catching up a bit on email. I apologize for getting behind

but I literally had to cut myself off from the rest of the world if I was going to

remain focused on keeping PWX alive and organizing the fundraising activities. While

I'm on the subject, I want to send a big thank you to Mel for keeping the WGU forum

members updated and what's been going on. I really appreciate Mel for spending extra

time on the board. I know he's busy and it means a lot to have the extra help.

The rest of the afternoon was spent on the phone trying to organize the fundraiser

show. I spoke with Scotty a fee more times, the promoter, and a few of the wrestlers.

Everyone was very excited about the idea of working a show where they could tear the


apart and really have fun. What I originally thought was a cheesy idea is turning out

to be an anticipated event by the fans I've told and the wrestlers themselves.

6) Wednesday


So far this week I had seen a lot of support for PWX and I thought I had seen it

all. Free wrestling venue, free wrestlers, more investor support, a magazine

article. What next?

Dan, The Machine, that's what. Our programmer Dan started asking me all sorts of

questions about how long it would take for us to get the money to start the

prototype. How long it would take to get the first character model ready. (Speaking

of the character model, Darrell won't have time to do it right away so we hired that

pro guy I mentioned. I told him our situation and he offered to do it in half the

time for half the cost!) I was waiting for Dan to drop the bomb, that he quit. Couldn't

blame him, he had a mortgage to pay. Instead he proposed this plan:

He has a little hack and slash Conan-esque game he was working on. It's not half

as good as PWX will be but it could easily be finished in a few weeks and sold on

those indy game sites for $10. I've seen what Dan's been able to do lately with the

engine and I'm certain he's right about that. Dan will finish the game and donate it

to WGU to sell. A decent indy game can sell between 200 and 800 copies. That would

be up to $8,000 essentially donated by one of our own crew! I've said it before and

I'll say it again, Dan kicks ass. How lucky is PWX to have him? Thank you Dan!

After looking at the budget some more my wife and I came to the realization that

we would need more animators. I fired off a letter to the local schools and within

a day I have a stack of resumes. If any of you guys can animate or know anyone

else who can help out please let me know. We'll need an army of animators.

7) Thursday


We slept in until 6 am yesterday. I'm as tired as when my daughter was a newborn.

What's left of my day job had to be taken care of and I worked on getting quotes

from T-shirt vendors for the fundraising shirt. I wanted to get long sleeve shirts

this time but they're pretty expensive. We'll see how it goes after I get feedback

from the PWX supporters. I worked on another investor update including a lot of pretty

pie charts. Investors like pie charts. I set up a meeting on Friday with the local

indy wrestlers and I'm hoping everyone is still excited about the fundraising show.

Never in a million years did I think I'd be doing this. PWX is full of suprises. If

this goes well I'm thinking of an annual PWX invitational. Imagine PWX supporters


to book a dream wrestling card once a year? We fund PWX and see some good

wrestling in

the process.

Eric, Mel, and James have all offered to help Dan and the mini-game project. Between

that, the new T-shirt, and the fundraiser show PWX is in even better shape than it

was when we thought we had government funding.

8) Today


Never count your chickens before they hatch. That's a lesson we learned this week and

we learned it the hard way by risking a lot. Even though I told everyone it wasn't a

sure thing no matter how positive it looked deep down inside I knew we were getting

that funding. It was not the most right I've ever been. I told my wife this week

as we were getting ready for bed that part of me didn't feel right before the decision

came in. I felt that by keeping all of my toys like the motorcycle and studio gear I

wasn't sacrificing enough. I wasn't paying my dues. I've read so many biographies of

successful people like Stu Hart and one recurring theme was that they all went through

a point where they hit rock bottom. I never hit rock bottom. I came close, but I selfishly

held on to to things when selling them could have meant money to fund PWX myself.

And I

was too proud to ask for help. If I had swallowed my pride a year ago and asked for

Scotty's help putting on a show I know he would have done it. So after last Friday

my wife and I asked ourselves how much we believed in this project and if we were truly

willing to sacrifice everything to make it happen. Had we really explored every option

and taken every chance? Thanks to the good friends and good supporters of PWX we

knew we

had the answer. We had to swallow our pride, ask for help, and work harder. This story

is not over until there is a happy ending.

9) Question of the Week


We're going to make these fundraising shirts and we need to sell a lot of them so

I need to know what kind of shirt you would like. The results of the voting last

week has decided the color of the shirts will be black but we still need your help

picking the style and design. Here are the three choices.

1-Long sleeve shirt. Small logo on left side of chest with "Support Pro Wrestling X"

written down the sleeve

2-Short sleeve shirt. Small logo on chest, "Support Pro Wrestling X" on back.

3-Short sleeve shirt. Large logo on front, "Support Pro Wrestling X" on back.

Please tell us what style you want and the most popular design will be

produced in the next few weeks. Thank you for supporting PWX with your input and I

know you're going to love the new shirts!

Please email your answer to me at Dave@WrestlingGamersUnited.com

and thank you in advance for your input.

10) Link of the Week


Scotty has done more to actively help PWX than almost any other wrestler. He


his time to record sound effects, he invited me to a tv studio to take reference

footage, he hooked me up with the local promoters, he even pulled some strings

to get a PWX story on national tv. More on that later. Scotty is easily one of the

hardest working wrestlers in the indy scene and I've seen his love for the business

in person as he took a 20 foot Foley bump in front of a crowd of about 40. He's

been rewarded for that by getting the chance to work with guys like Chris Daniels and

American Dragon. Learn a bit more about Scotty and visit his website at:


In the meantime and in-between time, that's it. Another edition of

Wrestling Gamers United.

Thank you all,

Dave Wishnowski

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