By Tammy Scileppi
Howard Beach resident Steve Resk, 26, has been a gamer most of his life.
Between seventh grade and high school he and his brother, Rich, played a lot of cool games — mostly sports-themed ones, but even a little Pokémon — at Video Game Central, their favorite game store, located in their neighborhood.
“I grew up on (WWE card game) Raw Deal,” said Resk. “I was the first player to ever play against his brother in a world qualifying event, the No. 1 player in New York, the eighth best player in the world, and the youngest player to qualify for a world championship. I had a great run.”
Fast forward to the present and Resk has turned his pastime into a thriving enterprise, SRG Universe, Inc., which released its latest card game creation, The Supershow, geared toward wrestling fans.
Set in the make-believe, underground world of The Legendary Fighting Federation, competitors battle for glory using strategic play and dice rolling in the game of back-and-forth action.
Players step into the roles of four main competitors: Snake Pitt, The Big Shot, The Rising Sun and El Super Hombre.
With The Supershow saga you experience two stories: The first is the real life journey of its creators, a group of individuals who came together in secrecy to create a spectacle so grand it can only be called The Supershow and the second is its conversion into the epic story of the Legendary Fighting Federation – fictional characters that create their own underground wrestling federation.
“Many of The Supershow’s characters and story lines have been developed directly by, or for people who have helped out along the way, through their likenesses and ideas,” said Resk. “The game is intended to stand against the main stream and is built by underdogs and those who were not given a shot by larger companies.”
The game’s basic concept is deeply rooted in SRG’s personal story of game development.
“It all started when me and two friends came together to develop a trading card game of our own. This one was based off mixed martial arts,” said Resk. “I was in college at the time, and we had an incredible run with that.”
They arranged photo shoots, play test groups and even had several meetings with trading card company Topps.
Topps told the trio that mixed martial arts and gamers did not seem to them to be a good match, said Resk.
But they were interested in developing a card game based on Vince McMahon’s World Wrestling Entertainment business.
So even as the three started developing the game and meeting with WWE executives, Resk believed he needed a backup plan in case the deal fell apart.
“I started developing the Legendary Fighting Federation, as we waited on WWE,” he said. “After a few months, we received the news: They couldn’t move forward because of contractual obligations.”
At that point, Resk was ready to shift The Supershow into high gear.
In August, the group went out to Indianapolis and attended Gen Con, the longest-running gaming convention in the world, where they introduced their creation to the crowd.
It was such a success, said Resk, that by the third day of the convention his team held a LFF Championship attracting more than 30 players.
Then in November, Resk and his teammates became champions in their own right.
They started a successful Kickstarter campaign where 131 backers pledged $9,451, exceeding their $8,000 goal.
“All those generous donations will be used to pay for our production costs as well as help the growth of SRG Universe during our first production run,” said Resk. “Our production run with official packaging and bar codes should be available in February 2015.”
After fighting an uphill battle to bring The Supershow project to fruition, they are now celebrating its release.
Right now the game is being sold in its promotional packaging at hobby and gaming stores on Long Island and on Ebay.
As Resk continues to grow his team, which includes an artist in Spain, programmer in the Ukraine and writers around the United States, he plans to expand The Supershow franchise, including the launch of a comic book.
“By making a comic book, we are able to employ writers and to give more work to the editing and design teams,” said Resk. “It is important to avoid gathering moss and to keep moving. The comics also provide us with a solid foundation for the possibility of creating an animated series sometime in the future.”