For Tip Top Table Tennis, we wanted Tip Top Visuals…so lets talk about what we have done to get Tip Top looking Tip Top 

Settling on art style
From the outset, we had some guidance from the publisher on what they wanted the title to look like, which was leaning more towards a realistic art style. At first, we were on the other side of the fence, feeling like the game could look great utilising a playful stylized art style referencing the classic wii sports resort.

In the end, we realised that the decision was somewhat out of our hands, because with the time constraints and budget of the title, we were required to use asset packs to create the environments. Which means we are now at the mercy of the availability of assets on the store that match the style we wanted to aim for.

With that in mind, the main thing for us was consistency. We wanted to ensure we could create multiple levels that all match in art style, preferably these environments would also be created by the same studio, and so we got to searching the asset store.

After a solid few days deliberating and searching for the right packs, we settled on a studio called Dekogon, who have an expansive library of environments all matching in quality and style, perfect for what we need and so the decision was made for us. Realistic art style it is! 

From a technical perspective, these packs were also very well put together and even for going onto switch they required very little work to be performance compatible at 60fps, so props go to the Dekogon team for creating these awesome packs. 

Since we are getting closer to release, and i’m sure you are all just itching to get a sneaky peek at what the game is going to look like, here are some nice in game screenshots for you 🙂

With great visuals, comes great expectation

Visuals instead of power, expectation instead of responsibility. And yet the responsibility is still on us to make sure that, alongside the high fidelity graphics of the title, we provide gameplay that is also representative of that. 

Possibly more significant for sports games but with the realistic environments and art style of the game, a perception is made by the user, potentially even unconsciously that the gameplay would also be a realistic representation of the sport.

So what we have done by choosing to implement this realistic art style, is restricted the gameplay somewhat to being something that matches somewhat with the realism of those graphics. So this is something that we needed to consider carefully as we moved forwards with the title.

Something about UI

For our game’s UI style, we wanted something that included elements of table tennis iconography. At first, we considered achieving this by having all of our menus rendered in world space on top of table tennis tables and paddles. While we felt like this style had a lot of potential, we ultimately decided against doing this due to how long it would take to implement new menus and elements. We were also concerned with the readability and localisation problems that this could cause, since it’d be harder to fit potentially longer text in boxes and ensure that it’s readable.

Even though we couldn’t use our original idea of using a world space UI system, we still wanted to include table tennis iconography. In the end, we decided we wanted to incorporate a halftone effect reminiscent of the pip pattern on table tennis paddles

With this in mind, we went back to the drawing board (literally) and made several mockups for UI designs that could utilise this pattern in some way.

While bringing these mockups to life, we took inspiration from the family friendly vibe of the Wii Sports series, and experimented with a style full of bright colours, round edges and shiny buttons.

We enjoyed the overall aesthetic that the designs were conveying, but we felt like it looked too childish, so we ended up adding diagonal lines to the buttons and adding grey to the colour scheme, as well as changing the font to a more geometric one. We also ended up replacing the shiny effect with the halftone effect that we wanted to add.

So that concludes this little blog about how we went about some of our design processes for the visuals and interfaces for the game. The next entry we plan to talk about taking the game into BETA and what the iterative process to get their looked like.

See you dreckly!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to top