Many Firsts, The First of Many

Exciting news!

We are buzzing with energy and beside ourselves to be able to announce that we are working with Excalibur Games on an upcoming title for Nintendo Switch called Tip Top Table Tennis!

And yep… you guessed it! It’s a table tennis game!

This is going to be the first of many upcoming blog posts in which we will be discussing the many firsts we’ve encountered on this game development journey. Working with a publisher, developing for Nintendo Switch, releasing a title as co-developers, among many other aspects of developing this title, are firsts for our team, hopefully soon to be the firsts of many.

This puts us in a unique position to share our experiences with others who, like us, had no clue what to expect when going to work with a publisher on a full release for the first time. We want to use this opportunity to lift the veil somewhat on this process and also let you in one some behind the scenes action of what has gone into the creation of Tip Top Table Tennis. 

During smaller university projects (Pre Studio 316), its was certainly thrown around a lot in team conversations after lectures on the topic and i’d hear team members say “yeah lets iterate on that” or “We can iterate on it later” but it felt for the most part that it was said with somewhat empty meaning.

In part maybe because I didn’t quite understand how to effectively use the principals or even the concept itself fully at this point, but also because we probably just weren’t doing it right.

It was only really going into the final year with the current studio 316 team that I started to get a solid grasp on the iterative process within games and now I feel I am starting to apply those principals outside of games too, like with the studio website.

Getting the Gig

Getting the Gig

Obviously no bit of work comes in without…work, and Tip Top was no different. Admittedly, this was one of our easier work acquisitions and it came about and got greenlighted in a short period of time. So I feel somewhat like one of those “it’s easy to buy a house, just get your rich dad to give you a deposit!” kind of articles.

There was also some amount of Luck involved in bagging the gig, but not the blind luck kind of thing like being born into a 1st world country with a dad rich enough to pay your first house deposit. My perspective on luck is that, it’s opportunities that you create yourself, but I couldn’t create Steve Stopps from Excalibur showing up to lead an incubator we were involved with, so some things just need to align for you like that sometimes.

The truth is that ALL of the work we have done over the last 2 years, is what made this sale for us. All the time spent talking with Steve about our business, showing him our progress, actually making that progress with our client projects and displaying our ability to perform as a development team and ultimately, becoming what i would consider to be friends over that time, put us in a position to capitalise on the luck (opportunity) that came our way.

It is also important to recognise that people often do business with their friends. Building that relationship was just as important as building our client projects to show what we could produce.

The process was really quite simple, Steve mentioned in a meeting for an entirely different topic, that he thinks there might be a spot for a table tennis game on switch, and his boss might be up for it. Gave us a budget and timeline, and asked us to come back if we thought we could do something.

3 days later, we went back to him, with basically no more than “We think we can do that!” and in every other circumstance, i would recommend preparing a proper proposal detailing how you plan to do that but the existing relationship made it easier to get the vote of confidence.

Let's Talk Tip Top..

So, aside from the obvious, let’s talk about Tip Top Table Tennis and what you can all expect from the game.

Tip Top aims to be an engaging local multiplayer table tennis experience for Nintendo Switch, that utilises a physical peripheral and the Joycon motion controls to provide an enjoyable immersive experience. The game will make use of a realistic art style, whilst also exerting playful and stylized undertones for SFX, User Interface and Music. 

The game will feature multiple game modes, some allowing for up to 4 local players to play simultaneously and we intend for Tip Top to be an accurate but fun representation of a classic table sport that most can relate to.

We really cannot wait to share more about the game but that’s all you get for now 🙂

Coming up next…

Right… Now the cat is out of the bag and you’ve heard a bit about how this came to be, we can tell you what to expect from this little dev blog series leading up to the release of our first title, Tip Top Table Tennis.  (Bold coz it’s still hard to believe.)

You can expect a new one of these blogs every couple of weeks, up to and beyond the release of the game, in a very similar format to this first entry. We will be hand picking a few key topics that we have lots to say about for each blog, covering what we’ve experienced, development struggles, surprises, behind the scenes, early iterations of the game and how it progresses to its release.

We hope that everyone who reads these is able to find insight into all of the topics we decide to speak on, our main motivation with this series is to give other small studios and business leaders like us, an insight into what these kind of development processes are like and the experience of developing for consoles for the first time, for a publisher for the first time, for a game that will be a first release with full credits.

See you dreckly

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