The Paddle Editor

Early on in the project, we decided that we wanted the game to have a sense of customisation, as well as a way to reward players for progressing through the game. We found a solution to both of these requirements with the idea of adding a paddle editor into the game.

Players will be able to edit their paddle by changing its colour, shape  and texture while also adding stickers to the paddle from an unlockable selection of stickers that can be unlocked through completing some achievements.

While we loved this idea, we quickly realised that allowing players to change the shape and texture of the paddle would take too long for us to achieve within our tight release schedule, so we ended up simplifying the system into just using the stickers and selecting the paddle’s colour from a preset list.

The paddle editor’s design didn’t change much from the original design. Due to us removing the texture and model selection feature, we could simplify the UI further. We additionally decided the menu felt too crowded with both sides being on screen at once, so we added a button to flip the paddle.

So without too much more dilly dallying, here is a little video showing off the kind of customisation you can make to your paddle with the paddle editor!

The Stickers

From the beginning we wanted a wide range of stickers with a large variety of art styles. We started by searching through the Unreal Engine asset store, and while we found some that initially looked perfect, upon closer inspection they turned out to be AI generated.

We obviously didn’t want anything AI generated in our game, so we continued searching. We explored options on a range of platforms with sticker packs available, but nothing really felt like it was a direct match for the game or was up to scratch for what we wanted to do.

We briefly tried making our own pack from stickers from stock photo sites, but we were unable to find a good range of stickers in varying art styles. In the end, we decided we’d have a much better final product if we paid some cool local artists to make the stickers instead.

The Local Artists…

Part of our mission as a studio is to provide local talented individuals with opportunities to get involved with industry work wherever possible. This was no different, so when Excalibur suggested outsourcing the stickers for the work, we asked to get some artists from the Cornwall area and Falmouth University graduates to get involved. 

Excalibur were accommodating and allowed for us to choose which artist we would like to work with so we had some internal discussion and suggested some artists we all know of that we wanted to give an opportunity to.

Eventually we settled on working with the Ludophoria team and another Falmouth graduate, Jesse Hooson

The Ludoophoria team are an epic bunch, working on their own 2D co-operative platformer Arm of Satan. They boast a solid 2D art team who we knew we could tap into for these stickers. Jesse is a graduate artist who was warmly recommended to us through our network and had a portfolio to back it up.

Both Ludophoria and Jesse did amazing work with the stickers and we are so excited for everyone to see them all in game. 

We are getting very close to the Tip Top Table Tennis launching on the Nintendo Estore, so it’s all very exciting. Our next blog will be talking about the run up to release, and what it took to get the game passed gold master submission. See you dreckly!

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