I’m currently calling this prototype ‘Deuce’ although the name is subject to change and we will most likely call it something else if we launch.
What is Deuce?
Deuce is an arcade style tennis game with a focus on unique characters and courts. Imagine tennis crossed with Street Fighter.
I wanted to make something different to other projects Facepunch has in development. I’m more of an arcade game developer so wanted to play to those strengths. I also love games with strong local multiplayer modes.
Basically I want to make a game that we can play over lunch instead of FIFA.
How’s it looking so far?
Here’s a short clip of Deuce in action.
What works so far?
So far I’ve pretty much got a functional tennis game with some placeholder special moves already in place. There’s still some issues to iron out such as how and when to trigger special moves but I’m iterating on these ideas all the time. There are also functional multiplayer modes including local and online play.
I’ve faced a couple of challenges in development so far, building a convincing animation system where it feels nice to return the ball has been particularly tricky. I implemented a system that helps the player get in a good position to return the ball and it’s now a case of finding a balance between having to get in exactly the right position or it feeling more like a quick time event.
I’ve also spent a great deal of time making the ball move in a way that looks good and fun to return. Instead of using Unity’s inbuilt physics engine I’ve coded my own system that lets me have greater control over the ball. The ball can be hit with backspin, topspin or made to curve along a spline for some of the special moves.
So far I’ve got 4 special moves working to some degree. These are:
- Ice (freezes opponent on returning the ball)
- Tornado (Sends the ball flying in a random direction)
- Teleport (Switches the ball position mid flight)
There’s still plenty of work to do on these.. they’re not very well balanced. Particularly the Tornado which is almost impossible to return.
I’m planning a large roster of playable characters each with their own move set. Some characters will be nimble around the court but with relatively weak hits whilst others may be more cumbersome but pack a heavier return. The characters won’t look like typical tennis players.. so no Wimbledon starch white shorts here. We want to build a selection of characters that could star in their own games in the future or perhaps play different sports.
Here’s a selection of some of our ideas so far….
Like Street Fighter each character will have a matching location. I’m toying with the idea that elements in the court environment will come in to play during a match.
I’ll be updating the devblog for Deuce as I make progress (hopefully every week). If you want to keep bang up to date with progress you can check out the trello Deuce board.