Deuce: Tennis Ala Arcade Fighter

August 3rd, 2014

Facepunch Studios, best known for PC titles Rust and Garry’s Mod, is bringing you a new fighter-inspired take on tennis in their next announced project, titled Deuce.


When most people think of tennis, the first images in their heads aren’t rednecks with shotguns or lucha libre wrestlers. Yet, those are precisely the things that developer Facepunch Studios thinks a tennis game needs, along with courts set in trailer parks or Japanese pagodas, and special moves like ice and fireballs.

Quoting from the game’s official devblog, Ian James of Facepunch had this to say about the prototype/concept game:

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.

Facepunch Studios already has some serious indie dev chops under their belt. With founding titles like Rust and Garry’s Mod, both of which continue to have rabid PC fanbases. Though the studio already has several other projects in the works, including a space shooter and continued development on Rust itself, Deuce looks to be an interesting addition to their slowly expanding library of original and impressive titles.

Of course, for any developer new to developing sports titles there are a number of issues to be faced.

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.

Special moves here refers to the aforementioned ice and fireball attacks, along with moves like tornadoes, teleportation, and more that are likely to crop up as the game moves further into development.

What do you think of a tennis game with such a heavy influence from arcade fighters? Does it work? Let us know your opinions in the comments.

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