It’s time for another installment of On The Court, where our developers give insight into the game design of Tennis Clash. This time we’ve got a doubleheader as we’re talking about the Halloween Court and Oni Kaito!
The Halloween Court makes some drastic changes to the Paris Court! Can you talk about the difficulties in transforming an existing court for this themed event?
Halloween as a whole is one of the most visually iconic events in the world. Translating that to Tennis Clash was a challenge. At first, we started the idea as a big luxurious party in an old court. While we were developing it we embraced the supernatural aspect of the event. This is pretty much the only “magical” place inside Tennis Clash.
Can you talk about the reasoning or logistics to redesigning an existing court instead of creating a brand new court?
Redesigning on top of an existing arena is always more efficient than creating it from scratch. That said, Halloween’s work on the arena was almost at the same level as creating a brand new arena because we changed a lot of the 3d structure. Also, we had to come up with technical and graphical enhancements for the spectral audience. All of this while making sure that the whole package performs well on mobile.
Halloween has been used in popular media for decades now. Were there any specific influences used while designing this court?
Disney’s Haunted Mansion was definitely a pillar for inspiration while designing this court. We wanted to embrace the Abandoned Mansion / Court theme and we played with the details such as the paintings portraying ancestors of the TC characters. All for the fun of it, nothing realistic in that setting of course!
Did we have to make any changes or updates to the Halloween court this year compared to last year’s event?
No changes to the existing arena, we are completely happy with the court. The idea is to be that welcoming place where you know you’ll have fun and then wait for next year to enjoy it again!
Kaito’s Oni outfit is a significant departure from other outfits we’ve had up to this point – especially with his hair! What was the main inspiration for this design?
The idea for the Oni outfit was to push something the character would wear while not playing Tennis but functional enough to play a match if they were invited to do so. In the case of Kaito, the inspiration was Tokyo urban/street fashion. Kaito is a rebel by nature and this is definitely the kind of clothing he would wear, and that’s the goal.
(Early concept art for Oni Kaito)
Can you talk us through the process of how a new outfit is created for Tennis Clash, and how many people are involved with this process?
For Oni Kaito, it was one of the highest levels of production on a skin we’ve had so far. This would be a departure from the usual skins we were doing because it meant a lot more work, almost like producing a new character.
We start with the ideation and concept design of skin with a clear theme attached to it. Once we get the green light we start modeling and texturing it in 3D. From there Tech Art takes the wheel to make sure it fits our rigging system, then there’s the Animation process if the skin has a unique idle animation, and then Illustration for the cards and marketing arts if it has one.
As you can see there are a lot of steps and people involved in creating a cool outfit, and the process can take months depending on the complexity of the design!
Are there any technical challenges when it comes to designing new outfits or applying them to characters?
Absolutely! As I’ve talked about before, we need to make sure that it fits our rigging system, and doesn’t break inside the engine. If there’s animation involved that’s another step of technical validation we need to be aware of. Apart from that we always need to think of a design that is feasible to model and animate, otherwise, its scope becomes too big for us to realistically achieve.
Players have been asking for more outfits, can we expect more to come in the future, particularly for characters who do not have any outfits yet?
Yes! We have plans to produce and deliver more cool ideas throughout this year and make sure that characters with fewer skins receive some love. Stay tuned!