Being developed in Caracas, Venezuela, a place that’s anything but normal, Power Ping Pong hasn’t been a typical game project. There’s just something “caraqueño” in it. Something that I want to get a chance to share on this devblog.
I plan to make several posts on the experiences we have learned from and those still ahead of us. But in the meantime, I thought I would start by sharing some basic facts and numbers.
Concept: There’s something just inherently fun on the core gameplay of hitting and controlling a ball, and of course developers have been doing it since the dawn of the videogame era. So for a long time it has been an interesting concept to us to push this idea as far as possible, using modern technologies and inputs to make what we call a Ping Pong Fighter. While it’s at its core, a Power Ping Pong match is not just about playing Ping Pong. Using fighting game mechanics, special powers, with customization and progression features that allow players to develop their own unique style and strategies, a Power Ping Pong match is a battle to the death with your opponent.
Time: We started development on 2012 so it took about 3 years of hard work for the first release. Some of the art and sound assets were based on our previous 2008 award winning Microsoft Dream Build Play entry, Battle Tennis, so you can say development goes even further back. Still, even when all the code was built from scratch, the core gameplay was built in a relatively short time. That doesn’t mean the game is done. Power Ping Pong is a huge game with many game modes and features. I’ll surely expand on this later.
Team: The core team for most of the time was made of 3 people, expanding to up to 8 people at some point during development and counting with the collaboration of many more. The development team is all Venezuelan and publishing and marketing is handled in the UK by the EA/Chillingo team. We have been working closely with them since 2013, polishing and getting the game ready for launch.
Budget: I know this is an important deal for many developers out there so I’ve been thinking hard on this one. The whole project was self financed at Gasp Inc. which explains at least in part the somewhat long development timeframe as we sometimes had to work on other commercial projects to keep Power Ping Pong running. But given the strange economics and high inflation we have in distortioland its not that straightforward to put down a number that makes any sense and makes any real reference in U.S. Dollars. I’ll work on figuring out how to put this number together for a future post.
Tech: The game is running on Unity 4, one of the first updates will be migrating to v5 as we’ll get some nice improvements in performance and features. One of the most curious features is the cross platform multiplayer, that means you can have an iOS device and still play with a friend on an Android platform. Playing with a friend online is a fundamental part of the Power Ping Pong experience and we wanted to be able to play with all our friends, regardless of the device they had, and we want you to do the same.
So yes, most of all, we just want all of you to enjoy the game, but we also want to share with other developers. We know there’s a lot of talent out there and we want to know all of you.
Curious about any aspect of the development? Let us know in the comments below to help us shape this section.