Modders play Trombone Champ with paperclips

After writing about Trombone Champ in VR yesterday, modders are coming full circle and making my dreams come true.

People share their attempts to play Trombone Champ with trombones.

Custom made paperclips? Check. A real brass trombone? Check.

Trombone Champ: release date trailer.

Modder and streamer Rudeism is no stranger to playing games with unconventional controllers. He’s played Elden Ring with a Fisher Price controller, Sifu with keystroke motion controls, and played Dark Souls 3 using a button and Morser code.

Of a caliber similar to his Untitled Game of Goose Goose Controls, Rudeism has created a trombone controller for Trombone Champ. The paperclip is a plastic paperclip bought online because 3D printing was too time consuming for it.

He posted a controller development diary on Twitter, culminating in a video of him trying it out with Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairies, and I have to say his attempt isn’t that bad.

I appreciate how difficult it is to play brass, which Rudesim fully demonstrated about a minute into the track.

The trombone is motion and breath controlled, and Rudeism manages to move the slide quite precisely, all things considered. It wasn’t able to use the full range of the slide due to the limitations of the ultrasonic sensor measuring its position, but Rudeism said it had ideas on how to improve the range for its next iteration.

In what I think is the ultimate controller for this game, YouTuber Hung Truong uploaded a video showing off his version of a brass trombone controller.

I made a trombone champion controller out of a real trombone!

Truong used a smaller soprano trombone and plugged in sensors so the controls were mapped similarly to Rudeism. Truong’s results, however, weren’t as successful, which he attributed to buying a $7 flight sensor rather than something a bit better.

Truong didn’t get out of breath while playing, thanks to his experience as a trumpeter, but you can see the concentration on his face as he tried to deal with the erratic movements of the controller.

The next step, I suppose, would be to make the slide positions accurately match the note positions in-game, although I’m not sure how practical this would be for modders. So far, I’m glad to see that the trombollers (trombone controllers) from Rudeism and Truong have actually had pretty decent levels of success!