Originally Posted by ronnoc10
The best I've come up with so far is to have two mouse states, one with the mouse clicked, which selects the paddle in the direction the mouse is moved (with visual and maybe audible cues), and an unclicked one which rotates the paddle, but such a scheme could constrain level design, and (as most theoretical mechanics do) not work outside of my head.
That is quite a good idea.
Personally, I would be tempted to experiment with an adaptation of the Pin Ball control scheme. Users could hover the pointer over the paddle they wish to interact with, then use the two mouse buttons to jerk the paddle in a paticular direction. For example, right-click to quickly rotate the paddle 60-degrees clockwise and return to neutral. To change the neutral position, users could use the scroll-wheel.
If this were a 360 demo, this would be reasonable since the triggers will return a float value. However, this control and variability may be lost with a mouse (PC). In a game such as Pin Ball, this wouldn't cause much frustration because precision is not required. However, accuracy is neccessary in BreakOut-like games, especially when the player has a small number of blocks remaining.