The Amazing Crackpots Club! - A pong-like platform party game about making potions explode.

Khao

Member

this is a game



The Amazing Crackpots Club is a 2-4 Player competitive game where the main objective is to destroy the giant potion in the opposite team's field, while protecting your own potion from incoming shots! Similar in concept to Pong and Tennis-style games, but plays more like a platform fighter, with different characters having totally unique movesets!

To damage the potion you shoot magical bullets. To protect your potion, you strike those bullets to deflect them back. It's simple, but it doesn't stop there! Scattered around the stage are several energy pick-ups you can use to fill out your energy meter, allowing you to access a whole bunch of different abilities, unique to each character!

As each potion is struck by incoming shots, they'll start filling up with magical energy. Once a potion is completely filled up, it'll explode in a giant flash of magical energy and unleash a devastating spell upon the losing team.

Use everything in your power to prevent this from happening! Every character has these four abilities at their disposal:

-Strike:
Performed with the X button. This is the most basic of abilities, used to physically hit nearby bullets to throw them back in the opposite direction.​

-Shot:
Performed with the Y button. Shoots a new bullet, it's the main way of dealing damage! Shooting leaves you unable to move for a moment or two, so time your shots carefully, or you won't have enough time to defend your potion! Every character has shots with different properties too!​

-Special:
Performed with the B button. The signature move of each character! These abilities cost energy, but are absolutely vital to be able to deflect the shots that are too fast, or too far away to be struck! Most of these abilities are designed to enhance mobility, but some also let you hit shots from a distance without having to get close!​

-Ultimate:
Performed with the RT button. In addition to the energy meter, you'll also fill up an Ultimate Meter by striking shots and successfully using your special move. Once the meter is full, you can use a powerful ability that'll offer a huge advantage! Some characters can use this ability to summon some extremely powerful shots, while others have more defensive maneuvers that can block shots all over the screen. Every Ultimate has a completely different purpose!​
also jump with A btw

That's the general idea. The game is fast-paced, and matches can get pretty hectic! Standard matches involve best-of-X rounds, but other modes, like a timed score match also exist. An arcade-style story mode is also in the plans, so you'll be able to have some fun even without friends!

Multiple characters are currently in development! The one in the gameplay footage is almost 100% done, and there's a second one very near that point. Three additional characters are also in various stage of development, and we'll be talking about them pretty soon!

There's still a lot of work to be done, but hopefully, what you see is enough to get a little bit of feedback for now! I always welcome any kind of criticism if it can help me improve.
 
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IGameArt

Member
THis is a very unique and refreshing idea. I think there's a lot of potential here, I'd love to see what art style you settle on, but this is a great start.
 

Khao

Member
Thanks! I'm already leaning towards a style that's close to a modern cartoon. If someone ever compares the game's visuals to Adventure Time or something along those lines, I did my job well, haha. Buuuut there's still a long way to go before the comparison can actually be made.

I'll actually have a couple of people join the development soon. We've already been sharing ideas for a long time, but we're gonna work together as a team. I'm very optimistic about it! I know from other game projects that we have a pretty good dynamic.
 

Khao

Member
Haven't exactly been very active so far, but the game is making some real progress! Here's a full match in the latest version:


As you can see, we got some proper backgrounds now, as well as music and sound effects, among other things! There hasn't been a lot of progress from the animation side of things, and that's because we're still finalizing character design. There's another three characters that are already perfectly functional, but they're not exactly pretty to look at. But that'll probably change soon!
 

cidwel

Member
It really looks fun to play!

Really cool to take a classic idea and reinvent it to a very different one!
 

Khao

Member
Thanks! I'm looking forward to sharing some other stuff soon, especially the rest of the playable characters! Right now, every single ability from every character works in a completely unique manner, so I'd love to see what you guys think about it once we're ready to show them off.
 

Carloskhard

Member
Amazing visuals and effects.The gameplay feels great!
I would recommend working on some background movement and also give some detail to the columns on the sides since they're less detailed than the rest of the sprites.
 

Khao

Member
Update!

Development's going great! We've made a ton of progress on the animation and art department. The first character is more or less 99% complete, and the second one is very near this stage of completion as well! Design-wise, we also already have four fully realized characters. Our goal is to have 8, so we're halfway there! ...on paper, at the very least! So we'll be very soon start talking about them a bit more to show the full potential of what this game has to offer in terms of playstyles and personality.

Characters aside, the UI also got a very much needed update, so the gameplay in general is clearer, and way better-looking.

Aaaaaand we decided to rename the game to something potentially catchier, with as much energy as the game itself. As you may have noticed from the title, the game is now The Amazing Crackpots Club! Or just Crackpots for short!

So, without further ado, here's, once again, a full 2-Player match, now featuring our first fully realized character; Rigel!

 

Khao

Member
Been quiet for a while, but I'm still working on the game!

Here's something I've been doing on lately.


Every character's color palette can be freely customized. Any color combination can be set up, even if it's horrible!

The best thing about this, is that different players can have their own color palettes saved to a profile. Kinda like in Super Smash Bros, you can create a profile to setup some player-specific control settings. In crackpots, these profiles are also used for customization options, like color palettes. So even in a 4-player match, every player gets to use their own customized color palette!

The game can store up to 100 player profiles. Which means you can save up to 100 custom palettes. Per character. So that should be fun for people that like having control over every small detail in a game, haha.

There's also a tiny spoiler in the video. You can see portraits for the first 4 characters! Most of what I've been doing lately is the kind of thing that's pretty difficult and super useful for the project in the long run, but also almost impossible to actually show-off at the same time, so there's not much more I can share just yet. But I'm still most likely gonna be sharing some gameplay footage of the second character next week. In the meantime, here's a horrible gif of her not-horrible intro animation!



Also, last week, we set up a twitter. If you're interested in the game, I'd really appreciate a follow!


That's it for now. I might start posting a bit more often the following weeks, especially to share more info on characters.
 

Khao

Member
Finally, we're ready to show off our second playable character, Sadie!


While Rigel is fast and mobile, Sadie is strategic and methodical. Her special move summons a time-bending vortex that slows down any projectile colliding with it, and while the vortex is still active, Sadie can instantly teleport to its location, deflecting all bullets inside. Her shot can't be charged, but instead, she can leave it frozen in a static position for as long as she likes, waiting for her command to actually start moving.

Her Ultimate attracts all active projectiles to her current position, and redirects them towards the enemy. It's very situational, but if you manage it correctly, it can either be super deadly, or save you from certain defeat at the last second!
 

Khao

Member

This is something we've been having a lot of fun with!

It's a special mode we call "Dramatic Battle". Every time you strike a projectile (or get hit by one!) the game adds a dramatic zoom to the interaction, complete with slow-motion effects! It's both fun (and perhaps a little bit annoying) for several reasons. It makes close-calls super exciting. It also gives you more time to react as you take in your surroundings during the slow-motion. And since the camera is focusing on one character at the time, you're sometimes left out of the screen, which makes it harder to judge where you (AND the bullets about to hit you!) are. This can, and should be used as a strategy against the other player!

Regular matches also have an "Overtime" state, which triggers automatically when the round's timer runs out and both players are currently tied. As long as this state lasts, the match instantly turns into a "Dramatic Battle" as well. Having every single action highlighted like that feels very franctic when you know that the smallest mistake means defeat!

The best part is that this mode was created almost by accident. Early on, I knew I wanted the game to work at any framerate. 30. 60. 144. 240. Whatever, if the PC can run it, it'll work! That way it doesn't matter what kind of PC you have, if you play Crackpots, you'll have no issues when it comes to the game's speed. So of course, I started using delta time on absolutely everything. And it worked! I often test the game with 9999 room speed so the framerate goes as high as it possibly can, just to make sure everything stays consistent.

Well, I quickly realized that by multiplying the delta time variable, I could adjust the speed of the game on the fly at any time. So I made it so delta would be multiplied by 0.1 for one second on every strike, just to test things out. Then I added a camera zoom because I knew I wanted to do that for the Ultimate moves.

And welp, I noticed that it was actually surprisingly fun to play the game like that, so I decided to leave it in as an alternate mode!
 

Joh

Member
Looks rather interesting and fun! Highly artistically polished too!
Keep up the good work!

(And for what its worth, your signature is highly captivating! Honestly I'm surprised I hadn't clicked it, but I'm glad I found this thread!)
 

Khao

Member
One of the fist things I imagined for this game was for the defeat animation to be different every time you play. Obviously there's a limit to how many we can actually make, but we're doing our best to make as many as we can.

Here's some WIP animations. They're in desperate need of polish but damnit, they're so much fun to make and imagine!


And hey, if you have any ideas for some cool animations, I'd love to hear them! Nothing's off the table!
 

Khao

Member
The next character is very near completion. Here's a fancy gif showing some animation progress!



Gamplay-wise, he's been fully finished for over a year already (Which is also true for the 4th character), so once animations are done, it won't be long before we're ready to show him in action. We'll most likely move straight into the 4th character once we're done with this one, and with that we'll finally have enough characters to have a full 4-player match without repeats, so that's exciting!

As for characters after that, there's 2 that are very much WIP but still fully functional, one more that's starting to shape up pretty nicely, and a final one that still exists only on paper but still super solid concept-wise. 8 characters has always been our goal, so we're getting there!

We're working on some more stage backgrounds as well. Sharing so many sequences on the same stage ends up feeling super repetitive, so it'll be nice to have something different to show for a change. Also modes. We're doing a lot of experiments, probably not all of them will see the light of day, but there's a couple that are definitely going in that I can't wait to share!
 

Khao

Member
Working on some VFX.


I'm using a mix of frame-by-frame animation and particles. The actual animation is WAY smaller than what you see there, but it's repeated multiple times at random sizes, random angles, random colors, and random speeds, so it ends up feeling pretty varied. It really works better than I expected when I was first making it, haha. The big swirls on the sides are literally just a single sprite that spins and moves up, but it's surprisingly effective!

This looks really, really good. Can't wait for a possible playable demo.
Thanks! I don't know when we're going to do that, but I definitely want to put something playable at some point to get proper feedback. Especially when it comes to balance in general.
 
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This looks awesome. Incredibly polished. I noticed that there doesn't seem to be any kind of sound effect when a player scores. It seems like in a game this fast-paced, some sort of audio cue that the player's potion vial is starting to fill would be helpful. Also, is there some sort of penalty for touching the "net?" As a wall of energy, it seems like there should be some sort of knockback from touching it.

Either way, this looks incredibly impressive. Good work.
 

Khao

Member
This looks awesome. Incredibly polished. I noticed that there doesn't seem to be any kind of sound effect when a player scores. It seems like in a game this fast-paced, some sort of audio cue that the player's potion vial is starting to fill would be helpful. Also, is there some sort of penalty for touching the "net?" As a wall of energy, it seems like there should be some sort of knockback from touching it.

Either way, this looks incredibly impressive. Good work.
There is one, but the fact that you're not noticing it might be a good reason to reconsider it. We've had a few issues in the past, with it sounding a bit too similar to the regular striking sound. Maybe it's still not different enough?

And I'd rather not do that with the energy wall. It'd just discourage you from playing close to the center, and I don't really see that as a problem. We do want, however to have different stages with their own features and hazards and obstacles and unique interactions. Having a few with unique walls at the center could be interesting. Either way, I appreciate the idea!
 

Khao

Member
Making a ton of progress with the next character. Only need to cleanup a couple of animations, and he'll be 100% ready to go! I'll probably be sharing some gameplay sometime next week. Until then, here's a quick look at his intro animation!

 

Khao

Member
Crackpots' third character, Breezedemus, is finally complete! You've already seen a couple of his animations, but we're ready to show-off some proper gameplay this time around!


Breeze's whole thing is wind magic. He's relatively slow and floaty compared to Rigel, but his special move lets him strike bullets without having to get close. Not to mention, his strike actually allows him to dash indefinitely in the air, so basically, he doesn't care about gravity in the slightest. Both these abilities mean that there's never a place in the screen he has any real trouble reaching, even if he can't quite get there instantly like Rigel can.

His shot is pretty simple. Like Sadie's, it can't be charged. Instead he always shoots a tiny, super weak, super slow-moving bullet. However, every time something strikes the bullet, it gets bigger and stronger until it finally matches Rigel's strongest charge. This dynamic gives you multiple options. You can shoot once, and dedicate a few moments to making the shot stronger. If you have mana energy to spare, you can use your special move and have a max-power proyectile almost instantly! If that's not your thing, you can shoot several small projectiles in a row. Since they move slowly, you'll have enough time to create plenty of them before they actually start reaching your opponent's side of the arena. Once you have the shots set up, you can strike them all at once and they'll all get stronger! Now, this is pretty dangerous, as they can, and WILL get countered by the other player immediately. But that's where Breeze's ultimate comes in! For just a few seconds, he strikes absolutely anything that reaches his side of the field with a massive tornado, and if there's many shots on the screen, his opponent is gonna have a bad time. And yes, this tornado DOES make his standard shots stronger, so you can literally fill the screen with the weak bullets and then cast your ultimate to instantly throw a massive barrage of powerful shots!

That's more or less it! There's still some extra polish we want to do before we're ready to move on to the next character, especially on the VFX department. But we're already super excited about the fact that we have 3 fully realized characters working in-game. Feels good!
 
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