Completed Pokémon Battle Spotlight

This project is complete. Any future revisions will be bug fixes or small updates.
Project Status
Completed

title.png



10 Trainers face off in a tournament with special house-rules.
Victory is favorable. Losing is acceptable.
Can you win every single one of them?


You play as Pokémon Daycare staff who joined the tournament for prize money.
With plenty of Pokémon team combinations to choose from,
it's all strategic battles with no need for grinding!

Game length: ~30 minutes



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Download Link:
Version 1.4



Team:

HollowGap - TabletPillow - RankoDev

Notes:

This game is made in the newly released PSDK .25, which isn't as developed as Essentials. Every bug reports are appreciated as it would help the development of the engine!

We made this short game to experiment with the engine, as well as playing with the idea of "how to make losing acceptable", “make a game entirely in one location”, “write an ensemble of characters”, and "how can we make Kricketune and Ledian terrifying".

Despite the small scope, the initial plan was even smaller than this (something like a discount Battle Factory or Pokemon Stadium). Ended up making more fleshed out characters and more dialogues. Unfortunately we didn’t get to expand and polish the whole arena thing as much as we wanted.

It’s not exactly intended to be a complete Pokemon game (no capturing, no exploring, no leveling up). For us it’s a quick project to test PSDK battle system. We don’t really intend to win the spotlight. Besides we already included "Spotlight" in the title wink wink

EDIT: The game won community spotlight lol

Resource Pack:


Known Bugs:
  • No, Masquerain is indeed a Water/Bug type now.
  • The music might stop playing at random times. This issue is currently being worked on. It won't crash the game but definitely annoying to have.
  • First Impression can be used more than once. We ended up switching Durant's moveset.
  • Leech Seeds can recover a fainted Pokemon, although without the sprites. Spooky.
  • Toxic Spikes fails if used against a Steel type.
  • Sky Attack still cloaks the user in harsh light even if they flinch.

Changelogs:
1.1:
  • Bugfixes and typo fixes
  • Fixed the cause of crash when entering the Option
  • Fixed the "___ attack missed!" message
  • Fixed a softlock when the player decided to save and exit in the first map
  • Changed Lester's team
  • Added missing moveset to Mary/Matthew's team
1.2:
  • Bugfixes and typo fixes
  • Fixed passability issues
  • An attempt to fix the FMod issues (didn't work out though)
1.3:
  • Leech Life no longer cause crash
  • Changed several opponent's teams to be slightly more challenging
  • Replacing Lampent with Murkrow
  • Another attempt to fix FMod issues (please work this time)
1.4:
  • Fix on Quiver Dance stat changes
  • Updated to PSDK v25.5

Credits:

PSDK is an engine developed by Pokemon Workshop Community,
Helmed by Nuri Yuri, with full credits can be seen HERE

Custom assets:

Title Screen
- Edited from “Puyo Puyo Champions”

Battleback
- Mixed from "Pokemon Bushido" and "Project Bloodlines"

Mugshots
  • Xatu: Pokemon Mystery Dungeon
  • Male & Female Breeder: Pokemon X & Y
  • The rest of custom mugshots: TabletPillow

Animated Sprites:
- Gen 1-5 are not custom, but Hawlucha is (by PomPomKing)

OW Sprites
  • Male & Female Breeder: Vendily (Pokemon Daycare)
  • The rest of custom sprites: TabletPillow

Tileset
  • Mostly from "Chasing Glory", "Project Bloodlines", and "Pokemon Bushido"
  • Others include: rankoDev, Elle, TabletPillow, MikeCakes, Akizakura, KingTapir, PeekyChew, Kyle-Dove, ChaoticCherryCake, The-Red-Ex.
 
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Armin

破壊の神
Member
Joined
Oct 9, 2020
Posts
40
Hi! I tried to confirm my team for the match by clicking on the "confirm" button, but this error pops up. I wonder if this is supposed to happen?

1628706830758.png


In addition, trying to confirm the team by pressing the enter button on the keyboard wasn't possible for me, as I kept selecting the Pokémon instead. Is this supposed to be a bug, or am I simply pressing the wrong thing? Please forgive me for sounding like a noob, it's my first time using PSDK controls 😣
 

HollowGap

How am I still alive
Member
Joined
Aug 8, 2017
Posts
58
Hi! I tried to confirm my team for the match by clicking on the "confirm" button, but this error pops up. I wonder if this is supposed to happen?

This is a bug. We'll figure something out about the mouse clicking. Thanks for letting us know!

By default (if you don't change the key inputs), you can press the "V" button to confirm your team selection. Apparently "Enter" button also corresponds to "A" button in PSDK, which makes you select a Pokemon.

EDIT: This issue has been fixed! Clicking will do just fine.

confirmbutton.png
 
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King_Waluigi

The King of Waaahh!
Member
Joined
Jan 2, 2021
Posts
295
Age
15
Heya! I found a few... strange bugs. Basically, the Carefree dude's Durant can constantly use First Impression, which it shouldn't be able to do. Next is, in the same battle, I put Leech Seeds on the Durant, which works fine, but Durant's second First Impression (lol) knocked my Roserade out. The strange part is... I didn't really faint! The Leech Seeds kinda recovered my HP, but not the sprites lol!
Pokémon Battle Spotlight 8_11_2021 3_19_14 PM.png

Pokémon Battle Spotlight 8_11_2021 3_19_28 PM.png

Pokémon Battle Spotlight 8_11_2021 3_19_31 PM.png
 

King_Waluigi

The King of Waaahh!
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Posts
295
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15
An amazing game! Great job! Even tho you aren't seeking to get a spotlight... I expect you may! You'll be getting my vote at least!

Pros:
  • Amazing dialogue!
  • Excellent story!
  • Beautiful custom art!
  • I love the game team variety! (reminds me of my winter game jam game, Pokemon Championship!)
  • The choices in the game matter! (kinda like a simplified UNDERTALE)
  • Love the use of PSDK!
Cons:
  • There were a few bugs, such as the First Impression and Leech Seed bugs which I mentioned in my previous comment.
  • Music didn't play in the waiting area before battles, which I thought was a little meh.
Overall, beautiful game! GG!
 

Aurora

Novice
Member
Joined
Dec 2, 2019
Posts
32
Hey, I just finished your game. I enjoyed the process but I won the tournament and nothing happened. The last moments were for the other competitors but not a prize or a last scene with the other competitors or alone. Something. It gives you the feeling that you did it for nothing. Except the end, i liked it.
 

Ranko

Aloof Unmoving Maiden
Member
Joined
May 17, 2017
Posts
105
Just woke up to the thread (due to crunching lmao), and late. Being a fan of both competitive gameplay and story, I loved working on this cute little game with Hollow and Tablet.

Considering the initial concept of this game, a regular old battle simulator where we literally just test battles on the new engine and that's it, I'm pleasantly surprised on how the game was able to be wrapped up into something with a little bit more substance.

It's going to have some nagging issues due to being on a new engine (the first PSDK.25 game) and the time crunch, but I definitely think it went beyond our expectations and I'm excited to see how the systems in the game can be expanded. Feel free to send feedback to me as well.

We hope you enjoy it! ♡​
 
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NocTurn

Hoothoot enthusiast
Member
Joined
Dec 18, 2019
Posts
58
Hello! Finished my playthrough, I'll say outright first- I was really impressed. Going in I expected this to be a short battle sim with very little substance but I was always surprised during every turn at just how clever this game was. Here are my pros and cons:

Pros:
  • Really intense battles that always kept me on the edge of my seat! I felt very challenged by every trainer (even the bug one!) and it cost me a couple of losses. I had to reset a few times to get a perfect score.
  • I imagine the story changes based on what you say to certain people before their matches, like with the brother and sister duo, and that's always nice to see.
  • I thought the story was so charming, and also somewhat emotionally challenging at some points. It was clever without being too complicated, which I can always appreciate. And the dialogue wasn't that bad either! No scene went on for longer than it should have.
  • There are so many clever interactions between characters! The TV host and Aegislash, the Xatu being a phony fortune teller (really funny and also, again, clever btw), etc. I can tell thought was put into how the whole ensemble worked together.
  • Mapping, although there wasn't much of it, was very nice to look at.
  • I can tell there's a lot of replay potential here with the alternate options as well as just customizing your team, trying out new things, etc.
  • UI, a default PSDK thing for sure but clean and worked very nicely here.
  • PSDK in general! I like playing with newer building blocks, and PSDK is very clean and neat. I'll have to give it a try some time!
Cons:
  • Animations. I know this is a default PSDK issue but I had to mention it, especially with the stat up/down animations being color coded by type and not by raising/lowering. It made it confusing with how much was going on at points. As well, many animations didn't have an accurately flipped Opp animation.
  • The epilogue was too short! I would have loved to actually have that final battle with the wheelchair chick, and I think everything wrapped up a bit TOO cleanly, you know?
  • A few move glitches that were, again, a result of PSDK. Things like Sky attack and Toxic Spikes.
The cons list was short here, and mainly had to do with things relating to PSDK itself. I really think all the devs here should be super proud of what the game shaped up to be, and I can't wait to see what they work on next. I've already reported all the bugs to the developers themselves so I won't repeat them here.
 
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Armin

破壊の神
Member
Joined
Oct 9, 2020
Posts
40
Hi! I played your game and had an enjoyable time, so I thought I'd share my experiences!

The characters are very endearing (even that damned Xatu, in a certain way!) and the custom trainers are really gorgeous and well-drawn (both their artwork and overworlds!). But the battles are the highlight of the game for me, to be expected for a battle sim, I guess!

The Battles
Team.png

My team, should anyone need it for reference purposes

The Pokémon selection is pretty great. They're not Pokémon one would tend to use, I'd think, so it's nice that players get a chance to play with them here, and each seems viable in its own right (from the looks of it at least, since I didn't really get to use them all). Eventually, I thought I'd mess around with Toxic Spikes + Hex/Venoshock, but the relatively high number of Steel-types/airborne Pokémon kind of puts a dent to those plans. Because of course the devs would've thought about something like this and crafted the opponents' teams accordingly... well played. Nevertheless, I'm glad that Garbodor's innate tankiness as well as Mismagius's moveset of Hex/Psybeam/Mystical Fire/Power Gem managed to carry me through the whole tournament!

One thing I really like is how the opponent teams make the most out of the "no held item" clause - most notably, Acrobatics and status conditions that cannot be easily cured with a Berry (the latter applies to the player too!). Essentially, it's a game with a lot of thought put into making its battles challenging (and yet not impossible), an effort which I really appreciate.

PSDK Issues On My End
It's my first time playing a PSDK game so I'm not sure if those are PSDK issues or issues stemming from my computer, but I'll list them down anyway.
  • Unable to set-up Toxic Spikes against Steel-types.
  • Poison-types do not absorb Toxic Spikes.
  • Keyboard controls can be rather unresponsive, especially when using the PC. Had to wait for a few seconds/press the key again for it to actually register.
  • Framerates of the animated battler sprites slow down during move selection/text display, before speeding up again all of a sudden when the Pokémon use their moves. I don't know if it's intentional, but it feels rather jerky.
  • That said when the animations are smooth, they're buttery smooth. And the text in dialogue boxes flow so beautifully as well.

To the dev team, thank you so much for making this game and the 45 minutes of fun (probably spent too much time on team selection)!
 

lichenprincess

Spriter Not-So-Extraordinaire
Member
Joined
Sep 9, 2020
Posts
41
VERY good! Love the story and teeny character arcs. The Indri storyline broke my heart a little. Overall short, and PSDK has a couple quirks with the battle system (synchronize managed to burn my chandelure lol), but great overall!
 

KennyCatches

I catch...Pokémon I guess...?
Member
Joined
Aug 10, 2020
Posts
94
Hey! I just finished my playthrough (twice). I really enjoyed this battle sim game!

Thoughts:
-Even though this was a battling-focused game, the characters were the best part IMO. It added so much more substance to the game! The character portraits are perfect, and I love the different personalities and team comps.
-The battles were challenging, but it was just right. I lost many times (because I'm bad at battling and team building), but it made me think more about my strategy. I actually played this game twice because I lost most of my battles the first time, and I wanted to see how my choices affected the story. However, I was a little disappointed that the ending didn't change when I won though!
-I absolutely love PSDK, the animations and graphics are clean asf, it feels reaallly good to play!

-Passability:
1629026978961.png

-Also, I think Sucker Punch isn't working as intended. The enemy Blaziken used Bulk Up, but Sucker Punch still went through.

Overall, I really enjoyed both the gameplay and story elements of the game. Great work Hollow + Ranko + TabletPillow!!😁
 
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HollowGap

How am I still alive
Member
Joined
Aug 8, 2017
Posts
58
New update is out!

There has been complaints about the game being too easy. So we changed some teams to be slightly more challenging.

We can't really make big changes until the judging period is over. Stuff like multiple endings, multiple opponent teams, randomizer mode, those have to wait until another month or two.

Thank you for everyone's feedback! The bug reports have been useful as well. If anyone wants to make a feature request (i.e, have certain Pokemon included for the game), we'll consider them to be added into the game.

Hopefully the FMod bug has been squashed at last... 🙃 Let us know if the music suddenly stops playing again.
 

mustafa505

Ruby
Member
Joined
Dec 10, 2017
Posts
9
Gotta say I really enjoyed playing this, at first I made a big mistake of only choosing 4 Pokemon at the start which gave me a tough time but being able to change moves really helped me get through it nicely.
Pokemon leading their own team or on behalf of their trainer is a really good concept and worked really well in the game and Xatu was really interesting in her concocted predictions. Loved seeing the rotating Pokemon return, all the characters were really unique, amazing work with the portraits too, nice to see some decision one could make however I didn't want to go off-course from the original quest the player has and went for the full victory, though it took me a few resets.
The difficulty wasn't easy or hard, not until the battle with the brother which Banette's Phantom Force really carried me out of.
I encountered a single glitch - when talking with the first opponent after the match made the bgm stopped suddenly.
The only graphical problem I could see was how some backsprites didn't fit in their position, like in the case of Sudowoodo looked he was off position and nearer to the center Pokeball circle
 

Sk8erBoizzz

Rookie
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Joined
Sep 2, 2021
Posts
1
Age
31
Great game! I enjoyed it so much!!!

I ran into 2 bugs,
1. Honchcrow has flash fire, maybe still not changed from Chandelure
2. I fought Mr. Mime with Honchcrow, I got it down to half, it kept hitting me with a fire type move, then every attack did close to 1 damage, took me maybe 30 attacks to take down Mr. Mime from half (I used Aerial Ace, Night Slash, Sucker Punch and Feint Attack, all got the same problem)

Link to video here if you want to check it out:
 

Haunted Ditto

Creator of Pokemon Pandora and Pokemon Climate
Member
Joined
Sep 1, 2017
Posts
29
Age
21
This game was a great experience!
It was short, but you managed to gave the NPCs alot of personality. I also quite enjoyed the selection of Pokemon. No big competitive beasts, but still very strong if used well.

Went for the full win streak instead of being "nice" towards Team Rust and the girl with Hawlucha so I'm going to check out how much this will influence the story.

All in all a great game!
 

HollowGap

How am I still alive
Member
Joined
Aug 8, 2017
Posts
58
Version 1.4 is out!

PSDK is updated to 25.5, so the game is updated as well. Some bugfixes here and there. Nothing major yet because the jam judging session isn't over yet, though.
 

DogzNDogz113

Arbiter of Doggos
Member
Joined
Dec 12, 2017
Posts
165
A charmingly presented tournament game with a focus on participants' motivations and the meaning of victory.

Thoughts:
- The cancelling-out-of-menu situation, when you first start the game, was a gameplay-tied warmup to PSDKs controls, or simply an unconventional way to start? either way I liked it

- standard NPC dialogue is of good quality

- the maps are well made, though first interior is a tad on the big side

- surprised that there is dialogue for leaving at the very beginning. But shouldnt the player take a step back, as is usually the case with the franchise's games, after the flavor text has been shown?

- if the player does not access their PC at the start, are they forced to go solo sudowoodo for the next match? WARNING, MAJOR BUG BELOW

- tile choice is good

- portraits are always a nice touch! Editing official art, but also drawing og art in a way that looks natural throughout, deserves praise.

- I understand the jam constraints and the necessity of exposition as a result, but I wish we could have gotten a cutscene showing the main character taking care of the abandoned mons. It would have established a connection and a stronger motivation in a way that couldnt have been delivered with the exposition alone

- what is the reason for giving the player those stones at the beginning? to reduce the number of strong mons that could potentially evolve? Also should your coworker's dialogue change if you've won but haven't used them?

- mercedes saying "whoever made it this far must be a skilled opponent" right after "you must be my first opponent" doesn't make too much sense... considering it's your first match too

- one of macgargo attacks (I think it was bulldoze) has got some bright flashing lights, might cause harm to some people. Same goes for zap cannon, could be other attacks too

- lol at Xatu

- player being able to ignore xatu is normal, right? (interacting not required to participate next round)

- all the characters are interesting, and are presented in a charming manner, with unique personalities and motivations

- does mathew have different dialogue if you say "I'm throwing the match" and yet you dont?

- "a girl who can walk with a bird who can't fly" It got me right in the feels

- pokemon choices are well balanced, both for you and your opponents

- is there an actual way to report Xatu? lol, that'd have been hilarious

Bugs:
MAJOR, SEE 1 and 1e:

1. You can access the spectator's area if you enter from the right hand entrance. This alone does not introduce a game-breaking bug, but NOT having accessed your PC beforehand does. Please see below.

1a There is a visual glitch cutting off the upper half of the spectators heads if the player simply walks towards the spectator's entrance, here's a screenshot.

aaaasfff.png


Could be because you haven't actually sprited/tiled that part or have used real NPCs with priority tiles above their heads, or simply never intended for the player to get there in the first place

1b Should you really start battling once you've entered from the spectators entrance?

1c transfer to spectator side also spawns you facing up

1d Xatu asks whether your advice is trustworthy without having ever talked to it before if the glitch above has been exploited

1e game crashes when you're asked to select your team, because there's only sudowoodo to choose from...


Minor:

- most rooms seem to have been mapped without enough space on their upper parts. When the player walks towards the uppermost sides of any room, the camera can't follow.

- Some of the walking npcs can block the entrance to the spectator's side, usually by standing inbetween the plants. (right one in lobby).

- "win incorrectly appears two times when your coworker mentions "if we win" during her in-front-of-PC dialogue

- PC shutting off SE plays twice

- Indri "still we wouldnt able to join this tournament", missing "be". (after 1st battle)

- aegislash's trainer sprite's crop outline hasn't been properly cut, same goes for Xatu's

- Im not sure, but I think my macgargo's hp never went down when it hit itself in confusion

- the audio issue you're already aware of (seems to be tied to the menu)

- "had you won that last round, my sister would lose her chance" should be "would have lost"

- move selection shows up before your mon has been sent out (probs a PSDK thing)

- absol tried to paralyze me, when my mon was already paralyzed, two times in a row (perhaps not really a bug)

- "if you win you don't have to pay for that stones I gave you" should be "those" or "the"

- I do believe knock off does item-holding damage when the opponents have none, unless there's no message indicating they've lost their item

Thematic Feedback:
- The reasons behind the participants' motivations are obviously the main focus. I think it's been executed well, but that it hasn't been fully developed. Understandably, this is a time-constraint issue. But a fully fledged presentation of the characters, their motivations, and their interactions would have given the game that additional oomph. It doesn't feel as fleshed out in the progression and pacing sense, not so much in the story or writing sense, since the dialogue makes up for the aforementioned. Could have been even richer if the fates of the participants were interwoven in some way.

The theme of victory and loss, was what needed attention and development the most. As it currently stands, and partly because of the exposition at the start, there wasn't as strong a connection to our own motivations as players. Granted, I could still feel that purpose calling me, despite not feeling the pressure. But as far as the other participants' motivations are concerned, I never felt conflicted, aside from the whole deal with Indri. While not every participant has to have some backstory filled with serious motivations, and while the setting itself doesn't lend to any easy-to-implement cutscenes or backstory dialogue in a more dynamic manner, since you only get to talk to people during breaks (so that part is understandable) I still felt like the presentation didn't assist in visually and acoustically accompanying the little moments of victory and loss, backstory dialogue and/or event movement. One way to tackle this would be to include more cutscenes with event animation, more or better presented interactions between participants other than the siblings, and some camerawork. Granted, you're limited due to the setting, the rounds, etc, but that doesn't stop you from introducing more participant interactivity, or even showing "flashback" scenes assuming you don't deem these as detracting from the experience due to various reasons.

In short, I didn't feel there were high enough stakes as related to both the player, and the participant, and no conflict of motivations in a way that would have made more than 1 decision leave a more meaningful impact.

Other:
I was planning to make a very similar sidegame at one point, and had to consider the limitations mentioned above, so I can understand the difficulty of doing this from a developer perspective too. This game has given me enough inspiration to contemplate on how the aforementioned issues can be tackled, so if you guys have any ideas once you've updated your game to a post-jam state, hit me up. I'll probably do a vanilla NPC thing graphics-wise, just to be able to cram in as many fights as possible.
 
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HollowGap

How am I still alive
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Joined
Aug 8, 2017
Posts
58
You can access the spectator's area if you enter from the right hand entrance.

Huh. The area isn't supposed to be accessible. That's why all the game-breaking bugs happen (like going solo or cutscenes not playing properly). Guess we forgot to block that access for the last update.

It's fixed now, and so all the bugs related to it. There are some good finds for PSDK-related bugs and issues, too. Thanks for letting us know!

One of Magcargo attacks (I think it was Bulldoze) has got some bright flashing lights, might cause harm to some people. Same goes for Zap Cannon, could be other attacks too.

All the move animations are from default PSDK. I get that it's very scuffed. We'll see if we can immediately replace the Bulldoze or any light flashing move animation, though. Maybe we can amplify the flashing by 1000 times.

I understand the jam constraints and the necessity of exposition as a result, but I wish we could have gotten a cutscene showing the main character taking care of the abandoned mons. It would have established a connection and a stronger motivation in a way that couldn't have been delivered with the exposition alone.

Does Matthew/Mary have different dialogue if you say "I'm throwing the match" and yet you don't?

...include more cutscenes with event animation, more or better presented interactions between participants other than the siblings, and some camerawork. Granted, you're limited due to the setting, the rounds, etc, but that doesn't stop you from introducing more participant interactivity, or even showing "flashback" scenes assuming you don't deem these as detracting from the experience due to various reasons.

Ranko was supposed to make that intro scene showing the Daycare, but due to time constraint we decided to take that off. It accidentally led us to make the intro cutscene "Press X to cancel" which somehow works as controls warm-up as you said earlier.

Time constraint is why some contents have to be trimmed down. The initial plan was to have "show, don't tell" cutscene for several characters to show where they came from and what they do outside the tournament (for example, a cutscene of Indri borrowing Andre's team in their house. I think Ranko wanted Richard to have crazy detailed cutscene of him and his team too). This is also why we didn't get to make multiple endings, although we did manage to squeeze in a few branching dialogues. Time is the enemy of all humanity and we must find a way to transcend beyond it.

If you guys have any ideas once you've updated your game to a post-jam state, hit me up. I'll probably do a vanilla NPC thing graphics-wise, just to be able to cram in as many fights as possible.

Jam update is probably more about adding a randomized mode, probably entirely separate from the story stuff we have right now. The ultimate goal for this project is to bug hunt the PSDK battle system, so yeah, thanks for the offer! We'll think about it.
 
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DogzNDogz113

Arbiter of Doggos
Member
Joined
Dec 12, 2017
Posts
165
Huh. The area isn't supposed to be accessible. That's why all the game-breaking bugs happen (like going solo or cutscenes not playing properly). Guess we forgot to block that access for the last update.

It's fixed now, and so all the bugs related to it. There are some good finds for PSDK-related bugs and issues, too. Thanks for letting us know!
Yeah, that's why I listed it under "1" since all of them were tied to the spectator area bug. You are welcome!

Maybe we can amplify the flashing by 1000 times.
I-It can't be! Are you one of the original Porygon episode animators?

Time constraint is why some contents have to be trimmed down.
Yes this is one assumption that should always be followed when playing jam games, I doubt people aren't taking it into account when playing these games.

cutscene for several characters to show where they came from and what they do outside the tournament
I'd suggest you do that for post-jam updates, it might demand more work even if it might feel like it's not worth the time, but why not make your game the best it can be?
 
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