[Project] Desperate Stupid Scumbags

edited in Projects
We're working on a ragdoll physics local-competitive game at Free Lives.


As of this animation, it's very early in development, about a week has been spent on it, but it's been in amongst other things.

[Edit] I will put out a playable prototype as soon as it looks like we can spend some time on it, as it's really frustrating to receive feedback when you have no time to actually work on the game in response to the feedback... so there may be a testable version in August/September.

At the moment the team is:

Evan Greenwood (Programming, Design)
Jason Sutherland (Audio)
Filip Orekhov (3D)
Dawid Strauss (Concept Art)
Cukia Kimani (Additional programming and design)

In the current screenshots the new art, and concepts, that the artists have worked on are not represented. Hopefully when we're spending some time on this again we'll put up some screenshots.


  • this is awesome +1 would definitely play.

    I'll try out a build when its up.
  • Haha awesome. Cool progress. Will try it out later!
  • The type of game is hilariously entertaining with a bunch of friends, Gang Beasts is a wonderful example.

    Thanked by 1EvanGreenwood
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    @critic I've had some awesome times in Gang Beasts, and I think it'd be accurate to say the direction Scumbags is going in is influenced by Gang Beasts. I can't think of any other games quite like it (that aren't straight up clones of Gang Beasts). I don't suppose you know of a few? (Your post sounds like maybe you know a few more of this type).
    Thanked by 1critic
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    Unfortunately my knowledge is somewhat broad based, this one stuck for me, the only other games that come to mind with such silly type of humor is Octodad and Surgeon Simulator.
    Thanked by 1EvanGreenwood
  • @EvanGreenwood, although this isn't exactly the same style of game, it is hard to imagine that it wasn't at least a little bit of inspiration for games like GangBeasts

    I had an insane amount of fun when this came out back in school.
    Thanked by 1EvanGreenwood
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    @roguecode Yeah! I remember Ragdoll Kung Fu! Though I'd suggest that it feels like a closer predecessor to Mount Your Friends than to Gang Beasts. Although now that I think about it, Mount Your Friends may have improved on Ragdoll Kung Fu's control scheme significantly.

    Sumotori Dreams possibly gave some inspiration to Gang Beasts. But from what I know of Gang Beasts' original story, they weren't trying to make a game like Gang Beasts at all, they were trying to make a serious boxing game and ended up making Gang Beasts by accident (so it's a game where the devs used other games as inspiration less than is normal).

    I came across this video, following on from Sumotori, and realized there's some room for pain/destruction that the current version of Scumbags isn't taking advantage of. (In that, in the current version, running your friends over is definitely the most enjoyable part, but there aren't many other opportunities to use the physics to do ridiculous things, and there could be).

  • I spent a couple hours seeing what it might be like to make the environment more destructible...


    In this implementation it didn't improve the game, the pieces of building get in the way too much. Either the characters need to be able to deal with debris, or the debris needs to take up less volume. Probably a bit of both.

    Making the debris light also has the side effect of making the building feel soft. I'd like there to be some way to make it impact on the gameplay more, but also get in the way less.... <scratches head>
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    @EvanGreenwood This won't help with making the level less cluttered, but how about artificially making it more rigid and heavy when its in tact, and lighter when its not?

    Just some random ideas that you should not listen to:
    - Perhaps make characters take damage when pieces collapse on them
    - Put collectibles inside the building
    - Do I need to spell out the next step? :P

    Perhaps there should be weapons? Like a baseball bat? Or a flail :|
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    This is very cool and comical! They look like they're all drunk, don't they?

    The destructible environments look especially bling. The way the roof tiles collapse realistically when the car takes out the walls. Very nice.

    This might be cool having 2 teams... Cops vs. Civilians.

    The cops might need to look slightly less drunk though... ;-P and the civilians who can do as they like, with repercussions.
    Maybe alcohol can play a key role and affect stats?

    I would love to see objective based game-play here. Cops need to lock-up the drunkards. The drunkards need to jailbreak their buddies by any means possible. Ramming a vehicle into a jail wall would be cool. Rescue them, then drive back to the bar? :-P

    This is a great start to something that could go in many many directions. I like it a lot...
    Thanked by 1Denzil
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    Fighting old people at the farmer's market...

  • Haha legendary. That cop pulling in there looks legit! :D
  • How you guys manage this in a week's time is the stuff of envy. I haven't played gang beasts but your visual style is more appealing. How the dolls get in and out of the vehicles is particularly pleasing to the eye. Interested to see where this goes in gameplay sense. Good luck.
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    @Tightrope Thanks for the kind words!!

    A few more days have been spent on it now, so the more recent gifs are not just a week's work.

    Regarding the speed that we seem to be able to make these: The first build of the prototype went quite quickly (the version seen in the original post), and a lot of this was due to having built several previous prototypes with physics characters in them.

    Here's the prototype directly preceding the first Scumbags prototype, and you can see a fair bit of the code was reused:


    The point I'm making is that making lots of prototypes with relatively reusable assets puts you in a position where you are able to rapidly pursue new prototype ideas (that share content with previous ideas). This means you can explore types of games quite deeply, and this has the potential to produce novel results that you would never have discovered if you had spent 2 years on your first attempt at a new type of game.

    (My rule of thumb is that I'm only ever successful with my 5th or later attempt at any type of game, Scumbags is my 5th prototype with 3D humanoid physics driven characters, so I'm cutting it fine).
  • Yeah, good advice. I'm so often guilty of envisioning the end result without experimenting with prototypes first. Spending too much time on fluff and not the mechanics that in the end will make the game tick. Fatigue sets in and I don't see it through. Working on it in isolation doesn't help either. My aim these days is to create more prototypes with interesting mechanics. Then, like you said, I can reuse them later if they are found to be compelling enough. Partaking in game jams helps with this.

    By the way. Congratulations on all your success with Broforce. I'm sure Scumbags will follow a similar trend.

    The Scumbag characters remind me of the butler in "Dinner for one". I mean this in the best possible way.
    Thanked by 1SubiyaCryolite
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    @Tightrope Again, thanks for the kind words!

    Being in a position to have observed how Broforce started, and now how Scumbags is being received, I don't think Scumbags is following a path similar to Broforce. Scumbags is a lot of fun to work on, but until we see a lot stronger positive signals we're not going to spend nearly as much effort developing Scumbags as we did for Broforce.

    Glad to hear that game jams are helping you though! I find showing off my progress at the meetups can also keep you motivated and focused on making meaningful improvements. (Which is especially important if you are working alone like you say you are)
    Thanked by 1SubiyaCryolite
  • Hi,

    I just saw a short premier in the E3 pre pre show. I must say I really enjoyed watching it being played. These kind of games are perfect to play with your friends once in a while. How will the development of this project go? What are the expectations of this project and is it possible to play / test the game?

    Many thanks.
    Thanked by 2Elyaradine BenJets
  • Hi @mertmessa! Glad you enjoyed it!

    I'm adding a bit more info in the original description. Scumbags isn't fully in development, we're just adding to it in our spare time. But given the recent interest it makes it more likely that we'll put some work into it once we have some time open.

    We've done some concept art and visual tests, and we've got some plans to give it more visual character (without losing what character is there that is currently working). Right now it's essentially programmer art.

    The build we made for Twitch had a lot more content in it than previous versions. I might put out a playable prototype as soon as it looks like we can spend some time on it, as it's really frustrating to receive feedback when you have no time to work on the game... so there may be a testable version in August/September.
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