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Welcome back to the weekly Boss 101 development update.
We get a lot of mail during the week and one question that came up recently seemed important enough to warrant a direct answer via the main update. Here goes…
“Will I be able to adopt small cute animal friends in Boss 101? If so can they come along with me on missions but remain totally safe and yet possibly help me out by shooting or healing or something?”
-KP, San Diego, CA
Yes! Yes you will be able to adopt small cute animal friends in Boss 101 and bring them along with you. They actually will play a part in the story but we aren’t going to go too far into that during this update. What we can tell you is you can befriend and help out small animals and they can end up staying with you in your main Command Center.
To address any concerns about taking something cute into areas where a flamethrower or guided missiles may be fired we spoke with Professor Gopher and he has been able to create small personal force fields that will keep these cuties 100% safe from harm. So go ahead and bring them along! You might get hit but they will be SAFE!
What kinds of animal friends can you make? We can’t show you all of them in this update but we can show you a few. First up is the guy that started it all, Chilly. Chilly is one of the first small animals you get introduced to in the Command Center. He’s been the one you see in most of the shots of the place (small white bird). He recently got a little scarf on him to keep him warmer and he has been seen flying around with the guys on missions.
Testing out the animations for the Command Center
Testing out the animations for In-Game
Flying in game
We also have Pat-Pat the kitty. He sits in the Command Center doing kitty things but when it’s time to go on a mission he puts on a small cat sized jetpack and flies with you.
Setup animations for the Command Center
Finally we have Momka the Ferret. He follows you around with his balloon. Basically just chillin’ while the battle happens. He loves you!
Setup for Momka to fly in game
There you go. Aren’t you excited to see what other ones there are in the game? We’re excited to show you so stay tuned!
Remember to check back and LIVE YOUR DREAMS!
Working on polishing things up. Now you can bring your pet safely along for the ride!
Here's Mister Kitty with his own jetpack!
More to come and remember to live your dreams!
Welcome back to the weekly development update for Boss 101. Thanks for stopping by and we hope things are going awesomely for you!
Creating a Unique gun for Boss 101 and tuning it
You know Boss 101 is about battling the robot bosses and their minions but did you know we’re giving you some of the galaxy’s most awesome weapons in your fight? Well we are!
We’ve got machine guns, shotguns, pistols. We have bazookas. We even have flame throwers! Did you know we have a few special guns straight from the mind of Professor Gopher in your Command Center? Check this out!
The Gravity Gun
This one is awesome and uses the latest and greatest tech you find in the game. Once assembled it can put the big hurt on the bosses by turning their own power against them. First though – let’s walk through the process of making the gun for the game.
Art and animation prep
Before it gets into the game, we design and create the base art. This is after discussing the basic powers and leveling of the gun. In this case the art below is a Level 1 Gravity Gun which is the weakest Gravity Gun you can get in the game. It’s limited to smaller boss and minion bullets but can still pack a punch.
Here is the art ready for an animation pass…
Once we have everything in we look at making an idle and firing animation for the guns. In this case we setup the basic idles and prepared to import things into the game.
We also created two more versions of the Gravity Gun as upgrades to the base gun. Here is a Level 3 Gravity Gun. A little more powerful looking and a stronger sense of the ‘magnet’ theme.
Once things are in the game we get them functional before we do any serious tuning. Here’s a pass on what to expect from the gun. It can grab enemy bullets and then release them back at the offending party.
For instance, this minion didn’t know what was coming…
Of course, if you get a little creative you can hold the bullet and have a little fun ramming enemies.
There’s more to come as we continue down the path of polish. Keep checking back for more looks at the weapons and the world of Boss 101. We enjoy showing you a little of the time and care we’re putting into everything.
Boss 101 means a lot to us and thanks again for all the letter and the feedback. We appreciate all your support.
Remember to live your dreams!
Boss 101, how does the story start? Check this screenshot out. Where does it go from here? That's up to you.
Hello and Welcome back to the weekly Boss 101 update! Hope all is going well with you and we are doing AWESOME thank you very much!
In Boss 101 you receive visitors during the game. They stop by the Command Center for a short bit and MAYBE they’ll drop some knowledge on you. One thing about the world of Boss 101, it is big and you will be an important part of it. One of the ways we are helping realize that idea is showing you some of the people in the galaxy. These are other races and cultures affected by the robos. As they say – “an enemy of my enemy is my friend”.
Check out these cats below. They’re called ‘bounty hunters’ at the moment but you might end up knowing them on a first name basis.
The Rogues themselves
Command Center Area (for reference)
So now that we are here in the Command Center let’s talk a little about that dialog panel at the top of the screen. You see the guys chattering away? Looks FUN right? Well we think so but we also know you might need a little break from the constant fun and a way to know when news is really important versus just regular normal important! HAAAAAAAAAAAA!
As part of the polish phase we’re adding in a nice little set of flaps that open and close when a new speaker comes on or you the player activate some important info switch. Check it out!
The animation layout and work
Sample of the panel in operation
Endless Boss Instructions
As part of the polish pass we’re adding in tutorials and instructions where they make sense. In doing that we are looking to keep the spirit of Boss 101. For the most part this means we have the gophers and their buddies helping you out with instructions. Let’s check out the Endless Boss area for an example shall we?
Here’s the Endless Boss area work in progress screen. It has all the things you can expect to see and do including equipping your guns. We used this a reference page when we were designing the gopher instruction panel.
Check out this animation pass setup for the panels working. This is in Spine and has a rough set of instructions for reference.
The same setup in the game
Check out that sweet panel action. A couple of tweaks to the panels and the actual instruction sheet and we should be in business
There you are folks – another look at the behind the scenes magic we’re working on every single day. It’s all about making Boss 101 something special and we hope you enjoy the process as much as we do.
Thanks and remember to LIVE YOUR DREAMS!
First off - screenshot Wednesday!
We put some developer balloons in Boss 101 - these are really only for the Credits Movie but we are testing them out in the main game just for fun.
Second - Boss 101 has a Humble Store Front. More news to come but you can put Boss 101 on your Humble wish list!
Boss 101 Store on Humble Bundle
Talk with you soon!
Welcome back and hope you are doing well! We’re here to talk about the ongoing touchups and polish going into Boss 101.
Show don't tell
A lot of what we are doing is making sure there is something interesting happening for you on EVERY screen in the game. We look at Boss 101 as a world and you are living in that world with S.T.E.V.E. and Max while you are playing the game. For that to feel as awesome as possible we want to put in the details that bring the game screens to life. We want to show the world as we see it, in cool details and interesting action.
Most of the time we are taking the ‘show don’t tell’ approach and putting the action up on the screen for you to see and make your own conclusions from. We often talk about creating enough detail on the game screen for you to get a sense of the world’s story without us having to outright spell everything out. There are a LOT of great movies and games out there which do this so well. I think one easy example is an old movie called Raiders of the Lost Ark. In the first 13 minutes we learn just about everything we need to know about Indiana Jones. That sequence involves him stealing the idol by sneaking around all the traps, then escaping in spectacular fashion. He then LOSES the idol and escapes another near crazy situation by leaping into a river and climbing into a plane as it is taking off. Of course, in the plane’s seat is a snake and he hates snakes. Ok, seriously, by the end of that sequence we know exactly how cool this guy is, we’ve seen him do his thing and he’s been through a variety of situations. It’s a brilliant intro to a character. I would also argue that Pirates of the Caribbean intro of Captain Jack Sparrow is pretty compelling in terms of ‘show don’t tell’.
The point of mentioning all this is to talk about the kinds of things we are looking to do with Boss 101. We want you to come back to each screen and maybe see something new or some detail you might have missed the first time. We have lots of animations and details we are putting in to help round out the story of the world and the people in it.
Endless Boss Launch Center
Of course, if you are reading this devlog you have a huge heads up over people playing the game since you are seeing the work first. Here we have the Endless Boss launch room. It was coming along really well but we still had a pass to do with your friends and mine – the gopher crew. This is the instruction panel were you will see how the various modes for Endless Boss actually work. It wasn’t enough to just have some words written on the panel. We wanted to actually have some cool gopher tech happening. You know those guys are ESSENTIAL to the success of your mission. They run a lot of the main base along with R.O.B.
Here we have the panel in progress with a call out to the art we want for the gopher tech.
Base art in before animation and a sample of the text layout
Base animations ready
Making programming notes
First pass in game
YES!! That is how the magic is brought to you. We’re doing this all over the game. Check out this one on the options screen…
What are those guys doing? What do you think they are up to? That is part of the Boss 101 magic. You get to join in the story too!
Talk with you soon and remember to always – LIVE YOUR DREAMS!
Boss 101 working on warp effects for those all important planet hops!
The User Interface and You
With Boss 101 being developed on a PC and shipping on PC (first) and consoles (after) we knew we had to address something all PC game developers address in every game. That is, how to best use the keyboard and mouse as well as the gamepad.
For the most part I (Tim) play Boss 101 with the gamepad. I use an XBox type controller and have been doing so since we started developing. It’s great and I love it. Joshua (our lead programmer) uses the keyboard and mouse for everything. It’s his preference and it works for him. Well, one thing that came up recently was the mapping of the controller functions to the keyboard. From there we thought about how we could allow the player to use the mouse and keyboard inside the game as well as re-map the various keyboard controls.
OK, this may seem like a pretty trivial thing and in a lot of ways it is. What I am referring to is the ability to get focus from whatever you hover you mouse on. When we started in Boss 101 the mouse was pretty limited in terms of pushing buttons and gaining focus. Mostly what you did was move the arrow (or movement) keys around and THAT was how you highlighted things to activate with your action key. This was pretty cumbersome since most people don’t use a PC like that.
Joshua put in a pass of allowing the mouse to be used in a much more natural way. It seems so BLAZINGLY obvious and so well done that it might seem like a ‘no duh’ moment. We agree but we wanted to share with you some of the things we are doing to make sure you get as many niceties as possible when you play. Check out the screens below for some samples of the focus following the mouse.
Start Screen – notice the buttons highlight as the mouse moves over them.
Command Center – notice the various parts highlight as the mouse moves around.
It’s all about making your user experience awesome. We’re down in the core folks, making magic for you!
Below are the initial planning pages for the Keyboard remap controls. This page is temp art and layout with all the initial planning for the controls. Of course this will be art’d up and clean for final.
In game temp art
Added in some variations to the Start Screen art. When you start up the game you get a rotation of environments. Some show up for special reasons, some show up just because.
Also – a new friend showed up in the command center and promptly took a nap in the window.
That’s all for this week but return soon for more updates and news as we get ever closer to the release!
Remember to live your dreams!
Working on Kite Hill among other things. Yep, you can fly a kite to relax and yes - there are rainbows!
Remember to live your dreams! STEVE and Max certainly are!