DarkTimmy's News

Welcome to this latest Boss 101 update!

As you might know we are well into tuning the game and making it as fun as we can for YOU! An area of interest is the amazing HAT STORE and all the wonderful goodies you can purchase in it. 

We have over 200 hats and most all serve a practical purpose when it comes to playing the game and winning with style. If you have been following the dev blog you know hats provide a good amount of buffs to your character. They can beef up your weapons, give you more money when you win and they can protect you from boss attacks. That right there is a MOUTHFUL so let’s look at how we are balancing and tuning the numbers to make the most sense for you the player.

We start with a gigantic Excel sheet with all the hats and abilities listed on it. From there we can see how things relate to each other and how to scale the cost and performance of the hats. We actually do a similar thing for guns and other products in the game too. 

The beginnings of all tuning - the planning stage

You can see we have a specific layout here to help speed up the inputting of abilities into the game. The Excel sheet (or Google Docs if you prefer) contains the names of the powers as well as the associated sprites and code which is called to use the hat. Once everything is nice and tidied up here it is a small matter of some cut and paste to bring this into the game. 

The sheets have the sprite names for easy cut and paste

We are using GameMaker for Boss 101 and here are the kinds of fun things you too can expect when bringing your game to life. CODE and lots of it. Don’t be afraid! Well-structured code is your friend and mine. Boss 101 has a rather orderly code base to make things easy for a low level code guy like myself. That is all due to the powerhouse abilities of our lead programmer Joshua. He’s helped setup a situation where I can go in and implement easy changes and adjustments to the game. I cannot stress enough how important it is to have a strong group of people on your team. It makes all the difference in your day to day. 

Opening up Gamemaker and diving in

Handling the hat scripts

Once things are setup you can see the result in the Hat Store. Here we have a Kell hat ready to go for testing!


Over in the Make a Boss we have a typical situation you, the player, will encounter. A new boss with abilities you want to counter. So, pop open the Equip panel and search for the perfect lid to bring into battle. As you can see, boss abilities are listed on either side for easy comparison to your abilities. For instance this boss looks to have a web shooting arm. Well, thankfully the Kell hat looks to have a pretty decent amount of web resistance.


If you are feeling froggy you can even hit the ole RANDOM button to try your luck. Better yet, maybe you want to trust ROB with your battle plan. He will pick what he feels it the best hat and weapon you have for any particular battle. 

So there you have it. A short look at the kind of work we are putting into one small aspect of Boss 101. There’s more to come each week as we look at more of the systems going into the game. In the meanwhile – thank you for stopping by and for your support!

Remember always to live your dreams!


2015.11.26 Boss 101 Screenshot

2015-11-26 20:29:31 by DarkTimmy

We're thankful & appreciate our friends and fans! THANK YOU! We wouldn't be here without your support!

To our US friends Happy Thanksgiving! 


Welcome back to the weekly Boss 101 Update! Thank you for stopping by - we appreciate it!


Boss 101 Release Date!
The time has come to talk about the Boss 101 release date. The short story is we now expect to be done the first half of 2016 – for the exact date read on!

Summer/Fall 2015
Originally we planned for Boss 101 to come out before the end of 2015 – perhaps late summer or fall. That was under the specific assumption we were essentially upgrading the graphics from the web game and added a few small niceties to the game to make it beefier. As we progressed through 2015 it became apparent the game was ‘telling’ us it needed more time. There were parts that were designed, executed and functional but they seemed a little thin or lackluster. An example is something like the Start Screen load panel. As you can see above when you hit ‘start’ a small panel with gophers pops up, animations play and you proceed to the game. Originally though, we had a plain panel and a very simple selection process. 


Making it Count!
The problem with many things plain or which ‘just got by’ was EXACTLY THAT, they just ‘got by’ and weren’t special or cool. They were only functional and got the job done. Don’t get me wrong, there is place for straight functionality. Many times there is a need for good execution over flash and fizz. That said, if you have the underlying structure in place and an opportunity to spice something up with a nod to the game’s theme you might consider it. For us, we feel it’s important to make the game have character and personality since that is what makes Boss 101 stand out. 

It’s for that reason we looked at everything in the game and asked “are we just getting by or are we making this special?” Every time we felt we were just getting by with the base minimum we would look at the reasons and see if there was a way to elevate the product. We did that again and again and here we are now. 

All the main systems are in with a first or second pass (UI, sound, VFX, animation, gameplay, saving, loading, etc). We now begin the long march toward cleaning up all the pieces and making certain they play nice. The cinematics and storytelling are in. We’re playing the game daily and still loving it. We want you to love it too since YOU are the one who will be putting your money down. 


So, when exactly!?!
I would love to lay out an exact date but I can’t at the moment. Our team is small, we are focused and we want this game done to the best of our abilities.  We are not looking to putter around on Boss 101 forever but we aren’t looking to slam something out and expect massive success. The road to something great means you step back once in a while and really look at what you are doing. As a person who has shipped many games, one of the worst feelings is letting something inferior in the product and instantly regretting it the moment you ship.  

There was a reason we didn’t go the Kickstarter route or go with a publisher when we started – though we had the opportunity to do both. We wanted to make sure Boss 101 could find its own voice. Had we Kickstarted this and slipped past our expected Summer 2015, then Winter 2015 dates we would be at the mercy of people who understandably paid money for a promise that was not being kept. 

For us though – we want to EARN your trust with plain ole’ HARD WORK. That’s it folks! We bust our humps every single day to make Boss 101 something you feel good about spending your hard earned cash on. We’re not begging, tricking or pleading. We just want a quality product you can have a blast with. 

There you are. We will keep you posted as we go. The road to completion has started and the team is putting its efforts into polish, gameplay and unification of all systems. Again, we’re a small team but if you want to see our progress please feel free to check out the year plus of weekly updates we have been doing. I think you can tell we are a serious bunch.

Thank you again and remember to LIVE YOUR DREAMS!



2015.11.19 Boss 101 Screenshot

2015-11-19 14:57:54 by DarkTimmy

Boss 101 gameplay, 

Working on some of the in game battles, specifically, choose the right path or else! Yes, you decide your path and your fate. Sometimes there is a fork in the road and you get to pick your path. Which one leads to fame and fortune and which leads to more bossery?! Maybe both do!! Find out for yourself. 


Welcome back to another Boss 101 update! Thank you for joining us!

Today we continue with a look at the little touches we’re putting in Boss 101. We are polishing. That means fixing bugs and cleaning up the game to give you a top notch experience.

Gophers Remember these guys? Check it:


Well they are back and we have a pass of the gopher collection room working. It goes like this, you collect gophers after you finish certain rounds. You bring these guys back to the Command Center where they set out on their secret project. What exactly is that – well you will have to find out YOURSELF when you collect all of them. 

Check out this image with a few gophers collected and their mighty machines being upgraded. The way this works is you collect five gophers per machine type and each new gopher upgrades the machine. Kinda cool!?! Look at those guys zooming around. They use the machines too! YES!!!!! 


Cleaning up and polishing Kite Hill

This is a great example of things we are doing to make Boss 101 nice for you. Kite kill is awesome. It works, it looks good, there is technically nothing wrong with it. Well, we decided to take a feature we really liked and use it with kite hill. You see, when you start the game you are presented with a random opening scene (day, night, etc). That scene is reflected on a smaller scale in the Command Center but it was not reflected on Kite Hill, until now. Let’s look at some examples. 

Opening Scene Sunrise

Kite Hill Sunrise

Opening Scene Daytime

Kite Hill Daytime

Opening Scene Night

Kite Hill Night


Boss 101, Tim Donley and talk about Planescape Torment

Planescape was a long, LONG time ago but next to Boss 101 it had to be one of the most rewarding teams I (Tim Donley) have ever had the privilege of working with. Great people and great energy from the team. I strongly feel if you have a great team you will make a great product and the reverse is also true. Boss 101 is a great team and we do enjoy each other’s company. The final product will be yours to judge but the ingredients are there. 

Interview with Tim Donley - Boss 101, Planescape Torment and more!

The interview above is about an hour long and it covers mostly Planescape Torment but there is a lot of talk about game philosophy and we things work the way they do in game development. If you’re interested, please check it out. 

Thank you again for your support. It means everything. Take care and please live your dreams!


We're still hammering away. Bringing you our very best! Check out the haps in the Command Center today.


Boss 101 What’s up back there?! - Backgrounds

Let’s talk about some of the things you will see happening in the backgrounds in Boss 101. Each level represents a section of a city and many are on different planets. During the course of the game you fly from planet to planet and see a lot of the Boss 101 galaxy.

So, how do we make things interesting? GOOD QUESTION! We started with the story, which has you cross the universe through a series of warp gates looking for Boss 101 and his home planet. Once we knew that bit of lore we had a reason and a design for a lot of the planets in the game. The idea is they progressively get more strange as you go along. For instance, you will see moons with holes punched out of them and strange Dyson Sphere like systems.

Below are some of the creations to give the player a sense of the alien places he is visiting. Make no mistake a LOT of this is a tongue and cheek takes on alien life. Of course, we have a ton of fun creating the look of the worlds to texture to the planets.

Check it out and see what you think! 

Cratered Moon

Dyson Sphere?

Sunshine Day

Bad Moon Rising

"That, is not a Moon"


How much is enough?

When we sat down to make Boss 101 a lot of the impetus was to have fun flying around in a jetpack. As the game development progressed we began to add in things we felt created value for  people playing. It is an organic process we believe is making Boss 101 more ‘real’ than just a collection of backgrounds and sprites. The best part is we are giving you that story as part of the experience. 

You get to fly around exploring with Steve and Max and discover places right along with them. You also will find out why there are warp gates and how YOU can control them. We originally planned to make this a souped up remake of the web version of Boss 101 but it has grown into something a lot bigger and more fun. If you look at the prior updates you will see we have been adding in things like the Endless Boss mode and a huge Command Center. This is all part of the total world experience we are making for you. 

You will have tons to do and ideally you will find many little things to do between battles. Shop, upgrade your weapons and yourself, fly kites, consult the gophers, plan your next moves and more! You can play arcade games too! 

It’s all there for you to do and part of the giant universe of Boss 101. 


Ctrl500.com latest Dev Article is up!


Our latest article on the hats in Boss 101 is up at Ctrl500 here: What a Difference a Hat Makes in Boss 101

As always, remember to live your dreams. No one else will. Talk with you soon!


2015.11.05 Boss 101 Screenshot

2015-11-05 04:51:33 by DarkTimmy

Boss 101, we work into the night even when the moon takes a break. 




Happy Halloween and welcome to the weekly Boss 101 update!

Over a Year of Weekly updates!

Did you know we have been doing the weekly updates for over a year now!? Just for you, each week we put together our progress reports and share with you what we hope you find interesting and useful about not just Boss 101 but gamemaking.


Gopher Buddies

This week we are talking about GOPHERS! Gophers and their magical ability to build things and help you out. One of your gopher buddies is the Professor and he is there to help you build up the Command Center and upgrade your weapons but you know what?!? YOU CAN HAVE MORE GOPHER FRIENDS!

Yep, once you have cleared a round once the gophers feel safe to emerge and leave their hiding spot. All you need to do is go collect them and bring ‘em back to the Command Center. In the game there are 25 gopher buddies scattered across the game. Among those 25 are 5 main types of gophers who handle different chores back at your base. Let’s meet the types:


Those are the five types of gophers you collect and when you bring them back to the Command Center they get to upgrading the machinery inside the Upgrade room. Here’s a look at the base setup for the upgrades. 


The machinery goes here and improves as you bring in more buddies to improve the place.


While you’re collecting things the game will helpfully guide you to the levels your buddies are still waiting on. And when you collect a gopher you get a SWEET achievement medal in the map room! Look at that little guy – sitting on top of the world!


I think the big question is what exactly are your buddies working on? Well, you will have to collect them all to find out. Whatever it is– they sure think it’s important. So get on it and bring them all together.

Boss 101 folks, it’s got drama, adventure and gopher saving. What more could you ask for. 

Destructoid Column Started!

Fresh from my series on How to Make a Game come a new series starting up at Destructoid. Check out the latest blog here:

Destruction Column Link - Making Games and More


Thanks for stopping by and remember to keep checking back for more updates and always LIVE YOUR DREAMS!


2015.10.28 Boss 101 pre-Halloween Screenshot

2015-10-28 16:53:23 by DarkTimmy

Getting ready for Halloween 2015 with the guys

Decorations up and costumes being made!

Live your dreams!