DarkTimmy's News


Welcome back to the Boss 101 Update!

Debug Screens in Boss 101 or “How do we do the voodoo we do?”

You might have noticed a few of our  debug screens popping up in the updates. These are the screens we use to test the way things work in game. If you are working on your own game you might already have something like this in your working builds. 

Bosses and enemies in the game have tons of animations and abilities to test. This room is where we can see how things work in-game and test specific bosses on specific levels. For us, it makes a difference in development to constantly test out our work in-engine. 

If you ever use a “god” mode in a shipped game you are likely seeing the same kind of thing in effect. Giving the player a ton of ammo or unlimited health are the kinds of things developers do while testing. Clearly, it’s really useful to jump into a game and dink around with various values to test things. If you don’t already do this check out some benefits you might be missing.

First off – we can use the room to check out the fit of all the boss parts with each other. Here we are testing how all parts match up. We use the random button to cycle through bosses and the boss part buttons to check the fit and finish.

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Here’s a shot of us testing out various boss main weapons. Note that we can trigger any major animation from this room.

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We can also check on minions and their firing animations. Once everything is tested we can jump into the game and play around with the same bosses and minions in actual levels.

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There have been a few times where we needed to re-import a lot of bosses and minions in order to implement a new feature. Having a room like this to test out hit boxes and animations makes things much easier. As you may imagine, we implemented this room pretty early in development. 

Here’s a shot of us going straight from the Debug Room into the game.

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This brings us to a pretty basic point – as much as possible you want to be working in your game engine versus Photoshop, or some sort of editor that’s NOT your engine. You want to see your work where it will be when your game ships. From there you will want to get your game setup (via debug testing and the like) and AFTER that you will want to just play your game like a regular person would. 

It’s easy to get used to having unlimited health or one shot weapons but the player won’t have all that obviously. Most of the time I play the game outside of the normal debug mode just to experience it as you would. 

In the end – it is about making the game for YOU and keeping you entertained. All the work we are doing is about the experience we want to bring for our friends and fans. 

Hope you enjoyed this look at the development of Boss 101 and remember to LIVE YOUR DREAMS!

-Tim



Boss 101 Screenshot

Professor Gopher guide panels for the Command Center. If you need help getting around you can call him up.

He's your friend!

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Boss 101's Devlog won a Favorite Project award on TIGForums. YES!!!

You can check it out here directly ** Boss 101 Devlog on TIGForums **

Thank you for your support!

-Tim



Welcome to the latest Boss 101 update and thank you for stopping by!

Polishing a Weapon in Boss 101

Today we are taking a look at the process of polishing up one of the many boss weapons. As we’ve mentioned there are a lot of bosses and you will be able to create your own boss to battle. In game you use the Make A Boss to assemble a boss from parts available. The specifics of how this is done depends on the game mode you are choosing but needless to say there are a lot of possible breakdowns.

Here is a look at a debug breakdown of just a FEW bosses you might see. 

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Did you know there are over ONE HUNDRED MILLION combinations of bosses possible? Neither did we, until we did the math.

The Tiger Gas Weapon

Despite all the combinations we create bosses as grouped units and allow them to be broken up. Here we have the Tiger Boss as a complete unit. Note the weapon on top is his dreaded poison gas weapon.

From the debug screen…
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So initially he sprayed a gassy cloud from his back onto the player. We have below a VERY early version of the weapon. You can see the gas cloud looks quite a bit different from a lot of the regular pixel art in the game.

Early version of Tiger Gas Weapon
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Well, that look stood out a little too much so we did tweaking and created pixel art for the gas. Ended up with something looking like this…

Revised gas pixel art
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Ok – that is a little bit better but there was still a problem and that was the gas firing out of the weapon. This make some BASIC sense but the issue was gameplay and we were noticing the player was normally out of range of the cloud unless we made it linger for a very long time or move somewhat fast. That wasn’t the direction we wanted to go.

Inspiration soon struck though – we had ANOTHER boss, the T-Rex whose weapon created fire breath to blast from any bosses mouth. Kind of like a Godzilla thing. Here it is in action. The main flames coming from the T-Rex mouth here are being generated by his back weapon.

Sample of T-Rex boss unit firing main weapon via the mouth…
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Well, it wasn’t a big jump to take the idea there and re-work the Tiger weapon to fire a gas cloud from the mouth of a boss like so.

Sample of the gas weapon update
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Of course – since this is Boss 101 you might see these weapons on a variety of bosses…

Example 1 - Gas
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Example 2 - Flame

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YES! Once again we’re peeling back the curtain for you! These decisions may seem obvious hindsight but sometimes these thing elude you until you see it all in action. Hope you enjoyed this look.

TIGForums – Devlog Gold of 2015 Results - We got a Favorite Devblog Award!

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Did you know the Boss 101 Dev Log placed third in the FAVORITE PROJECT category? We did! Thanks to you and your support. Check out our TIGForums Devlog here: Boss 101 Dev Log

As always – remember to live your dreams and thank you for your support!

-Tim
 



Max & Steve enjoying ice cream, cake & music between rounds! These guys know how to relax.

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Hello and welcome to the Saturday Update for Boss 101

The Gopher Recovery Pad – aka the end of round ambulance


So, you just fought a hard battle against the bosses and despite all your best efforts you don’t come out on top. Well, what happens then? Easy, your gopher buddies come to your assistance with a lift back to base. They do it in style too with the GRP – the patented Gopher Recovery Pad.

We needed to design a swift pad for bringing you back home with style and here’s what we did. First there was a look at the type of style the gophers would use. We created a sheet to outline the kinds of things the gophers would build. Here’s the first pass design. 

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Most all of the gopher tech is supposed to have a nice level of charm to it. Nothing too harsh or angular. Most of it is fun and open looking. 

From there we made the art and animation. Below are some looks at the way it was animated for the game. The pad has lots of lights and whizzy stuff. For us it’s important to bring a level of entertainment to everything you will be seeing and experiencing in the game. Lights and animations are just one way we do it.

The idle for the GRP – check out all the cool action

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Of course – it’s important to be able to activate the sirens in case people are in your way.

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Here’s a closeup of your driver and the gopher nurses who will be along for the ride

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So once that was all done we brought the GRP into the game and placed it at the end of the round. We set up the game to allow you activate the sirens.

In the image below are two bottom of the round UI bars. Top one is for victorious rounds and the bottom one is for the rounds you lose.

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After all that is done we give it tests to see if everything is working as expected.

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Once any system is put into the game we allow it to sit and gel for a little while. The idea behind this is any feature will need to settle. During that time we just watch and see how things work in actual gameplay. A lot of times features will get further modified and occasionally changed from the original. For us those are normally good changes since they are organically created and come about through testing. For the player it represents our efforts to make the world a real place and bring you the best we possibly can.

You win either way!

Thanks again for stopping by and as always – remember to live your dreams!

-Tim

Boss 101 on Steam Wishlist us if you would be so kind!

http://store.steampowered.com/app/380920

.


2016.06.08 Boss 101 Screenshot

2016-06-08 05:40:47 by DarkTimmy

Boss 101 confronts the Robo Council with some of his problems. Do they even care? HA!

Check us out on our Steam Page –> Boss 101 Store on Steam

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Welcome to the latest Boss 101 update!

Phone Calls in the Command Center


We didn’t forget about last week’s update with the Robo Council! They will return soon.

We are here this week to show you some of the latest tech in the Command Center for getting your missions and important information. You might know about the panels in the Command Center for dialog but we have added a new feature to allow you to interact much more with them. You can now take important phone calls when they arrive! Not only that, but the phone machine saves the most recent message for you to listen to again. 

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Check out some of these swift components. The phone will now ring and you can select it when you are ready. You might not want to wait too long or the message might be lost. So select that ringing phone.

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Once you jump into the Command Center area you only need to highlight the phone and hit the action button.

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If you look up at the top of the dialog panel we have an indicator to show you what is going on. The idea here is if you are in one of the other main rooms you will see the call and be able to answer the phone. A lot of times when we are putting in features the main question is “How can we make this fun for the player?” 

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Most every single feature in Boss 101 will advance the story and ideally entertain you while it is happening. The phone system was a logical extension of the way we want you to experience the game. It worked with the current system and when we added in the dialog panels we felt it was a pretty organic thing to make the phone work with it too.

One thing about the dialog panels and the phone system is we can give you a lot more focus on what is important when you are bopping about in the Command Center. Before any of these modifications the messages were somewhat continuous and honestly a bit overwhelming. We are hoping with this addition we can give you a little more breathing room to read and enjoy the messages as well as the rest of the Command Center.

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Talk at the Indie IRX 2016 Expo

I (Tim) will be giving a talk at the Indie Game Riot IRX 2016 conference. The best part is it will be online and viewable for you wherever you might be. Check out the link below for more information:

http://indiegameriot.com/indie-revolution-expo/indie-revolution-expo-panels/

Also if you are an independent developer and want to show your game or perhaps host a panel – you can sign up right here:

http://indiegameriot.com/indie-revolution-expo/

Indie Game Riot is a great place and you should give them a look if you haven’t already!

Talk with you soon and remember to live your dreams!

-Tim



Boss 101 Command Center work - Added in the new dialog panels to the top of the Command Center.

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Welcome to the latest Boss 101 Development Log and thank you for stopping by!

The Bosses’ Boss

In the world of Boss 101 there are bosses and there are BOSSES. The big wigs, the real movers and shakers are the Robo-Council. They are the ones effectively calling the shots and making your life harder than it needs to be during the game. Who called for Earth’s moon to be blown in two? These guys. Who is making the warp gate highway to allow unlimited robotic expansion? They guys. When Boss 101 fills out a TPS report it is sent to these guys. 

When we sat down to design them we thought about some of our favorite movies and the big villains behind the scenes. People like the Emperor in Star Wars and the Master Control Program (MCP) from the OG Tron movie. Heck even Thanos from the Marvel movies series is shaping up to be a master manipulator.

When designing the council we started with current Boss 101 scenes on his planet. Below are two snippets from conversations between Boss 101 and some of his subordinates. 

One with TERRA and Boss 101
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One with Mac and Boss 101
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The Council

For the council we looked at making them seems a little shadowy. The thinking here is they are dealing with a lot of stuff in the robo-civilization. Boss 101 would have a special reporting room and it would be a more glitzy than the normal run of the mill holo-screens used.

First pass layout
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This is the initial sketch layout for how the area will look and work. The robos images hovering in the background. We also wanted to conserve art and animation so Boss 101 would be used in the foreground and set to interact in his usual manner. Once the base council robos are designed we will add effects and make the scene look like a futuristic transmission.

The Robos art – first pass drawing
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Robo Council headshots
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Once all this was done we could break down the council and start experimenting with the various ideas for effects. Here’s a black and white pass on the ideas for the council’s transmission to Boss 101

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The next steps for us are to color them and lay in the colored effects. All this is handled in Photoshop and you might be surprised to know we generally do not use transparency effects in Boss 101. By this I mean we tend to draw the effect at full Opacity and just design it to play on top of things. Fire, energy effects and even water in boss 101 are mostly just a hand drawn effect played at 100% opacity. That is strictly a design decision to make everything look a little more cohesive and give the game a set look.

There is always talk about when designing a character or machinery if we are making it ‘in the style’ we want. That style is mainly a colorful animated world with a lot of visual consistency and congruency. 

Ok enough blabbing! Check back next week for more progress on the council and other news!

Boss 101 on Steam

Wishlist us if you would be so kind!

http://store.steampowered.com/app/380920

In the meantime remember to LIVE YOUR DREAMS!

-Tim