Entry #275

2017.03.18 Boss 101 Update, Polish and Fun pt1

2017-03-18 17:37:53 by DarkTimmy

Hello and welcome to the latest Boss 101 update!

A Break from BERL


This week we’re taking a break from the BERL videos and just talking about the game and what’s been going on. 

The Update and “When Will We Be Done?” question

As you know – we have been doing regular updates twice a week for about three years. That’s ROUGHLY 310 updates all told. During that time we’ve shared our progress and kept you posted about the game. One thing we’ve been clear about (at least I would like to think) – is we are more concerned with making a GREAT game than with hitting a date on the calendar. I know that is pretty standard game dev speechifying but it’s how we actually feel.

Boss 101 is currently in the polish phase. That means we play it every day and assess the game for bugs as well as consistency. It’s the consistency thing you might care the most about. Consistency for us is making the game consistent and congruent within itself. It means each character, menu, UI panel and icon not only does its job extremely well but fits within the Boss 101 universe. It’s this very thing we feel will make Boss 101 a special experience for you when you play it. As much as we can we’re making the world of Boss 101 alive with interesting characters and locations. I would also say it’s the reason Boss 101 isn’t in your hot little hands as we speak! Rest assured we are hammering away 24/7 to get this done. Let’s go over some basic questions you might or might not have about the final ship date.

What is left on the list to do if you are just ‘polishing’?

A few things fall in that category as we mention. One is obviously bugs. Bugs being crashes, glitches and problems that arise when systems in the game don’t work as intended. It can be anything from game play issues to things like buttons not functioning when they need to. 

Additionally, as we play we are encountering areas where they game could use a little oomph to make things more “Boss 101-ish”?

Can you give an example of this?

Sure, here’s a simple one we worked on this very week. What I am about to explain might be pretty minor sounding and might seem minor. For us though, we have spent so much time on the game that it’s simply not worth it to skimp at this point. At the end of development we feel it’s really time to turn up the effort and bring you the highest effort and best value we can. 

OK – here we go:

In Boss 101 we have guns that overheat and in the UI we have a little indicator to tell you when your gun is overheated. This has been in the game nearly three years. The icon is a generic pistol that gets the point across and all seems well on the surface.

Sample of the old generic icon in action
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While playing the game during the tuning rounds we quickly realized a few things. One was the machine gun (the player’s main gun) was effect set to never overheat. The reasoning there is it’s the main gun and for a lot of gameplay reasons we felt it wasn’t a ‘fun’ thing to have your main gun constantly stopping to cool down. The secondary guns though were another story. They are generally more specialized and effectively the most powerful guns against bosses so they could benefit from a cool down mechanic. 

Well, we looked at what we had. An old and well done UI drawing of what looks to be a Colt 45. Sure, sure – that is cool and all and YOU would probably understand what was happening there. For us though – we want the game to be special so we went and made little icons for EACH of the guns. MUCH cooler and much more in line with the kind of value we want to give you.

New version of overheat icon for pistol
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New version of overheat icon for flamethrower
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New version of overheat icon for shotgun
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All New Icons for Overheat in the editor

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This didn’t take a lot of time but we feel these are the touches which separate the truly amazing gaming experiences from the “it’s all right” gaming experiences. We want to bring you the best and as these opportunities pop up during the polish pass we look at each one and think “Is this a reasonable thing to adjust or change?” “Will it make the game more fun?” “Weill it help solidify the look, feel or work of Boss 101?” I assure you if any of those answers are yes then we do our best to bring you that change. 

YOU DESERVE IT! When you plunk down your hard earned cash for Boss 101 you DESERVE to know we put our BEST EFFORT into the game.  

OK - talk with you soon and to answer the question of "When will it be done?" - AS SOON AS WE POSSIBLY CAN. We do expect to make a date announcement when we are cruising into the last round of testing so stay tuned!

As always - LIVE YOUR DREAMS!

-Tim


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