DarkTimmy's News


Welcome back to another Boss 101 Weekly update! Hope your week is proceeding awesomely, ours certainly is! 

Making a New Room the Smart Way

As we wrap up the main portions of Boss 101 we are frequently finding little adds we want to make to the game. These can be anything really and most every one of them involves fleshing the game story out in some compelling fashion that YOU the player will like.

One huge problem is simply time. We don’t have the time to make everything from scratch – nor SHOULD we! With a little smart thinking we can not only increase the games narrative but we can create some hige quality art assets using templates we’ve already established. Here’s how:

We needed a transport room for the game cinematics. This is a place where the guys are officially beamed out on their next mission. Think of the transporter room from Star Trek. You know, a place where there is a technician and some sort of beaming device. Well, we already have a giant super collider type thing inside the base to supply power to the various parts as well as other crazy science type things. We also already have both player and boss warp gates. Hmmm, so we need a transporter using our collider tech and the already created gates. Well, we should probably use the existing art as a jumping point right? So here we go. Let’s check out the two main parts:

Sample of Player Gate
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Collider Room

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Once we have those we mash them together to get the general layout. Like so:

Art composited
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Now it’s a matter of creating some art guidelines to make the final pass of the area. This all took about 30 minutes total to get to this point and the end result after this will be a very integrated piece of tech as well as an efficiently made game room. 

Sample of noted up art page
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It’s all so easy right? HA! Well, of course this all sits on the shoulders of earlier work so it’s a good thing we created easy to use and edit Photoshop files.

Map Room Cleanup

OK – when Joshua setup the map room forever-ago it was one of the first places we ever worked on. He recently added the ability to go back and edit the files quite easily. YES!!! I made one small change from my previous setup. See if you can spot it:

Original Pass
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Reworked Pass

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Yes folks, the clouds all go in the same direction now. YAY!

OK – that’s a wrap for this week’s update so check back soon for our weekly screenshot later in the week.

As always - LIVE YOUR DREAMS!

-Tim


2016.01.27 Rob's Room TV Arm

2016-01-27 16:12:48 by DarkTimmy

Screenshot of the day, Robo TV Arm, working on ambient animations! 

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Welcome back on and all to the weekly Boss 101 progress update!

Rob’s Room

When we last left Rob’s Room it was undergoing visual upgrades. The place was setup in-game to be used but we were still dropping in the last of the main art. Well, check out what happened!

Seeing as Rob’s place is one of the last main pieces of art in the game it’s pretty fitting it should showcase much of the joy we have in the work we are doing. For instance, notice the little webcams you can barely see in front of Rob and the Professor. Well those are the same webcams they use when talking with you in the Command Center. You know, the little things that count! HA!

Overall though – the room is looking sweet and we are about to drop in the rest of the animation and art to finish it up. This will involve some art echoes from other rooms in the Command Center. The TV Screens will broadcast some of the same shows from the Vending Machine Room and the Main Room. Also – we will have a couple vid screens for the other people in the command Center to call in from. 

There is also another use for this room and it relates to Rob’s big wish to become one of the top robo heroes of the galaxy. His longtime dream is to be out in his own spaceship battling bad guys and fighting the good fight. Will he make it? Play Boss 101 and find out!

Rob’s Room – early pass in-game
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Rob’s Room – background art done
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Rob’s Room – setup in Spine

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The Hands of the BOSS!

Well, we have here a look at some of the deadly weapons only the most powerful of bosses can possess! The ability to transform and manipulate matter to create weapons on the fly. Yes, the might Boss 101 has at his disposal the power of nearly unlimited weapon creation. I guess you thought it was going to be easy to take down the best of the best – NO WAY!

Check out the setup and initial look at just one of the many, many armaments in his arsenal.

Boss 101 hand conversion test inside Spine. All the work is setup to be triggered via animations. Guns are prepped by converting from the hand to the desired weapon then the firing happens. After the weapon is done firing it converts back into the hand

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Sample from game converting
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Sample firing giant gun from game

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There you go folks and hope you enjoyed the latest looks and we will return soon with more screenshots and updates!

Remember to always live your dreams!

-Tim



Sometimes the bosses have big hearts and you have to break them!

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Welcome back everyone to the weekly Boss 101 update

As we continue our journey into the land of polish and head towards ship we wanted to share some of the little things that mean so much to us. We feel when it comes down to making a great gaming experience it is the little touches that separate the good from the great.

To that end we are looking to bring the game all the way up to great and then push it into amazing. Sounds crazy but you know, if WE don’t feel we can do it then who will!?! HA! Seriously though, a lot of the last few weeks (and upcoming months) are laser focused on making all the little things better. Some examples:

Tanya Robbins, Interstellar Intelligence Agent

As you might already know, the world of Boss 101 has bosses on a rampage across the galaxy. It will be up to you (with the help of Steve and Max) to stop them. Tanya will be there and provide you with tips and advice on what to do next. Is the advice all good? Well, that will be up to you to decide. Check out a typical conversation below.

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We set up Tanya in the database as a talking character who can be triggered from the dialog scripts. The best part (besides Tanya herself) is we added a little hotline phone to the Command Center so you can see her ALL IMPORTANT call come in. This was one of those little touches we feel spice up the whole game. By itself it may not seem like much but if you put enough of those in the game and clean it all up with love and fun gameplay then you have something truly special.

Phone in Dialog
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Phone in Command Center
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Check out the oh so easy triggering
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Of course - Tanya herself…

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Benches Galore!

We also have spectators in the game who change over time and also vary according to who’s winning the war. Did you know that more humans will show up to watch if you start beating the bosses? That’s right we have a dedicated system to rally you on as you complete missions. People start coming to cheer you on! Translation – YOU’RE BELOVED! HAHA!

Sample Alien Bench Set
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Sample Human Bench Set
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Ok – that’s just a small look at the fun times going on this week and please keep those letters coming. We appreciate the contact and the support. You can always reach us at hello (at) donleytimefoundation.com 

Take care and remember to live your dreams! No one else will!

-Tim



2016.01.14 Boss 101 Screenshot of the Day. One of your friends in Boss 101 - Tanya Robbins, Interstellar Intelligence Agent. She's here to help!

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Boss 101 Update – Polish, the Map Room and the little things

Today’s update is about the little things in game development and how they can sink or float a project. I don’t know about you but this is where stuff gets real and games can become legendary or get buried. 

Squashing those jumping bugs in Boss 101
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Joshua (our programmer) and myself have been going through all aspects of Boss 101 and cleaning out the little weird things. This includes straight out bugs (like crashes) and also includes adjusting the UI and gameplay to ‘make sense’ to the player.

It’s that making sense thing I want to talk about right now. When we are working on the game we make decisions which seem correct in the moment. I am sure most people who have ever written a letter, drawn something or done any sort of creative endeavor will relate – you occasionally make decisions that seem genius at the moment but they are less so after consideration. An example from Boss 101:

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So, we have the map room. Way back in the day it was a simple affair that had back plates representing the levels you battled on. Oh how proud we were of that room! I personally liked the way it came out (and still do). Of course the deal was WE understood it perfectly but upon fresh replays we saw players would probably not understand it as we did. 

For one thing you progress by moving your character about on a hoverpad. All well and good, right? The thing was people didn’t see the path they had to move on. We felt it was pretty obvious since we put in these arrows to tell you direction you could go but the things really came together when we added the tracks to show you the whole path all at once. 

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Of course the next thing was to spruce up the map by showing you the gopher’s you can rescue on each level. This further clarified the way the levels and goals for the levels were structured.

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The thing we want to do is make the game fun and at the same time engage players with clear goals and things to do. I love mystery but the UI and such should be helping the player not impeding him. Hey, it’s all part of game development and ideally when Boss 101 is in your hands you will agree with the choices we made and really enjoy the experience. 

Keep checking back and thank you for all the letters and contact. If you have any more questions you can always mail us directly or contact us in the forums. Either way – thank you so much for your support and talk with you soon.

Live your dreams!

-Tim



Looks like R.O.B. got his own room in Boss 101, you know he's happy about it! Check out the far left of the Command Center for the entrance to his hideout! 

YES! 

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Happy New Year and welcome to the first Boss 101 update of 2016.

Today we are diving into the dialog and storytelling in Boss 101. Specifically, we are going to look at how we deliver the story to you via cinematics and  in-game dialog panels. 

Back in the web version we had a pretty basic communication line to the player. There was a small dialog box at the top of the screen and that was about it. The beginning of the game round had chatter between you and the boss and there were after round talks back at home base. Well, in the new Boss 101 we expanded that quite a bit to allow more storytelling fun. 

In the Command Center we still have the basic dialog window where you receive communication from your friends, family and new associates. Whether or not the information is important is up to you...

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We have cinematics of course…

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and things like Kite Hill where you get insights and relax…

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Rounds start with a little back and forth...

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and making a boss always has some commentary…

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All this comes to you via the scripting system developed by our programmer Joshua. It’s really the heart of the interaction and a blast to use. Believe it or not we start all dialogs in Excel (not Word). The reason for this is twofold. 

The first reason is Excel allows us to clearly see spacing and formatting better than Word. We can set margins to be the exact size of the game dialog boxes and this makes my life (as the writer) a LOT easier. You might think it’s just about writing the dialog and letting the computer figure out all the spacing and carriage returns but a LOT of times that is not really what you want at all. Many sentences have to be adjusted so you don’t get one letter or short word on a second or third line. There aren’t many programs I know of that can handle that kind of dialog adjustment automatically. 

That’s right kids! All the dialog and conversations in Boss 101 are handled with manual love and care. Each line is crafted for maximum impact and hilarity – at least that's the intent. HAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!

Setup In Excel
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Two – we can take all the lines directly from Excel and do a cut and paste into the game scripts. Makes things MUCH easier than trying to deal with weird formatting issues we used to get with other programs. You see, there are tons of little codes inside the dialog scripts we can easily create inside Excel (and we color code them for easy identification). When we move things from Excel to the game it’s just a CTRL+C, CTRL+V and BLAMMO! All done! All the Excel specific stuff goes away and we are left with a clean, nicely formatted dialog script. 

Setup In Script Engine - from the above Excel example
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YOU SEE HOW WE ARE! 

Hope you enjoyed that look at the insides of the scripting engine and look for more inside peeks at the makings of the story and the game in coming weeks! 

Thank you for stopping by and remember to live your dreams!

-Tim


2015.12.31 Boss 101 Happy New Year & a screenshot!

2015-12-31 05:18:11 by DarkTimmy
Updated

The Boss 101 team wishes you a great New Year! It may be the end of 2015 but we're still putting in the time on your and our favorite game - BOSS 101! That's right people, we're bringing you our best.

Check out this layout sketch for Rob's Room. Everything in Boss 101 starts with an idea. 

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Remember to LIVE YOUR DREAMS!

-Tim