DarkTimmy's News


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

 



Hello and welcome to the end of the year Boss 101 update. 

2015 was a banner year and 2016 is the planned released of Boss 101 to YOU. We wanted to take this opportunity to review the last year. So let's look at some of the progress we have seen (and this is only a small glimpse)

The Main Game

The Player Hat Store. The underlying functionality hasn't changed but we upgraded the cosmetics and flow of the room to make it easier not only buy hats but see what you are wearing.

Version 3 – Adding in the Equipped panel for player readability
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Professor Gopher Wiki
We also put in the Gopher Wiki so you can reference all the cool goodies in the game and get backstory on items and people. 

Current version
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More Gameplay Modes for you the player

We implemented to hat upgrade systems and the ability to have hats change your base bullets!


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Command Center Layout

Here is the main room you launch all your adventures from. 

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Upgraded the look and feel of the arcade machine

In an effort to make the player's main room feel cooler and give you things to do between rounds we looked at improvements to the Command Center. The arcade machine is one of those items we love and want the player use and enjoy. You can win goodies to use in game so why not make it cool too look at?

Old version - not too shabby!
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New Arcade Screen - more space and info for the player


Current pass of the arcade interface in game
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Endless Boss Gameplay Mode

In what might be one of the biggest gameplay upgrades we implemented the Endless Boss Gameplay mode. In this you can grab your best gun and hat and hammer bosses to your heart's delight. We like to think of it as pure arcade action. We are planning leaderboards and tracking so you can compare your best against your friends and the rest of the world. 

First pass of art and code
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Endless Boss Win Screen (between rounds)

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Yes, you can fly around the Clicks ship during the break between bosses
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Base Gameplay

Of course we are always working on the core game mechanics to keep the game a fun styled action adventure with cool mechanics.

Battle the bosses
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Escort the baby robos level
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Watch out for that water cannon!
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A distant world

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Some Special Notes

We got our steam store setup this year! YES!
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We were featured in Indie Games Mag
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We won the IRX Most Revolutionary Game award
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Storytelling at the heart of Boss 101

It's fitting we end on what might be the most important aspect of Boss 101 and that is the story and storytelling happening in the game. We think the game is at it's best when bringing you along on the adventure of Max and STEVE. Their story is your story and journey. We have taken a lot of pains to make sure we deliver you an interesting and fun experience and that means making you part of the magic. You make choices with the guys about how things will progress and along the way you get to see Max, STEVE, ROB and their buddies learn and grow. Things aren't always as they seem - just take a look at some of the in-game screens below to see the setups the guys can get in.

Boss 101 hacks the player base!
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Picnic Time
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Conference in the generator tube
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Boss 101 playing board games
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Thank you for checking in on us and keep coming back. We're getting there and your support is appreciated! 

Happy New Year to you and all the best!

-Tim

 



Happy Holidays from our family to yours! Wishing you the best in the coming year and beyond. 

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Remember to live your dreams! 

-Tim



Fighting robo-pirate ships. Just another day in the life playing Boss 101. 

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