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Might need to tune this one a little, ten thousand shots might be too many. haha! Don't fret - it's just temporary but it does make for a nutty game session.
Torpedo bullet barrier during some early tuning
Welcome to the weekly Boss 101 Update!
Max’s (and your) Chain Gun in Boss 101
Max’s Chain Gun aka your MAIN GUN. This is the gun you use throughout the game and always have with you. Of course you have an alternate gun you can equip but the chain gun stays. It’s your go-to item for battling bosses.
Well, since we are making it the main gun we wanted to make it worthwhile to use and not go out of style. You might be asking yourself, “Self, how did they accomplish that?” Good question!
We give you the ability to upgrade the gun as you acquire bounty money. The gun starts out as a rusty old beater but you can get it into “whoop-ass” territory soon enough. Heck, pair it with the correct hat to boost its power and you will be rocking the bosses to the floor in no time.
When we started development we didn’t originally have this many levels of chain gun upgrades. As we played and progressed over the year we looked at the player guns and specifically this one. Since it was used so much we felt it needed to have some oomph and after checking out the bosses, intended gameplay and progression we came up with the current upgrades. Make no mistake the main question we ask of anything put in the game is “Is this fun?”
If I had to break down the thought process in the game features I would say this:
“What is this trying to do?”
“Is it fun?”
“Does it succeed at the above?” (this question is asked from the perspective of a fan who has paid for Boss 101)
The more reasons and yes answers for the above the better. We love the idea of cool for cool’s sake but at the same time we think it is even more awesome if something can be cool AND make some sort of sense in the game world and to the player.
We CANNOT wait till you are holding a controller and player Boss 101 yourself.
Check out some shots of the chain gun in action:
Your starting gun (there is a joke in there somewhere)
Chain Gun Level 3
Chain Gun Level 6
Chain Gun Level 9
Will you wield the golden Level 10 gun?!!?!? Reach for the sky and achieve it I say!
Remember folks – live your dreams, no one else will!
Boss101 - the gophers and their marvelous flying machines. Catch 'em all when they fly around the levels.
They're living their dreams and so should you!
Welcome to the weekly Boss 101 update
We’re getting in to the final stretch of 2015 and wow, the year has FLOWN by. It seems not long ago we started the weekly updates with the intent to keep you informed of our progress and communicate what Boss 101 was about.
HOLY CRAP TIME FLIES!
Heading into 2016
I guess we have already spoken about the 2016 plans but it bears refreshing. Boss 101 is currently heading towards a mid 2016 ship date. That is the result of the amount of polish and storytelling we want to do. The game COULD be done a lot sooner if we were willing to cut features and development time but ultimately we don’t feel it’s the correct thing to do. We think you deserve our VERY BEST EFFORT so we are giving you that!
A lot of the upcoming weeks are about tuning and polishing the underlying systems for guns, hats and boss weapons. As you might imagine these systems are connected so we are taking the time to refresh and reevaluate how things work. The last week has been breaking down the way the boss weapons are working with the hat system. A lot of this is ‘rock, scissors, paper’ balancing and sometimes that can go pretty easily if you have a solid foundation. We had long ago put a system in place which allows us to drop in and test values for weapons and abilities.
Boss Tuning Work
Boss 101 is about bosses being made by you from a collection of boss parts. This leads to a lot of situations where you are mostly likely facing something completely new and unseen. Since that was probably the norm rather than the exception we are making sure you have options when you fight. One path is to pick your favorite gun and just start blasting, hoping your skill will carry you through. Another is to analyze the boss you are about to fight and make some deductions on HIS weakness versus YOUR strengths. You can play it as you want and both ways have benefits. For me, I do a bit of both. I have some favorite guns I tend to use a lot but sometimes I want to really out the hurt on a boss so I ring a hat or gun that will directly counter something he has. It’s a pretty fun system we hope you will enjoy too. Some images!!
Some Boss Status Effect Icons you might see
Remember to keep living your dreams folks – no one else will do it for you!
Did you know you once you help out the gophers and bring them back to your base you get a FREE gopher hat to commemorate your awesomeness. Does the hat give you powers? You have to find out, so get on it!
Remember to keep living your dreams folks - no one else will do it for you!
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!
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!
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!
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!