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 Post subject: Boss 101 [In Development] 2017.04.22 Submergible Bosses
PostPosted: Thu Mar 05, 2015 8:33 pm 


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***ALERT! Images in thread except for the latest post has been put inside spoiler tags for faster loading. Remember to uncheck them when you read!***


Hello and thanks for clicking on this link. I wanted to post here about a game our team has been working on called Boss 101. I know it might not be the most hard-core of games but there is one thing we put a lot of effort into - making the game fun to play and experience! Enough from me though - you be the judge!

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>>>DIRECT LINK to Boss 101 December 2016 Gameplay Video on YouTube<<<

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Links directly to our updates in THIS post:
2017.04.22 Update - Submergible Bosses
2017.04.15 Update - Train Boss & Updates!
2017.04.08 Update - Three Years of Progress
2017.04.01 Update - Super Bombs!
2017.03.25 Update - Polish and Fun pt2
2017.03.18 Update - Polish and Fun pt1
2017.03.17 Update - BERL Video Series - Part 9, The Hat Store
2017.03.15 Update - BERL Video Series - Part 8, The Make a Boss
2017.03.12 Update - BERL Video Series - Part 7, Map Room
2017.02.22 Update - BERL Video Series - Part 6, the Endless Boss Room
2017.02.18 Update - Boss 101 Progress update to ship!
2017.02.15 Update - BERL Video Series - Part 5, the Upgrade Area Part 2 - Gophers
2017.02.08 Update - BERL Video Series - Part 4, the Upgrade Area
2017.02.01 Update - BERL Video Series - Part 3, the Arcade Machine
2017.01.28 Update - BERL Video Series - Part 2, the Gun Store
2017.01.08 Update - BERL Video Series - the Command Center
2017.01.04 Update - BERL as your guide in Boss 101
2017.01.02 Update - Our 2016 Year in review
2016.12.21 Update - New Gameplay Trailer and Release Notes
2016.11.19 Update - Arcade Games, Options and Cleanup
2016.11.12 Update - UI Improvements across this year
2016.11.09 Update - Breakout Games & Art
2016.11.05 Update - Tank Battles and More!
2016.11.02 Update - Creating a Tutorial Character
2016.10.12 Update - Picnics with Unicorns
2016.09.17 Update - UI, Polish and Anims
2016.09.10 Update - Elevator Action and Little Pets
2016.09.06 Update - Equipment and Dialog Boxes
2016.08.21 Update - Cleaning up Rob's Room
2016.08.18 Update - Polishing the Stores
2016.08.09 Update - UI Work and Details
2016.07.31 Update - World Building the Main Rooms
2016.07.24 Update - Hats, Costumes and more!
2016.07.17 Update - Gopher Space Station
2016.07.14 Update - Levels and Fog
2016.07.12 Update - Making Bow Weapons
2016.07.10 Update - Debug Rooms and Bosses
2016.06.20 Update - Polishing a Boss Weapon
2016.06.20 Update - Polishing a Boss Weapon
2016.06.11 Update - Gopher Ambulance
2016.06.08 Update - Phones and IRX 2016
2016.06.02 Update - The Robo Council
2016.05.22 Update - Pet and Map Room Upgrades
2016.05.14 Update - Galactic Passports Available
2016.05.07 Update - Rob's travel plans
2016.04.30 Update - Rob has your back
2016.04.17 Update - Cute Animal Buddies
2016.04.11 Update - The Gravity Gun
2016.04.03 Update - Panels, Rogues and Polish
2016.03.28 Update - User Interface and World Design!
2016.03.21 Update - Dev Update and Release Info
2016.03.16 Update - Super Boss Battle Tunes
2016.03.01 Update - Scheduling the Magic
2016.02.28 Update - Making A Super Boss
2016.02.21 Update - IRX 2016 T-Shirt Design
2016.02.07 Update - Transporter Room Work
2016.01.31 Update - Making Art the Best Way
2016.01.27 Update - Boss 101's Robo Arm
2016.01.25 Update - Robo-Fighting Hotline Installed!
2016.01.10 Update - Map Room Improvements
2016.01.04 Update - Dialog Creation and Happy New Year
2015.12.29 Update - Boss 101 Year In Review
2015.12.22 Update - The Train Boss
2015.12.19 Update - Max's Chain Gun
2015.12.16 Update - How we Tune Boss 101
2015.12.13 Update - Gopher Machine, Kite Hill, Game Update Announcement
2015.12.10 Update - Gopher Buddies, Backgrounds
2015.12.06 Update - Fireworks in the Warp, Wiki and Weather
2015.11.27 Update - Setting up In-Game Stores, Warp Gates
2015.11.24 Update - Cinematic Transitions, Steam Store
2015.11.22 Update - Endless Boss Mode
2015.11.20 Update - The Arcade Machine, Making Cutscenes p2
2015.10.12 Update - World Building in Boss 101
2015.10.04 Update - Cleaning up the UI
2015.09.27 Update - Making Cutscenes p1
2015.09.02 Update - Character Dress Up, Indie Game Riot
2015.08.30 Update - Professor Gopher's Wiki, Boss Bar UI
2015.08.21 Update - Cinematics in Boss 101
2015.08.04 Update - Creating Achievments for Boss 101
2015.07.31 Update - Gameplay Tuning, Part 1
2015.07.25 Update - UI Improvements
2015.07.19 Update - The Command Center, How To Make a Game Series
2015.07.14 Update - Make A Boss Equip and setting up powers
2015.07.05 Update - Boss Weapons and Creating Levels
2015.06.08 Update - How we make our Pixel Art and camping
2015.05.21 Update - Fan Art and Make A Boss Equip
2015.04.29 Update - Story and Bosses, How they work
2015.04.13 Update - Making GameLoops
2015.04.03 Update - We got Greenlit
2015.03.25 Update - Animating the Bosses
2015.03.25 Update - The art behind the bosses
2015.03.23 Update - Boss Weapons and Hats
2015.03.19 Update - Boss 101 and Greenlight

Boss 101 - the story about boy, his jetpack and MILLIONS of randomly generated bosses.
Join Max and S.T.E.V.E. as they adventure across the galaxy battling the baddies and bringing home the ice cream. Boss 101 is an arcade shooter and much more! We have procedurally generated levels, bosses and gameplay. On top of that we're bringing you as much humor and entertainment as possible while you play.

So yep, it's a shooter at it's core and at the risk of using "marketing-speak" we like to think it's a little more than that since it's got a story driving it forward. That's right, we said it. It's not JUST blasting robo baddies and rolling onto the next level. There is real human drama here folks. For one, did you know this whole adventure is triggered when your brother makes a simple (for him) birthday request?

>>>>> IMAGES HIDDEN TO HELP PAGE LOAD FASTER - CLICK SPOILER TAG TO OPEN <<<<<

Spoiler: show
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Check out the screens below to get an idea!

Command Center Main Room

First off though - let's check out the work on the Command Center main room - YOUR main room in the game!

We've been adding ambient touches to the room. This is your first stop in the game and where you hang out with Max and Steve. This week we updated the window with animations and gave Max and Steve a gloss pass.

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Fist Cannon - YEAH BUDDY!


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Some screenshots which explain the kinds of bosses you will be fighting (and what you might fight them with)!

Bow in action


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Some Croco-spider Boss getting wasted!


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These were all made in the MAGICAL Make A Boss Creator that YOU CONTROL. The thing here is you are in charge not only of outfitting yourself but you get to roll YOUR OWN BOSS! That's right, each level and each boss is basically designed by you with the magical MAKE-A-BOSS generator (see image):
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From that machine you end up with this kind of stuff:

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Say you were to roll a COMPLETE set for the kitty boss he would look like this!

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And when you need some fashion help and stylish upgrades we have HATS!!

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Here's just ONE of the SWEET hats you can purchase and bring into battle! Calibretto from Battlechasers!

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Check out a FEW of the sweet boomsticks available to you during the game. You can upgrade fire power and craft special weapons with rare materials.

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Water Levels!!! YES!!!

STEVE and Max talk about some of the new features rolling into the game RIGHT NOW. Top of that list is WATER LEVELS! You heard it here first. You will take to the skies over a beautiful ocean and soar around kicking up jets of water as you blast your way into the robo-history books. Check out the the images and their animated take below.

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Crazy asteroids field action. You gotta be careful out there, the bosses ain’t playing around! Luke and the gang didn’t have it this hard running from the Empire.

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Take a break and fly a kite in Boss 101. Chat it up with your buddy as you soak in the rays. Maybe you’ll learn something.

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The Robo-Dragonfly bum-rush!


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You might end up in a warp tunnel blasting samurai swords!

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Development Notes: Boss Testing

As you know we have a lot of bosses and boss parts. To test things like animations, how well they match each other and general firing patterns we created a boss testing room where we can trigger all that stuff. In it we can mix and match parts as well as trigger various animations. Some examples:

We can randomly jumble parts together to check how various thing match. We can also select any part (like the head or the main weapon) and cycle through all the variations.

When it's in the game we start playtesting and seeing how it feels along with other boss combos, player weapons and basically everything we can think of. I have to say it's pretty fun to watch something come online the first time and just blast away at it. There's nothing like horribly imbalanced weapons to get the blood flowing!

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Boss 101 - Making the Dog Boss Bark

We start with a basic discussion about what a boss will act like, how he will behave. Things like movement, weapons and personality are discussed and planned out. Of course it all needs to work within the games framework of interlocking parts.

Let's look at the Dog Boss - here is a look at the first pass of the dog's main weapon planning diagram. We layout the way things work with some sketches and notes.

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From there it gets a working first pass... like so...

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Arm Weapon Setup in Boss 101

Then you have things like the arm weapons... the little one on the shark boss right here...

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Those notes became this!

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Pretty dope right?! That's the kind of fun we have all day!

Struggle Time!

So we added in the initial art for the struggle arrow. There are bosses who can hold you in place while you get pummeled. As much as we hate to see you lose control there is an argument to be made for giving the bosses a fair chance. You have STEVE after all and his wit can cut deeper than a sword. HAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!

At any rate - in this initial pass we are testing out the mechanic and they are pretty nice. You can off course - decrease the trapped time but wiggling your stick. Basically - don't get caught in the ice beams!

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A visit from Boss 101 himself!
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Ok folks, hope you enjoyed the look! Talk with you soon and remember...

LIVE YOUR DREAMS!!!

-Tim
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Last edited by Donley_Time on Sat Apr 22, 2017 11:08 pm, edited 150 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Boss 101 Game [In Development]
PostPosted: Thu Mar 05, 2015 9:46 pm 


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Saw this earlier, it certainly looks neat, but one concern I have is that judging by the animated gifs, the way the camera moves around with the player can be very disorienting and downright headache-inducing if the player's moving erratically. Plenty of shmups do shift the camera with the player, but not so much that it looks like the screen's having a seizure.
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 Post subject: Re: Boss 101 Game [In Development]
PostPosted: Thu Mar 05, 2015 9:57 pm 


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Shepardus wrote:
Saw this earlier, it certainly looks neat, but one concern I have is that judging by the animated gifs, the way the camera moves around with the player can be very disorienting and downright headache-inducing if the player's moving erratically. Plenty of shmups do shift the camera with the player, but not so much that it looks like the screen's having a seizure.

That's a great point and thanks for the reply. Camera work is one of the things (along with general gameplay flow) that we concentrating on once all the gameplay loops are setup. Currently the engineering focus is on making sure all the base gameplay loops are up and running.

You can bet we too want a smooth game experience with no vomit rides!

Best,

-Tim
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 Post subject: Re: Boss 101 Game [In Development]
PostPosted: Fri Mar 06, 2015 5:41 am 


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How much the game is actually designed around tanking the bullets? Judging by the gifs dodging some of those patterns seem downright impossible without biting the bullet several times. On the other hand the player has so much health it doesn't seem to matter much... Have you considered adding some defensive gameplay mechanics such as bombs or temporary shields that can cancel enemy fire when activated? Something like that could really help level out the playing field and balance out some of the more tougher patterns that are bound to happen when there are so many different boss combinations.

The struggle time thing sounds unnecessary. If you want to have more gimmicky effects there must certainly be better ways to accomplish that than simply stopping player completely on their tracks and take in the punishment. Besides you literally said you hate taking control away from the player so why to do it at all if you don't find it enjoyable yourself?

Also I second Sherpadus' remarks about the camera.

Good luck with the project!
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 Post subject: Re: Boss 101 Game [In Development]
PostPosted: Fri Mar 06, 2015 6:41 am 


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Ebbo wrote:
How much the game is actually designed around tanking the bullets? Judging by the gifs dodging some of those patterns seem downright impossible without biting the bullet several times. On the other hand the player has so much health it doesn't seem to matter much... Have you considered adding some defensive gameplay mechanics such as bombs or temporary shields that can cancel enemy fire when activated? Something like that could really help level out the playing field and balance out some of the more tougher patterns that are bound to happen when there are so many different boss combinations.
The struggle time thing sounds unnecessary. If you want to have more gimmicky effects there must certainly be better ways to accomplish that than simply stopping player completely on their tracks and take in the punishment. Besides you literally said you hate taking control away from the player so why to do it at all if you don't find it enjoyable yourself?

Also I second Sherpadus' remarks about the camera.

Good luck with the project!


Thanks for the look and the considerate response!

An overall thought about the tanking - most of the gameplay is/will revolve around being hit at least occasionally (hence the health bar) so in that sense there will be some tanking the hits. Also, some of the movies above are from test runs with a buff'd health score so the player is a little tougher than normal.

Shields and bombs! Yes! They are on the list and we have more weapons (not all are shown in the video). In other words - defensive weapons & gameplay mechanics are going in. It's a great idea though and it's nice to see you pull that from the shots above.

As for the struggle thing I will say this "No idea is off limits at first". That doesn't mean everything in the game is immutable and set in stone. The struggle just went in the system and though I personally hate being slowed, webbed, poisoned, grabbed or even stopped in any game I can't say those don't add something to the experience. Whether that is good or bad or fun comes down to game tuning. If you're saying (as I do) that "generally speaking" struggle can suck balls done poorly then yes I agree. Any punishment in the game (loss of life, hit points, cash, movement, etc) will ideally be telegraphed according to the degree of risk/loss.

Beyond that we are mos-def open to any and all feedback and ideas (gimmicky or not). I posted here since this is a group that knows its shiz and my hope is to genuinely improve the Boss 101 experience by being here with you. Will it ever be the perfect game of all time? Perhaps not. Will it be fun as hell? That is our goal! Will the opinions and feedback from this group help mold the game for the better for all players? I think so!

So yah, if you have games or things you have looked at and think - "yah, that is a pretty cool idea". or "Hey Tim, have you seen this - these guys seem to be doing what you are doing, only better!" HAHAHAH Send that too!

Thanks again and the game is coming along well. We're a small team but we do feel there is something really special brewing!

Best,

-Tim
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 Post subject: Re: Boss 101 Game [In Development]
PostPosted: Fri Mar 06, 2015 9:24 am 


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I'm sure I played a game on Kongregate that was pretty much like this, but less complex. Did you make that as a prototype?
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 Post subject: Re: Boss 101 Game [In Development]
PostPosted: Fri Mar 06, 2015 3:36 pm 


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Lord Satori wrote:
I'm sure I played a game on Kongregate that was pretty much like this, but less complex. Did you make that as a prototype?

Yes! That was the web version of the game I did over a year ago. I was working on that and a few other web games then switched over to PC/Console for the new Boss 101. HAHA! It's always nice to know when someone played an early version of the game.

Boss 101 Web Game - (the first version)

You're also right in that this new version is greatly expanded. More weapons and powerups for the player, more bosses, a game wide upgrade on graphics and gameplay overall.

Thank you for checking that out on Kongregate and for the comment!

-Tim
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 Post subject: Re: Boss 101 Game [In Development]
PostPosted: Fri Mar 06, 2015 5:11 pm 


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I understand that you are trying to go for the over-the-top style. But maybe you could slow down the bullet speed. Since the bullet patterns are randomly generated, it would definitely make the game feel more fair. Or maybe you could add a slider/mode-selection for the players to choose for themselves.

Aside from that, I think your game looks good for a little casual play after work, and I mean this in a positive way, not everything needs to be balls to the wall hard. Personally, I dig the art style. Good luck!
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 Post subject: Re: Boss 101 Game [In Development]
PostPosted: Fri Mar 06, 2015 6:04 pm 


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Teufel_in_Blau wrote:
I understand that you are trying to go for the over-the-top style. But maybe you could slow down the bullet speed. Since the bullet patterns are randomly generated, it would definitely make the game feel more fair. Or maybe you could add a slider/mode-selection for the players to choose for themselves.

Aside from that, I think your game looks good for a little casual play after work, and I mean this in a positive way, not everything needs to be balls to the wall hard. Personally, I dig the art style. Good luck!

Thanks for that. One thing I love about showing the game to others is getting honest first impressions. I'm sure you (and many others here) can relate to seeing something you love (game, movie, etc) for so long that you are just 'used' to the way it is. I think Boss 101 is a lot like that for me and the team. That's not a bad thing and certainly allows us to forge ahead. In the end though - we are making the game for a broad group of people who aren't exactly like us. This is one of the main reason I am posting here.

I think your comments about the bullet speed are well said. Like Ebbo and Lord Satori before you I really take this stuff to heart as valuable input. The general plan going forward is to finish up all the main Boss components and minions with their base firing AI patterns. From there we will be tuning and tweaking the specifics like bullet speed. I agree with you some of them might be too fast - thankfully the systems we have in place make is super easy to twizzle all the base values and get something fun that remains a challenge for people.

So thank you and expect more postings as we go forward. I am so glad you see the potential in the game as a fun pick up and play game (that is one of the goals).

Thanks again and I do appreciate the feedback!

-Tim
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Last edited by Donley_Time on Fri Mar 06, 2015 8:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Boss 101 Game [In Development]
PostPosted: Fri Mar 06, 2015 6:52 pm 


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Donley_Time wrote:
I'm sure you (and many others here) can relate to seeing something you love (game, movie, etc) for so long that you are just 'used' to the way it is. I think Boss 101 is a lot like that for me and the team. That's not a bod thing and certainly allows us to forge ahead. In the end though - we are making the game for a broad group of people who aren't exactly like us. This is one of the main reason I am posting here.


Yes, I can definitely relate to that. I can assure you and your team that your game looks beautiful in motion. It's one of the few western shmups that I'm actually interested in buying. I look forward to the release. Btw. I usually don't visit the dev forum too much tbh and I only found out about this game because our forum member Doctor Butler made a thread about your game in the shmups chat and Shepardus linked this thread in it: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=53195

You should keep an eye on it because not everybody reads the dev forum.

Quote:
I think your comments about the bullet speed are well said. Like Ebbo and Lord Satori before you I really take this stuff to heart as valuable input. The general plan going forward is to finish up all the main Boss components and minions with their base firing AI patterns. From there we will be tuning and tweaking the specifics like bullet speed. I agree with you some of them might be too fast - thankfully the systems we have in place make is super easy to twizzle all the base values and get something fun that remains a challenge for people.


That's great to hear. It's also good to know when the developers actually take the input from the consumers into consideration.

Again, good luck with Boss 101, I hope that the time you guys invest in it will earn you a good amount of money. Who knows, maybe you have a new Hotline Miami on your hands. :wink:
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 Post subject: Re: Boss 101 Game [In Development]
PostPosted: Sat Mar 07, 2015 1:43 am 


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Teufel_in_Blau wrote:
That's great to hear. It's also good to know when the developers actually take the input from the consumers into consideration.

Again, good luck with Boss 101, I hope that the time you guys invest in it will earn you a good amount of money. Who knows, maybe you have a new Hotline Miami on your hands. :wink:

Well, thank you very much and that last comment just made our day. Hotline Miami is a really fun game.

I posted over on the Boss 101 thread you mention and answered what I saw. Overall - really good stuff from the group and I was just talking about the feedback with Joshua (our engineer). We certainly think these were great responses and it opened our eyes to more than a few things.

Thanks again and more to come!

-Tim
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 Post subject: Re: Boss 101 Game [In Development]
PostPosted: Sat Mar 07, 2015 4:11 am 


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What kind of gameplay do you have in mind? Is it a survival run? A score attack?

What kind of scoring-mechanics do you have in mind - like chaining and multipliers?

Scoring systems are a must to give your game longer legs.
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 Post subject: Re: Boss 101 Game [In Development]
PostPosted: Sat Mar 07, 2015 4:54 am 


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Doctor Butler wrote:
What kind of gameplay do you have in mind? Is it a survival run? A score attack?

What kind of scoring-mechanics do you have in mind - like chaining and multipliers?

Scoring systems are a must to give your game longer legs.


That's a great question!

Here are a few of the things on the list. these are all scored or tracked in one form or another.
    - Base game with progression through 32 levels/rounds (this is basically the story mode)
    - We also have (for lack of a better word) escort type missions where you will be taking shadow ship along and have to keep it alive.
    - There is another type of mission we have called chase missions where you are literally following the boss as he warps from level to level. When he goes to warp you will have to "knock" him out of warp tunnel before you can resume the regular fight.
    - Endless Boss mode - this is you with one life seeing how far you can get against an endless array of bosses. The idea here is you keep going against random bosses until you die
    - Quest-type modes - these are modes that will reward players for things like (but not limited to) completing rounds using certain weapons, not dying, beating a round in under a certain time, high score per round, high scores per game, overall time per game, etc

Modes we are considering (and have the underlying tech for) these would also be scored or tracked in one form or another.
    - An object quest mode. The idea here is we scatter reward object (hats are sort of our reward-of-choice) in each game round. During the round you can perform a very specific action within the round (something like beat 20 minions in 20 second) and an object appears for you to grab. From there on out you need to stay alive for the rest of the round to keep the object.
    - Builder Mode for Bosses - so most of the time you roll randomly in the Make-a-Boss room but we have talked about allowing players to build EXACTLY the boss they want to fight. This mode would be outside the story mode and would essentially allow you to build ultra hard (or ultra easy) bosses out of specific boss parts to fight. Mostly it would be about bragging rights to your friends to say "Oh I built a Tyrannosaurs, Spida-Bear-aSquito and beat it with a PISTOL!"
    - One Hit Mode - you have one hit point and that's it. This could be a sub variation of the Endless boss or any of the other gameplay modes really.

There is a base tech in for scoring at the moment that rewards attacks based on the gun you use and the toughness of the boss. Though chains and multipliers haven't been fully discussed they aren't off the board by any means. It's kinda funny but when we first sat down the immediate goal was to get all the big things out of the way. This includes the basic game loop, main art assets and the main story and quest mode tech.

When I was speaking with Joshua (engineer) today about the feedback it was pretty heartening to see near all of the feedback was about stuff we are heading into right at this moment. In my humble opinion, things like scoring, cameras, game balance and other things are the kind of stuff you can really dig into only when you have a very good sense of all your weapons, characters levels. I'm not implying it can ONLY be done this way but for a small team working to get a game out it REALLY helps to work the way we do. The great benefit is hitting this point and realizing nine times out of ten that we are looking at tweaking numbers and minor code updates to make the game VASTLY better. Most all of the systems commented on are in or have a base level of tech already there.

There are a few more things but I hope that gives you an idea of some of the things we're going for.

Like I mentioned in this and the other thread we appreciate all the ideas! We're reading the forums. I can't guarantee that every concern every person has would be addressed. I can tell you we read and measure suggestions against the design docs for the game. In my game making experience it's YOU (you & the world) who we are looking to entertain so it pays to listen.

Thanks again and best,

-Tim
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 Post subject: Re: Boss 101 Game [In Development]
PostPosted: Sun Mar 15, 2015 2:41 am 


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I would recommend adding chaining,/multipliers/combos - something.

Simply getting rewarded for "shot down - x ships" would grow dull, and isn't really conductive to replay value.

Scoring mechanics make the gameplay more dynamic, and long-lasting. You mentioned a lot of RPG elements (unlocking weapons, customized ships, et al) thats good to keep people playing for a little while, but soon enough they'll discover optimal settings, and if your scoring isn't dynamic and skill-based, their experience with the game tops out - the game reaches a plateau - so they move on.

The best shmups have something in the way of a score mechanic, beyond just "kill x - get y"

A good basic mechanic is "Kill x - get y, kill x within a timeframe, get y.1" so on and so forth. You can get as crazy as you want, though, like in Akai Katana

Jesus Christ, Akai Katana
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 Post subject: Re: Boss 101 Game [In Development]
PostPosted: Sun Mar 15, 2015 6:40 am 


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Doctor Butler wrote:
I would recommend adding chaining,/multipliers/combos - something.

Simply getting rewarded for "shot down - x ships" would grow dull, and isn't really conductive to replay value.

Scoring mechanics make the gameplay more dynamic, and long-lasting. You mentioned a lot of RPG elements (unlocking weapons, customized ships, et al) thats good to keep people playing for a little while, but soon enough they'll discover optimal settings, and if your scoring isn't dynamic and skill-based, their experience with the game tops out - the game reaches a plateau - so they move on.

The best shmups have something in the way of a score mechanic, beyond just "kill x - get y"

A good basic mechanic is "Kill x - get y, kill x within a timeframe, get y.1" so on and so forth. You can get as crazy as you want, though, like in Akai Katana

Jesus Christ, Akai Katana


Good stuff man and great suggestions. Agree about making sure the replay value is there. Saw that game Akai Katana - holy crizzles. Looks out of control! Your ideas are dead on about the way to make the game interesting for the player to come back and feel there is something to achieve/improve upon. As I said before - any thoughts are more than welcome and we've already been discussing things like chains, multipliers and the like.

Thanks again for taking a moment and we'll keep you posted on the updates. We are finishing up out Steam Greenlight video and getting ready to post it up. From there on out it will be tons of tuning and polish till ship. (ETA on ship is early to mid summer this year)

Best,

-Tim
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 Post subject: Re: Boss 101 Game [In Development]
PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2015 6:56 pm 


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Great! Eager to hear what you come up with. And I check this forum a lot, so don't hesitate if you want to consult me : >
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 Post subject: Re: Boss 101 Game [In Development]
PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2015 7:29 pm 


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Doctor Butler wrote:
Great! Eager to hear what you come up with. And I check this forum a lot, so don't hesitate if you want to consult me : >


Will do! Awesome that is really great to hear and thanks so much!

-Tim
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 Post subject: Re: Boss 101 Game [In Development] - Now on Steam Greenlight
PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2015 7:33 pm 


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OK folks – it’s been an awesome ride and we are now up on Steam for looking your kind support! Head on over to the page and see what YOU think. We worked to make it as informative as possible and give you and others the info you want! (YouTube trailer below)



>>>>> IMAGES HIDDEN TO HELP PAGE LOAD FASTER - CLICK SPOILER TAG TO OPEN <<<<<

Spoiler: show
Image


Image


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As many of you know this is one of the dev moments where you release your game into the wild knowing you did you level best to give it the best chance possible. Boss 101 represents a lot of blood and sweat. It also represents a LOT of great times, laughs and a fun development cycle. We're still powering away but the end is in site.

Don't take our word though! Check out the video and see for yourself! We would like to earn your interest fair and square!

Thank you and remember to live YOUR dreams too!

-Tim
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 Post subject: Re: Boss 101 Game [In Development] - Now on Steam Greenlight
PostPosted: Fri Mar 20, 2015 11:57 am 


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Voted !

Love the art, and the greenlight page is very nice!
However, I found the trailer to be a little dull, and I think, because of the music, which is quite mysterious and subtle, even when the pictures is dynamic and strong.
I was wondering how the same trailer, with added game sound effects on top of the music, could sounds like.

Anyway, good work, and I'm sure you're going to be greenlighted quite quickly!
S
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 Post subject: Re: Boss 101 Game [In Development] - Now on Steam Greenlight
PostPosted: Mon Mar 23, 2015 5:46 am 


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suny wrote:
Voted !

Love the art, and the greenlight page is very nice!
S


Thank you so much!

So happy you decided to go with a "Yes" vote. Interesting thoughts on the trailer and we did look at different music and such. In the end we are happy with the results but can't debate that the whole thing would seem radically different with a bunch of different music and different sound effect.

We also are going to be doing regular dev blog updates on Steam (and we'll keep you updated here too!).

Again - thank you SO much! It's really appreciated!

-Tim
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 Post subject: Re: Boss 101 Game [In Development] - Now on Steam Greenlight
PostPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2015 4:08 am 


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Devblog Update!

Progress has been GREAT in the last few weeks. A lot of bosses are getting a pass with their weapons. Final tunes are still to come though - we're talking first pass on the initial weapon implementation.

>>>>> IMAGES HIDDEN TO HELP PAGE LOAD FASTER - CLICK SPOILER TAG TO OPEN <<<<<

Spoiler: show
Bosses tossing up rock pillars

One of our bigger boss weapons can toss up crazy rock pillars to block your progress. Why does he do this? We think it has something to do with a lack of hugs. Regardless - if you have the right weapon you can make short work of these obstructions - see...

Image


Boss 101 Melee Weapons?

Though rarely spoken about we have some nifty melee weapons in Boss 101 - each one is upgradable as well! Here is a shot of the smoking wrench doing some serious damage to nearby minions.

Image


Ok - maybe that range is a LITTLE long... HAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!

Gas Bombs and Ugly Bugs

Up next is a special weapon for one of the insect bosses. SO this guy here spawns some nasty little bugs that can poison you unless you have some protection.

We start with something like this - temp art that is in the game - a grey bug! We make some notes and show examples of what we are aiming for... like so...

Image


Then we get this. A nice animated gross robo bug!

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Then it's a short trip to the game once the sprite gets it's base pass in Spine (our animation program) and some VFX to get it going!

Image


Image


Check out this guy - this particular main weapon gives any boss FIRE BREATH!

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Hats for ShUMPS!

There's still a ton of work to do but I wanted to mention TWO LITTLE THINGS especially for you here in the forum.

Image


Image


We have added two new hats to the Boss 101 lineup in honor of this site. Their EXACT abilities are still being tuned but the current plan is they will make your character (well, S.T.E.V.E. and Max) into more or less traditional ShUMPS type player vehicle. Among the things we are thinking is both these hats will turn off the life bar and possibly a few other things (might even include modification of player movement and shots).

Thanks for reading and your support! We do listen and Our list of to-do's is getting tackled. We'll keep you updated!

-Tim


Image
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 Post subject: Re: Boss 101 Game [In Development] - Now on Steam Greenlight
PostPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2015 5:58 am 


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I think you've nailed it, the one thing shmups have been missing all these years is hats!

Based on the gif I think the wrench's range actually looks okay, except for the fact that it doesn't seem to match the wrench's sprite which looks weird. Be careful on making its range too small, as melee weapons in shmups do tend to be a source of frustration if their range is really small.
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 Post subject: Re: Boss 101 Game [In Development] - Now on Steam Greenlight
PostPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2015 6:18 am 


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Shepardus wrote:
I think you've nailed it, the one thing shmups have been missing all these years is hats!

Based on the gif I think the wrench's range actually looks okay, except for the fact that it doesn't seem to match the wrench's sprite which looks weird. Be careful on making its range too small, as melee weapons in shmups do tend to be a source of frustration if their range is really small.


HATS! Everyone loves hats!

Yeah - thanks for the comment about the wrench. We're tuning weapons but that is as it stands right now. Really the deal is what feels right when you play versus what it looks like in a .gif! haha! So yeah - it will definitely stay at a 'good damage range' so you feel like the weapon is even worth carrying. Wait till you see the level 3 melee! That thing tears it up!

Glad you liked what you saw and thanks for the comment!

-Tim
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 Post subject: Re: Boss 101 Game [In Development] - Now on Steam Greenlight
PostPosted: Thu Mar 26, 2015 3:46 am 


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Thank you!

Thanks for stopping by and checking out our devblog! We're busy making magic in the Boss 101 universe so let's get on with it!

>>>>> IMAGES HIDDEN TO HELP PAGE LOAD FASTER - CLICK SPOILER TAG TO OPEN <<<<<

Spoiler: show
Greenlight continues!

If you haven’t already – we’d love you to check out our Steam Greenlight page. If you like what you are seeing we would LOVE your yes vote!

Image


Image





Making a Boss (art-wise)

In Boss 101 you can roll bosses sure but let’s talk about HOW they get in the game Boss 101. A couple notes – we use GameMaker Studio (from YoYo games) and Spine (from Esoteric Software). Spine works with Unity and a few other engines I believe, so this applies even if you are not using GameMaker.

Basic Setup: Organization – we organize the bosses into separate files. The layout of the files is exactly the same so when they load into the game they all can be interlocked with each other cleanly. Let me assure you organization is a giant step in ANY process - so sort your shiz out FIRST then start working. Don’t be afraid to constantly ask yourself “Is this the best way?” either!

Step 1: Layout and create all the parts to the Boss. We go back and forth here. We start with the fact the boss has five major systems (head, turret, engine, main body and main weapon). We start with the theme of the boss (we have several general themes like Animals, dinosaurs, samurai-esque, etc)

Image


Step 2: Make any notes relevant to the boss as we draw the parts. In the case of the kitty boss we already had a reference to work off. We wanted to upgrade the look so we pointed out some ideas and design decisions to follow when doing the art.

Image


Step 3: Black and White version! Generally speaking for MOST of the art we do a black and white version THEN we color it. Seriously folks – it makes your life a lot easier to concentrate on contrast and silhouettes FIRST then color it in as you like. If you are John Singer Sargent you can disregard this advice.

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Step 4: Color it up. We work on Photoshop generally but you can achieve the basic coloring we do in nearly anything you choose. The advantage of doing black and white is we can color block in areas quickly in a SEPARATE LAYER over the black and white art, apply a layer effect (like “Color”) and then experiment with colors and shading until things work. You see how we are!?! Efficiency folks – that’s how to do it!

Image


Step 5: Bring all the pieces into Spine. We load each section (head, body, weapons, etc) into Spine as an individual skeleton and then arrange them in space accordingly. From there we add firing, prefiring and idle animations.

Image


A Note on Spine – if you are serious about getting animation done I would recommend Spine. The low cost version of it would be perfectly suitable for most all indie needs and the TIME saving would be tremendous. Doing all this by code or hand would have tanked Boss 101 at the starting line.

Step 6 KITTY BOSS! (example animated gif)

Image


Those are the basics and next time we can delve into animations practices or perhaps something you are curious about!  We'll check here for feedback and question!

All the best and live your dreams,

-Tim
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 Post subject: Re: Boss 101 Game [In Development] - Now on Steam Greenlight
PostPosted: Sun Mar 29, 2015 5:00 am 


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Where is the hitbox located on the player-character?
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 Post subject: Re: Boss 101 Game [In Development] - Now on Steam Greenlight
PostPosted: Sun Mar 29, 2015 5:32 am 


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Doctor Butler wrote:
Where is the hitbox located on the player-character?


Good question - it's the center of the player character's chest. It does not include the player's weapons or extra things like the hats he would be putting on. Basically, we aren't looking to penalize the character for wearing particular hats and ideally give a consistent experience when playing.

-Tim
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 Post subject: Re: Boss 101 Game [In Development] - Now on Steam Greenlight
PostPosted: Tue Mar 31, 2015 6:27 am 


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Image


How are you doing this week!?! Well, we hope!

Boss Animation and animation in general

OK – so let’s talk about animations in games. First you will have to understand a few points we strive for when we do animation. They may or MAY NOT apply to your animation needs so check these out and see what you think.

Guidelines for basic cycle animations:
- The first and last frames should be the same!
- values for things like movement, rotation and scaling should, for the most part, ALWAYS move in a Sine wave.
- Slow and even animation generally works better then quick stuff over time when doing cycles. There are exceptions but when you do a cycle you probably are doing to add flavor. Like any flavor too much of something can be overpowering! HAHAH! Like that comparison?! You’re a cook!

Let’s Jump straight to the final image of the moving tail with a little pipe thingie opening and closing to give you an idea of where we are heading. Notice the segments all move one after the other. We’re just doing an idle here so the thing isn’t flailing all over the place like a flag in a hurricane.

>>>>> IMAGES HIDDEN TO HELP PAGE LOAD FASTER - CLICK SPOILER TAG TO OPEN <<<<<

Spoiler: show
Image


Ok Here we are – first setup image. We can see the basic setup for the boss body and his tail. We are using the program Spine (http://esotericsoftware.com/) but this is applicable for any animation you are doing in any program. The thing we are going for a is a smooth up and down motion for the dino tail. Remembering this is just one part of a LOT of moving parts we can get going with basics of the animation.  

Image


This next image will give you a quick sense of what we are shooting for when we do animations. SINE WAVES people! Basically you want to move/rotate/scale your values UP and then DOWN (or vice versa) and bring them back to start. For this guy we are doing something like:
Frame 0, value of Y = 0
Frame 16, value of Y = -1
Frame 43, value of Y = 1
Frame 67, value of Y = 0

Image


You see the magic there?! That is straight animation and it looks good too. Please understand the SPIRIT of what I am getting at here and not the literal values you are looking at. It’s time for the use of your IMAGINATION. Let’s IMAGINE you are an indie game developer and you have hundreds of things to animate. Well, are you going to sit down and mo-cap out a bunch of dinosaurs? Probably not. What you want is some magical way you can layout a bunch of animations to look good and pro. Again, generally speaking think of most creatures and even mechanical things in life. They move in sine waves – back and forth and reset.

For a lot of the basic animation you will likely be doing this will be some SWEET looking stuff. The things you will want to vary when you get down to individual pieces, creatures and the like will be the spacing between frames and the values of those peaks and valleys of the sine wave.

About the way I am using the term Sine Wave – this is just my shorthand for a series of animation values (rotation, scale or position) that change up and down (or down and up) over time.

Then we move to this final bit. Since there are three tail section and we want a whip like motion. All we need to is offset the animation in the rows by a few frames. We did the same kind of animation in each row and then shifted that animation over to the right for each subsequent section.

Image


OK- that is a lot to digest so that's all for now. Thanks for reading and your support. We do listen and read all your mail and comments.

Remember to always – LIVE YOUR DREAMS!

-Tim
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Last edited by Donley_Time on Mon Dec 28, 2015 11:04 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Boss 101 Game Update! 2015.04.02 We're Greenlit
PostPosted: Fri Apr 03, 2015 6:31 am 


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Boss 101 is Greenlit!

First of all THANK YOU! Without your kind support this would not have happened. Thank you, thank you!

More news to come but we wanted to share the excitement with you.

Spoiler: show
Image


Remember to always - live your dreams!

-Tim
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 Post subject: Re: Boss 101 Game [In Development] - We're Greenlit on Steam
PostPosted: Fri Apr 03, 2015 8:40 am 


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Congratulations! Now get back to work and make sure the game's great for its release! :P
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 Post subject: Re: Boss 101 Game [In Development] - Now on Steam Greenlight
PostPosted: Fri Apr 03, 2015 4:03 pm 


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Donley_Time wrote:
Doctor Butler wrote:
Where is the hitbox located on the player-character?


Good question - it's the center of the player character's chest. It does not include the player's weapons or extra things like the hats he would be putting on. Basically, we aren't looking to penalize the character for wearing particular hats and ideally give a consistent experience when playing.

-Tim



That's good to know. Is there any visual indication of the hitbox? Like a pendant around his neck, or even just a circular-overlay?
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