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 Post subject: Re: Boss 101 [In Development] - 2015.12.29 Year In Review
PostPosted: Wed Dec 30, 2015 9:21 pm 


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Location: Donley Time Foundation
TerraCottaFrog wrote:
The game looks great, but from now on could you please put your images in spoilers?

When I'm reading posts in this thread it keeps moving around as more of the massive images are loaded.

Thanks.


Thank for checking it out. I just did a pass a few days and put the vast majority of the entire post in the "spoilers" tag. The only things that are not currently inside are a few images (less than five) and the most current post.

I checked it a few times under different conditions and it loaded nearly instantly so you should be good.

Appreciate the look and comment!

-Tim
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 Post subject: Re: Boss 101 [In Development] 2016.01.04 Dialog & Thread Cle
PostPosted: Mon Jan 04, 2016 6:25 am 


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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!***


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...

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

Spoiler: show
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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
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 Post subject: Re: Boss 101 [In Development] 2016.01.10 Map Room Improvemen
PostPosted: Mon Jan 11, 2016 5:44 am 


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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.

***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!***


Spoiler: show
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
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 Post subject: Re: Boss 101 [In Development] 2016.01.25 Robo-Fighting Hotli
PostPosted: Mon Jan 25, 2016 6:23 am 


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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!***


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:

Spoiler: show
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
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 Post subject: Re: Boss 101 [In Development] 2016.01.27 Boss 101's Robo Arm
PostPosted: Thu Jan 28, 2016 2:44 am 


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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!***


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!

Spoiler: show
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
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 Post subject: Re: Boss 101 [In Development] 2016.01.31 Making Art the Best
PostPosted: Mon Feb 01, 2016 5:58 am 


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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!***


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:

Spoiler: show
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
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 Post subject: Re: Boss 101 [In Development] 2016.02.07 Transporter Room Wo
PostPosted: Sun Feb 07, 2016 8:58 am 


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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!***


Welcome back to the Boss 101 Weekly update! Here’s to you have an incredible day and let’s get rolling with the news.

Transporter Room


Last week we spoke about making art the smart way (at least as we saw it) this week we are showing you the results of that thinking. We have here the Transporter Room used to beam the guys across the galaxy to adventure. You see, ROB and the Professor have found a way to tap into the Boss network and override their controls. What this means for you is a way to travel about the universe relatively undetected. I say relatively since you will have to fight what’s on the other end of any gate. Once you have won a battle though the gate is yours and you can use it to your heart’s content.

So we have this little room all setup. Animations running and idles in place. How did we get here? Check it out:

Spoiler: show
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After the art is done we move into Spine for animation and layout. This Spine object is directly imported into GameMaker:

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From there we write our script. Something to remember here is every script starts in a spreadsheet program. This is for easy formatting. We can just cut and paste from the spreadsheet into the game scripts. Like so:

Spread sheet writeup
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Cut and Paste into game Script
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Then we setup the Cinematic to load the correct objects and pick the correct script. Easy PEASY!

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From there we have all the ingredients to create a cinematic. It’s a matter of game triggering from that point on. It’s a great system in my opinion in that there is no programming required to do any of the above. Joshua (our programmer) setup a really nice way for us to drop in cinematics as painlessly as possible.

You might be asking yourself what does this all have to do with making Boss 101 awesome and I will tell you. The easier it is to setup and debug the better YOUR product. With the system in place we can get to the final gaming experience much quicker and in doing so we can make sure things work correctly. In Boss 101 there are well over 300 various cinematics and mini cinematics. It’s important we can get in and see them working as intended quickly.

Check out a sample of the final product here:

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Screenshot - Rob's room completed - now with all ambient animations and misc art. Finished up the latest art pass and everything is in game and working.

Check that place out! TV Screens, monitors and all electronics are GO!

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So there you go – just some of the daily love we put into the making of Boss 101. Join us next update for more inside info and remember to always…

LIVE YOUR DREAMS!

-Tim
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Last edited by Donley_Time on Mon Feb 22, 2016 12:59 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Boss 101 [In Development] 2016.02.21 IRX 2016 T-Shirt De
PostPosted: Mon Feb 22, 2016 12:58 am 


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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!***


YES!!! Welcome again to the Boss 101 weekly update!

We’re back with knowledge to share in the hopes YOU will make a game and drop your magic on us! Let’s do it!

Indie Game Riot T-Shirt for IRX 2016

Last year Boss 101 was nominated and won the IRX 2015 “Most Revolutionary Game” award. That was a tremendous moment for myself and the team. I feel during development it is easy to get buried under the work and forget what the game is REALLY about. The game is really about YOUR (the player’s) experience. How you see and play, what you like and take away from it. With that award it we had made a move along the path of making a game people wanted to play for all the right reasons.

Spoiler: show
We were asked by Josh (running the IndieGameRiot.com site) to design a Boss 101 variation shirt for IRX 2016. The only request was to use the styling of the Boss 101 main logo. OK – here’s how it went down.

First we looked at our main logo. There were obvious tweaks to make right off. We removed the player icons from the bottom though I did ask Josh if he wanted a variation of them. The basic gist was to use the main logo and not worry about the portraits.

Main Logo
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I looked at what we had and noted up a version for Manon to greyscale out. The idea here was the IRX jetpack was a slight variant of our logo. Since ours is a super jetpack we envisioned this one to be a decked out make. Sorta like a hot rod. Taking the greyscale art I noted up some ideas. It’s important to see here we are working in greyscale at first (it will be colored later). I also removed all the unneeded art since we are only concerned with the jetpack.

Original Greyscale design
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Notes
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From there Manon art’d up a new version and it looked SUPER spiffy. The great thing about doing art like this is grey is all about shape and form. You get a MUCH better sense of your designs without color. Not saying you should always work in grey but if you find yourself struggling to come up with something it can be a huge help. All of our main bosses are and many of the big set pieces started out in greyscale just to make it easier. Adding color is basically like painting a model. With programs like Photoshop you can just test colors till you get a great combo.

New Jetpack Logo in Grey
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OK, now it was my turn. I did a color pass to create the final look. Working off the art she did was a breeze and in Photoshop I was pretty well adding in “multiply” and “color dodge” layer effects for things like highlights and general coloring. I referenced the first logo to keep the color themes close to each other.

Colored new Pack
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So all that was left was to take the jetpack and add the new typography. Pretty straightforward move and here it is in all its glory. CHECK THIS OUT!!!

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In fact you can already purchase one of these bad boys in the Indie Game Riot Store for a MERE $14.99 – a bargain at twice the price!
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What Games Do To Us

I re-watched the 2008 film Speed Racer and for all its over the top action and cheese, one thing stood out. You could tell the people making that movie LOVED it. They put every dime up on that screen. Good or bad I have to respect someone who lives their dreams and really goes for it. Maybe you have a book, film, friend or family member who has dropped some amazing knowledge on you when you needed it. Well, Racer X dropped SERIOUS knowledge last night. I’ll paraphrase the man himself:

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I believe that’s really what it’s about. What the game does for you is what matters. How it rewards or inspires you; maybe it motivates you in some fashion. Point is, games might seem to stay the same but what we let them do to US is what matters.

Remember to LIVE YOUR DREAMS FOLKS – no one else will!

-Tim  
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 Post subject: Re: Boss 101 [In Development] 2016.02.28 Making A Super Boss
PostPosted: Sun Feb 28, 2016 10:19 am 


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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!***


Welcome back to this week’s Boss 101 Update! Thank you for joining us!

Making a Super Boss in the Boss Maker


We have a few very special bosses you encounter during the game and for that we needed a way to call them out individually. One of the first ones of this is Jolly Rog3r, the pirate boss ship. Normally you come into the Make A Boss room and roll your boss. He gets locked in and voilà! You have a boss created for that level. For the rare case where the boss creation is a little more controlled we needed something to focus the player’s attention on the new threat and also give him the needed info to plan the correct attack.

Spoiler: show
The Steps!

So we have the normal Make A Boss, you roll and you get a boss. From there you can see what the bosses strengths and weaknesses are as well as equip your guns and hats to best battle him. Like this…

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For the special ones we looked at the space we had available…

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And mocked up an art piece with the needed boss image. This served as a first pass for the special boss panel. Note the simple font used for the name as a placeholder.

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We took that image and did some work to polish it up and make it more “Boss 101”-ish. The font was changed and the image itself was made to look like a TV screen projection.

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We noticed something was missing though and that was space for the Bosses main ability icons. For the bosses we wanted something that stood out so we looked at adding a small panel just for them. You can see it on the bottom left.

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The deal was the panel should not be block the equip panel when the player is selecting a hat and gun to fight. We want the player to see both his and the boss abilities at the same time. Like so…

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Se we noted up a sheet to add the panel and are working on that now…

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In the meanwhile we went back to the main panel and added in animations and various ambients to make it look super swift. Check out the final with animation (minus the in-progress ability panel)

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CRAZY! Looks pretty neat and the final effect with the blinking lights helps sell the uniqueness of the whole thing.

Well, that is it for this week and we hope you enjoyed a look at more of the behind the scenes process we are employing on Boss 101. Please keep those letters coming. We appreciate the feedback and the comments at the main site and via e-mail. We respond as quickly as we can!

Remember to live your dreams, no one else will!

-Tim
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 Post subject: Re: Boss 101 [In Development] 2016.03.01 Scheduling the Magi
PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2016 9:35 pm 


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Image

Scheduling makes your job a lot easier

Spoiler: show
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You might not know this or you might not like to think about it but making a schedule for your project makes things a lot easier. I know we have spoken before about some of our techniques on Boss 101 but I wanted to touch base on something VERY basic that might save you a ton of time AND make your game a lot better.

What is a schedule?


I think of them as a two part item. The first is a comprehensive list of what you know is currently planned. This is all the levels, enemies, controls, UI screens, etc. You are making a big fat to-do list of everything you can think of. This is helpful for a few reasons. The main one is the process itself will get you thinking about the game in a much broader sense and help get you out of the localized thinking you might be doing. An example, maybe you want to create a plaformer or perhaps and FPS. You even have a cool hook for the gameplay. OK great. Well, when you sit down to make the game you will at one point confront things like “Will I be having checkpoints or save games? Will I have a pause feature in rounds?”. That list goes on and one. While it is all fun and game to just barrel ahead like you are working on a weekend game jam it is also helpful to think about your game as a game. You know, with all the features people tend to expect. Mostly these are the UI touches (which are normally pretty boring for developers to think about, let alone implement).

The next part of the schedule is the planning part. This is where you decide the best order of creation. Again, the most important part here is to run this though experiment with a sense of the game as you understand it. Think about some parts which logically flow together and perhaps make sense to be created in order. For instance, maybe you make the main game interface before you make the pause screens. Then you can use the ideas, colors and patterns you created there to give you a head start. The idea with scheduling is to put things in the best order to avoid wasting time.

You will not be perfect, you will forget things, you will also make mistakes and probably have more than a few moments where you wish you had a time machine. That’s OK. That happens, just correct and move on.  

Scheduling Programs

Notepad, Word, Excel, anything you can take notes in really – this is for the people who mistrust or don’t really care about all the crazy scheduling software out there. You can pretty much do anything you want as long as you have a place to write it down and check on it. That what they did for thousands of years before computers.

Scheduling software – If you have read previous columns you know I am partial to Hansoft (http://hansoft.com/). The full version is free to teams under nine people and for most people making indie games that is likely bigger than your whole team.

Some things I do in Hansoft

Setup weekly goals:

Here is a small example of how we break down the weekly progress. You can see a current To-Do list as well as a the list of prior Sprints (just another word for work we did during a particular week)

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If you click on any one of the tasks you get more detailed info about it as well as any notes to help while you are working.

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The Backlog – this is the area of Hansoft where your giant To-Do list exists. Every single thing you can think of should go in here. All the tasks and such are stored here permanently. They don’t go away when completed – they just get marked complete.

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A typical backlog task – you can see here there is a listing for a minion where we have broken down all the needed items to make the minion work. Each of these items is a separate task for someone to do.

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A close up view

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Team Collaboration Software

I also recommend using Slack or Trello (https://trello.com). We use Trello for communication among the team. Whether you are in an office or the team is sperated, it’s really worth having a meeting room like Trello to drop notes and ideas for people

Some samples of our Trello boards

Art related


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Programming and Code related

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Again, the main thing in all of this is to HAVE FUN when you are working and enjoy the progress. It’s not something to grind through and just forget about. If you are serious about making games you had best enjoy the making of games. I might hazard a few people are making games in the hopes of collecting a big payout and retiring at 29 years old. That’s great, enjoy your time off. For many of us though we are making a career out of games and will be doing it a long time. To those I say – HAVE FUN and live your dreams!

-Tim
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 Post subject: Re: Boss 101 [In Development] 2016.03.16 Super Boss Battle T
PostPosted: Thu Mar 17, 2016 6:09 am 


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Super Boss Battle Tuning

So we have our train boss with his various abilities. He is a conglomeration of a lot of prior boss abilities and a test of all you have learned about Boss fights up to that point. Boy, I bet you have NEVER HEARD ABOUT THAT HAPPENING IN ANY GAME EVER! HAHAHAHAHA HAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!

Spoiler: show
The Boss himself
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At any rate, one of his abilities is the “earthquake car” or more appropriately the ground-pounder car. What this does is cause a pillar of rock and sand to come out of the ground to block your path. The idea here is you can shoot and destroy it or fly over it if you have the room and time.

For a lot of the boss fighting we are looking at giving the player choices in any situation since that seems to be the way people enjoy and remember their most awesome battles. If the player has a bunch of options then a successful decision can seem even more amazing since they feel they made the ‘correct’ choice. If there is only one solution in a situation then the game turns into a war of attrition where the player simply cycles through failure until they arrive at what the game designers wanted them to do. I should stress that BOTH situations can be used and be successful for a designer. For us in Boss 101 we are looking to give you choices though. We want you to make the moves and decisions your way as much as possible.

So the deal was – the boss weapon for the train is a copy of the boss weapon found in the regular rounds. The thing is while you are battling the train you follow it on its path across the land. The tracks it’s on go up and down and can lead you to never see the pillars coming out of the ground since you are too high to see them. Well, we needed to fix that and so we did.

Here is a sample of the old style pillars and the kind of height discrepancy you can get between the pillar and train.

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Things work OK if you are near the ground...

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Check out how much space you have flying around down there! CRAZY. The train battle is above this area!

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Made some notes about a new pillar set

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Get the new size pillar back

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Example of the new pillar in scale in the game. The way the pillars work is they rise a random amount from the ground. That way we only have to create one pillar instead of a bunch of sizes.

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There it is, a behind the scenes look at the way we work to create little tunes and tweaks to improve the gameplay. It’s all about giving you the choices and ultimately making the game FUN.

Boss 101 screenshot. Gameplay tuning in Robo-Egypt near the robo sphinx.

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Well, not so much a screenshot as design work for the amazing Gopher Wikipedia you get in Boss 101. What you are seeing are the first pass designs for various page templates. In the game you can look up facts about the people and places you visit in the Gopher database. These icons are the ones they use to help sort and identify the types of pages you will find.

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Thank you again for your letters and contact! We appreciate and reply as quickly as we can.

Talk with you soon and remember to live your dreams!

-Tim
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 Post subject: Re: Boss 101 [In Development] 2016.03.21 Update and Release
PostPosted: Mon Mar 21, 2016 10:52 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!***


Boss 101 March Development Update and Early Access questions answered

Hello and welcome back to the latest Boss 101 update. We appreciate your time and support. Let’s get right into things shall we? We are here today to give you an update about the game’s progress and talk a little about the schedule we see going forward. Also, we are answering questions about Early Access.

For some of you this might be an AWESOME read filled with behind the scenes information and for a few it might be a lot of writing to cover a simple subject. Let’s start with the simple answer first and then elaborate.

The current expectation among the team is we are shipping Boss 101 in 2016 and ideally mid/late summer. We can’t put that in stone and if you will ALLOW US A MOMENT OF YOUR TIME we can explain what’s been happening and how soon you might get a copy in your hands.

Light at the end of the tunnel

Yes, WE DO SEE THE GAME HEADING INTO A FINISH! While we don’t have an exact date the main components of the game are in place. The game loop has been tested and is in order. Most, all the main gameplay elements have their foundations and several passes on them. All good and well.

Spoiler: show
The light!
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Polish and Tuning

I know it might be hard to read and understand how something can have all the main components in place and not be ready for something like Early Access but I will attempt to give you our perspective on things. I know it might not satisfy those who are really anxious for Boss 101. I also know we have some extremely caring and patient people who would probably be OK with a rough pass on Boss 101 in Early Access since after all it’s called EARLY ACCESS! HA!

From where we stand Boss 101 is moving along smoothly and all of us are working our hardest to make sure the game has as much quality and polish as we can put in it. When it comes to something like Early Access we have seen a few roaring successes and a LOT of really bad releases. One thing the successes seem to share is a development team dedicated to constant feedback and frequent updates to the builds. One thing the failures seem to share is low feature count, bugs and devs who become somewhat absent parents in terms of feedback and engagement.

The slings and arrows of outrageous boss fights!
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For Early Access to work we would want it to be a stellar experience for you. We would want to be right there for comments, feedback, fixes and updates. We would expect you want no less. Of course, we would also want it to make sense from a developmental point of view (i.e. more sales and/or a much better game). At the moment, it doesn’t make the most sense to put our time into an Early Access with chief reason being we just don’t have the bandwidth to do it the way we want to.

Endless Launch Room getting prepped
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Your personal opinion might differ and we thank you for believing in us that much. The simple truth is the team has less people than fingers on one of your hands. We are daily stacked with the task of taking what is in the game and making sure it plays nice and well with all the other parts. This includes basic gameplay balance as well as core level functionality tweaks and adjustments.

An example among many examples would be the option screen. We are adjusting it to have all the functionality one might expect for a game. We have the broad features but are now drilling down to specifics such as adjustable screen sizes, configuration of controls, sound panel controls, etc. This is just a small example of an area where the basic code and art structure is in and the shine is being added. Take this example across a multitude of systems and you start to see the picture.

Some might debate that it’s probably better to go Early Access and let the community in on the dev cycle. It does allow a lot of nice things. We still have to circle back to the position we would want to do it right and at the moment it just doesn’t make the most sense given our internal schedules and manpower.

Hats, some new versions in

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What about a Beta?

We might have mentioned this before but we are planning a BETA. For that we are planning to give a limited amount of people access to the game to review and help us shake down some of the early issues. If you are interested in that you can always mail us at hello @ donleytimefoundation.com (remove the spaces). Just mention you are interested in helping out with any early BETA’s and we will put you on the list to be contact if and when the time arrives.

So to sum it up

As we have said before in prior posts and replies - giving you our best effort hopefully isn’t making people impatient. We are not looking to disappoint anyone or make you personally upset. If the end result is a better game with a much higher value there really is little loss for the user. We’ve only promised the best game we can do. We’ve had delays but they were communicated here and in all our blogs. We've welcomed feedback and answered every comment directly. Also, we aren't doing a Kickstarter and we haven't taken anyone's money. The only thing happening is we are making a game, on our own dime, in the hopes of bringing you our best. We just can't rush it, it doesn't get us anything and won’t make your experience any better. We have only a few people so out time is really at a premium.

I may have mentioned this earlier but I have been making games for a while and the thing which sets the gems I have played apart from the ones I have long forgotten is the care and love the devs put into their effort. Nearly every single game I can name that I love also seems to have been equally loved by its creators. Now it’s our turn. We aim to have Boss 101 entertain and delight you.

Thank you again for all the support, e-mails and contact via our various blog posts. We do read and listen to all of you and it MAKES OUR DAY to hear from you.

Crushing the bosses!
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Working on Kite Hill among other things. Yep, you can fly a kite to relax and yes - there are rainbows!

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We are going to keep you posted with weekly screenshot posts and blog updates. We appreciate you and your time.

Remember always to live your dreams!

-Tim
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 Post subject: Re: Boss 101 [In Development] 2016.03.28 UI & World Design
PostPosted: Mon Mar 28, 2016 8:22 am 


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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!***


The User Interface and You

With Boss 101 being developed on a PC and shipping on PC (first) and consoles (after) we knew we had to address something all PC game developers address in every game. That is, how to best use the keyboard and mouse as well as the gamepad.

For the most part I (Tim) play Boss 101 with the gamepad. I use an XBox type controller and have been doing so since we started developing. It’s great and I love it. Joshua (our lead programmer) uses the keyboard and mouse for everything. It’s his preference and it works for him. Well, one thing that came up recently was the mapping of the controller functions to the keyboard. From there we thought about how we could allow the player to use the mouse and keyboard inside the game as well as re-map the various keyboard controls.

Mouse Over

OK, this may seem like a pretty trivial thing and in a lot of ways it is. What I am referring to is the ability to get focus from whatever you hover you mouse on. When we started in Boss 101 the mouse was pretty limited in terms of pushing buttons and gaining focus. Mostly what you did was move the arrow (or movement) keys around and THAT was how you highlighted things to activate with your action key. This was pretty cumbersome since most people don’t use a PC like that.

Joshua put in a pass of allowing the mouse to be used in a much more natural way. It seems so BLAZINGLY obvious and so well done that it might seem like a ‘no duh’ moment. We agree but we wanted to share with you some of the things we are doing to make sure you get as many niceties as possible when you play. Check out the screens below for some samples of the focus following the mouse.

Spoiler: show
Start Screen – notice the buttons highlight as the mouse moves over them.
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Command Center – notice the various parts highlight as the mouse moves around.

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It’s all about making your user experience awesome. We’re down in the core folks, making magic for you!

Keyboard Controls

Below are the initial planning pages for the Keyboard remap controls. This page is temp art and layout with all the initial planning for the controls. Of course this will be art’d up and clean for final.

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In game temp art
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Kitty Skies

Added in some variations to the Start Screen art. When you start up the game you get a rotation of environments. Some show up for special reasons, some show up just because.

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Also – a new friend showed up in the command center and promptly took a nap in the window.

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Screenshot Break

Working on effects for the warp jumps Max and S.T.E.V.E. do. You do get to hop around the galaxy in Boss 101!

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Welcome back and hope you are doing well! We’re here to talk about the ongoing touchups and polish going into Boss 101.

Show don't tell

A lot of what we are doing is making sure there is something interesting happening for you on EVERY screen in the game. We look at Boss 101 as a world and you are living in that world with S.T.E.V.E. and Max while you are playing the game. For that to feel as awesome as possible we want to put in the details that bring the game screens to life. We want to show the world as we see it, in cool details and interesting action.

Most of the time we are taking the ‘show don’t tell’ approach and putting the action up on the screen for you to see and make your own conclusions from. We often talk about creating enough detail on the game screen for you to get a sense of the world’s story without us having to outright spell everything out. There are a LOT of great movies and games out there which do this so well. I think one easy example is an old movie called Raiders of the Lost Ark. In the first 13 minutes we learn just about everything we need to know about Indiana Jones. That sequence involves him stealing the idol by sneaking around all the traps, then escaping in spectacular fashion. He then LOSES the idol and escapes another near crazy situation by leaping into a river and climbing into a plane as it is taking off. Of course, in the plane’s seat is a snake and he hates snakes. Ok, seriously, by the end of that sequence we know exactly how cool this guy is, we’ve seen him do his thing and he’s been through a variety of situations. It’s a brilliant intro to a character. I would also argue that Pirates of the Caribbean intro of Captain Jack Sparrow is pretty compelling in terms of ‘show don’t tell’.

The point of mentioning all this is to talk about the kinds of things we are looking to do with Boss 101. We want you to come back to each screen and maybe see something new or some detail you might have missed the first time. We have lots of animations and details we are putting in to help round out the story of the world and the people in it.

Endless Boss Launch Center

Of course, if you are reading this devlog you have a huge heads up over people playing the game since you are seeing the work first. Here we have the Endless Boss launch room. It was coming along really well but we still had a pass to do with your friends and mine – the gopher crew. This is the instruction panel were you will see how the various modes for Endless Boss actually work. It wasn’t enough to just have some words written on the panel. We wanted to actually have some cool gopher tech happening. You know those guys are ESSENTIAL to the success of your mission. They run a lot of the main base along with R.O.B.

Here we have the panel in progress with a call out to the art we want for the gopher tech.
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Base art in before animation and a sample of the text layout
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Base animations ready
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Making programming notes
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First pass in game
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YES!! That is how the magic is brought to you. We’re doing this all over the game. Check out this one on the options screen…

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What are those guys doing? What do you think they are up to? That is part of the Boss 101 magic. You get to join in the story too!

Talk with you soon and remember to always – LIVE YOUR DREAMS!

-Tim
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 Post subject: Re: Boss 101 [In Development] 2016.04.03 Panels, Rogues and
PostPosted: Sun Apr 03, 2016 9:31 pm 


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Hello and Welcome back to the weekly Boss 101 update! Hope all is going well with you and we are doing AWESOME thank you very much!

Rogues Gallery

In Boss 101 you receive visitors during the game. They stop by the Command Center for a short bit and MAYBE they’ll drop some knowledge on you. One thing about the world of Boss 101, it is big and you will be an important part of it. One of the ways we are helping realize that idea is showing you some of the people in the galaxy. These are other races and cultures affected by the robos. As they say – “an enemy of my enemy is my friend”.

Check out these cats below. They’re called ‘bounty hunters’ at the moment but you might end up knowing them on a first name basis.

The Rogues themselves

Spoiler: show
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Command Center Area (for reference)

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Dialog Machinery

So now that we are here in the Command Center let’s talk a little about that dialog panel at the top of the screen. You see the guys chattering away? Looks FUN right? Well we think so but we also know you might need a little break from the constant fun and a way to know when news is really important versus just regular normal important! HAAAAAAAAAAAA!

As part of the polish phase we’re adding in a nice little set of flaps that open and close when a new speaker comes on or you the player activate some important info switch. Check it out!

The animation layout and work

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Sample of the panel in operation

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Endless Boss Instructions

As part of the polish pass we’re adding in tutorials and instructions where they make sense. In doing that we are looking to keep the spirit of Boss 101. For the most part this means we have the gophers and their buddies helping you out with instructions. Let’s check out the Endless Boss area for an example shall we?

Here’s the Endless Boss area work in progress screen. It has all the things you can expect to see and do including equipping your guns. We used this a reference page when we were designing the gopher instruction panel.

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Check out this animation pass setup for the panels working. This is in Spine and has a rough set of instructions for reference.

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The same setup in the game

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Check out that sweet panel action. A couple of tweaks to the panels and the actual instruction sheet and we should be in business

YES!

There you are folks – another look at the behind the scenes magic we’re working on every single day. It’s all about making Boss 101 something special and we hope you enjoy the process as much as we do.

Thanks and remember to LIVE YOUR DREAMS!

-Tim
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 Post subject: Re: Boss 101 [In Development] 2016.04.11 The Gravity Gun
PostPosted: Mon Apr 11, 2016 9:18 am 


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Welcome back to the weekly development update for Boss 101. Thanks for stopping by and we hope things are going awesomely for you!

Creating a Unique gun for Boss 101 and tuning it

You know Boss 101 is about battling the robot bosses and their minions but did you know we’re giving you some of the galaxy’s most awesome weapons in your fight? Well we are!

We’ve got machine guns, shotguns, pistols. We have bazookas. We even have flame throwers! Did you know we have a few special guns straight from the mind of Professor Gopher in your Command Center? Check this out!

The Gravity Gun

This one is awesome and uses the latest and greatest tech you find in the game. Once assembled it can put the big hurt on the bosses by turning their own power against them. First though – let’s walk through the process of making the gun for the game.

Art and animation prep

Before it gets into the game, we design and create the base art. This is after discussing the basic powers and leveling of the gun. In this case the art below is a Level 1 Gravity Gun which is the weakest Gravity Gun you can get in the game. It’s limited to smaller boss and minion bullets but can still pack a punch.

Here is the art ready for an animation pass…

Spoiler: show
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Once we have everything in we look at making an idle and firing animation for the guns. In this case we setup the basic idles and prepared to import things into the game.

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We also created two more versions of the Gravity Gun as upgrades to the base gun. Here is a Level 3 Gravity Gun. A little more powerful looking and a stronger sense of the ‘magnet’ theme.

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Once things are in the game we get them functional before we do any serious tuning. Here’s a pass on what to expect from the gun. It can grab enemy bullets and then release them back at the offending party.

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For instance, this minion didn’t know what was coming…

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Of course, if you get a little creative you can hold the bullet and have a little fun ramming enemies.

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Boss 101 Screenshot

How does the story start? Check this screenshot out. Where does it go from here? That's up to you.

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There’s more to come as we continue down the path of polish. Keep checking back for more looks at the weapons and the world of Boss 101. We enjoy showing you a little of the time and care we’re putting into everything.

Boss 101 means a lot to us and thanks again for all the letter and the feedback. We appreciate all your support.

Remember to live your dreams!

-Tim
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 Post subject: Re: Boss 101 [In Development] 2016.04.17 Cute Animal Buddies
PostPosted: Sun Apr 17, 2016 7:32 pm 


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Welcome back to the Boss 101 development update.

We get a lot of mail during the week and one question that came up recently seemed important enough to warrant a direct answer via the main update. Here goes…

“Will I be able to adopt small cute animal friends in Boss 101? If so can they come along with me on missions but remain totally safe and yet possibly help me out by shooting or healing or something?”
-KP, San Diego, CA

Yes! Yes you will be able to adopt small cute animal friends in Boss 101 and bring them along with you. They actually will play a part in the story but we aren’t going to go too far into that during this update. What we can tell you is you can befriend and help out small animals and they can end up staying with you in your main Command Center.

To address any concerns about taking something cute into areas where a flamethrower or guided missiles may be fired we spoke with Professor Gopher and he has been able to create small personal force fields that will keep these cuties 100% safe from harm. So go ahead and bring them along! You might get hit but they will be SAFE!

What kinds of animal friends can you make? We can’t show you all of them in this update but we can show you a few. First up is the guy that started it all, Chilly. Chilly is one of the first small animals you get introduced to in the Command Center. He’s been the one you see in most of the shots of the place (small white bird). He recently got a little scarf on him to keep him warmer and he has been seen flying around with the guys on missions.

Testing out the animations for the Command Center

Spoiler: show
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Testing out the animations for In-Game

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Flying in game

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We also have Pat-Pat the kitty. He sits in the Command Center doing kitty things but when it’s time to go on a mission he puts on a small cat sized jetpack and flies with you.

Setup animations for the Command Center

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In Game


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Finally we have Momka the Ferret. He follows you around with his balloon. Basically just chillin’ while the battle happens. He loves you!

Setup for Momka to fly in game


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In Game

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There you go. Aren’t you excited to see what other ones there are in the game? We’re excited to show you so stay tuned!

Remember to check back and LIVE YOUR DREAMS!

-Tim
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Last edited by Donley_Time on Thu Apr 28, 2016 2:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Boss 101 [In Development] 2016.04.17 Cute Animal Buddies
PostPosted: Sun Apr 17, 2016 10:01 pm 


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Still waiting for a demo to actually provide any useful feedback on my part, but in the meantime I must admit that, in spite of myself, jetpack cat and balloon ferret are adorable. Darn you for making me post this. :P
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 Post subject: Re: Boss 101 [In Development] 2016.04.17 Cute Animal Buddies
PostPosted: Mon Apr 18, 2016 12:23 am 


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BulletMagnet wrote:
Still waiting for a demo to actually provide any useful feedback on my part, but in the meantime I must admit that, in spite of myself, jetpack cat and balloon ferret are adorable. Darn you for making me post this. :P


You need not worry - we have you on the list with others for a preview/Beta copy when it's ready. In the meanwhile - thanks for the kind words. We love those little guys too, you can imagine how much fun we have talking about and implementing them. Wait till you see the rest of them!

-Tim
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 Post subject: Re: Boss 101 [In Development] 2016.04.28 Warping Around!
PostPosted: Thu Apr 28, 2016 2:40 pm 


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Welcome to the weekly Boss 101 update!

Today we are talking about one of the main modes of transportation in the Boss 101 galaxy. No, no the jump gates, I’m talking about good old rockets. Yep, before there were hyperspace jump gates there were rocket ships that carried people all over.

During the time Boss 101 takes place the robo’s are constructing a warp gate network across the galaxy. As you can imagine this gives them a lot of quick shortcuts to various planets.

The Cosmic Clicks Ship



Spoiler: show
Image

The backstory

As you might know – STEVE and Max shared an adventure with ROB a little while back. In it they traveled about the galaxy in their ship – the Cosmic Clicks. Here’s a shot from that go around:

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That was then, this is now


Well, ROB upgraded the ship and outfitted it for new adventures. Now it's the main transportation for ROB and the professor when they are scouting areas or making repairs in the local solar system. Of course, they only head out when they know the coast is clear since the Clicks ship isn’t really a warship, it's more like a science vessel. Check out some of the sweet work done!

Here’s the Click Ship all ready for animation tweaks. For scale comparison that green rectangle represents an average game screen. The Clicks ship is big, it needs to be since the engines are equipped with hyperspace jump boosters.

Full ship – green rectangle is playing fiend in standard game

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Engines with boosters

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Once everything is in the game we can actually send the guys on an adventure. In this case we have some snaps from them shooting around the local star system. Here’s a series of shots of the ship showing some scale and detail.

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Warp Gates

As you might notice in some of the screenshots most world have working warp gates, those giant green or purple objects in the background sky. Even with that knowledge ROB and the professor keep the Clicks ship in top form in case they get the call to action.

Warp Gate on a world

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Another warp gate sample

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The Boss 101 old school way of travel, use your jetpack


When all else fails, there’s always the old fashioned way

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Quick Screenshot

What we have here is gameplay using a special Boss 101 hat. This lid design comes from an awesome character designed by Ryan Carag for one of his games. Also - watch out for those eyeball bombs! HA!

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Thanks for stopping by for another update and thank you again for the letters and comments. We appreciate your time.

Look forward to hearing from you and remember to live your dreams.

-Tim
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 Post subject: Re: Boss 101 [In Development] 2016.04.30 Rob has your back
PostPosted: Sun May 01, 2016 4:25 am 


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Spoiler: show
Image
Main Room with ROB, Professor, STEVE and Max

Rob has your back while you fight the good fight!

While you are out battling the latest boss R.O.B. has your back! He’s handling things inside the Command Center with the Professor. In fact he’s got his sights on you while you’re in and out of the Command Center. From his observation deck inside he’s checking on all the latest happenings across your local and galactic systems.

You need not worry about being caught off guard as long as the systems are up and running and ROB and the Professor are on the job. It’s a pretty good thing they are dedicated dudes who take themselves seriously too!

Let’s look over some of the newer systems they recently installed in the Command Center and ones they are installing across the various worlds you track.

Main Action Room

This is their hub. ROB and the Professor work from here and can pretty well tell you about enemy advances as well as the state of your take-out pizza order. (Two of the most powerful abilities known!) Their room has tons of advanced machinery as well as the Professor’s patented surveillance equipment. Check out those webcams and let’s see more of how they work.

Close-up of ROB’s main interface
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As with other things we need animated. We start with the art and convert it into .PNGs to animate with. Then we bring things in to a suitable animation program (we use Spine).

Here is the Action Room setup in Spine:

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After this we drop it into the game and setup the correct animation triggers for the various parts.

Professor’s Quantum Camera System

Professor Gopher has created a series of cameras for use across any and all systems which need monitoring. You can never be too careful and an advanced warning means a lot when you are up against a serious enemy.

The Professor started in the Command Center with a series of unobtrusive and discretionary cameras. They are respectful of each person’s privacy and are mostly there for quick communication and testing purposes.

Here is one in the Main Command Center Room
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A close-up
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The setup starts with art and animation.

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We added some cool touches we thought sell the idea of a camera taking pictures. A lot of times when we make art for the game the question comes down to “Does this seem fun or will it entertain the player?” If the answer is yes we normally go for it. It’s all well and good to be “real” with effects and designs but in our minds things should above all be fun in Boss 101.

Boss 101 is a story about a boy, his jetpack and their family going up against a gigantic galactic robot army. STEVE and Max (our heroes) will need every bit of help they can get and hopefully you will be there to help them out!

Boss 101 screenshot

Check out this baby giraffe friend you can get. He loves you!

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Wishlist Boss 101

Add Boss 101 to your wishlist on Steam through the Boss 101 Store front here --> http://store.steampowered.com/app/380920

Thanks for checking in today and as always, please remember to live your dreams!

-Tim
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 Post subject: Re: Boss 101 [In Development] 2016.05.07 Rob's Travel Plans
PostPosted: Sun May 08, 2016 12:05 am 


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Rob Wants an Adventure

You know Rob is your trusty Command Center tech. he’s diligent and he is tireless. Together with the Professor he makes sure the main base is always in tip-top shape. OK, once in a while he does wonder what it would be like to be out amongst the stars having an adventure with the guys.

Spoiler: show
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Whenever you are ready to beam out to a planet you head into the transport room where Rob and the Professor set up the coordinates for a warp jump. Normally the guys will engage in pre-fight chatter to get a lay of the land and prep for the upcoming battle. Sometimes they just gas about what has been happening.

Occasionally though Rob submits a request to tag along. He promised to stay out of harm’s way but you can never be too careful out there. That doesn’t stop Rob from trying his best to show he is a fully capable robot and can handle himself in any situation. To prove he point he will start showing up at the warp area with more and more ‘packages’ in preparation of a possible flight. Over the course of the game you can imagine this would be quite an amount of stuff. How much you ask? That will remain to be seen. One thing though – you would not want to underestimate Rob’s desire or his ingenuity. Check out some development snaps.

Setting up the transporter room with animation. From here we import into the game

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Some levels of luggage and packages Rob wants to bring along. The idea here is these are setup as animations we call when you are on the appropriate cinematic.

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A later level shot with lots more stuff Rob has readied.

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Pet houses!

You already know we allow you to have a little pet friend in the game. Well, we also want you to know your little buddies will have a nice place to sleep when they are at your base between missions. We are setting up pet rooms for each of them. Check this out:

A little station for Mister Mouse!

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A set of houses for various buddies!

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Are you excited!?!?! We are!

Screenshot of the Day

Boss 101 Gameplay tuning, watch out for exploding lightning!

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Thanks for stopping by and look for much more as we continue down the road to ship. Also, if you would, please take a moment to put us on your Steam Store wishlist here:

Boss 101 in the Steam Store: http://store.steampowered.com/app/380920

Talk with you soon and remember to live your dreams!

-Tim
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Boss 101 Steam Store | Main Site | Twitter | Devlog


Last edited by Donley_Time on Sat May 14, 2016 5:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Boss 101 [In Development] 2016.05.14 Galactic Passports
PostPosted: Sat May 14, 2016 5:57 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!***


Welcome to the Boss 101 Update once again! Hope you are doing well on this awesome weekend. Let’s dive into the latest shall we?

Galactic Passports


Before we dive into the Boss 101 Galactic Passport system let’s talk about a game from the early 90’s, Street Fighter II: The World Warrior for the SNES. Remember that one? No problem if you don’t. It had this little printed manual which came with the cartridge. One really cool thing was the fact the fighter’s various pages had these little bios on them. Basically you got to see their ages, blood types and learn a little bit about each of the world warriors. To this day I recall looking over that and seeing interesting tidbits about the people in the game. It was pretty awesome and I felt Capcom did a very cool thing taking the time to put that into the game.

Example from Guile’s page:

Spoiler: show
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So now let’s talk about Boss 101’s Galactic Passports. They’re our nod to that great idea with a Boss 101 flavor. What we are doing is having visitors arrive in the Command Center. While they are there you can click on them and see their passport. From that view you will get to know some of the people a little better. The idea here is people get around the various star systems is with some sort of identifying travel pass. Like a driver’s license for space travel.

We think it’s a fun way to show you a side of the people you might now know about. Like the old Street Fighter manuals some of the info might seem irrelevant to the direct game but it’s all part of the Boss 101 universe and in that sense – it’s important to us.

When we are working on Boss 101 we are constantly asking ourselves about the characters and what they would do based on their personality. Everything starts with ‘Why would he or she do this?’ We want you to see this too so the passports are one way we peel back the character curtain for you.

Let’s look at the making of them.

Here’s the Command Center where you can move around and select various interesting things. In this case we are clicking on Tanya, the current visitor.

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This pops up her passport with little details about her. Did you know she likes chicken pasta?!?! NOW YOU DO!

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Passports are made and animated in Spine and then brought into Gamemaker. We setup a template for things to be standardized.

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Since we have a template it’s easy to create and add more people.

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Closeup of the character and passport animation

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So there you have a look into another one of the world building moments we are adding to Boss 101. It’s important to us we create an interesting place for the game to take place. We feel the games we remember most tend to have stories, characters and gameplay which resonates with us.

Ideally – you will enjoy Boss 101 as much as we enjoy making it.

Screenshot of the Day

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Action Hero Hats - Put on a hat in Boss 101 and become the hero you are. Lids for everyone!


Wishlist us if you would be so kind!

Thanks for stopping by and look for much more as we continue down the road to ship. Also, if you would, please take a moment to put us on your Steam Store wishlist here:

Boss 101 in the Steam Store: http://store.steampowered.com/app/380920

Remember to LIVE YOUR DREAMS!

-Tim
_________________
Boss 101 Steam Store | Main Site | Twitter | Devlog


Last edited by Donley_Time on Sun May 22, 2016 5:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Boss 101 [In Development] 2016.05.22 Pet & Map Room Upgr
PostPosted: Sun May 22, 2016 5:44 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!***


Welcome to the Boss 101 Update!

Hope you are doing well and thanks for stopping by to check in on our progress. This week we have a couple things to show you. Touchups to the Map Room and the special Pet Room.

Pet Room for your Pet Buddies!

You know you have pet buddies but did you even realize they can live with you!?!? Not only do they live with you but they have a nice little hill with mini houses they sleep in. They can fly around when they like and take naps if they need to. Also – they have all their pet friends to play with.

Spoiler: show
Here’s a sample of the hill

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Of course the weather and time of day will change as you play. Pet Hill is right next to Kite hill. If you were to travel there you would see this.

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And if it’s sunny then this!

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See how happy they are! They love you too!

Map Room Touchups

We decided the Map Room needed some gopher-ness so we added a little bit more gopher tech from the Professor and Rob. The old map room was cool and all but it was built early in the project before the Professor and Rob were more central to the rebuild in the Command Center. Now that Rob has his own room and since we are in the polish phase we looked at where else might need some ‘oomph’.

The Map room got a bit of a shine with some gopher tech. Here you can see some of the layout instructions for creating art.

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We thought about a nice place to insert the new tech and thought the top right corner fit with the game and the theme of the room. The game backstory involves the gophers and Rob building the area. Their work was to create a home base for the player and also a place to store goodies from the player’s travels. The map room is the main point of travel in the game. As you might guess this is where the player decides where he wants to go and what planets he will visit.

Animation Setup Part 1

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Animation Setup Part 2


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It only makes sense the gophers would monitor progress from their command posts. Check it!

In Game

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OK – more to come and stay tuned. Things are going quite well and we are excited to bring you this game. It the product of a lot of love and passion and we are really enjoying the development process. What really is amazing is you will be playing the game and we would like to imagine you having as much fun exploring and seeing the world of Boss 101 as we had making it.

Boss passports! Beat bosses and reveal their images...

(also find out a little about what they like)

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Boss 101 on Steam

Wishlist us if you would be so kind!

http://store.steampowered.com/app/380920

Talk with you soon and remember to LIVE YOUR DREAMS!

-Tim
_________________
Boss 101 Steam Store | Main Site | Twitter | Devlog


Last edited by Donley_Time on Thu Jun 02, 2016 9:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Boss 101 [In Development] 2016.06.02 The Robo Council
PostPosted: Thu Jun 02, 2016 9:07 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!***


Welcome to the latest Boss 101 Development Log and thank you for stopping by!

The Bosses’ Boss


In the world of Boss 101 there are bosses and there are BOSSES. The big wigs, the real movers and shakers are the Robo-Council. They are the ones effectively calling the shots and making your life harder than it needs to be during the game. Who called for Earth’s moon to be blown in two? These guys. Who is making the warp gate highway to allow unlimited robotic expansion? They guys. When Boss 101 fills out a TPS report it is sent to these guys.

When we sat down to design them we thought about some of our favorite movies and the big villains behind the scenes. People like the Emperor in Star Wars and the Master Control Program (MCP) from the OG Tron movie. Heck even Thanos from the Marvel movies series is shaping up to be a master manipulator.

When designing the council we started with current Boss 101 scenes on his planet. Below are two snippets from conversations between Boss 101 and some of his subordinates.

Spoiler: show
One with TERRA and Boss 101
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One with Mac and Boss 101
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The Council

For the council we looked at making them seems a little shadowy. The thinking here is they are dealing with a lot of stuff in the robo-civilization. Boss 101 would have a special reporting room and it would be a more glitzy than the normal run of the mill holo-screens used.

First pass layout
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This is the initial sketch layout for how the area will look and work. The robos images hovering in the background. We also wanted to conserve art and animation so Boss 101 would be used in the foreground and set to interact in his usual manner. Once the base council robos are designed we will add effects and make the scene look like a futuristic transmission.

The Robos art – first pass drawing
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Robo Council headshots

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Once all this was done we could break down the council and start experimenting with the various ideas for effects. Here’s a black and white pass on the ideas for the council’s transmission to Boss 101

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The next steps for us are to color them and lay in the colored effects. All this is handled in Photoshop and you might be surprised to know we generally do not use transparency effects in Boss 101. By this I mean we tend to draw the effect at full Opacity and just design it to play on top of things. Fire, energy effects and even water in boss 101 are mostly just a hand drawn effect played at 100% opacity. That is strictly a design decision to make everything look a little more cohesive and give the game a set look.

There is always talk about when designing a character or machinery if we are making it ‘in the style’ we want. That style is mainly a colorful animated world with a lot of visual consistency and congruency.

Ok enough blabbing! Check back next week for more progress on the council and other news!

Screenshot of the day

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The guy's shameless self-assessment. Believe in yourself!



Boss 101 on Steam

Wishlist us if you would be so kind!

http://store.steampowered.com/app/380920

In the meantime remember to LIVE YOUR DREAMS!

-Tim
_________________
Boss 101 Steam Store | Main Site | Twitter | Devlog


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 Post subject: Re: Boss 101 [In Development] 2016.06.08 Phones and IRX 2016
PostPosted: Wed Jun 08, 2016 4:07 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!***


Welcome to the latest Boss 101 update!

Phone Calls in the Command Center

We didn’t forget about last week’s update with the Robo Council! They will return soon.

We are here this week to show you some of the latest tech in the Command Center for getting your missions and important information. You might know about the panels in the Command Center for dialog but we have added a new feature to allow you to interact much more with them. You can now take important phone calls when they arrive! Not only that, but the phone machine saves the most recent message for you to listen to again.

Spoiler: show
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Check out some of these swift components. The phone will now ring and you can select it when you are ready. You might not want to wait too long or the message might be lost. So select that ringing phone.

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Once you jump into the Command Center area you only need to highlight the phone and hit the action button.

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If you look up at the top of the dialog panel we have an indicator to show you what is going on. The idea here is if you are in one of the other main rooms you will see the call and be able to answer the phone. A lot of times when we are putting in features the main question is “How can we make this fun for the player?”

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Most every single feature in Boss 101 will advance the story and ideally entertain you while it is happening. The phone system was a logical extension of the way we want you to experience the game. It worked with the current system and when we added in the dialog panels we felt it was a pretty organic thing to make the phone work with it too.

One thing about the dialog panels and the phone system is we can give you a lot more focus on what is important when you are bopping about in the Command Center. Before any of these modifications the messages were somewhat continuous and honestly a bit overwhelming. We are hoping with this addition we can give you a little more breathing room to read and enjoy the messages as well as the rest of the Command Center.

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Talk at the Indie IRX 2016 Expo

I (Tim) will be giving a talk at the Indie Game Riot IRX 2016 conference. The best part is it will be online and viewable for you wherever you might be. Check out the link below for more information:

http://indiegameriot.com/indie-revolution-expo/indie-revolution-expo-panels/

Also if you are an independent developer and want to show your game or perhaps host a panel – you can sign up right here:

http://indiegameriot.com/indie-revolution-expo/

Indie Game Riot is a great place and you should give them a look if you haven’t already!


Boss 101 on Steam

Wishlist us if you would be so kind!

http://store.steampowered.com/app/380920

Talk with you soon and remember to live your dreams!

-Tim
_________________
Boss 101 Steam Store | Main Site | Twitter | Devlog


Last edited by Donley_Time on Sat Jun 11, 2016 11:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Boss 101 [In Development] 2016.06.11 Gopher Ambulance
PostPosted: Sat Jun 11, 2016 11:06 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 welcome to the Saturday Update for Boss 101

The Gopher Recovery Pad – aka the end of round ambulance

So, you just fought a hard battle against the bosses and despite all your best efforts you don’t come out on top. Well, what happens then? Easy, your gopher buddies come to your assistance with a lift back to base. They do it in style too with the GRP – the patented Gopher Recovery Pad.

We needed to design a swift pad for bringing you back home with style and here’s what we did. First there was a look at the type of style the gophers would use. We created a sheet to outline the kinds of things the gophers would build. Here’s the first pass design.

Spoiler: show
Image

Most all of the gopher tech is supposed to have a nice level of charm to it. Nothing too harsh or angular. Most of it is fun and open looking.

From there we made the art and animation. Below are some looks at the way it was animated for the game. The pad has lots of lights and whizzy stuff. For us it’s important to bring a level of entertainment to everything you will be seeing and experiencing in the game. Lights and animations are just one way we do it.

The idle for the GRP – check out all the cool action

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Of course – it’s important to be able to activate the sirens in case people are in your way.

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Here’s a closeup of your driver and the gopher nurses who will be along for the ride

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So once that was all done we brought the GRP into the game and placed it at the end of the round. We set up the game to allow you activate the sirens.

In the image below are two bottom of the round UI bars. Top one is for victorious rounds and the bottom one is for the rounds you lose.

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After all that is done we give it tests to see if everything is working as expected.

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Once any system is put into the game we allow it to sit and gel for a little while. The idea behind this is any feature will need to settle. During that time we just watch and see how things work in actual gameplay. A lot of times features will get further modified and occasionally changed from the original. For us those are normally good changes since they are organically created and come about through testing. For the player it represents our efforts to make the world a real place and bring you the best we possibly can.

You win either way!

Thanks again for stopping by and as always – remember to live your dreams!

-Tim


Boss 101 on Steam Wishlist us if you would be so kind!

http://store.steampowered.com/app/380920
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Last edited by Donley_Time on Mon Jun 20, 2016 8:26 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Boss 101 [In Development] 2016.06.11 Gopher Ambulance
PostPosted: Sun Jun 12, 2016 1:18 am 


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Do you have a projected release date?
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 Post subject: Re: Boss 101 [In Development] 2016.06.11 Gopher Ambulance
PostPosted: Sun Jun 12, 2016 11:06 am 


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Doctor Butler wrote:
Do you have a projected release date?


We do! Currently slated for the end of this summer (August/September 2016). The only way that date is moving is due to needed polish or cleanup.

For the last few months the development has been a lot of tuning, polish and cleanup. Things are moving along well and progress is on schedule (at least according to our internal planning). We will also be doing testing and debug with people who are interested. That will probably happen in the final stretch toward release.

It's happening for sure and it's been quite a trip since we started. Thanks for checking in!

-Tim
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 Post subject: Re: Boss 101 [In Development] 2016.06.20 Polishing a Boss We
PostPosted: Mon Jun 20, 2016 8:24 am 


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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!***


Welcome to the latest Boss 101 update and thank you for stopping by!

Polishing a Weapon in Boss 101

Today we are taking a look at the process of polishing up one of the many boss weapons. As we’ve mentioned there are a lot of bosses and you will be able to create your own boss to battle. In game you use the Make A Boss to assemble a boss from parts available. The specifics of how this is done depends on the game mode you are choosing but needless to say there are a lot of possible breakdowns.

Here is a look at a debug breakdown of just a FEW bosses you might see.

Spoiler: show
Image


Did you know there are over ONE HUNDRED MILLION combinations of bosses possible? Neither did we, until we did the math.

The Tiger Gas Weapon

Despite all the combinations we create bosses as grouped units and allow them to be broken up. Here we have the Tiger Boss as a complete unit. Note the weapon on top is his dreaded poison gas weapon.

From the debug screen…
Spoiler: show
Image


So initially he sprayed a gassy cloud from his back onto the player. We have below a VERY early version of the weapon. You can see the gas cloud looks quite a bit different from a lot of the regular pixel art in the game.

Early version of Tiger Gas Weapon
Spoiler: show
Image


Well, that look stood out a little too much so we did tweaking and created pixel art for the gas. Ended up with something looking like this…

Revised gas pixel art
Spoiler: show
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Ok – that is a little bit better but there was still a problem and that was the gas firing out of the weapon. This make some BASIC sense but the issue was gameplay and we were noticing the player was normally out of range of the cloud unless we made it linger for a very long time or move somewhat fast. That wasn’t the direction we wanted to go.

Inspiration soon struck though – we had ANOTHER boss, the T-Rex whose weapon created fire breath to blast from any bosses mouth. Kind of like a Godzilla thing. Here it is in action. The main flames coming from the T-Rex mouth here are being generated by his back weapon.

Sample of T-Rex boss unit firing main weapon via the mouth…
Spoiler: show
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Well, it wasn’t a big jump to take the idea there and re-work the Tiger weapon to fire a gas cloud from the mouth of a boss like so.

Sample of the gas weapon update
Spoiler: show
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Of course – since this is Boss 101 you might see these weapons on a variety of bosses…

Example 1 - Gas
Spoiler: show
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Example 2 - Flame
Spoiler: show
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YES! Once again we’re peeling back the curtain for you! These decisions may seem obvious hindsight but sometimes these thing elude you until you see it all in action. Hope you enjoyed this look.

TIGForums – Devlog Gold of 2015 Results - We got a Favorite Devblog Award!

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Did you know the Boss 101 Dev Log placed third in the FAVORITE PROJECT category? We did! Thanks to you and your support. Check out our TIGForums Devlog here: Boss 101 Dev Log

Screenshot of the Day

Max & Steve enjoying ice cream, cake & music between rounds! These guys know how to relax.

Spoiler: show
Image


As always – remember to live your dreams and thank you for your support!

-Tim
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Boss 101 Steam Store | Main Site | Twitter | Devlog


Last edited by Donley_Time on Sun Jul 10, 2016 1:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Boss 101 [In Development] 2016.07.10 Debug Rooms and Bos
PostPosted: Sun Jul 10, 2016 1:52 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!***


Welcome back to the Boss 101 Update!

Debug Screens in Boss 101 or “How do we do the voodoo we do?”

You might have noticed a few of our  debug screens popping up in the updates. These are the screens we use to test the way things work in game. If you are working on your own game you might already have something like this in your working builds.

Bosses and enemies in the game have tons of animations and abilities to test. This room is where we can see how things work in-game and test specific bosses on specific levels. For us, it makes a difference in development to constantly test out our work in-engine.

If you ever use a “god” mode in a shipped game you are likely seeing the same kind of thing in effect. Giving the player a ton of ammo or unlimited health are the kinds of things developers do while testing. Clearly, it’s really useful to jump into a game and dink around with various values to test things. If you don’t already do this check out some benefits you might be missing.

First off – we can use the room to check out the fit of all the boss parts with each other. Here we are testing how all parts match up. We use the random button to cycle through bosses and the boss part buttons to check the fit and finish.

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Here’s a shot of us testing out various boss main weapons. Note that we can trigger any major animation from this room.

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We can also check on minions and their firing animations. Once everything is tested we can jump into the game and play around with the same bosses and minions in actual levels.

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There have been a few times where we needed to re-import a lot of bosses and minions in order to implement a new feature. Having a room like this to test out hit boxes and animations makes things much easier. As you may imagine, we implemented this room pretty early in development.

Here’s a shot of us going straight from the Debug Room into the game.

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This brings us to a pretty basic point – as much as possible you want to be working in your game engine versus Photoshop, or some sort of editor that’s NOT your engine. You want to see your work where it will be when your game ships. From there you will want to get your game setup (via debug testing and the like) and AFTER that you will want to just play your game like a regular person would.

It’s easy to get used to having unlimited health or one shot weapons but the player won’t have all that obviously. Most of the time I play the game outside of the normal debug mode just to experience it as you would.

In the end – it is about making the game for YOU and keeping you entertained. All the work we are doing is about the experience we want to bring for our friends and fans.

Hope you enjoyed this look at the development of Boss 101 and remember to LIVE YOUR DREAMS!

-Tim
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Boss 101 Steam Store | Main Site | Twitter | Devlog


Last edited by Donley_Time on Tue Jul 12, 2016 7:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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