Boss 101 Weekly update – setting up the stores

Welcome back to another weekly update and this week we are looking at the Boss 101 Store fronts, specifically the Hat Store. The hat store, as you may guess, is where you buy all the sweet lids for the game. These can give you various powers and increase your ability to do battle.

The OG Store!

Let’s start with we have come a LONG way since the first version of the game store. Back in the day we were integrating everything together including the room for the guys. Back then the store was a pretty straightforward thing with not a lot of zazz. That was OK but we knew we wanted to evolve it to have more features and be able to display more information. Also – the hats this time around could do a lot more so we wanted to feature more of what you get for your money.

The first step was to arrange to store as both a selling and storage unit for purchased hats. We have over 200 hats in the game currently. As tends to happen in games with lots of inventory the design is based around the player buying a steady progression of hats as they move through the levels. Hats get more powerful and more expensive and in an ideal situation there is something for the player to buy at all times (or at least look forward to purchasing).

Some hats get locked out due to level or money requirements. In an earlier version of the hat store we had a ‘closet theme’ going but it didn’t seem to match up well in terms of art and look for the rest of the command center. We modified it up to look more like something the gophers would have made and it is a LOT more in line with the game now. Check it!

Also – here is an example of some of the buff icons you will see attached to the various hats as well as a rating for each. Using this you can see what a hat is good for an how powerful it is. Helpful when picking the best hat to battle with.

Store Buff Icon Examples

Examples used in the Store!

Sneak Peak Weapons of destruction – the Ultra Gun.

Lay the serious smack down!

Thanks again for stopping by and we hope you enjoyed this look behind the scenes.

Remember to always – LIVE YOUR DREAMS!


Welcome back folks for another Boss 101 update! Thank you so much for stopping by and we appreciate your support.

From Boss 101 the web game to Boss 101 the PC/Console game

We’d like to think we’ve come a long way since the web version of Boss 101 but we have not forgotten about what got us here. Boss 101 started as a web browser games and we know there are a few of you out there who might remember it. To that end we are putting several nods to the OG game inside this one. One you might have heard about is the Endless Boss mode.

Let’s be clear, we are talking about modes outside the main game and story. They are connected to the main game and certain equipment can be brought into the Endless Boss mode from your main game but the intent is to give players another option if they are enjoying blasting bosses.

Setup for the Warp Room Stats Screen

Closeup of the Stats Readout scale panel (WIP)

Extra Game Play Mode: the Endless Boss mode

We mentioned this before but it is the closest thing to the arcade experience of Boss 101’s web version we have in the new game. Don’t get us wrong, we jazzed it up quite a bit but the overall pacing and intent is to just let you the player blast away against bosses and see how awesome your piloting skills are. Check this out…

We have two main modes for Endless boss – Classic and Iron Man. Classic is all about an arcade like experience. You start with your base abilities and machine gun. You can collect health and powerups during the  battles. Like the original version powerups give you a random gun you use for a limited time and health replenishes your health bar. Sounds pretty straightforward and it is. A boss is rolled, you attack and defeat it, you get an assessment of your progress and then repeat.

Iron Man mode – This is a variation of the Endless Boss theme where you get to bring your machine gun and also select ONE ALT GUN from your gun collection. You get no powerups and no health buff (other than what your base gear might give you). In this mode it’s you against the bosses with your skillage as the only barrier.

Some shots of the Endless Warp Assessment Screen (this shows up when you finish any boss round in the Endless Mode)


ROB pilots the Clicks Ship too! OH YEAH!

Working on the engine Sprites – YES!

Kite Room work

We added extra looks for the Kite Room to match the times of day you visit. Here the guys are checking out the morning sun!

Thank you again for stopping by and we do appreciate your time and support.

As always – live your dreams!


Welcome to the latest weekly update of Boss 101!

Cinematic Transitions

This last week saw the first pass of all the main cinematics in the game. The great news here is we can now sit and let the story gel while we move onto other polish tasks. If you are also working on a game you know how nice it is to have breathing room and stand back from your creation.

Let’s look at some of the latest shall we?

Transition Screen for the cinematics

We created this little intro screen to help set the stage for the storytelling in the game. A lot of the thinking here is to give a clear heads up as to where and what the player is seeing. In an ideal world storytelling would be told naturalistically but since time and tech constraints crop up we are looking at ways to deliver the best experience given our tools.

For that we have a little narration screen that can crop up to give a high level lead in. You see a lone narration robo and a small action gopher in the corner. We will be using this setup to help with transitions between cinemas and to setup possibly complex storytelling. The nice thing is this will be woven into the current story with some logical ties. Before we had this screen we had a lot of insta cuts into major story elements and it seemed a little jarring. Now we can ease into things, hopefully a little smoother.

Hilltop at night

Who doesn’t like looking at the stars? In between robo battles we have downtime and we think you will enjoy the moments spent with the guys. It was a huge deal for us to have not only awesome arcade action but to have downtime that you can enjoy as you like. Hey, if you want back in battle – you can do that. If you want to earn some credits playing arcade games – do it!

Steam Store Cleanup

We also began cleaning up the Boss 101 Steam store for the game’s release. Now, we know that is a little bit down the line but it’s always nice to create and design the storefront to be pleasing. I know I personally appreciate when a Steam store has information presented in a pleasing manner. I also really like when a dev CLEARLY enjoys what they are doing and lets a little humor show. We are working to do the same – give you the info and also provide a little fun while we do it.

Galactic Credit Cards

Boss 101 Soundtrack


Boss 101 likes Zagnuts! Who knew!?! HAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!

Hope you enjoyed this week’s update and feel free to visit our Steam Store for the latest news! Links below!

Remember to always – LIVE YOUR DREAMS!


Welcome back to today’s Boss 101 update! Today we are discussing the evolution of our Endless Boss mode. Specifically the interface you are using.

Endless Boss Mode
This is a feature in the game were you are tackling boss after boss with no break. In the normal game you return to your command center for a recharge, to buy new weapons and equipment and then head out again. During Endless Boss it’s just you and your first loadout against as many bosses as you can manage. There are some cool in game rewards associate with it also but we are going to save that discussion for a later day. For now, we are a talking about the user interface.

Launch Area
We knew we would need a staging area the player started from. The first idea was to have sometime pretty straightforward. An interface and some buttons with the word “Go” or something like that. Sure, that worked but we already has a lot of cool ideas just sitting around the Command Center begging to be used.

One thing we noticed immediately was the Cosmic Clicks spaceship sitting on one of the decks. You pass the ship while you are moving around in the Command Center and the only reason it was placed there was as a nod to our earlier game Cosmic Clicks. Then the idea come “Hey, we need a launch area and we already have a rocket!”.

So the Endless Boss area basically turned into a Cosmic Clicks ship Launchpad. I think it’s important to state here many things in Boss 101 are about a fun experience. For us, it seemed really cool to have an astronaut moment of riding up the side of a rocket to the loading deck for liftoff. For all this to happen we had to take the old click ship and upgrade it to a large version Boss 101 style.

First thing was the layout of the room. This was pretty important to us for a couple reasons. One mindset was to use anything and everything we already had to make the interface work. The Make A Boss room had all the needed buttons with some slight modifications. We took that as a base layout and built the Endless Boss liftoff pad from that idea.

You can see in the image here we use the Make A Boss as a scale reference for the layout of the room. These are little things but they save SO much time when you can reuse your work intelligently. There is a lot of game logic working in your favor too. The Command Center was arguably built by the same people so you can imagine much shared tech in the various rooms.

OK having the layout we proceed to hog in the details and create the game interface. Of course we add in all the expected blinking lights and various animations inside the engine itself.

The real magic though is when YOU play the game and get to experience it yourself. We have a few more surprises in store for you with the Clicks ship in the Endless Boss mode but those are for another day. Stay tuned and we will return!

ScreenShot Saturday
Sometimes the guys just hang out for a lunch break. It’s rumored they even do a cappella songs!

Thank you again and talk with you soon!

Remember to live your dreams!


Cinematics, love ‘em, use ‘em and have fun!

Today we continue with our look at the cinematic making process in Boss 101. I’m going to outline some of the initial principles we followed and point out where I think we went right and were we probably will adjust the process for Boss 102. It should be noted everything and anything added is only to serve one purpose – giving YOU the BEST experience.

I don’t want to classify anything we are doing as “right” or “wrong”. My hope is to give you insight if you are making a game and an “A-HA!” moment.

1. Cinematics in Boss 101 are mostly handled with game animation idles – good or bad this is  the template we started with. What this meant is for the most part all animations for characters and backgrounds were basically looping idles which don’t change much over the course of the cinematic. The thinking initially was we were having short-ish cinematics and it simply wasn’t worth the programming horsepower to create a complicated animation delivery system. These kinds of decisions happen daily on small (and big) teams and a lot of times you really have to invest in stuff that pays the biggest dividends. In the end it is serving us well for Boss 101 so we are happy with the currently situation.

Initial setup prepping

2. Speaking of that – our scripting system for animation is completely built from scratch. We use our dialog script to trigger various things inside our cinematics. If we want to have an effect play or a song change we can do that from inside the dialog script. It sounds a little weird but it works just fine.

3. All our animations and cinematics use the same engine used for playing the game. This is to say – we use what we already have. This allowed us to setup backgrounds and sprites the same way we do for gameplay. Some games use a different engine for cinematics and gameplay or build some sort of video playback engine for pre-rendered movies. All that works but we playback our cinematics in real time with our engine. Saves time in setup and polishing.

Script setup


Below are things which are tougher to do and will probably have some sort of revamped procedure for Boss 102 (HAAAAAAAAAAA!!! We have this conversation all the time)

1.  Ability to trigger various animations states during dialog. Talked about this one above but it’s a nice feature and clearly adds a lot to a cinematic.

2. Ability to have animations fire off game effects or trigger events. This is something we would love to see happen. Here we are talking about something like an animation playing, say a gun shooting, and then during the actual muzzle flash animation we call a script or trigger FROM the animation frame and place an effect on the tip of the barrel. Mind you, we can do a version of this now but it is coordinated in a different way. I’m talking about a very procedural and organic way to have one thing trigger another.

3. Create new characters on the fly. Have characters enter the scene and leave. This is all very basic and we can do this in a roundabout way but a more robust system would make a difference.

4. More camera controls – this is strictly the animator in me speaking

5. More choices and/or interaction during the cinematics – I love well done cinematics and it was so revolutionary to me when games really took them to the next level and allowed the player to move and interact during them. Being able to do things like move or look around while someone talks (ala the oldie and goodie Half Life 2 among many others).

Cinematic Cut

Here’s the deal – what we have in Boss 101 currently is awesome and fills our specific needs well. I think when we return to the well for round 2 we will have an even more focused list of things we would like to create.

Thank you for reading and remember to live your dreams!