2016.05.28 Boss 101, The Robo Council

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.

One with TERRA and Boss 101

One with Mac and Boss 101

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

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


Robo Council headshots

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

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!

In the meantime remember to LIVE YOUR DREAMS!

-Tim

Boss 101 on Steam

Wishlist us if you would be so kind!

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

2016.05.22 Boss 101 Update, Pet and Map Room

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.

Here’s a sample of the hill

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.

And if it’s sunny then this!

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.

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



Animation Setup Part 2

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

In Game

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 101 on Steam

Wishlist us on Steam right here –> http://store.steampowered.com/app/380920

Talk with you soon and remember to LIVE YOUR DREAMS!

-Tim

2016.05.14 Boss 101 Update, Galactic Passports available!

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:

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.

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

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

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

Closeup of the character and passport animation

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.

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

2016.05.07 Boss 101 Update, Rob’s travel plans

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.

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

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.

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

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!

A set of houses for various buddies!

Are you excited!?!?! We are!

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

2016.04.30 Boss 101 Update, ROB has your back!


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

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:

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

A close-up


The setup starts with art and animation.

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!

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

-Tim

2016.04.23 Boss 101, Warping around with the Clicks Ship

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


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:



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

Engines with boosters

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.

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

Another warp gate sample



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

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

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