Welcome back to the weekly Boss 101 Update! Thank you for stopping by – we appreciate it!

Boss 101 Release Date!
The time has come to talk about the Boss 101 release date. The short story is we now expect to be done the first half of 2016 – for the exact date read on!

Summer/Fall 2015
Originally we planned for Boss 101 to come out before the end of 2015 – perhaps late summer or fall. That was under the specific assumption we were essentially upgrading the graphics from the web game and added a few small niceties to the game to make it beefier. As we progressed through 2015 it became apparent the game was ‘telling’ us it needed more time. There were parts that were designed, executed and functional but they seemed a little thin or lackluster. An example is something like the Start Screen load panel. As you can see above when you hit ‘start’ a small panel with gophers pops up, animations play and you proceed to the game. Originally though, we had a plain panel and a very simple selection process.

Making it Count!
The problem with many things plain or which ‘just got by’ was EXACTLY THAT, they just ‘got by’ and weren’t special or cool. They were only functional and got the job done. Don’t get me wrong, there is place for straight functionality. Many times there is a need for good execution over flash and fizz. That said, if you have the underlying structure in place and an opportunity to spice something up with a nod to the game’s theme you might consider it. For us, we feel it’s important to make the game have character and personality since that is what makes Boss 101 stand out.

It’s for that reason we looked at everything in the game and asked “are we just getting by or are we making this special?” Every time we felt we were just getting by with the base minimum we would look at the reasons and see if there was a way to elevate the product. We did that again and again and here we are now.

All the main systems are in with a first or second pass (UI, sound, VFX, animation, gameplay, saving, loading, etc). We now begin the long march toward cleaning up all the pieces and making certain they play nice. The cinematics and storytelling are in. We’re playing the game daily and still loving it. We want you to love it too since YOU are the one who will be putting your money down.

So, when exactly!?!
I would love to lay out an exact date but I can’t at the moment. Our team is small, we are focused and we want this game done to the best of our abilities.  We are not looking to putter around on Boss 101 forever but we aren’t looking to slam something out and expect massive success. The road to something great means you step back once in a while and really look at what you are doing. As a person who has shipped many games, one of the worst feelings is letting something inferior in the product and instantly regretting it the moment you ship.

There was a reason we didn’t go the Kickstarter route or go with a publisher when we started – though we had the opportunity to do both. We wanted to make sure Boss 101 could find its own voice. Had we Kickstarted this and slipped past our expected Summer 2015, then Winter 2015 dates we would be at the mercy of people who understandably paid money for a promise that was not being kept.

For us though – we want to EARN your trust with plain ole’ HARD WORK. That’s it folks! We bust our humps every single day to make Boss 101 something you feel good about spending your hard earned cash on. We’re not begging, tricking or pleading. We just want a quality product you can have a blast with.

There you are. We will keep you posted as we go. The road to completion has started and the team is putting its efforts into polish, gameplay and unification of all systems. Again, we’re a small team but if you want to see our progress please feel free to check out the year plus of weekly updates we have been doing. I think you can tell we are a serious bunch.

Thank you again and remember to LIVE YOUR DREAMS!


Boss 101 gameplay,

Working on some of the in game battles, specifically, choose the right path or else! Yes, you decide your path and your fate. Sometimes there is a fork in the road and you get to pick your path. Which one leads to fame and fortune and which leads to more bossery?! Maybe both do!! Find out for yourself.

More to come so stay tuned to the site for updates!


Welcome back to another Boss 101 update! Thank you for joining us!

Today we continue with a look at the little touches we’re putting in Boss 101. We are polishing. That means fixing bugs and cleaning up the game to give you a top notch experience.

Gophers Remember these guys? Check it:

Well they are back and we have a pass of the gopher collection room working. It goes like this, you collect gophers after you finish certain rounds. You bring these guys back to the Command Center where they set out on their secret project. What exactly is that – well you will have to find out YOURSELF when you collect all of them.

Check out this image with a few gophers collected and their mighty machines being upgraded. The way this works is you collect five gophers per machine type and each new gopher upgrades the machine. Kinda cool!?! Look at those guys zooming around. They use the machines too! YES!!!!!

Cleaning up and polishing Kite Hill

This is a great example of things we are doing to make Boss 101 nice for you. Kite kill is awesome. It works, it looks good, there is technically nothing wrong with it. Well, we decided to take a feature we really liked and use it with kite hill. You see, when you start the game you are presented with a random opening scene (day, night, etc). That scene is reflected on a smaller scale in the Command Center but it was not reflected on Kite Hill, until now. Let’s look at some examples.

Opening Scene Sunrise

Kite Hill Sunrise

Opening Scene Daytime

Kite Hill Daytime

Opening Scene Night

Kite Hill Night

Boss 101, Tim Donley and talk about Planescape Torment

Planescape was a long, LONG time ago but next to Boss 101 it had to be one of the most rewarding teams I (Tim Donley) have ever had the privilege of working with. Great people and great energy from the team. I strongly feel if you have a great team you will make a great product and the reverse is also true. Boss 101 is a great team and we do enjoy each other’s company. The final product will be yours to judge but the ingredients are there.

Interview with Tim Donley @Boss 101, Planescape Torment and more!

The interview above is about an hour long and it covers mostly Planescape Torment but there is a lot of talk about game philosophy and we things work the way they do in game development. If you’re interested, please check it out.

Thank you again for your support. It means everything. Take care and please live your dreams!


Boss 101 What’s up back there?! – Backgrounds

Let’s talk about some of the things you will see happening in the backgrounds in Boss 101. Each level represents a section of a city and many are on different planets. During the course of the game you fly from planet to planet and see a lot of the Boss 101 galaxy.

So, how do we make things interesting? GOOD QUESTION! We started with the story, which has you cross the universe through a series of warp gates looking for Boss 101 and his home planet. Once we knew that bit of lore we had a reason and a design for a lot of the planets in the game. The idea is they progressively get more strange as you go along. For instance, you will see moons with holes punched out of them and strange Dyson Sphere like systems.

Below are some of the creations to give the player a sense of the alien places he is visiting. Make no mistake a LOT of this is a tongue and cheek takes on alien life. Of course, we have a ton of fun creating the look of the worlds to texture to the planets.

Check it out and see what you think!

Cratered Moon

Dyson Sphere?

Sunshine Day

Bad Moon Rising

“That, is not a Moon”

How much is enough?

When we sat down to make Boss 101 a lot of the impetus was to have fun flying around in a jetpack. As the game development progressed we began to add in things we felt created value for  people playing. It is an organic process we believe is making Boss 101 more ‘real’ than just a collection of backgrounds and sprites. The best part is we are giving you that story as part of the experience.

You get to fly around exploring with Steve and Max and discover places right along with them. You also will find out why there are warp gates and how YOU can control them. We originally planned to make this a souped up remake of the web version of Boss 101 but it has grown into something a lot bigger and more fun. If you look at the prior updates you will see we have been adding in things like the Endless Boss mode and a huge Command Center. This is all part of the total world experience we are making for you.

You will have tons to do and ideally you will find many little things to do between battles. Shop, upgrade your weapons and yourself, fly kites, consult the gophers, plan your next moves and more! You can play arcade games too!

It’s all there for you to do and part of the giant universe of Boss 101.

Ctrl500.com latest Dev Article is up!

Our latest article on the hats in Boss 101 is up at Ctrl500 here: What a Difference a Hat Makes in Boss 101

As always, remember to live your dreams. No one else will. Talk with you soon!


Happy Halloween and welcome to the weekly Boss 101 update!

Over a Year of Weekly updates!

Did you know we have been doing the weekly updates for over a year now!? Just for you, each week we put together our progress reports and share with you what we hope you find interesting and useful about not just Boss 101 but gamemaking.


Gopher Buddies

This week we are talking about GOPHERS! Gophers and their magical ability to build things and help you out. One of your gopher buddies is the Professor and he is there to help you build up the Command Center and upgrade your weapons but you know what?!? YOU CAN HAVE MORE GOPHER FRIENDS!

Yep, once you have cleared a round once the gophers feel safe to emerge and leave their hiding spot. All you need to do is go collect them and bring ‘em back to the Command Center. In the game there are 25 gopher buddies scattered across the game. Among those 25 are 5 main types of gophers who handle different chores back at your base. Let’s meet the types:

Those are the five types of gophers you collect and when you bring them back to the Command Center they get to upgrading the machinery inside the Upgrade room. Here’s a look at the base setup for the upgrades.

The machinery goes here and improves as you bring in more buddies to improve the place.

While you’re collecting things the game will helpfully guide you to the levels your buddies are still waiting on. And when you collect a gopher you get a SWEET achievement medal in the map room! Look at that little guy – sitting on top of the world!

I think the big question is what exactly are your buddies working on? Well, you will have to collect them all to find out. Whatever it is– they sure think it’s important. So get on it and bring them all together.

Boss 101 folks, it’s got drama, adventure and gopher saving. What more could you ask for.

Destructoid Column Started!

Fresh from my series on How to Make a Game come a new series starting up at Destructoid. Check out the latest blog here:

Destruction Column Link – Making Games and More

Thanks for stopping by and remember to keep checking back for more updates and always LIVE YOUR DREAMS!


Welcome to the latest Boss 101 update!

Today we are on the polish bandwagon and talking about weather. OK, so weather in Boss 101 is mostly about adding atmosphere and a nice look to a level. We have talked of course about lightning storms affecting the player and other interactable moments but for today we are going to focus on weather as it accentuates the look of our levels.

How we make types of weather

Not surprisingly the weather I am talking about is all done inside our particle system. Our main man on the tech side of things – Joshua – came up with a brilliantly simple way to create effective and low cost weather systems with a setup even I can understand!

We start with the particle itself (snow, rain or perhaps a bit of newspaper blowing down the street). This is created in Photoshop or some pixel program and then animated if need be for color variance or rotation (more on this later). For things like a newspaper bit we animated it in place and spinning in various cool ways. Three simple animations named idle0, idle1, idle2, idle3, idle4, idle5. Those are all saved off and stored for use in the particle system.

Animation setup

When the setup for the particle happens we create an object (in this case a newspaper bit object) and then have it play one of its three animations. When that animation is finished it selects a new one randomly from the same list. OK, still with me? GOOD!

The particle system grabs that object and moves it across the screen in whatever direction we specify. Left, right, up or down. For newspapers we move them right to left to simulate the effect of blowing down a street. Easy huh? When you add in the effect of the random spinning animations it really helps sell it. We also drop in fade in and fade outs to help further the illusion.

Particle weather called from a level script

Now you may be asking yourself “Self, why don’t they just do all that spinning and stuff from inside the particle system?” That is a great question and it is entirely possible to do this but it would have meant more coding. Joshua’s time could be put elsewhere since adding those little spinning animations is easy AND the ability to grab from random idles adds a new dimension to the possibilities of the weather system. We could have added wind streaks for instance and used the random animations to have swirls and gusts at a small cost.

So there are the basics of the system and check out examples below for more shots of how we do it!

Newspapers blowing at the beginning of a round

Rain in the forest – same system as above with different configuration

Snow effects

Ash falling in the post apocalyptic worlds

Pause Menu Screenshot
Boss 101 – an in-game break while working on exit menu in the pause UI. Even when we pause we don’t pause!

Thank you again for your time and remember to live your dreams!