2016.07.24 Boss 101: Hats, Costumes and more!

Hey all, this is Tim and welcome back to another Boss 101 update!

Here at the Donley Time Foundation we think about you! Now you might ask yourself “Self, what are those wacky people at the Time Foundation up to this week?” The answer, we are up to our necks in polishing Boss 101 FOR YOU! We have been tightening the screws, checking the paint, smashing bugs and tuning features so you can have the very best Boss 101 game we can muster.

This week we wanted to talk about a feature we lovingly refer to as ‘the hat collection’ though it is MUCH more than that. You know we have hats! You know you can buy them and get special powers. You might also suspect something we are going to verify RIGHT NOW. Those same hats show up all across the game while you play! In cinematics, the Command Center and all throughout the main storyline. So if you are dressed as your fav character from our wide selection of costume hats then you will see that character interact with everyone in costume.

We have superhero themed hats, hats that make you mythological characters, hats that make you sci-fi stars or even robots. Let’s look at some of the variety shall we?

Mister Cyclops has his day! Go on and visit your brother as a classic Greek monster, he won’t judge.

Getting ready for a warp jump with your one eyed avatar…

Snack Time..

Maybe you want to change it up as a super hero type person…

Into Space!

Perhaps purple haired Sasha?

Maybe something a little more ‘solid’?

Maxine in space!

Maybe even a forbidden robot…

Picnic as Alice…

If all else fails go classic…

Ok – the whole point is we want you to have fun and play the way you want. Boss 101 is about your stories. The hats, weapons and bosses are there to bring you an adventure and we hope you will find our efforts worthwhile. There are a lot of little touches you might not see right away but don’t fret! We feel it’s worth the time and effort to make things special.

General Update

This was a pretty big week for us. A lot of the systems were checked over for thoroughness and bugs. We fixed a few little niggles to make your experience better and added in more storytelling hooks. Overall – things are moving along well!

Check back with us next week for more news and until then…

LIVE YOUR DREAMS!

-Tim

2016.07.17 Boss 101, Gopher Space Station

Welcome back to the Boss 101 update!

The GSS

This week we are talking about the latest and greatest upgrade to the Map Room in Boss 101 – the Gopher Space Station (GSS)! You heard it here first, the gophers are building a space station with a special warp gate during the course of the game.

As you already know the map room is where you go to select your next planetary mission. It’s also a place to chart your progress towards Boss 101 himself. During your adventure you will get to see first hand the gophers constructing the mighty GSS. Each level of your progress is a step in their progress. It will be your efforts driving the construction forward.

Check out this early stage of with the construction at its earliest. Here we have the superstructure just up and the framework laid out.

Now later in the game you will see framework removed and more paint and goodies added. Cool huh?

No work is done in space without the Gopher Space Corp and here are a  few of the people working to make things happen.

Ted Gopher bringing in Supplies from a supply ship

Mary and Angela are welding some of the struts together for extra rigidity

Dialog Advancement

We also wanted to highlight a feature about our dialog system added to make your reading time much more pleasurable. The magical A button. We know many games employ this method and we think it’s a good one too. Basically you can advance dialog with the A button and read at your own speed. Of course if you want to skip dialog entirely you can do that but we do not recommend missing out on all our hilarity.

We also test dialogs for errors in the debug dialog room. In an earlier update we highlighted this room and its ease of use in making corrections.

Folks, it has been an amazing few weeks. We spoke yesterday at the Indie Games Riot IRX 2016 conference. We recommend checking out the site for their interviews and news. A great crew and worth your time.

http://indiegameriot.com/

Also – we have been working round the clock to clean up and polish the game into something truly special. Speaking for myself (Tim) I feel our team has really brought the art, animation, story and code into a special area YOU the player will really enjoy. All our decisions are based on making things entertaining and fun. Boss 101 is about adventure and being a kid with a jetpack. We are all working our rear ends off putting in every bell and whistle we can.

Thanks for stopping by and remember to always… LIVE YOUR DREAMS!

-Tim

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

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

2016.07.10 Boss 101, Levels and Fog

Hello again and welcome to our Boss 101 Development Update. This week’s subject GAME FOG!

We are going to walk you through how we are using a simple fog overlay in Boss 101 to clear up the action. This makes the game not only more visually appealing but arguably more fun for you the player.

First off let’s look at what we are doing here. Below is a sample screenshot of a forest themed level.

Everything is working just fine in practice and the level looks great in the screenshot. Thing is, you will be playing the game in motion and when bullets are flying and minions are dodging all over the place you want every advantage possible. For that we looked at the background area and wanted to push it more into the ‘background’. This was for a couple reasons. One – it would add depth to the level by giving things and atmospheric haze. The next is it would help clear up the difference between what is important and what is more eye candy.

Be warned, we are getting into a subjective area. This is really about what you want for YOUR GAME. This is not a cure all for every game. Let’s move on…

Testing out the theory
So we took the above screenshot and blocked out the boss and the player like so. This was to have a quick testbed for what we wanted to do.

We then looked at adding in a gradient fog to the level. Mind you this is something we want to add in order to unify the background and pop the foreground action. The idea here is a light wash over the whole background and nothing that drops everything into a San Francisco type pea soup.

Above you can see the sample fog effect. It’s dropping the saturation down on many of the brighter objects and still keeping the nice art in place. That’s what we wanted to see started working on more levels.

Some later levels in action with before and after

Robo Egypt Daytime – no fog

Robo Egypt Daytime – fog effect added

Again – there is a subtle drop here of the brighter areas which is what we wanted. The idea behind everything it to make the game fun to play and entertain the player. Fun to play is first so the playfield needs to be as good as we can make it.

Here is Robo Egypt Nighttime – no fog (forgive the gif compression banding on the sky)

Robo Egypt Nighttime – fog effect added (forgive the gif compression banding on the sky)

You can see here the fog helps give a greater sense of depth and unifies the scene. Also – I love Robo Egypt! HAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!

Hope you enjoyed that look into the game and look forward to more as we head towards our ship date.

-Tim

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

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

2016.07.02 Boss 101, Making Bow Weapons

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

Making Weapons in Boss 101. In our quest to bring you the most variety when you battle bosses we are again peeling back the curtain to look at the creation of our bow weapons. You heard me correctly – you have bows and arrows in Boss 101! HAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!

We start with the basic idea which was adding a relatively hard hitting special weapon  for the mid-game. Many of the weapons in Boss 101 are grouped in a classes which in turn have three or more levels of upgrades to them. Each level representing more power or other advantage. As the player you will be giving the choice to use ANY weapon based on your preferences.

We also have basic player upgrades and hat bonuses available for the player’s character. These would arguably allow you to take a weaker weapon and buff it up through bonuses granted via items. Ok – that was a mouthful so let’s look at the bow and its three upgrades

First there is the Class 1 bow weapon – the regular bow and arrow! A solid weapon all around.

Second up we have the Class 2 Compound Bow – upgraded from the regular bow in nearly all ways.

Last up is the Crossbow Deluxe, a Class 3 weapon – top of the line!

Here are some shots of the various bow weapons in action

Lest you think the fun ends there we also are working on BLADE WEAPONS. Now why would we do that? For you – we want you to have choices! These blade weapons are all of the throwing variety. Below are two quick snaps of some of the things you can see.

Some debug shots of the basic throwing knife – you can see some of the draw outlines since we are running in debug mode here. Another quick shot:

And if you succeed in taking the boss down over water you’ll see him drop into the deep blue. YEAH BABY!

Thanks again for stopping by and thank you for your e-mails. We appreciate your support!

Remember to live your dreams!

-Tim

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

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

2016.06.25: Boss 101 Debug Rooms and Bosses

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.

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

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.

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.

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