Windows Boss 101 (2018.01.08) Big Free Update this Week

Tim

Member
***To speed up loading spoiler tags are added to images in older posts***

Hello Everyone!

First - thanks for clicking on this link. I wanted to post here about our game Boss 101 made entirely with GameMaker: Studio. It's a project we have been working on for almost two years now and idue to release later this year. We've ran a successful Steam Greenlit campaign and have been doing regular development logs on our main site to give people an insight into the way we made this game. Since there may be people here interested in ways you can use GameMaker: Studio we wanted to share some of our experiences with you.

This post is intended to collect some of the information we found useful in one place and also allow you to ask us questions if you like. We will be taking some of our prior devlogs and bring you all new content as we head towards our ship date. Read on see what you think.

Links to posts:

2018.01.08 Boss 101, Big Free Update this Week
2017.12.30 Year End Wrap Up - Part 2
2017.12.17 Year End Wrap Up
2017.12.09 News from the Boss 101 team!
2017.12.02 More looks at Boss 101 himself
2017.11.26 Boss 101 Team News and More!
2017.11.18 Reviews and More
2017.11.11 Shipping is just the beginning!
2017.11.04 Boss 101 Out and we're thankful!
2017.11.02 Boss 101 is out on Steam right now!
2017.10.29 Boss 101 releases in FOUR days!
2017.10.21 Countdown to ship in 12 days!
2017.10.15 Boss 101 Update, Trailers, Streams, More!
2017.10.07 Boss 101 Shipping on November 2nd 2017
2017.09.30 Preview Gameplay Videos and more!
2017.09.23 Tuning and PS Controllers
2017.09.16 Working Building and Fun
2017.09.09 Tuning the nearly 300 hats in our game
2017.09.03 Big September Development Update
2017.08.26 Hat Contest Winners
2017.08.20 How to Make a Hat
2017.08.12 Early Beta, Wiki and contest
2017.08.05 Screen Status Displays and Effects
2017.07.29 Hat Design Contest
2017.07.22 Steam Achievements
2017.07.15 Lore and History Part 2
2017.07.08 Lore and History
2017.07.01 Arcade Games Roundup
2017.06.25 Updates and Upgrades
2017.06.17 Hat Store Sorting
2017.06.10 Mini Quest Achievements
2017.06.03 Big Development Update
2017.05.27 Big Boss Bomb
2017.05.20 Super Boss Warp Gates
2017.05.13 Gun VFX, inspiration and more!
2017.05.07 Robo Council Returns
2017.04.29 PC Keyboard Mapping
2017.04.22 Submergible Bosses
2017.04.15 Train Boss and Updates
2017.04.08 Three Years of Progress
2017.04.01 Super Bombs
2017.03.25 Update, Polish and Fun pt2
2017.03.18 Update, Polish and Fun pt1
2017.03.12 BERL's Video Guide pt9 The Hat Store
2017.03.04 BERL's Video Guide pt8 The Make A Boss Room
2017.02.25 BERL's Video Guide pt7 The Map Room
2017.02.18 BERL's Video Guide pt6 The Endless Boss Mode
2017.02.11 Boss 101 Progress towards shipping!
2017.02.04 BERL's Video Guide pt5 The Upgrade Room Gophers
2017.01.28 BERL's Video Guide pt4 The Upgrade Room
2017.01.21 BERL's Video Guide pt3 The Arcade Machine
2017.01.14 BERL's Video Guide pt2 The Gun Store
2017.01.07 BERL's Video Guide pt1 The Command Center
2017.01.01 BERL as your guide
2016.12.24 Year End Wrapup
2016.12.17 December Gameplay Trailer
2016.12.10 Cameras and Warnings
2016.12.03 End of Round Magic!
2016.11.26 BIG FAT RELEASE UPDATE!
2016.11.19 More Arcade Game Action!
2016.11.12 UI Upgrades across this year
2016.11.05 Breakout games and Art Re-Use
2016.10.29 Making an Arcade Tank Game
2016.10.27 Making our in game WIKI
2016.10.22 Creating a Tutorial
2016.10.09 Making our Game Editors
2016.10.02 Picnics with Unicorns!
2016.09.24 Designing Guns for Boss 101
2016.09.17 Equipment, UI and Polish
2016.09.10 Elevators and Little Pets
2016.09.06 Equipping you for battle (and Rob's Store)
2016.08.28 Dialog Box Advances in Boss 101
2016.08.15 Bringing Polish the the Boss 101 Stores
2016.08.09 UI Work and Sweating the Details
2016.07.30 Building Environments to tell a story
2016.07.24 Making Costumes and Hats for the player
2016.07.21 Setting up bullet patterns and art teams!
2016.07.17 Dialog Options and Ambient Animations
2016.07.12 Animating a character for GameMaker
2016.07.10 Adding Fog to Game Levels
2016.07.01 The Transporter Room
2016.06.25 Make a Super Boss
2016.06.23 Making Pixel Art for our game
2016.06.21 Boss 101 Cinematics How We Do It- Part 1
2016.06.21 Getting your game Greenlit on Steam (not in this thread)

December 2016 Gameplay Trailer


About Boss 101
Check out the recap below for a look at the state of the game. We highlighted some of the main work. Unless otherwise noted all screens and .gifs are captured directly from the the GameMaker engine.

Command Center Main Room

Let's check out the work on the Command Center main room - YOUR main room in the game! This is your first stop and where you hang out with Max and Steve.


Pets - Y
es, you can get a pet buddy! They also can fly around with you on adventures!



We have a little pet hill where they can play, sleep AND where you can visit them!



The Story

Boss 101 is the story about a boy, his jetpack and MILLIONS of randomly generated bosses. Join Max and S.T.E.V.E. as they adventure across the galaxy battling the baddies and bringing home the ice cream. Boss 101 is an arcade shooter and much more! We have procedurally generated levels, bosses and gameplay. On top of that we're bringing you as much humor and entertainment as possible while you play.

Yep, you have guns but we like to think it's a little more than just a shooter since it's got a story driving it forward. That's right, we said it. It's not JUST blasting robo baddies and rolling onto the next level. There is real human drama here folks. For one, did you know this whole adventure is triggered when your brother makes a simple (for him) birthday request?


Make-A-Boss

Your enemies are created in the Make A Boss Creator YOU CONTROL. You are in charge not only of outfitting yourself but you get to roll YOUR OWN BOSS! That's right, each level and each boss is basically designed by you with the magical MAKE-A-BOSS generator (see image):


Hats in action - some give you special bullets



You might end up in a warp tunnel blasting samurai swords!



Command Center - Vending Machine Room - time for a snack


Command Center - Warp gate Room - where the adventure starts


Kite Hill - Take a break and fly a kite in Boss 101. Chat it up with your buddy as you soak in the rays. Maybe you’ll learn something.


Ok folks, hope you enjoyed the look and please feel free to ask any questions!

Talk with you soon and remember... LIVE YOUR DREAMS!!!

-Tim

Places you can find us... Main Site | Facebook | Twitter | Boss 101 Steam
 
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Psyinx

Member
Hey Tim,
Been watching this project unfold over the last few months - it looks like a lot of fun to play and I think you guys have done an amazing job so far! Looking forward to the release of this title keep up the good work!!
 
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Tim

Member
Hey Tim,
Been watching this project unfold over the last few months - it looks like a lot of fun to play and I think you guys have done an amazing job so far! Looking forward to the release of this title keep up the good work!!
Thank you! That means a lot and it's much appreciated!

We've been hammering away on Boss 101 for a while and when we come up for air we always hope a few people will enjoy the look at our progress and maybe even get an insight. We'r always looking to give back and do what we can to help you or anyone else. I'd like to start posting some of our more interesting and informative blogs here in this thread so stay tuned.

In the meanwhile you can check out our blog on the Steam Store page or on our TIGForums page. We've about 200 major and minor development updates done over two years. Funny enough - we recently won the 3rd Place on the 2015 TIGForums "Favorite DevLog". That's no meant to blow our own horn but show we are serious about allowing people in on our dev process.

Thanks again and look for more! Comments or questions are always welcome.

Best,

-Tim
 
J

Joshua Allen

Guest
Hey Tim,
Been watching this project unfold over the last few months - it looks like a lot of fun to play and I think you guys have done an amazing job so far! Looking forward to the release of this title keep up the good work!!
Thanks Psyinx.
We have been working hard to make Boss 101 a fun game that everyone will enjoy and I don't think anyone is more excited for the release than us!
 
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Tim

Member
**Pixel Art setups in Boss 101**

We got a few messages and mails about how we are making our art for Boss 101 so let's get right down to it with a look at the pixel art process. What you need:

The Basics

Pixel Program – we used Photoshop for the art. It’s not better or worse than many of the other awesome programs out there. It’s just what we use. It’s nice because:
- Layers (ESSENTIAL for rapid art development)
- each layer can have an overall effect applied to it to influence the underlying art. For instance – you can use a layer with a gradient to darken and shadow a layer underneath. Very useful.
- Solid program not prone to crashes. I’ve used Photoshop for nearly 21 years and I think it has only crashed out completely on me maybe 4 times.
- Animation tools for .gifs are pretty good, I’m hesitant to say they are amazing in Photoshop but they can get the job done well.
- Folders – Essential for separating the various pieces and components of art. Also allows you to store multiple files in the same location for easy reference and referral.

[Cloud] Backup Service – I cannot stress enough how important it is to actually save and back your work up ALL THE TIME. May you never experience the incredible sad panda of seeing your work erased in a power outage. When that happens you cry, you wail, you promise to NEVER let it happen again and worst of all… it’s totally your fault since you should know better. Get a free Dropbox account, Google Drive or something. If you want Snowden level security you will probably have to pay for it but most of us don’t need 4096 bit encryption for our pixel cat art.

Setting things up

Group similar items:
If you have a collection of similar items (we have a collection of player guns, player hats and bosses that get grouped together) your best bet it to put them all in the same Photoshop file. Saves a huge amount of time and makes the work a lot easier than having 200 little .PSD’s all over the place. This is a shot of our allHatsFile.psd. You can see we store 100’s of hats in one file.

(sample of our hat working file)


Work on things in batches if possible.
If you are perhaps making guns for your main character, you would benefit from making all the same types at the same time. They reason for this is you end up saving design time since you are laying out all your ideas at the same time. The avoids pattern repetition, as well as mistakes and lets you focus on the creative but putting all similar ideas in front at the same time. It’s much easier to see outliers and weird things when you have a nice lineup going.

(sample of our guns which were drawn in batches)


Work on things in layers and start with black and white art first
I mentioned this in a prior post but starting with black and white is probably best for a lot of reasons. First and foremost you are probably not that good at color. SORRY! It’s true. I mean you might get lucky once in a while and get some compliments when you bolt right in with color work but unless you’re an art major and have studied color theory trust me on this. Do the first pass of your work in Black and White and it will save you a ton of time. Black and white shows your contrast areas and detail in the clearest way possible. Color will accentuate a strong black and white base drawing but a weak color drawing is normally weak because of bad color choice (obviously) OR it doesn’t have enough contrast. The black and white will let you focus on the important stuff first.


From there the way to go is put your shading in a separate layer. This allows you to tweak and tune the look



Then you can just add in the color layer and play around till you have something you like.




As you can see once you have everything all tidied up in Photoshop, separated in layers, setup for colors then you can dig in and play around with intensity and color experimentation. You will like the fact you can adjust the shading layer but keep the great colors you found. All in all this is one of the most efficient ways I have found to work. It is not the fastest AT FIRST because there is setup involved but the overall effect is a much faster workflow and a strong piece of mind. An added bonus is the tweak and changes are a lot easier too. Of course, if you do everything perfectly on the first try you probably don’t need to change anything so just work as you please! HAAAAAAAAA!!!

Hope you enjoyed this peek and thanks for stopping by. Comments or questions welcome and remember to LIVE YOUR DREAMS!

-Tim
 
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darthlupi

Guest
Man, I love your art pipline. I really appreciate you sharing it. It seems like once you have mastered the work flow Photoshop gives you a lot of freedom.

Your game looks amaze balls too. I get a serious Gunstar Heroes meets Adventure time feeling on this guy.
I'll be following this jive!
 

Tim

Member
Man, I love your art pipline. I really appreciate you sharing it. It seems like once you have mastered the work flow Photoshop gives you a lot of freedom.

Your game looks amaze balls too. I get a serious Gunstar Heroes meets Adventure time feeling on this guy.
I'll be following this jive!
Awesome and thanks. I'll be posting a few more looks at the process we use. Love that you are picking up on the vibe of the game too, we are aiming for a fun Adventure Time-esque experience.

Appreciate the kinds words!

-Tim
 
F

Fuzenrad

Guest
Man, youre getting a very interesting shmup, congratulations.. :) am following your project..
 

Tim

Member
Man, youre getting a very interesting shmup, congratulations.. :) am following your project..
Thank you - with our posts here and on the main site we're really looking to give back to the game development community. Appreciate the support!

-Tim
 

Tim

Member
Welcome to another Boss 101 Update

Today we are talking about one bad ass mo-fo, the Train Boss. This dude is found on one of the later planets and he is not one, not two but multiple parts and weapons you battle as you make way from the caboose to the front of the train.

Though he shares some of the base abilities of the earlier bosses (flames, lasers and ultra shots) he also has a new ones you haven’t seen. He has a train car which fires balls of plasma which can destroy YOUR shots. What the heck!?! Don’t fret, you have counters for all his tricks but you do have to be careful. This dude requires patience and a steady hand. Blasting away might not get you too far. Let’s look at some of the cars and the process behind the boss.

First off – he’s a train. HAAAAA!!! YOU KNOW THAT! Well, we had to create a track system and when I say “we” I mean Joshua, our uber programmer. I think the conversation went something like this

Me: Hey, what about a train boss thing?
Joshua: Yeah, we can do that.
Me: Man, we can have it race across the bottom of the screen all awesome.
Joshua: yah, totally. It will look cool.
Me: Dang, wouldn’t it be cool if the track actually had hills and stuff the train could move up and down on?
Joshua: I thought that is what we were just talking about. I was going to make that happen.
Me: WHAT!?! You mean you can code all that train shiz to work? Like a real train on sloping hills.
Joshua: Oh yah, S’easy.

Welp, guess what – he sure made it look easy. Once those tracks were in we started creating the cars and the play space you will fight in. Check out JUST A FEW of the awesome possum things we have.

Mine Layer Car – this guy will teleport in mines to block your path. Not something you want to hang around for a long time. Be sure to take this clown down quick.

Mortar Car – Lobs one of the biggest shells in the game at you. Sure you can shot it but if you’re caught in the explosions don’t blame us. We warned you.

Flak Cannon Car – designed to keep you in place and pound you out of the sky. He has to take a break between blasts so make the most of the time you get.

Laser Beam Eyes - fires trick shots

Gas Car - goes boom

Hope you enjoyed that peek at the latest and come back for more. And remember – live your dreams!

-Tim
 
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Tim

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

Transporter Room


We've spoken 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 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:


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


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:



Then we setup the Cinematic to load the correct objects and pick the correct script. Easy PEASY!


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 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.


Boss 101 Screenshot:


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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darthlupi

Guest
Man, Spine for cut scenes? What will they think of next.
Are the text boxes also managed in spine? I love that. Coding cut scenes is tough!
Lovely output man. I can see how that would give you great freedom in injecting character into your characters.
 

Tim

Member
Man, Spine for cut scenes? What will they think of next.
Are the text boxes also managed in spine? I love that. Coding cut scenes is tough!
Lovely output man. I can see how that would give you great freedom in injecting character into your characters.
Yep, text boxes are managed in Spine. In fact most of the cinematic work is basically loading up the various Spine objects and hitting play!

-Tim
 
T

Treecase86

Guest
I've played the game on Newgrounds, and that seemed like a finished game, so I can only imagine what the finished product will be like! While playing, though, I noticed a few minor spelling errors, such as 'skys' instead of 'skies' and 'yah' instead of 'yeah'. Other than that, great game, will it ever be available on console or mobile, do you think? And can you make the conversation between Max and STEVE in the main shop go quicker? Not by a whole lot, it just kinda forces you to press space unless you want to wait for a while for the text to change, thanks! Game looks great.
 

Tim

Member
Other than that, great game, will it ever be available on console or mobile, do you think? And can you make the conversation between Max and STEVE in the main shop go quicker? Not by a whole lot, it just kinda forces you to press space unless you want to wait for a while for the text to change, thanks! Game looks great.
Hey - thanks so much for the feedback and the kind words. We really appreciate it when you or anyone takes a moment to check out the latest. Some answers:

Consoles - yep, we would love to get Boss 101 on consoles. The idea is to get the PC version out and stable and then look at other platforms as well as other languages.

Game Conversations - we do have either skip or speed up functions for most all conversations. The intent is always to allow people to read at their preferred pace.

Thanks again and keep checking back if you are interested. We are trying to share as much of the game development process as we can.

Best,

-Tim
 
T

Treecase86

Guest
Hey - thanks so much for the feedback and the kind words. We really appreciate it when you or anyone takes a moment to check out the latest. Some answers:

Consoles - yep, we would love to get Boss 101 on consoles. The idea is to get the PC version out and stable and then look at other platforms as well as other languages.

Game Conversations - we do have either skip or speed up functions for most all conversations. The intent is always to allow people to read at their preferred pace.

Thanks again and keep checking back if you are interested. We are trying to share as much of the game development process as we can.

Best,

-Tim
Thanks for replying so quickly, sounds cool to be able to play Boss 101 on console, it's nice that you have added a speed up button, because on Newgrounds I have to press space very often during conversations.

Have any tips for making music? I want to make some but I don't know which program/keyboard I should use. I like Boss 101's music, what do you use?
 
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Tim

Member
Some of our work is done by composers and some is done by ourselves. We did a lot of digging around the free sites and then moved from there to the paid composers and sites. Most of the time we are making our own sound snippets and those are themselves edited down from longer compositions.

Yeah, totally agree about the spacebar pressing - we are looking to make that a little more painless this time around.

-Tim
 

Tim

Member
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:



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.



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.

Always remember folks - LIVE YOUR DREAMS! No one else will!

-Tim

Boss 101 on Steam Wishlist us if you would be so kind. Thank you!
http://store.steampowered.com/app/380920
 
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Tim

Member
Boss Animation and animation in general

OK – so let’s talk about animations in games. First you will have to understand a few points we strive for when we do animation. They may or MAY NOT apply to your animation needs so check these out and see what you think.

Guidelines for basic cycle animations:
- The first and last frames should be the same!
- values for things like movement, rotation and scaling should, for the most part, ALWAYS move in a Sine wave.
- Slow and even animation generally works better then quick stuff over time when doing cycles. There are exceptions but when you do a cycle you probably are doing to add flavor. Like any flavor too much of something can be overpowering! HAHAH! Like that comparison?! You’re a cook!

Let’s Jump straight to the final image of the moving tail with a little pipe thingie opening and closing to give you an idea of where we are heading. Notice the segments all move one after the other. We’re just doing an idle here so the thing isn’t flailing all over the place like a flag in a hurricane.

Ok Here we are – first setup image. We can see the basic setup for the boss body and his tail. We are using the program Spine (http://esotericsoftware.com/) but this is applicable for any animation you are doing in any program. The thing we are going for a is a smooth up and down motion for the dino tail. Remembering this is just one part of a LOT of moving parts we can get going with basics of the animation.
This next image will give you a quick sense of what we are shooting for when we do animations. SINE WAVES people! Basically you want to move/rotate/scale your values UP and then DOWN (or vice versa) and bring them back to start. For this guy we are doing something like:
Frame 0, value of Y = 0
Frame 16, value of Y = -1
Frame 43, value of Y = 1
Frame 67, value of Y = 0
You see the magic there?! That is straight animation and it looks good too. Please understand the SPIRIT of what I am getting at here and not the literal values you are looking at. It’s time for the use of your IMAGINATION. Let’s IMAGINE you are an indie game developer and you have hundreds of things to animate. Well, are you going to sit down and mo-cap out a bunch of dinosaurs? Probably not. What you want is some magical way you can layout a bunch of animations to look good and pro. Again, generally speaking think of most creatures and even mechanical things in life. They move in sine waves – back and forth and reset.

For a lot of the basic animation you will likely be doing this will be some SWEET looking stuff. The things you will want to vary when you get down to individual pieces, creatures and the like will be the spacing between frames and the values of those peaks and valleys of the sine wave.

About the way I am using the term Sine Wave – this is just my shorthand for a series of animation values (rotation, scale or position) that change up and down (or down and up) over time.

Then we move to this final bit. Since there are three tail section and we want a whip like motion. All we need to is offset the animation in the rows by a few frames. We did the same kind of animation in each row and then shifted that animation over to the right for each subsequent section.
OK- that is a lot to digest so let’s move to something else for the moment!

HATS!!!

We added two new hats to the Boss 101 lineup in honor of the site ShMUPS site (http://shmups.system11.org/). Their EXACT abilities are still being tuned but the current plan is they will make your character (well, S.T.E.V.E. and Max) into more or less traditional ShMUPS type player vehicle. Among the things we are thinking is both these hats will turn off the life bar and possibly a few other things (might even include modification of player movement and shots).

Thanks for reading and your support! We do listen and read all your mail and comments!

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
 
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FROGANUS

Guest
Wow game looks pretty rad! Thanks for the workflow/graphics insight/tips. Clearly u guise go harddd.
 
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Tim

Member
Welcome back to the Boss 101 update!

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.
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
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
 
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Tim

Member
Hello and thank you for stopping by! We're kicking it off with another behind the scenes look at the way we make our magic. (or at least a peak at it!)

Boss 101 - Making the Dog Boss Bark

We start with a basic discussion about what a boss will act like, how he will behave. Things like movement, weapons and personality are discussed and planned out. Of course it all needs to work within the games framework of interlocking parts.

Let's look at the Dog Boss - here is a look at the first pass of the dog's main weapon planning diagram. We layout the way things work with some sketches and notes.
From there it gets a working first pass... like so...
When it's in the game we start playtesting and seeing how it feels along with other boss combos, player weapons and basically everything we can think of. I have to say it's pretty fun to watch something come online the first time and just blast away at it. There's nothing like horribly imbalanced weapons to get the blood flowing!

Arm Weapon Setup in Boss 101

Then you have things like the arm weapons... the little one on the shark boss right here...
Those notes became this!
Pretty dope right?! That's the kind of fun we have all day!

Setting up and Art Team (or any team really)

OK - more coming but check out this little bit of development blog magic I wrote up regarding my thoughts on how to setup an art department. (this was asked in regards to my time spent at Black Isle on Planescape Torment)

First, I would start with the very basic ingredient of ANY team – which is passionate people. That sounds trite but you want people who believe in your project working with you especially since the smaller the team the more a “true believer” will affect the work as a whole. I’m basically talking about someone who is excited and you personally feel you can get along with. Believe me, you will know this person when you meet them. The flipside is if you have someone on the team who is disagreeable or who tends to subvert the goals of the group then it’s in your best interest to remove them as quickly as possible.

OK – with that out of the way and assuming you have a small group of dedicated people then the rest is a LOT easier to manage.

Department organization – some thought in no particular order (from my time on Planescape and Neverwinter Nights 2)

• First and foremost try to put people on work they WANT to do. If someone loves characters then they should be ideally on characters. If someone loves backgrounds then put them there. This will require you to shuffle people around to let them see the various departments and jobs inside an art team but it can be worth it. Sometimes everyone says “I want to be a character artist” but they discover they are really good at UI or something else.
• Always appeal to the greater project when getting people to do work – at all times you should frame any job as it impacts the whole project. In other words – how will texturing this house, modeling this character, animating this scorpion, etc help get things done. If YOU don’t know how it affects the project then DO NOT ASSIGN it until you do. Project management mistake #1 – handing out ‘assignments’ with no sense of the bigger picture.
• Allow people the freedom to do what they want but make sure they do the job asked first. ALWAYS allow people to suggest changes and even implement things on their own. They probably have better ideas than most since they are the ones working on it. However I would say it’s equally important to make sure they do the work asked first BEFORE they do their own thing. It’s a very fair system.
• Be prepared to change the task if one of the workers points out something ridiculous, futile or time wasting about it. Ever hand someone a task and they make a funny face? There’s probably a reason they think it’s stupid – find out why and do so with minimum disruption.

Art Directors duties (a semi humorous but accurate look)

- Cheerleader – getting the team to work together and in harmony. This is your number one job (well, TECHNICALLY the #1 job is to turn a profit right? haha)
- Garbage man – there was a term when I played basketball in high school lo those MANY years ago. We had a guy on each side called the “garbage man” his job was to take all our junk and put it in the basket. Our crappy shots, passes and all that shiz – he grabbed it and turned it into points. What I’m saying it the art director should, in most every case, never work on primary art for the game (this is dependent on team size of course and layout). He or she should be working on the stuff no one else wants to do an making sure that is of the highest quality. Turning the garbage jobs into points as it were.
- Tracking the project – at all times the art director needs to keep their eye on the goal of the game, watch the tasks for progress and above all make sure all work is relevant. This will mean course correction at times but it will have to be done. Any task which becomes outdated or irrelevant should be stopped immediately – avoid letting people finish ‘just because’ unless you are fairly certain you might use the work. People catch on very fast to busy work and will throttle their productivity accordingly.

Last thoughts

One last screenshot to leave you with for the day...

The future's so bright I gotta bust meteors....
Talk with you soon and LIVE YOUR DREAMS!

-Tim
 
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Tim

Member
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…
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

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

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

Member
Welcome to the latest Boss 101 update!

Let’s talk some more about world building in Boss 101. Specifically we are going to talk about the way we setup environments in the game and make them consistent during your stay in the Command Center.

Let’s look at how this evolved. We have the Start Screen and early on we wanted it to have a variety of environments (rain, night, day, etc). The idea was to give you a sense of time and life in the game. You leave, come back and time has passed.

Well, you can imagine that opened up a rabbit hole of possibilities for us. The moment we had a changing Start Screen we talked about changing the pet window in the Command Center. Of course, once you do THAT you start to think about all the other screens built off there which would likely have the same environment.

Ok – so we looked at Kite Hill and thought “That’s in the same area but maybe off to the left or right from the start screen.” It wasn’t long before we hooked up that location to have the same type of environment (with slight tweaks) as the start screen. From there we ended up going through all the locations you can access directly from the Command Center and creating custom but similar looks for you to see.

We have the Endless Boss Launch area. The Clicks ship in there shows and open sky that now reflects the rest of the Command Center. Pet Hill as well as the Options and the Credits Movie area are all part of the main game environment you see at the beginning.

The thing we wanted for you was to make something special and interesting when you played. A lot of our time is put into making the game feel like a place and the people you meet as interesting as possible.

Examples with a Rainbow Sky

Screenshot of the Day!
We really do believe it is ALL of this which adds up to make a special game. As we heard Racer X once say “When YOU care, THEY care” and who are we to argue.
Thanks again for stopping by and remember to LIVE YOUR DREAMS!

-Tim
 
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Tim

Member
You asked for it and you got it! Welcome to the Boss 101 update where we sweat the details and share the secrets behind the making of Boss 101 the game.

Speaking of details, this week we’re looking at more of the little touches we think make Boss 101 a special game. Things like interface cleanup as well as various UI screen niceties to enhance your game experience are covered. We feel the ONLY way to bring Boss 101 into your life is by giving you OUR VERY BEST EFFORT and then some. We also believe the way to make a mark, give you value and bring you back for more is to put forth an effort so spectacular you can’t ignore the joy we had making it.

Every day we look at ways to make each element of the game as fun, engaging and charming as possible. No screen, character or BUTTON is immune to this thinking. It’s not enough to have a great gameplay feature or some neat looking loading screen. We feel each part of the experience must match up and equal the rest. We have themed the entire game around the Boss 101 look so let’s check out samples of what I am blabbing about shall we?

UI Load Game Panel

Working on the front end UI. Specifically the save game panel so it shows your current gun and hat. These days it's about the nice touches as we polish up Boss 101 heading into the final stretch.



Main Screen Options Panel



Once you get to the main screen panel you can access the base options for the game. Among other things you will be able to configure your keyboard controls. Let’s talk about that for a second.

When we first looked at this panel we had static icons to represent the various controls you were going to remap. That’s all well and good but how much cooler is it when the buttons move and activate? MUCH BETTER WE SAY! Check out the screen:





Work in Progress Movie Room Icons



You can see here in the movie room the start of the process for labels. We are adding in animated icons for the movies you can replay. Again, a static icon would do just fine but that’s not us and we think we can do better FOR YOU! We’ll post more in progress images here as we go forward.

The room! The work in progress area:



Close up





The Endless Boss Win Warp Screen




Winning a round in the Endless Boss mode will toss you to the warp screen where you can catch your breath and ready yourself for the next round. Here is where ROB and the Cosmic Clicks ship will meet you for a refueling stop. We thought about this room and felt ROB would definitely want to be on this journey with you so we had him join you in the win area.



Of course the gophers show up to give the Clicks ship a bit of polish and top off the fuel tank. YOU KNOW!



OK – that is it for the week’s highlights. Hope you enjoyed seeing the plan come closer to fruition. Boss 101 will be released sooner than later and though we can’t put a pin on the EXACT DATE we can tell you this – it will have the most fun, most charm and be the very best value we can possibly give you. YES!!!

Take care and remember to LIVE YOUR DREAMS!

-Tim

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

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

Tim

Member
You asked for it and you got it! Welcome to the Boss 101 update where we sweat the details and share the secrets behind the making of Boss 101 the game.

Speaking of details, this week we’re looking at more of the little touches we think make Boss 101 a special game. Things like interface cleanup as well as various UI screen niceties to enhance your game experience are covered. We feel the ONLY way to bring Boss 101 into your life is by giving you OUR VERY BEST EFFORT and then some. We also believe the way to make a mark, give you value and bring you back for more is to put forth an effort so spectacular you can’t ignore the joy we had making it.

Every day we look at ways to make each element of the game as fun, engaging and charming as possible. No screen, character or BUTTON is immune to this thinking. It’s not enough to have a great gameplay feature or some neat looking loading screen. We feel each part of the experience must match up and equal the rest. We have themed the entire game around the Boss 101 look so let’s check out samples of what I am blabbing about shall we?

UI Load Game Panel

Working on the front end UI. Specifically the save game panel so it shows your current gun and hat. These days it's about the nice touches as we polish up Boss 101 heading into the final stretch.



Main Screen Options Panel



Once you get to the main screen panel you can access the base options for the game. Among other things you will be able to configure your keyboard controls. Let’s talk about that for a second.

When we first looked at this panel we had static icons to represent the various controls you were going to remap. That’s all well and good but how much cooler is it when the buttons move and activate? MUCH BETTER WE SAY! Check out the screen:





Work in Progress Movie Room Icons



You can see here in the movie room the start of the process for labels. We are adding in animated icons for the movies you can replay. Again, a static icon would do just fine but that’s not us and we think we can do better FOR YOU! We’ll post more in progress images here as we go forward.

The room! The work in progress area:



Close up





The Endless Boss Win Warp Screen




Winning a round in the Endless Boss mode will toss you to the warp screen where you can catch your breath and ready yourself for the next round. Here is where ROB and the Cosmic Clicks ship will meet you for a refueling stop. We thought about this room and felt ROB would definitely want to be on this journey with you so we had him join you in the win area.



Of course the gophers show up to give the Clicks ship a bit of polish and top off the fuel tank. YOU KNOW!



OK – that is it for the week’s highlights. Hope you enjoyed seeing the plan come closer to fruition. Boss 101 will be released sooner than later and though we can’t put a pin on the EXACT DATE we can tell you this – it will have the most fun, most charm and be the very best value we can possibly give you. YES!!!

Take care and remember to LIVE YOUR DREAMS!

-Tim

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

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

Tim

Member
Welcome to another Boss 101 Development Update and thank you so much for stopping by to see what’s up!

The Team Makes the Difference

I want to start this week with something I have mentioned before but it bears repeating. The team bringing you Boss 101 is one of the finest teams I have ever had the privilege of working with. It may be boring to hear that but I can assure you the work is anything but. These are dedicated people who are going the extra mile at every single turn to bring you the very best game we can make.



Manon (pixel artist) and Joshua (lead programmer) along with myself are the core of the Boss 101 experience. The game would not be this awesome without their help. There is an old saying I heard a long time ago that you can judge a leader by what his team does when he is NOT in the room. Well, I think it is better to say when you give the right people good direction and let them run free they will deliver the goods whether you mapped things out perfectly or not.

What I am getting at is there is a TON of stuff in Boss 101 that was not plotted out perfectly at the beginning. The thing is, when it came time to make an A or B decision – both Joshua and Manon have consistently picked the highest quality outcome. This in turn is being passed directly back to you in the form of value and gameplay.

I really am a fortunate person to get to work with these fine people and I think you will agree when you see the final game.

Gun Store Touchups


Moving into the polish stuff for this week. First up is the gun store. As you have seen before, the gun store has had a couple upgrades over the time we’ve been working on Boss 101. All the upgrades have been about making the user interface clearer and easier to use.

Something you might already suspect is good looking does not always equal easy to use. We have adjusted a lot of little interface items due to this. When things first go in we tend to be pretty proud they are in and working. From there on out it is pretty easy to get used to a functionality and forget the end user will likely see the interface in an entirely different light. (probably a much less forgiving one too!).

We have gone through several of the panels in the Command Center and the idea is we touch them up to provide the information needed quickly and without any fuss. Where things were unclear we worked to make them MORE clear. Check out the gun panels below being lightened up so you can see the gun hardware you are getting.

Old Version


New Version


Now we understand there is nothing technically wrong with the old version. The thing sticking out for us was that it was a) very old in terms of implementation and design and b) a bit dark compared to other store panels. The corrected one is much more in-line with all the other stores and the Command Center in general.

Hat Store touchups

We have a bigger update planned for the hat store but check out the jazzed up hat room. Again – these are some other items we are excited to talk with you about but the deal here was to add some space for UI elements and also clean up the background. Of course you can have tech in the Command Center without Professor Gopher and Friends!

Old Version


New Version WIP


Screenshot of the Day

Adding in a hat inspired by the great J Hause! (check out his page here https://www.facebook.com/Ghosthause)



The guys hope you're having a great day...



Thank you again for stopping by and hope you enjoyed this look at the game. We appreciate your support and emails!

Remember to always LIVE YOUR DREAMS!

-Tim
 

Tim

Member
Welcome to the Boss 101 Weekly update!

Let’s talk about dialog, specifically about the way we interact with YOU in Boss 101 through the dialog box.

If you recall the dialog boxes from recent updates, they were pretty practical affairs. Got the job done. Readable and overall pretty straightforward. Well, as you know in Boss 101 land “good enough” ISN’T! No it is NOT!

Improved Dialog Box

Look at some of the new features we added to make your reading engagement easier, better and more entertaining. We have things like font style changing, pausing, more interesting text draw-in and allowing you to interactively speed up and slow reading down to YOUR pace.



Name Tags

We added the ability to put a small animated name tag above the current speaker. Previously we had it above Max and Steve on special occasions but now EVERYONE gets a tag!

Below are some examples of colored text for highlighting those super important (or funny) phrases. We also added triggers for text effects to add a little oomph to the reading experience.



Check out Rob giving us one of his deep though moments here with some of the new effects in place.



A small set of samples of effects



OK – the whole idea is to make the game and the enjoyment as awesome as we can. This is just a small example of the things we are making daily. Everything we are putting in is about YOUR entertainment. Boss 101 is more than just an action adventure game and as we edge every closer to shipping we will be bringing you more looks at the game making magic we employ.

As we have said before, it’s very important to bring you the best game and value possible. We want you to be right there with Steve and Max while they battle the bad guys and discover things about the universe AND THEMSELVES!

How do we do that you might wonder? Well, we are keeping you in mind as we work and most importantly – WE LIVE OUR DREAMS!

Boss 101 Screenshot



Hat Store, you can wear a hat for looks or ability or BOTH. You decide. We give you the ability to look like you want and play as you like.

Remember to live your dreams and we’ll see you soon!

-Tim

Also - please add Boss 101 on your Steam Wishlist us if you would be so kind. Thank you!

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

Tim

Member
Welcome to the Boss 101 update!

Today we’re going to talk more about the UI tuning we’re doing to make YOUR experience smooth and fun.

Make A Boss Equip Panel

In the game you have a few places to outfit your character. The basic ones are the gun and hat shops. This is where you purchase and store all the equipment you use on your adventure.

Hat Store



Gun Store



Beyond this, we added couple more places to kit out your character. These are intended to help with game flow by letting you see the boss you’re currently fighting and adjust your strategy on the fly. Let’s say there is a boss with a fire weapon and you want to wear your fire protective hat. The Equip Panel in the Make A Boss room is where you can do that.

Let’s talk about the Equip Panel for a moment shall we?

When we first built the MaB Equip Panel the design was inspired by the need to see the boss abilities AND see your hat & gun abilities. We had a first version in the game and while it was nice visually it didn’t quite do the trick when it came to functionality. One of the main problems we ran into was with abilities added to the hats (like being able to equip a costume and ability version) as well as general space and layout concerns. Due to this we felt a small redesign was needed.

The Old Version of the Make A Boss Equip




As you may already know, one thing about creating games is not getting too attached to an idea and being open to feedback. When we looked at the old equip panel a bunch of problems became apparent (I won’t bother to list them all here). We ended up doing a slight redesign and wouldn’t you know it? We found a way to show MORE guns and hats in the same area. Check out the hat and gun slots we have going in these work in progress shots.

Work In Progress - New Equip Panel Hats



Work In Progress - New Equip Panel Guns



To be clear – what you are looking at is the current version we are working on. It’s not a final product yet but getting there. As we said before, it is SUPER important to bring you a polished game you can dive into and enjoy. For THAT to happen we are bringing our best efforts by testing and retesting levels and UI panels.

Polish and cleanup.


That has been an ongoing theme for the last few weeks and will continue to be one for the foreseeable future. You see, Boss 101 could be done and wrapped up in a few weeks. It COULD be in your hands sooner than later. The only problem we have with that is the game would not be our best effort and that is not acceptable.

UI touchups


Something important we are working at the moment is making certain the UI is understandable and readable. The way we are doing this is, well, playing the game and having others play the game. You might image how easy is it to make a game and get used to the controls you install. After working on a game for over two years it is easy to think “Oh, this little control makes enough sense! Sure, it’s a little odd and I have NEVER seen anything like it before but PLAYERS WILL GET IT!”

Well, I have news, they probably won’t get it. It’s actually very likely they will not understand any scheme which deviates to far from logic of the norm of game controls. In those situations it requires a dedicated team to address the issues and correct the little weird things. I can’t say everything we ever did will be perfect but I can assure you we thought of YOU at all times. We looked at our game and asked “will someone who has never seen the game understand this in context?” We put ourselves in your place as much as we possibly can. It’s really the only way.

Let’s look at some of the things happening…

Rob’s Store

Here we have an update to Rob’s special store. In it you can find all sorts of odd guns and hats. We’ll talk more about how you access it but in the meantime let’s look at the design of the place.

First we have the current store. Pretty nice and there is a neat look happening. In a lot of ways there is nothing wrong with it on a purely aesthetic level.



Here is the remodel work in progress. We added space for UI elements that clearly explain what you are doing and show the controls a lot better. We also lightened up the area so you can see the products better. This is a great example of taking something that was working and simply making it better for the player. We could have shipped with the old one and players would have figured things out (we hope) but when we played the game it was pretty obvious clarity would help.



Something to remember is a lot of times you can get caught up in what looks good versus what works well. UI needs to work well first and foremost. The looking good will mostly be a function of the efficiency and thematic clarity you create (ie – form follows function)

Help Panels

We added little help panel overlays to all of the main Command Center pages. The idea is to give you an easy assist if you are still learning the ropes or need a refresher. Also – we didn’t want to intrude on your game so we made the overlay and activates as innocuous as possible.

Command Center

With help on and off


Upgrade Room

Help on and off


Gun Shop


Help on and off


Going Forward with Boss 101

It’s been a busy week and a lot of our work was little cleanups all across the game. Every time we sit down for a play through I’m impressed by what our team has managed to do. It’s inspiring and the people on this team inspire me to keep me going through the day and on into the night. It’s energizing and the most fun I’ve had in a LONG, long time. Great people and great teamwork are driving Boss 101 forward. Of course – we also have some amazing friends and supporters like YOU. So thank you for stopping by and we appreciate the comments and letters we’ve been getting.

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
 

Tim

Member
You're kidding me! I've been working on a boss generator as well!
HA!! That's awesome.

Yeah, Our boss generator is second gen one too. The first one was in the web game version of Boss 101 which was about 3 years ago now. We redid the tech and upgraded it quite a bit for this game though. GameMaker has been great for what we need.

Do you have a dev log or website?

-Tim
 

JacobV

Member
Do you have a dev log or website?

-Tim
Not yet, it's still in very early alpha. I restarted development recently because the game wasn't what I wanted it to be, but I'm making progress! I'm hoping to start social media once I have something to actually show. Until then, I'll definitely be following this game.
 
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Reactions: Tim

Tim

Member
Not yet, it's still in very early alpha. I restarted development recently because the game wasn't what I wanted it to be, but I'm making progress! I'm hoping to start social media once I have something to actually show. Until then, I'll definitely be following this game.
Alright! I await! Sounds really interesting and good luck!

-Tim
 

Tim

Member
Welcome back to the Boss 101 update!

This week we are looking more at the little touches we think make Boss 101 special. Let’s start with the Command Center proper shall we?

So, the command center is your main base of operations and your home. We have often spoke of the elevator nature of the floors. You use a small control panel to travel up and down. Well, we always thought it was pretty straightforward but after some consideration we added a new touch that solidifies what is happening – the Command Center Door!

Check out these screens of the new door which closes when you are in ‘elevator mode’. The idea here is you will clearly get a sense you are ‘outside’ the room. You will still be able to see what is going on though and you will get a better idea of the floor you are on relative to the others. It’s a small touch but we think it adds a bit to the feel of being in a place.

Going into the Command Center from the Start Screen



Moving Between Floors


Moving to the top floor



Pets join you on Kite Hill


Hey, you know your little buddies like to be around you so we are letting them out onto Kite Hill with you. Of course, they just want to fly around and enjoy the day (or night) so you might see them off in the distance bopping around. Check these snaps out.

Look at Mister Mouse flying around! He’s so tiny!



Here a cute giraffe with a jet pack hanging around



Same little guy during the day


Those are just a few of the little touches we continue to add into Boss 101 as we head towards completion. It’s important we give you the very best experience we can and that means pulling out the stops to make the Boss 101 universe as complete as possible.

Comment on the new hat store


Check out this great post from a friend on Newgrounds. We think this pretty much embodies WHY we are doing what we are doing!

Boss 101 Screenshot



Well it looks like Mr. Squirrel moved into the Command Center. No worries though, there's plenty of room.

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
 
Z

zminusone

Guest
This looks dope! So dope that I wish you didn't already have sound/music ;)
 

Tim

Member
This looks dope! So dope that I wish you didn't already have sound/music ;)
Thanks so much!

We've said it before but stay in touch with us. We'll be segueing over to Boss 102 and looking for music. Beyond that we would love to keep in contact with you.

Best,

-Tim
 

Tim

Member
Welcome to the Boss 101 Update!

As you know we are dedicated to bringing you our best effort. At this stage the news is really about polish and cleanup. Let’s talk about that, shall we?

Equip Panel in the Make A Boss

This one has come up a few times in recent updates and there’s a reason. It’s an important area for the player and has a lot of moving parts to understand. For us that means testing and retesting things that will make YOUR game a lot more fun in the end.

So here we have an example of the panel being iterated on. This is a nice little idea here and improved from version 1.0 (see prior updates). Upon closer inspection we thought it could stand a little more cleanup and brought the whole she-bang into the Boss 101 lab to work on it.



We looked at what was working and how we could make things even clearer. We lightened up the panel to make the guns and hats pop out as well as added a few labels to clear things up for you the player. I’m not a huge fan of tons of small text but I believe there can be a place for information and decals when used correctly. In this case there is so much information happening in this room it seemed to warrant a little more text information.



You can see we also have nice nods to the hat room way of equipping your hat as a costume or an ability hat. This is one of those design moments when we asked ourselves “What have we been teaching the player up to now?” When we did that we felt it was necessary to put in this function since a player might rightfully expect it here. Originally we did not want to do that and ONLY wanted to deal with the ability hats since they are all that matter on this screen. Of course the issue with that sort of thinking is we are making choices for the player instead of giving them the decision.



It was easy enough to add the hat equipping idea from before anyway – SO WE DID! YOU SEE HOW WE ARE!

Little touchups to the Command Center

Endless Boss and the Trophy Room get some shine on their selected animations. Just nice adds to make it clear you have selected these items. We already have a nice green outline and placard but the shine effect puts a cherry on the whole thing.



Movie Room Animated Icons done

You can see here the movie room animated icons are in place. There are only two movies in the queue at the moment but the way they work and the neat new icons for the spooling tape and movies look marvy!



Sound and Music Updates coming!
Ok – more to come soon including updates about the Boss 101 sound and music! Thanks for checking in. Boss 101 is well on track and we are excited to bring it to you soon.

Remember to LIVE YOUR DREAMS!!

-Tim

Please put Boss 101 on your Steam Wishlist us if you would be so kind - Thank you!

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

Tim

Member
Welcome back to the Boss 101 Update

Today we are giving you a tour of a few of the weapons you can use in Boss 101. If you’re a longtime viewer you might have seen a few of these but for those that haven’t here is the general idea; during the course of the game you will have access to the most MIGHTY weapons in the Boss 101 universe. Some will be accessible from the start and some will be unlocked as you progress. The various means of unlocking guns is for another update and you might guess they involve things like completion of rounds, general progression or even hitting specific goals.

When we designed the various guns we aimed for variety and designs we felt were ‘fun’ in the Boss 101 sense. Sure we have pistols and bazookas but did you know we have friendship guns and knives? We do!



Here we have one of the more straightforward guns. The pistol set. Three levels ranging from pretty much a pea shooter to a more solid firearm guaranteed to dent most robot armor. The pistol is one of your starting guns and though it is a weaker weapon some may find they like it.



Moving into some of the more hard hitting firearms we have the bazooka series. These pack a serious punch but have limited firing speed. They will do the trick for a lot of minions and put a crimp in most boss armor. The 976-BOOM is a fan favorite.



Bows! Everyone loves a good bow and arrow fight against a giant armored metal opponent. Check out this sweet progression of string weapons. That crossbow can get right in there on those tough bosses.



Throwing Knives Series! You might have thought the game was mostly about bullets and bombs and you would be partially correct. We have LOTS of those but we also have some NEW weapon types you will enjoy. The throwing knife series is all about quick firing and piercing damage. There are a few robo’s weak to this so packing one in your arsenal is a good idea.



Wrenches. You knew these were coming so here they are! This is a nice assortment of old reliable beaters. Get ‘em! They work, you just need to be up close to deliver the blow.



Interview with Indie Hangover

Quick re-post about the interview I (Tim) did with Jacob at Indie Hangover about Boss 101. Check it out!

http://www.indiehangover.com/interview-tim-donley-of-the-donley-time-foundation/


Jacob was very nice to allow us some airtime and it was a blast to talk with him.

Thank you!

That’s all for this week’s weapon looks but stay tuned for more peeks in the coming updates.

As always – remember to LIVE YOUR DREAMS!!!

-Tim

Please put Boss 101 on your Steam Wishlist us if you would be so kind - Thank you!

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

Tim

Member


Welcome to the Boss 101 Update and thank you so much for joining us today! Lots to talk about so let’s get rolling.

The Attitude of Gratitude

You know it is really easy to talk about working on Boss 101 because it’s so fun. I mentioned this before but I have to give credit where it’s due. The team is what makes Boss 101 such a blast to work on. Manon (pixel artist), Joshua (lead programmer) and myself hammering away for the love of the game and for YOU!

If you ever wondered what it would be like to have an amazing life by doing what you love then WONDER NO LONGER! I can tell you it’s the best thing. There is only success in following your dreams. The rewards outweigh the cons by such an amount as to make the journey an easy choice. I know from the outside you might say “But Tim, I have a lot of responsibilities and can’t just go draw sneakers on T-Rex’s all day like you guys do on Boss 101” Ah, but you CAN!

Each day you can take a step towards your goal. Soon enough, you will see progress and sooner than you think you will be well on your way.

It’s that determination and the great fortune of finding two people like Manon and Joshua which make Boss 101 the easiest job I have ever had in my life. The actual work is there but it’s fun and I like doing it. A LOT!

So do it… FOLLOW YOUR DREAMS and by all means, bring as many people along as you can.

Adding Pets to the Cinematics

Did a pass on the cinematics to make sure the pets were showing up in all of them. We added a small blanket for all the pets in the appropriate cinemas. This allows them to sit or fly along with you during the course of the game. Check out these SWEET images….

Kitty in the vending room. Why does kitty have its back to us? Because it’s a kitty!



You can have Mister Whale fly around whilst you dine outside



Also – what would a picnic on a hill be without a UNICORN!!!



Cinematic Room Adds

Working on some adds to the cinematic rooms. Here are setup shots in Spine (by Esoteric Software) we input into GameMaker. Apparently there are some more Spine integrations coming for GameMaker so that might help swing it over to more people using it.

Setup the room and layout art and animation



Closeup of STEVE art and animation



Make A Boss Save Function

We added a save for the most recent boss you rolled. The idea here is you can roll a boss – see his stats and then if you need to go get a gun, take a break or otherwise step away from the boss generator you will still keep your most recent roll. We think it will allow more strategy and most of all MORE FUN FOR YOU!



Boss 101 Screenshot



Boss 101 tuning the Endless Boss mode with gun power-up drops. Yep, there is a classic arcade option! You can go into Endless Boss and select an arcade mode YOU want!

Ok – that’s all for this update. Check back again for the regular look at Boss 101. YES WE ARE FINISHING IT! HAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!

LIVE YOUR DREAMS!

-Tim

Please put Boss 101 on your Steam Wishlist us if you would be so kind - Thank you!

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

Tim

Member


Welcome to this week’s Boss 101 update and thank you to the new and returning people who read our updates. We aim to bring you interesting info about the ongoing development of Boss 101 as we head into the final phase of development.

Editors

You might already know we use GameMaker for the development as well as Esoteric’s Spine software but did you know we make our own editors also? Yes folks – WE ROLL OUR OWN! Joshua cooked up a swift editor so we can access some of the more useful items in the game and edit them with ease.

The thing we were looking for in our editor (at least during its initial creation) was the ability to edit some of the many description & item abilities in the game. We have hats and guns! We have passports, bosses and Wiki pages in the game. All these need some sort of description and detail for you the player of our game to enjoy. In comes the editor.

Prior to this we edited everything with a combination of Excel and XML sheets. That is fine for a small amount of stuff but when you have nearly 300 hats you have to think a little different in terms of scale and scope.

Wiki Pages

So here is a screenshot of the Professor’s Wiki editor. You can see we have a little line of text ready to go.



Moving into the actual game you can see we are able to NOT ONLY edit the text of the Wiki and the various pages but do so IN REAL TIME! How are those apples!?!?!?



Hat Editor

Look at some of the other things we can do with the Editor when it comes to Hats. Below we can see the ability to select and look at any of the hats in the game. From there we can edit the powers, name and abilities bestowed. Crazy huh?



Check out this snap of some of the various things we can edit and the result in the game. We can change power levels, names and the like all pretty easily. Makes things much quicker to debug and correct. Also means a better game for you!



Here are the results happening real time in the game



Some of the other tabs we have going…



Boss 101 Screenshot

Bosses always have a word for you at the beginning of the round in Boss 101. They may even have one at the end!



OK there you go. That is this week’s peek at the latest and greatest. Everything we do we are doing to make the best game we can and make sure YOU are entertained when you play Boss 101.

Thanks again for checking in and thank you for the letters and comments across all the places we post Boss 101 info. We all appreciate you taking a moment to look at the game and we aim to bring you our very best.

Talk with you soon and remember….. LIVE YOUR DREAMS!

-Tim

Please put Boss 101 on your Steam Wishlist us if you would be so kind

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

Thank you!
 

Tim

Member
Welcome to today’s Boss 101 Update and thank you so much for joining us. We do appreciate your time!

Tutorials and B.E.R.L.



So, let’s talk about Berl. Berl is YOUR guide to the world of Boss 101. We introduce him as the tutorial giver when you start a new game. Berl walks you through a lot of the basics in the Command Center and across the various game screens.

The Tutorials


We like to think Boss 101 is a pretty straightforward game but we won’t assume you will. We knew it would be a wise move to include some sort of walkthrough for a new player to get them familiar with the systems we throw at them. Of course, this is Boss 101 and we aren’t going to just toss a bunch of text at the screen – NOPE! We are going to let one of our own characters help you out. In this case BERL!

Berl in Rob’s Room (notice he’s off in a corner)



Who is B.E.R.L.?

Berl in his charger (close up)



Berl is the oldest jetpack in the base. He is much older than either Rob or Steve and built on older technology. Sadly that technology was a little dangerous so the guys had to give Berl help when he is in the Command Center in the form of lightweight anti-grav devices. Berl doesn’t like them but he knows he needs them. This all adds up to the fact Berl needs to spend a lot of time charging up those lifters much to his own annoyance.

Berl introduces himself





In an effort to help Berl feel a little more useful the guys let him give guided tours of the place to all newcomers. Berl will meet you when you start the game and point out useful things. The ONLY hitch here is Berl isn’t always welcome all over the Command Center so he may not know every little thing. That’s OK – he’s fine at winging it!

Check out parts of these tutorials done with Berl’s special twist. We think he’s a really great guy and when it comes right down to it, he just wants to make some new friends. Won’t you help him out?

Berl in the Make a Boss – notice how he can activate things to demo how they work



A Map Room intro with Berl



Gun Store



Upgrade Room – is Berl giving out secrets!?!?!? BERL!!!!



Isn’t he great? It’s nice to give ole Berl something important to do. Makes him happy with an important job and serves to help you out. A win all around. Look for more Berl as we move forward toward our ship date.

Thank you again and remember to LIVE YOUR DREAMS!

-Tim

Please put Boss 101 on your Steam Wishlist us if you would be so kind

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

Thank you!
 

Tim

Member
Welcome to the Boss 101 Update!

The Gopher WIKI! We spoke about this in July 2015 in this blog and it has come a long way. The good news for you is we kept at it and improved it.

Recall some of the old screens here:





The big change recently was the Game Editor we added. That one thing was responsible for a MUCH easier WIKI creation. Text, images and even the page number could be created and edited on the fly. Previously we had a combination of XML sheets and Excel documents with a lot of cut and pasting going on.

Screenshot of the current editor in action


Well, we took all the old data and moved it easily into the new editor. From there we ending up taking LESS TIME than if we kept using the old way. In other words the new editor was so efficient at making the WIKI pages we were able to beat the old deadline.

Here’s the Professor in the command Center with a link to the WIKI



When you are in the WIKI you can read up on backstory and interesting information about how things got there. You can also read about people who visit and even see if they bought you a gift. The whole thing is curated by ROB and the Professor with some help from BERL and the gang.

Sample shot of scrolling through the WIKI


We don’t know that everyone will read all the pages but for those who want history – it’s in there. The idea here is we want you to know about the world we are creating. There is so much going on but you can access it at your speed.

Pages on the WIKI


Check out some of the swift animations and loading screens we have




A shot of the WIKI in Spine.


Nice stuff right? It’s all for you and it’s what we are doing to make Boss 101 something special. Thanks for stopping by and remember to LIVE YOUR DREAMS!

Talk with you soon,

-Tim

Please put Boss 101 on your Steam Wishlist us if you would be so kind
http://store.steampowered.com/app/380920

Thank you!
 

Tim

Member
This is amazing. It looks like it's going to be a wonderful game. Any gameplay demos or videos?
Thanks for the reply! If you go to the Steam store page linked below you can check out out Greenlight video which has gameplay. We also have an extensive blog over at The Independant Game Forums here: https://forums.tigsource.com/index.php?topic=39867 and there are tons of animated looks at the game.

Coming soon is a new video and a release announcement so expect to see more in game action!

Thank you again!

-Tim
 

Tim

Member
Welcome to the Boss 101 update!

Today we are talking about some of the ALTERNATE things you can do when you play Boss 101, specifically, using the ARCADE MACHINE!



The arcade machine is on the Command Center top floor and it’s a place you go to blow off steam between rounds of galaxy saving action. The arcade machine has three games for you to choose from. Today we will be talking about the “tank battle” (working title) game.

Check out the progress from the first pass arcade title screen to the latest version…

First WIP




Current version



Moving onto the game itself. The current gameplay is about surviving as long as you can versus up to four tanks. Sounds simple but the difficulty ramps up fast. All the arcade games inside Boss 101 are about quick action and your skillage as a gamer. Think you can stay alive long enough to get the high score?

First pass WIP version



Current art version



The latest art versions add the effects and emerge animations for the tanks as well as the new art for the player and enemy vehicles. Still on our list is polishing up the instructions sheet, title cards and a few other minor touchups. Overall things are moving along well and we are looking forward to you getting a look at the final game!

Gopher WIKI with Pet Pages!

We added MORE information to the WIKI so you can read up on your favorite pets. That’s right people – each of your pet friends has its own page with background info, names and even a look at the home world of the pet. EXCITING!

Here’s a shot of a few of the pets and their info…



OK – that wraps up today’s update and join us again for the next look. Look for upcoming updates to bring you more looks at Boss 101 as well as release info.

Thank you again for stopping by and remember to LIVE YOUR DREAMS!

-Tim

Please put Boss 101 on your Steam Wishlist us if you would be so kind

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

Thank you!
 

Tim

Member
Welcome to the Boss 101 Update!

This week we continue the talk about the arcade games you will find in Boss 101 as well as the reuse of existing game assets to not only save time but unify your game’s look!

Breakout/Arkanoid Work-in-Progress


First off let’s talk about the Breakout (or Arkanoid) like game we put inside the Boss 101 arcade machine. This is another example of something you can do in between game rounds to pass the time and maybe earn special prizes.

So we would access this from the main arcade booth in the Command Center.



From there we can go and select the game and proceed to the actual gameplay (after an intro screen).

What we have here is a work in progress shot of the basic gameplay. The art is going in and you can see a lot of the cute-ness and fun are well on their way. As with the other arcade games we are installing, we want them to be fun and straightforward moments of gameplay.



We will be allowing you to share your high scores with friends so you can see how you do against them. We also are looking at global Steam leaderboards. Regardless the idea here is you can sit back for a little while and enjoy some arcade action while contemplating the next big boss attack!

Look how happy this guys is!



The Wise Re-use of art you already have!

This is another work in progress look behind the scenes at how we do what we do! The story here is we needed to create title and end screens for all the arcade games. These would be places for instructions and high scores respectively. Of course we wanted them to look cool so we needed some idea for how the backgrounds might look.

Make a Boss to the rescue!



Check out this sweet background from the Make A Boss – that’s a pretty neat effect right? I wonder if we changed the shapes up and the glow pattern? Maybe we can reuse it for the arcades.

Work in Progress Arcade Screens.







So here we have the first pass of the arcade screens. This is basically the same underlying tech as the Make A Boss. It’s been re-purposed with new art and a new glow pattern. Still to do are color passes to make it more inline with the arcade game as well as some tweaks to the glow color and speed. Overall though this is MUCH faster than creating a whole new look for something. The added benefit here is we get to make another piece of art that helps unify the overall look of the game. NEAT!

Boss 101 Screenshot



Making the magic happen with game tunes and touchups!

Ok – that is it for this update and thank you again. We appreciate your support, letters and comments. Please check back for more updates and info about the upcoming Boss 101 release date!

Remember to always – LIVE YOUR DREAMS!

-Tim

Please put Boss 101 on your Steam Wishlist us if you would be so kind

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

Thank you!
 
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