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SunWuKong
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« Reply #40 on: February 21, 2015, 08:17:11 PM »

Hello and thank you for stopping by!

This week 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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SunWuKong
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« Reply #41 on: February 28, 2015, 09:38:15 PM »



Welcome back and we hope you're doing well! Some notes from this week's activity!

Story Time

First and foremost we are starting to reveal the story of Boss 101. Story! 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?


Well, one things leads to another after that little encounter and the next thing you know you are in space battling a robotic spider with dog feet. NOTHING UNUSUAL THERE!

Struggle Time!

So we added in the initial art for the struggle arrow. There are bosses who can hold you in place while you get pummeled. As much as we hate to see you lose control there is an argument to be made for giving the bosses a fair chance. You have STEVE after all and his wit can cut deeper than a sword. HAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!

At any rate - in this initial pass we are testing out the mechanic and they are pretty nice. You can off course - decrease the trapped time but wiggling your stick. Basically - don't get caught in the ice beams!


So yah - that will be used with a few other choice bosses to keep you on your toes. Art upgrades and gameplay tweaks to come!

Rocket Time

Just some debug Rocket Testing. Everyone loves small red sharks shooting deadly missiles!


Banana Bombs

One of my personal fav's went in this week. BANANA bombs. Yep, that little volcano on his back will spit out a bunch of banana bombs. Trust me, on the later levels you will want to be WELL CLEAR of that crap storm. They will put you down!


Podcast Friday at Indie Game Riot!

The Donley Time Foundation with yours truly (me) got an invite to join the IGR team this last Friday. It was an awesome three hours that felt like 30 minutes. Went by way too fast and we did get to spend time on Boss 101 as well as some recent gaming news. We'll keep you poated when the edited version goes live.

Notes from the Making Game series

As you may already know - I'm writing a weekly series with my thoughts on game making at the Indie Game Riot website:

How to Make a Game - Part 7

A small sample you might enjoy from my latest:

What do publishers think when they see your game? I have sat on both sides of the bargaining table during my career and I will attempt to save you some time by getting to the heart of the matter. Here are some questions going through the publisher’s mind:

What is unique about this game I can’t get anywhere else? To put it another way, “What is your unfair advantage?” What do you have that no one else can easily have or duplicate? That is what you must lead the conversation with.

Are you demonstrating enough of your product’s vision in the presentation? Some games have an awesome tech demo. Some games have a great trailer. Others may have some drawings. It’s really up to you to present your unique angle in the best way you can. This goes for Kickstarter trailers, Patreon videos, blogs etc. Everything should turn on what you offer that no one else has. If you have a blog you want people to read, give them a reason! Funny articles? Serious articles? Outlandish articles? Exclusive articles? Give people a reason! Same goes for a game. Unique gameplay (Portal)? Amazing art (Ori and the Blind Forest)? Amazing tech (Battlefield)?

So you say you have all that and you want to know what is the final kicker, the extra ingredient that will put you apart from the rest. Here it is. If you can answer yes to the following every single day of development, then you are well on your way to fantastic success in all areas of life:

“Can I honestly say I did my very best work with no compromise or excuses today? Did I give it my all with no room for getting better?”

Only you can answer that question any given day. Most people are lucky to say yes to that once every six months. The more that answer is yes, the better off you are when you see a publisher or try to sell your product. Asking that question will propel you to new areas and put you in the uncomfortable spots you need to be in to succeed.

That's it for this week folks and thank you for stopping by!

Remember to ALWAYS live your dreams!

-Tim
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« Reply #42 on: March 10, 2015, 09:22:48 PM »

Hello again and welcome back to another Boss 101 development update!

This week we're talking about a few things - one being our Steam Greenlight is almost here! And when I say almost here I am talking about within a week or two! That's pretty exciting for us and when we flip that switch we would love you to take a look and give us a yes vote.


Your support means a lot. We get mails and questions about the development process all the time. From my perspective (Tim) this game has been hugely rewarding to make. You know why? Cause it's FUN! Great team, game is fun to make and fun to play. The goal now is to let you in on the fun and give YOU your money's worth. First step - let's get on Steam Greenlight with your help and head into the final stretch.

Progress has been AWESOME in the last few weeks. A lot of bosses are getting a tuning pass with their weapons. We have shots below!

Bosses tossing up rock pillars

One of our bigger boss weapons can toss up crazy rock pillars to block your progress. Why does he do this? We think it has something to do with a lack of hugs. Regardless - if you have the right weapon you can make short work of these obstructions - see...


The other thing going on is a lot of bullet coding. Bosses are getting side weapons tuned for maximum madness. Each one of these little devils has his own pattern. For instance...



Check out this guy - this particular main weapon gives any boss FIRE BREATH!


Game Modes in Boss 101

You might have been wondering what KINDS of game modes are in Boss 101. We got that very question this week and here goes with our answer.. I'm reposting from the AWESOME SCHUMP forums at shmups.system11.org. Totally recommend that site for serious shooter info.

Here are a few of the things on the list. these are all scored or tracked in one form or another.
- Base game with progression through 32 levels/rounds (this is basically the story mode)
- We also have (for lack of a better word) escort type missions where you will be taking shadow ship along and have to keep it alive.
- There is another type of mission we have called chase missions where you are literally following the boss as he warps from level to level. When he goes to warp you will have to "knock" him out of warp tunnel before you can resume the regular fight.
- Endless Boss mode - this is you with one life seeing how far you can get against an endless array of bosses. The idea here is you keep going against random bosses until you die
- Quest-type modes - these are modes that will reward players for things like (but not limited to) completing rounds using certain weapons, not dying, beating a round in under a certain time, high score per round, high scores per game, overall time per game, etc

Modes we are considering (and have the underlying tech for) these would also be scored or tracked in one form or another.
- An object quest mode. The idea here is we scatter reward object (hats are sort of our reward-of-choice) in each game round. During the round you can perform a very specific action within the round (something like beat 20 minions in 20 second) and an object appears for you to grab. From there on out you need to stay alive for the rest of the round to keep the object.
- Builder Mode for Bosses - so most of the time you roll randomly in the Make-a-Boss room but we have talked about allowing players to build EXACTLY the boss they want to fight. This mode would be outside the story mode and would essentially allow you to build ultra hard (or ultra easy) bosses out of specific boss parts to fight. Mostly it would be about bragging rights to your friends to say "Oh I built a Tyrannosaurs, Spida-Bear-aSquito and beat it with a PISTOL!"
- One Hit Mode - you have one hit point and that's it. This could be a sub variation of the Endless boss or any of the other gameplay modes really.

Notes from the Making Game Series - Part 8

As you may already know - I'm writing a weekly series with my thoughts on game making at the Indie Game Riot website:

How to Make a Game - Part 8

An excerpt from this week's topic - picking a subject for your game...

So when picking a project, look at the games you like. Games you are interested in. Don’t be daunted by the size and scope. Maybe you want to make an MMO, or a game like League or Legends? That’s OK. Start with that and realize you will have to setup realistic goals and scale the game to your team size. Don’t expect to make World of Warcraft by yourself in this lifetime. You might be able to make a sample of that game and you surely could gather a team to make it, but create a giant MMO all by yourself? That’s pretty lofty.

Basically, picking something you love will allow you to soldier through all the tough times ahead. I was reading a book about motivation the other day and it had a fantastic passage about fears and uncertainties. It stated fears and uncertainty are a form of resistance. It went on to say they are good since they normally point directly away from what you should be doing. Want to fart around instead of working on some coding? Guess what you probably should be doing? Coding! Feel like reading a Facebook article instead of that animation you were working on? Guess what you should be doing? See how easy it is?

One thing to remember as you sit down to make your game is that these things are fluid at first. Games will reveal themselves to you over time. You need to allow time to find the real game you are making. Hold the concept in your head and use time and effort to chip away and make that concept a reality. I found out long ago no game comes to me fully formed. It’s mostly a couple concepts and some ideas about “game moments”. From that, I build a game and allow a very organic growing process to happen. I try not to force the game this way or that. Instead I set up the base parameters of the game and let my work and iterations reveal the game I was intending to make. Nine times out of ten, this is faster and results in a much more fun game for the player.

Allright - big update and PLEASE STAY TUNED for more on the game as we head into the Steam Greenlight announcement in the next two weeks!

THANK YOU! Remember also...

LIVE YOUR DREAMS!

-Tim
« Last Edit: March 10, 2015, 10:01:56 PM by SunWuKong » Logged

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« Reply #43 on: March 16, 2015, 11:33:50 PM »


Weekly Dev Blog

You one stop for all things Bossy!

Steam Greenlight Update:

This week we have a pretty special announcement. We are in the final stages of our Greenlight prep on Steam. That's right
folks - within the next few days you will be able to make history and give us your "Yes" vote for Boss 101.

We promise we will make you proud! Stay tuned to this blog or the main site for details on the exact moment (we looking at Thursday for the big reveal).

Boss 101 Melee Weapons?

Though rarely spoken about we have some nifty melee weapons in Boss 101 - each one is upgradable as well! Here is a shot of the smoking wrench doing some serious damage to nearby minions.


Ok - maybe that range is a LITTLE long... HAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!

Gas Bombs and Ugly Bugs

Up next is a special weapon for one of the insect bosses. SO this guy here spawns some nasty little bugs that can poison you unless you have some protection.

We start with something like this - temp art that is in the game - a grey bug! We make some notes and show examples of what we are aiming for... like so...


Then we get this. A nice animated gross robo bug!


Then it's a short trip to the game once the sprite gets it's base pass in Spine (our animation program) and some VFX to get it going!



CRAZY!!!

How to Make a Game - the series!

How to Make a Game - Part 9

An ongoing series by yours truly. Here's a peek at this week's episode - the Game Loop!

The deal here is you want to get this running as soon as possible. Why? Because you want this to be as fun and addictive as possible that’s why. That kind of addiction is not going to happen in your head, you have to see it in front of you and play it. Iterations are the way to go. Paper design, thinking, doodling, tests are all awesome but nothing, please hear me, nothing beats just making the game and seeing if it’s fun.

So, get your game loop running. Temporary art is fine. Rough art is fine. In fact, the rougher the art the better since game loops are about game play and not the look of the game. If blasting grey blocks are fun then adding in great art will only make it better. On the flipside having the best looking characters means little if the underlying game is not fun to play (see any one of a myriad of free to play FPS shooters for examples of this). One mistaken belief in games is that looks are a huge deal. They are not. The games you like you might still like even if they looked rougher and visually less polished.

A Basic Checklist...

  • The basic game loop should be your top goal early in development.
  • The game loop is not necessarily the whole game but is a representation of a typical play session
  • Block out the loop with any graphics and mechanics that get the job done.
  • The purpose of the loop is to expose and refine your early thinking about the game as soon as possible.
  • You will make mistakes but do not be afraid. Early in development is the best time to make the biggest mistakes. They are FAR less costly early than later in development.

More to come so keep checking in. We appreciate your visit and THANK YOU!

Remember to always live your dreams!

-Tim
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« Reply #44 on: March 19, 2015, 10:17:57 AM »

OK folks – it’s been an awesome ride and we are now up on Steam for looking your kind support! Head on over to the page and see what YOU think. We worked to make it as informative as possible and give you and others the info you want! (YouTube trailer below)





As many of you know this is one of the dev moments where you release your game into the wild knowing you did you level best to give it the best chance possible. Boss 101 represents a lot of blood and sweat. It also represents a LOT of great times, laughs and a fun development cycle. We're still powering away but the end is in site.

Don't take our word though! Check out the video and see for yourself! We would like to earn your interest fair and square!

Thank you and remember to live YOUR dreams too!

-Tim
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« Reply #45 on: March 22, 2015, 09:13:04 AM »




Steam Greenlight

THANK YOU! Our first few days have been amazing on Greenlight. We are getting there and want to thank all of you who took a moment to visit and check out the page. A huge thanks goes out to all of you who voted YES. It means so much and we are moving along towards being Greenlit.

If you haven't already and are curious - we do invite you to check out the links above and see what the fuss is about. We have a trailer and a breakdown of the game. Your Yes vote really helps!

OK - some updates!!!

Boss Designs:

We spoke a little about this previously and we want to show more of the initial implementation that goes into making a boss weapon. The idea is we give each weapon a weakness (one, maybe two) the player can use to stay alive longer and gather up points. It's been tried and tested in MANY games so we aren't claiming any new ideas on the "boss weakness" front.

What we are looking to do is give you the player a reward for trying out things like the kinds of hats and weapons available to you. We do imbue certain weapons and hats (and upgrades) with abilities for your player. Some weapons are more effective against a boss, some hats allow you to take far less or no damage against certain weapons. That's all for you to find out. Is it possible to win without all the tricks? Let's just say it would be tough. Bosses will naturally hit harder on the later levels and if your skillage is low AND your upgrades aren't there you might get pasted pretty quick. Thankfully though, we are working to give you lots of playing options to suit your tastes.

Here's a boss trying to smoke Max and STEVE...



and here's that boss bullet pattern layout...


Tuning

Now comes the fun part - once that is in we start playtesting the various parts against the baseline Max, Max variations and generally just try to do everything we can to simulate play styles. Not surprisingly this can be very hilarious at times and leads to a lot of fun insights and ideas. Sometimes things we THINK are going to be super overpowered end up being pretty ineffectual at first. (some of the large death beam type weapons come to mind). Some of the little minor weapons like small homing missiles end up being the deadly things!

A peek at some hats and more!

Savage: The Shard of Gosen Hat
Our good friend Matt Fitzgerald is working away on his opus called Savage: The Shard of Gosen. You can check it out here:
Savage Steam Page


Matt has been a Boss 101 supporter from the get-go. He's helped us with wisdom about getting onto Steam Greenlight as well as lending his Gamemaker skills and tips when it was just one guy trying to figure out the basic language of GameMaker. Welp, we figured we could drop this in for him - a hat based off his main character! Check it!


The ShMUPS Website

A few of the kind folks at http://shmups.system11.org/ have been dropping tips and feedback about how we can make Boss 101 a better shooter game overall. Some of the suggestions are pretty keen and we thought it might be nice to create a special hat with SPECIAL powers - and by special powers we mean this one will probably be a one hit - you're dead hat. HAHAHA! HEY - you can't always go for the easy way in everything! Seriously though, we are looking at risk and reward balancing for any hats that have, how shall we say, some 'detrimental' effects.

We call this hat "1940"


Random Gameplay Screen!


How to Make a Game Series - Part 10

>>Link to full article<<

Here is a short snippet from this week's article written by your truly (Tim). I think it encapsulates the exact feeling happening right now as we go through Greenlight and look back on the progress the game has made.

Gratitude. That is the topic.

When you are making your game and following your dreams it can be a humbling experience, especially when you start out. During those times when you are drawing on your inner reserves and powering through, you might want to take a moment to be grateful. Perhaps, just perhaps, this can help you get through some of the rougher moments.

I’m now going to give you a powerful method to increase your energy, make you a more positive person, generally more likable and undoubtedly increase your earning power along with your productivity. Start saying “Thank you” a lot more. Add “I appreciate your help/time/assistance” into your everyday vocabulary. You will be surprised at how this will brighten your day by brightening other’s days.

What does this have to do with indie game development? Everything really. Like it or not, the world is full of people and these are the same people you want to buy and support you with money. The quickest way to get anyone to help or support you is to present a sincere pleasing personality. This is one of the strangest and truest things in the universe but when you help others get what they want, you actually end up getting what you want.

Ok folks - that's it for today and THANK YOU for checking in!

Remember to LIVE YOUR DREAMS!

-Tim
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« Reply #46 on: March 24, 2015, 10:23:43 PM »

Thank you!

Thanks for stopping by and checking out our devblog! We're busy making magic in the Boss 101 universe so let's get on with it!

Greenlight continues!

If you haven’t already – we’d love you to check out our Steam Greenlight page. If you like what you are seeing we would LOVE your yes vote!





Making a Boss (art-wise)

In Boss 101 you can roll bosses sure but let’s talk about HOW they get in the game Boss 101. A couple notes – we use GameMaker Studio (from YoYo games) and Spine (from Esoteric Software). Spine works with Unity and a few other engines I believe, so this applies even if you are not using GameMaker.

Basic Setup: Organization – we organize the bosses into separate files. The layout of the files is exactly the same so when they load into the game they all can be interlocked with each other cleanly. Let me assure you organization is a giant step in ANY process - so sort your shiz out FIRST then start working. Don’t be afraid to constantly ask yourself “Is this the best way?” either!

Step 1: Layout and create all the parts to the Boss. We go back and forth here. We start with the fact the boss has five major systems (head, turret, engine, main body and main weapon). We start with the theme of the boss (we have several general themes like Animals, dinosaurs, samurai-esque, etc)


Step 2: Make any notes relevant to the boss as we draw the parts. In the case of the kitty boss we already had a reference to work off. We wanted to upgrade the look so we pointed out some ideas and design decisions to follow when doing the art.


Step 3: Black and White version! Generally speaking for MOST of the art we do a black and white version THEN we color it. Seriously folks – it makes your life a lot easier to concentrate on contrast and silhouettes FIRST then color it in as you like. If you are John Singer Sargent you can disregard this advice.


Step 4: Color it up. We work on Photoshop generally but you can achieve the basic coloring we do in nearly anything you choose. The advantage of doing black and white is we can color block in areas quickly in a SEPARATE LAYER over the black and white art, apply a layer effect (like “Color”) and then experiment with colors and shading until things work. You see how we are!?! Efficiency folks – that’s how to do it!


Step 5: Bring all the pieces into Spine. We load each section (head, body, weapons, etc) into Spine as an individual skeleton and then arrange them in space accordingly. From there we add firing, prefiring and idle animations.


A Note on Spine – if you are serious about getting animation done I would recommend Spine. The low cost version of it would be perfectly suitable for most all indie needs and the TIME saving would be tremendous. Doing all this by code or hand would have tanked Boss 101 at the starting line.

Step 6 KITTY BOSS! (example animated gif)


Those are the basics and next time we can delve into animations practices or perhaps something you are curious about!  We'll check here for feedback and question!

All the best and live your dreams,

-Tim
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« Reply #47 on: March 28, 2015, 10:56:37 PM »


How are you doing this week!?! Well, we hope!

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 ShUMP 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 ShUMPS 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
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« Reply #48 on: April 02, 2015, 06:19:31 PM »

Boss 101 is Greenlit!

First of all THANK YOU! Without your kind support this would not have happened. Thank you, thank you!

More news to come but we wanted to share the excitement with you.


Remember to always - live your dreams!

-Tim
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« Reply #49 on: April 05, 2015, 06:33:08 PM »

Today’s dev topic – Getting to Greenlight!

As you might already know we were Greenlit earlier this week and thank you so much to our friends and fans who supported us. It took approximately two weeks from the time we hit publish to till Greenlight and in our mind that was a rousing success for Boss 101. We got a few questions about the process and what we did so we are putting together this week’s dev blog to cover what we felt were the most essential parts of our process. This is by no means a guaranteed blueprint of success for every game to get Greenlit but we think it covers many questions you may have.

1.  $100

The fee from Valve for Greenlight is 100 US dollars. No getting around that but once you pay you can apparently start as many Greenlight campaigns as your imagination will allow. For us – we paid the fee and setup Boss 101 way back in October 2014. Of course, we didn’t publish anything until nearly five months later.

2. Setting up the page

The first thing you will probably do will be to fart around with the page to see what you can add. I recommend checking out things like the way to add pictures, edit the description and format things. You might want to make a test post (you can delete it) to see exactly how formatting will look in the page. DO IT! It helps and you want to get practice in before you publish.

3. Your Video (in my opinion you will want at least one, maybe more)

You should have some sort of Greenlight launch video. This is the main thing you will show people outside Steam to get them into Steam for a vote. This will be posted on YouTube and you can send the link around to the media and your friends. Here’s a list of things that seem to work well (at least they did for us)

- Variety of Gameplay  - this in particular is a must. The video goal should be to show a slice of your game and all its aspects. Do you have story? Show it! Do you have high action? Show it! Cool characters? Show them. Show things in context and in action in your game engine. Mockups and rough art are best avoided. This is your first shot at making a great impression and you want your best work forward.
- Variety of Game screens – along with the gameplay, look to sprinkle in a variety of the kinds of UI the player might navigate if you think it’s significant to the project you have. For instance – you might have a feature where the player can customize their character – SHOW IT!
- Music and sound FX – There are a ton of great free online places to get music and sound fx. A little Google research can probably get you going here. If you don’t have any money you can still get free music and SFX for your video. You will want to pick something reflecting the mood of the game or use actual game music if you already have it.
- Length and Pacing – ok this is REALLY tricky but the best rule is short and sweet. You can always flesh out extra gameplay and stuff in subsequent videos or descriptions on your Steam page. We kept ours at the 2 minute mark and it was a good Hollywood trailer amount of time. You can go longer of course but every time you do something long you run the risk of people turning you off and missing something amazing at the end of your video.

Our final video


4. Animated images in your Greenlight gallery

It’s not EXACTLY advertised but you can use animated gifs on your Steam page gallery as long as they are under 2 megs. It’s probably worth tossing a few up if you have them of things like UI’s working or simple gameplay demonstrations.

5. Regular images in your Greenlight gallery.

Of course you can upload regular images too. These will want to augment what you started with the video. Variety, composition and interesting subjects are a must. It’s better to show variety than 20 images of the same battle scene.


6. Creating your game description and writing announcements

You will want to create a description for your product (the body of text explain your product and its features. You can also write announcements for your page (like Hello posts and daily updates).

Something I DID NOT know nor was explained… You can link (via BB code) both animated Gifs and regular images from sites like Imgur. If you don’t have an Imgur account GET ONE. They recently abolishes the paid version and gave free access to all the features. Highly worth it and it makes the whole process easier. This is critical for adding things like banners and animated images to your page. I don’t recommend adding fifteen giant animated Gifs to your product description but certainly add images and nice banners to spruce up the look.

Also good to know - the FIRST paragraph of your description is what Steam uses to blurb your product on the Greenlight page. In other words people will see your animated icon and the read your first paragraph A LOT! Make it count.


When you are crafting your description something that may get you in the correct frame of mind is imagine EACH PERSON visiting is a wealthy billionaire and might invest a load of money in your game. With that in mind you will want to do your best work, be precise and promise only what you KNOW you can deliver. HAHAHAH.

In other words – treat people right and don’t start blowing smoke up their rear ends saying you will add risky features. They will smell something fishy right away and likely call you out or ignore you. The goal of your description should be focused on your main features, you unique selling points and why you think the game is special.

7. Animated Steam Icon for your game.

Another thing not really mentioned is you can use animated Gifs for your Steam game icon. They really stand out if you do a nice one and it is one of those touches that will help your game be set apart. There is a limit to the total size of the file but ours was about 700k with about a 150 frame animation. I don’t know how close we were to the limit.


8. Languages

Tell people right away what your language plans are so they won’t have to ask. You will have to address this no matter what since Steam is a huge global community.

9. Platforms you are shipping on

As with languages you will want to lay out your plans for this. You will get asked regardless.

Getting to Publish

We starting in October 2014 and did not publish till March 19th 2015. The delay was to allow us time to make a nice video and a professional presentation. The best advice here is you are better holding off until you feel great about your Steam product. There is really no reason to just toss up a page with whatever you have. That will just lead to a lot of confusion and possible frustration for you potential customers. Again – think of that BILLIONAIRE coming to see your page. Think about how many awesome presentations they see every day and how many people are trying to get his or her money. You want to put your stamp on something with quality!

I’m not saying you need to work with the kinds of budgets GTA V uses but work at your highest level of presentation. Do you very best and then stand back and look the whole thing over. Our process went something like this

1. Create initial to-do list for Greenlight with all video and advertising needs
2. Pay Valve fees and get Steam page
3. Start work on assets for the page
4. WHEN READY – create a cut of the video with your preferred editing software. Lay out the whole thing then let it sit for a couple days while you work on something else.
5. Come back to your video and look at it with fresh eyes. Finish up your editing if you have all your assets and put the video aside for now
6. Create and add art to the Greenlight page. Write up your descriptions
7. At this point if you have all the main things together – LET IT SIT A DAY OR TWO!
8. Come back and look at it from time to time and re-read it. You will probably find formatting errors or things you want to update. Do it!
9. When you are ready – hit Publish!

After Publishing

You can find the URL of your Steam project by doing a share. When you first publish Steam doesn’t immediate kick out the URL for you so you will have to go back into the project and look for it with the Share button.

Send that link around!

Start sending out the link to your blogs and sites. Don’t expect everyone to jump all over your game. They likely won’t unless you give them a very good reason to. Most of us aren’t Darkest Dungeon or Crawl. Those games had a REALLY KILLER video that pretty well stole the show and guaranteed success for the project. Also – they were/are in the vein of what people liked.


Interact with the community

Ok – from personal experience I can say it pays to interact with every person who visits your page. If someone writes a comment – THANK THEM. This is you building your fan base and being grateful to even have one. Most people will not leave a comment but they will look down in the comment section to see what people are saying about your game. In an ideal world they see a bunch of positive comments and your grateful response!

All right – that sums up the main things we found during our Greenlight campaign. I guess if there was ONE thing to remember is – Treat your friends and fans like the royalty they are. Each one matters and you want your best foot forward!

If you have any comments or questions – please feel free to mail me at hello @ donleytimefoundation.com (remove the spaces)

And as always – LIVE YOUR DREAMS!

-Tim
« Last Edit: April 14, 2015, 11:26:08 AM by SunWuKong » Logged

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« Reply #50 on: April 06, 2015, 04:47:06 AM »

Thanks for the post-mortem, it'll be helpful if and when I am ready to put something up there.  This game looks great, I'll definitely be playing it when it's done!   Beer!
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« Reply #51 on: April 06, 2015, 04:50:53 AM »

Great post!
And of course, congrats.
S.
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« Reply #52 on: April 06, 2015, 06:11:52 AM »

Thanks for the post-mortem, it'll be helpful if and when I am ready to put something up there.  This game looks great, I'll definitely be playing it when it's done!   Beer!

Thanks so much and glad the post helped. I think the main things in Greenlight surprising me were the little ones. I knew we needed a great video but didn't really know about using BBcode and how the first paragraph of your description was the thing used across Steam as your product description. That all involved a little research into a few other Greenlights and the like.

Good luck on yours too! It's well worth waiting till you feel you have something great versus just slapping things up.

Best,

-Tim

Great post!
And of course, congrats.
S.

Thank you for the kind words. It's appreciated!

Best,

-Tim
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« Reply #53 on: April 12, 2015, 01:27:04 PM »

Game Loops! Creating the Boss 101 game loop. Let’s talk about this shall we?


Our game loop is the basic or typical game cycle the player will experience when he plays the game. For us this is the actual action round of playing the game (the part where you shoot the bad guys). In making your own game you want to start doing this as early as reasonable for obvious reasons. It’s the cheapest and fastest game development you can do. Mistake and changes are pretty cost free since no one is really working on anything except you on a diagramming program.

The way we started was to lay out all the actions we felt the player would go through from beginning to end in the broadest strokes possible. This is stuff like start the round, read some dialog, see a cinematic etc. and proceed into options like pause the game, get hit by bullets, kill the boss. You can imagine from this tiny list there are tons of things happening in any basic game round. Well, we need to understand and control that so we can actually make the game. Maybe you are working on a game and wonder about this so read on!


First and foremost – this process is something we use on Boss 101 and might not be for everyone – I encourage you to test the veracity of it and see what works for you! Don’t take my word for anything without thoughtful examination on your part.

OK – get yourself something to track all this game loop stuff in. We use Visio and Google docs but you can use anything really. Google docs are free, there are also a lot of free graph and chart making software programs. You can even use paper, old school style.

The main point of your game loop pass is to hit all the highlights YOU think will happen at any point in the round. Just write ‘em all down and collect them on one spot. Do not worry about mistakes or missing things. In your mind you want to just go from start to finish and list all the things you can do. The thinking here is you can always add things in. The important part is to get from start to finish and re-read what you have for errors or omissions. You don’t want to get bogged down at this stage, you want to finish the loop.

When that is done you should go back and arrange things in order if they aren’t already. This is where Visio or charting programs are great. You can draw all those awesome little arrows and flow chart thingos to make connections to various prices of the game loop. Cinematics lead to gameplay, gameplay leads to achievements. All the great stuff happening.


Once you think you have a pretty good overall flow you will then take each item in that chart and start breaking it down HARDCORE. Well, at least as hardcore as you can for the moment. I personally think it’s really important to leave yourself some wiggle room with the systems. Many times and idea will just not pan out and you don’t want to be boxed in with a bunch of unique or inflexible game systems. Ideally – crap that isn’t working you can just take out and stuff that is working you expand on.

Again – the deal is not to turn this into a study in minutia. Rather you want to start asking some obvious questions as early as possible. things like “are we pausing and if so what will the player be able to do?” That sounds incredibly obvious but you want everything out in the open so you can take full advantage of your time and resources. There are few things worse than getting to the end and realizing you left out a ‘return to main menu’ option or an important end of round screen.


OK – so you went through all that and you have a pretty good list. Well, my advice here is to wrap the whole thing up and let it sit for a few days so you can revisit it with fresh eyes. I use this ‘let it bake’ philosophy a lot and it has saved me heartache time and again. What seems genius at 3 in the morning might be absurd on Friday afternoon after coffee.

The basic game loop should cover a typical game round and might be more complex for certain gams (think Civilization and its myriad options in a round). Another thing to remember is you can also put loops WITHIN loops. The basic loop exists within the great game loop and that might connect to other game loops like mini-games, upgrades, achievements, save screens and on and on. Start putting those together after you main loop and you are well on your way to really making a game.


To summarize – this process is about getting you asking questions about your game’s rules. That is it. You are pretending to be a typical player and thinking about all the things they can or might do. You won’t be perfect but each time you sit down and review you will likely improve the loop (any loop really) and thereby improve the game experience.

DO IT!

SideNote: We were in IndieGame Mag this month!

Boss 101 in the latest issue of Indie Game Magazine! Take a look and support a great site!

Link to the site here


Hope you enjoyed and talk with you soon!

Remember to LIVE YOUR DREAMS!

-Tim
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« Reply #54 on: April 19, 2015, 12:09:03 PM »

Welcome to the weekly update! Story and Bosses, Two great things that go great together!

Story:

Doesn't come up a lot in the updates but rest assured there is entertainment in Boss 101 beyond the awesome battles. Our goal is to give you a glimpse into the universe of Boss 101. We want to show you what is going on and hint at the larger forces in play. We know much of the the game boils down to cool arcade action but that’s not stopping us from plotting out a narrative for you to enjoy and follow. Here’s how we are planning it.

In-Round Dialog:

You’ve seen this. Bosses, Steve and Max talk with each other at the beginning of and during rounds. This is the basic stuff to give you the flavor of their personalities.


Making a Boss Room and various Command Center moments:

This is similar to the in-round work where you are seeing the guys and their friends react to various stuff happening in the game.  You will hear the visitors call into the Command Center and get to listen to conversations with ROB (their IT robot and part time chef)



Kite Room:

This is where you can just hang out and relax between battles. Fly a kite and listen to the guys talk about what’s on their mind. You might learn a few important things about STEVE and his past.


Game Cinema’s:

Overall storytelling in and there for a reason. We have a delivery system for these we believe you will enjoy. The idea is to give you narrative as YOU want it with the ability to play and replay as you like it. We’re working on this to make it special and memorable for you the player.

The point of all the above is there will be an underlying reason and motive for the way things are in the game. If you want to play and enjoy the game for pure arcade fun you can do that but always available will be the personalities and the history of the Boss 101 universe.

It sounds crazy but I think it’s as fun to help create the backstory as it is to work on a lot of the bosses and battles. The other day we were talking about the Command Center and why exactly would Max and STEVE have this awesome and advanced place to hang out in. Of course once the light bulb went off it made so much sense and wrapped a lot of the other pieces together too. YOU TOO will find out what’s going on when you play (or maybe read a Wiki article, HAAAAAAAAAAAA).

Bosses!

This time around we are looking at wrapping up another large scale boss. I’m going to put in a couple in progress shots of what you can expect. I’ll leave it to you to figure out what's going on here. Let’s just say it’s going to be pretty epic and we think you will like it a lot. This guy is “on track” to be an awesome boss! GET IT!?!?!? ON TRACK! That’s a hint!

Some regular and destroyed states for part of the boss:



Just know this – we care about Boss 101 a lot. It’s a fun game and a great experience for us. We’re working every day to bring you our best and earn your purchase.

Remember to Live Your Dreams!

-Tim
« Last Edit: April 20, 2015, 10:05:36 AM by SunWuKong » Logged

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« Reply #55 on: April 26, 2015, 05:34:26 PM »

Welcome back to the latest and greatest news on Boss 101. We have a few things on the table. Game tuning and tweaking and BOSS TRAINS.

Train talk

Let’s get rolling with some BOSS TRAIN talk. ROLLING I SAY!

Well, one of the later levels of the game has one bad mofo guarded a particularly important outpost. This guy will rock you six ways to Sunday and come back for more each time. Boss 101 sent one of his most deadly (and cool looking) buddies to make trouble for you. He’s a giant segmented train with each section representing some of the most powerful boss parts you can face. One section – JUST ONE SECTION of MANY has a powerful lightning gun ready to blast you out of the sky should you get too close.

Did we mention his name is Tom?

Here’s a VFX sample of the gun warming up for a blast.


Of course – you can take this section out but you need to be ready to dismantle the rest of the train too. It won’t be enough to blast once car – you gotta get ‘em all.


Keep on the looking for more updates about this guy as we get closer to release.

Design and Tuning

We spoke earlier about the tuning phase of the game and we wanted to elaborate a little more on that. Thing is – in any game it benefits from some basic game flowchart designs. In many cases your game or any game you are working on, making or playing is made up of a bunch of choice from moment to moment. The better the designers can predict and implement the most fun choices the better you are as the player of the game.

We have sat down earlier and laid out many of the menu choices. These are arguably the easier of the flow charts to make since the choices are all straightforward and don’t really deal with a lot of player variables (unlike game play moments). Here are a few close-ups and larger zoom outs of the game we are working on. Mind you the larger zoom outs are for reference only to give you a sense of the complexity that can spring from a few simple buttons and presses on the menus.

How Guns Work at a basic level

Zoom out



Zoom in (detail)



How Hats work (overall integration with the gameplay)

Zoom out



Zoom in (detail)



How the Pause menu works

Zoom out



Zoom in (detail)



Tuning continues

We’re bring you the fun and working to make battles awesome! Check out this snippet!


Some late night gaming - you always knew dinosaurs were birds right? HAAAAAA!!!


That’s all for this week and look for more next week! Thank you again and your comments or questions are welcome.

Remember to Live Your Dreams!

-Tim
« Last Edit: April 26, 2015, 05:51:27 PM by SunWuKong » Logged

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« Reply #56 on: April 26, 2015, 07:31:12 PM »

The games looking great, and Im digging how in depth these posts are!  Really interesting to read, can't wait for it to be out!
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« Reply #57 on: April 26, 2015, 08:11:19 PM »

The games looking great, and Im digging how in depth these posts are!  Really interesting to read, can't wait for it to be out!

Thank you! It's great to hear you are getting something from them. More to come for sure and check back for our weekly updates here. Our other sites (like the main boss101.com and Twitter site) have both a big and a small update each week.

Also - if you have any suggestions about topics you would like to see covered - feel free to drop them here!

Best,

-Tim
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« Reply #58 on: May 03, 2015, 09:34:19 PM »

Hello again and we are back with UI talk and a peek at how we go about making the UI for Boss 101.

Cool art for Boss 101!

Before we get rolling with UI talk - how awesome is this? Our very own Manon demonstrates her skillage with this amazing page of Boss 101 squaring off against Max and S.T.E.V.E.! I can't tell you how happy this made me when I saw it.

I want to see a whole book of it too! GENIUS!


User Interface (UI) - overall thoughts

The safest way to start is to say UI should be functional and consistent. Functional in that buttons, visual cues and actions the player take all work and make sense. Consistent in that you should keep a theme or look across the whole dad-blamed thing. Nothing is more confusing for a player than having a bunch of random fonts, colors and button sizes from panel to panel in a game. It's a bad way to bring the player into the action of the game and in some cases may prevent them from playing your masterpiece.

When we work on an interface we normally begin with a sketch in Photoshop or similar program. In most every case we take art from the game and work on top of that. The reason here is you want to look at your work in context. Use the same colors and visual themes. When you have a screencap or the original file at hand you can pick colors and cues while you work and also just get a sense of the shapes.  

The Make A Boss Equip Screen

So - in our Make a Boss room we have a button which brings up an equip panel where you can adjust your current weapon and hat. The idea here is to let you the player kit yourself up the best way possibly to battle the bosses. Since they are rolled randomly we wanted to give you this one last chance before battle to lock in your choice for items.


So we took this first screen cap here as the base to work with. This is our reference for the colors and look of the area we're working with:


From there we do a quick first pass to block in the area we will be working on and control the space we want to use. This is not intended to be final so we're not exactly looking for artistic perfection. That said - color and general shaping is good to consider. The deal is if you are too sketchy and unrefined then it's really hard to judge what is happening.


Allright - that came out OK, not awesome but the major movements are there and things are still missing. Control surfaces are undecided but the whole thing didn't take but 30 minutes or so.

Now with that out of the way, the design was left to sit for a night. The next morning I (Tim) discussed the basic functionality with Joshua (our programmer). Right off the bat he had a few suggestions about ways to improve the look and was able to answer a few questions about how the panel might function. We had a long Skype call and the result was this:


HAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!! What the heck! Well, those are meeting notes and I understood what they meant so I went to work. Some of the stuff we spoke about were a control pad type switch-out for the various hats and guns. Up and Down for Hats and Left and Right for the guns. I wanted to explore that idea which lead to this:


Ok - so that looks a lot more like something we would use! YES! Notice we added in a reference shot of Max with some hats and weapons mashed in so we can see how much space things might take up. From here the next steps are to polish up the overall look and add in needed iconography to the page. EASY-PEASY - well you get the idea. The major movements are done and the polish is arguably the funnest and easist part since all the big decisions are made. There may be more tweaks of course after some playtesting but we are good for now!

That's it for today's UI talk so let's take a quick look at the latest in our series of How To Make a Game!

This week's topic is perspective! Keep it or lose it!
 
Full article here - How To Make a Game - Part 14

Perspective is simply your point of view toward your game project.  Sometimes you want to zoom that view way in but most of the time you want to keep it far out so you can see what’s happening. There are a lot of ways to make a game and some people advocate things like a vertical slice (which is essentially building a representative portion of the game with all working parts). Others might tell you to work on everything at once. I can tell you from experience anything can be made to work if you have enough time and money. Let’s assume you have limited amounts of both and here’s how perspective can help you finish your game sooner and better.

One thing we do with Boss 101 is constantly pull back and look at the game as a potential customer might. We assess the value of the game based only on the screenshots we have released and the information out there. We put aside for the moment we’re the creators and we already know how wonderful the game is. The deal here is we are looking at it like a real life customer would. This is incredibly helpful. Another obvious thing is to look at similar games and see where you stack up. The intent is to compare the overall polish of a game you hold dear with your current efforts.

There are plenty of times you will want to micro focus on art, mechanics and code. Ideally this all happens after a big picture moment or once the plan has been laid out. Diving straight into machine gun art or character modeling before any prelim deign has happened is risky at best.

Once you have your direction then we are into what most people would agree is the heart of game making. This is where you are doing heavy lifting and getting the game made. Art assets, code, sound and countless other specific game tasks would fall into this realm. You will need to remove all distractions to do your best work.

OK - hope you enjoyed this look at some of our process and join us again next week for a continued look at the magic behind the scenes!

Remember to always live your dreams!

-Tim
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« Reply #59 on: May 10, 2015, 12:10:03 PM »

Welcome back to another weekly update!

We have:
- Pixel Art setups in Boss 101
- Boss 101 and Indie Game Battle
- Camping time with STEVE and Max

**Pixel Art setups in Boss 101**

Let's get right down to it with a look at the pixel art process on Boss 101 or “how we do what we do art-wise”. 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.

(sample of a black and white starter image)

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

(sample of a black and white shader layer)

(sample of the shader layer applied to the base black and white – used the ‘Overlay’ layer effect in Photoshop)

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

(sample of color – notice it is all flat shaded)

(sample of color layer applied to the final black and white – used the ‘Color’ layer effect in Photoshop)

All together!

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!!!

Boss 101 and Indie Game Battle

STEVE and Max in Indie Game Battle by Blob Game Studios!

Well we are SUPER flattered to be asked to be included in Blob Game’s Indie Game Battle. We were contact earlier about permission to bring STEVE and Max 9and their trusty machine gun) into the world of IGB and we are STOKED to present to you the first images from their appearance.

CHECK THESE OUT! Are you excited?! We are! HAAAAAAAAAAAAA!

(two shots of the guys in Battle)



More details on their IndieDB page here so check it out when you have a chance!

http://www.indiedb.com/games/indiegamebattle

Camping time with STEVE and Max

Boss 101 STEVE and Max, guys’ night out. Camping time and ghost stories!


OK – hope you enjoyed that look at the process we use and as always…

LIVE YOUR DREAMS!

-Tim
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