Creating Boss characters

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  •'s been a while since I roamed the forums...

    I'm working on a top-down maze-based game with strong Christian/spiritual themes. (To avoid any unintentional debates/discussions/etc, that's all I'll say to that...but I mention it if only to present a bit of context for those who would like to offer their input more constructively...)

    Presently, I'm not having too much trouble coming up with some baddies to roam around the mazes.

    But I'd like to employ some bosses that are more intimidating in scope and size. Not unlike your hulked-up bosses common on many adventure and action games on the Super Nintendo and other old-gen systems. Like Contra 4? HUGE bosses that dominated half the screen! The Donkey Kong Country series and also Yoshi's Island? Even though they were often common baddies ramped up on steroids (or magic in Yoshi's case), the bosses were still unique and challenging...and...BIG!

    I'd like to use similar tactics.

    To start with, what are some good "rules of thumb" when establishing bosses?

    What is your personal process for setting up C2 instructions that navigate the boss' behavior? How do you make your processes so that they work efficiently?

    Do you simply cycle the boss through actions? Randomize? Create conditional behaviors based on player actions? (Obviously, any of the above can be true.)

    When creating graphically larger bosses, how do you go about it in terms of graphics/animations?

    Please feel free to offer input in answer to my questions above or if you have additional thoughts/suggestions, I'd be very grateful. Thanks!

  • hey, I am going to work on bosses soon too. I want to create bosses like the giant bee in donkey kong. So if I am right those are just different movements not interacting that much with the player.

    E.g. the bee could go left and right with a bullet + sine behaviour. I will activate different movements by changing a global variable. I will focus on non-player-relevant movements or maximum to have the boss standing and shooting something towards the player.

    I would recommend to take one boss of the games you referenced that you like and try to rebuild it first (maybe even in a more simple way).

    If you have a clear idea and a problem with it just post it to the forum. If it is precise you get better help

  • MACPK - Good advice. Thank you.

    I do think sticking to non-player relevant movements would be wise to start with.

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  • It does seem like older games put more of a priority on boss encounters. Contra is a good example.

    I guess if it were me, I would look at Castlevania for some inspiration. A plethora of excellent bosses drawing from mythological sources, both biblical and otherwise.

    In terms of unique, original gameplay, it's hard to top the bosses in Metal Gear Solid. Too many good ones to name.

    Artistically, an excellent reference for imaginative biblical imagery is the work of Hieronymus Bosch:

    Keep in mind, all of this imagery is public domain. Early Netherlandish paintings in general are a good source for unnerving, beautiful images, many containing explicit religious themes and overtones.

    In terms of programming, a simple state machine works fine if you are hearkening after old school pattern based bosses. Make each different behavior state into it's own group, then create a handling group to enable/disable states as you like (with timers, by health, however you want).

    P.S. Whoops, just noticed the last three digits of my rep score...maybe you should be wary of my advice... <img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_twisted.gif" alt=":twisted:" title="Twisted Evil"> <img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_mrgreen.gif" alt=":mrgreen:" title="Mr. Green">

  • TiAm - LLLOOOLLL I'll excuse the number as it's offset by an additional value of 4000. You're safe. But MAN that's some good coincidence! LOL

    I will definitely look into this Bosch fellow. Thank you!

    Indeed, MGS has some amazingly unique bosses. I've only ever played the original NES game (barely), beaten MGS: Twin Snakes, and 75-90% of Snake Eater 3DS. My favorites are probably Mantis and Ocelot (that I can remember from Twin Snakes).

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