Sometimes a game reaches a point where a big challenge must be presented to the player.
This moment might come due to some reasons: it can be that you want to offer more fun, maybe it’s just beacuse the game is meant to be hard, or -this one is the most common one- the user may require certain skills or knowledge in order to continue though further stages of the game.
In action games this challenge comes as a “Boss”. A more powerful enemy that will usually test the player skills in a one-to-one fight.
Well, designing them is hard. At least a good boss fight.
The reason is -of course, from my point of view- that a well-designed boss must not be just “hard”: it must set up a challenge by playing with the game mechanics. Because an enemy with super high heath and defence levels and some deathly attacks is a pain in the ass, but usually… it cannot go further than that.
Some examples of what I mean -and I’ve recently enjoyed- would be Titan Souls’ enemies or the Cyborg Ninja from Metal Gear Solid.
The first example offers a good quantity of good bosses, like Gol-Hevel (who has to be defeated using the Titan Souls’ arrow invokation mechanic) or Onyxia (that uses the enviroment to attack the player).
In the case of Metal Gear, Ninja has invisibility powers, and will finish you unless you use an item that you had previously found and show your shooting skills and intelligence to use other kind of objects.
Maybe all this stuff seems out of context, but the thing is, if you haven’t already noticed, RogueCube is currently on the process of designing its bosses. And as I’ve said, this process is hard.
For our game, we want the bosses to change a little the way the game is played, by means of mixing shapes and use the whole three dimensions to move and attack.
It must be sayed that RogueCube uses a 2D engine, so its 3D view is kind of “fake”. That’s why its also tricky implement their code, and so tedious to draw several animations for each single move.
But we won’t complain, because all work must be done! After having developed this thoughts about game bosses, I’ll just say that -as we always do- we are putting a lot of effort and care to design great features for RogueCube, including all this boss stuff.
Thanks for reading! See you soon!
PJ – game designer and programmer.