In a normal video game, when the hero reaches a boss fight, the hero has to win. If you lose the fight, you’ll just have to try the fight again until you win. The alternative would usually be that the story couldn’t continue. After all, if the dragon at the end of the cave just massacres the hero, it’s time to roll credits, right? So writing a game like Boss Saga, which is exclusively about stories where you control the bosses to defeat heroes, poses some unique narrative opportunities. Today, I’d like to talk briefly about that storytelling process.Continue reading “What Happens When the Boss Wins the Fight?”
Our Approach to Crafting an RPG Boss Fight
If making enjoyable boss fights were easy, nobody would ever complain about boring or badly designed boss fights in video games. There are infinite ways for things to go wrong and a finite number of ways for things to go right. In Boss Saga, the entire game is boss fights, except you play as the boss to defeat the heroes. So, you could accurately say we have our work cut out for us. But we’re doing the best we can, and today I’m going to talk about my general approach for crafting all the RPG boss fights in our game.Continue reading “Our Approach to Crafting an RPG Boss Fight”
The Games That Have Influenced Boss Saga
It won’t shock anyone to hear that we love video games and especially RPGs. It also won’t shock anyone to hear that some of those games are clear influences on Boss Saga. So today, I’m going to talk about a few of the games that have most inspired gameplay and narrative events across the development so far!Continue reading “The Games That Have Influenced Boss Saga”
Metal (Slime) Massacre – The Music of Boss Saga
Never in a million years did I think I’d have the awesome pleasure of composing the soundtrack for an entire video game. And not just any game, but a SNES-style game where you played as the bad guys, with a cute little devil mascot that practically begged for heavy riffage, pounding drums, and spandex pants (okay, maybe not that last one).
As with most things in life, though, you can’t just turn it up to 11 and walk away. That gets old fast, and you need contrasting sounds and moods to balance things out as the scenes call for it. This is the challenge (and fun!) of writing music for Boss Saga.Continue reading “Metal (Slime) Massacre – The Music of Boss Saga”
The Boss Channel Is Your TV Gateway to Other Worlds
When Boss Saga launches, it will be a single purchase with the complete game experience included in it from day one. However, within that complete experience, Boss Saga will make use of episodic storytelling, literally. Every story (and its associated boss fight) in the game will be its own “episode” that you experience through something called the “Boss Channel,” and today we’re going to talk about the function of the Boss Channel, how you yourself are a character in the story, and how Balzac will be your guide through an odd TV universe.Continue reading “The Boss Channel Is Your TV Gateway to Other Worlds”
Introducing Balzac, the Mascot of Boss Saga
Balzac, like a lot of good things, was a happy accident.
Boss Saga needed a physical cursor to use during battles to select actions. For instance, the Final Fantasy games famously use a white glove (inspired by Crackout) as the selection cursor. Many other games might just use a generic arrow shape. On a whim, I drew up a quick, simple 16×16-pixel devil character to be the selection cursor. He turned out surprisingly cute, especially with his quasi-heart-shaped head that wasn’t even drawn that way intentionally. So basically, I’d lucked my way into a marketable mascot.Continue reading “Introducing Balzac, the Mascot of Boss Saga”
The Origins of Boss Saga
I first started working on the concept that would become Boss Saga in August 2017, or at least that’s the earliest I found any evidence for it on my PC without searching too hard.
Where the Concept for Boss Saga Came From
The idea to make Boss Saga was the culmination of several earlier, often odd influences. For one thing, I had spent years working on an adventure novel about monsters as the main characters, but I finally had to cut my losses and quit on it when I realized there was one major element that just wasn’t working properly. (I still hope to return to it and make it work someday.) Nonetheless, I continued to love the idea of a story about traditionally villainous characters being placed in situations that let them flaunt their power…
A more bizarre and unexpected influence that inspired the Boss Saga concept is a Koji Igarashi game, Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night. More specifically, I was influenced by the “Boss Revenge” stretch goal that the game wheeled out during its extremely successful Kickstarter. Even though I already knew Bloodstained was far from the first game to present the idea of letting you play as a boss, for some reason the idea just struck me as particularly cool that time. It stayed in my head.Continue reading “The Origins of Boss Saga”