Boss Battle Build Bout! Sep 13th-Oct 4th!

Seacliff

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I had a concept in mind for more dynamic boss battles in a current project of mine. Perhaps this is a good way to see how it works out in practice.
 

Touchfuzzy

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Aesica has it right on the post-battle dialogue. The focus here is on the battle itself.

Also, Seacliff, I have no idea what you mean by dynamic boss battles, but I'll admit that my imagination is happy just trying to figure out how you mean dynamic so :).
 

STARFALL

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Can I scale the Obsidian dragon? I need a different approach to that dragon.
 

Touchfuzzy

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Can I scale the Obsidian dragon? I need a different approach to that dragon.
Yes, also as I said earlier in the thread, if you want it bigger, just tag me on the thread with what size you need (as going smaller doesn't mess up quality much, but going bigger does).
 

STARFALL

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Yes, also as I said earlier in the thread, if you want it bigger, just tag me on the thread with what size you need (as going smaller doesn't mess up quality much, but going bigger does).
I need a 816px of width, if is possible. If not don't worry
 

Seacliff

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I'm a bit torn. My boss takes me six minutes, so it could potentially still take someone else a bit over ten minutes. I don't know what I should do to shorten it, It's almost exactly how I envisioned it.

I'll have to focus test my project with some friends before submitting. Thankfully I have plenty of time to do that.
 
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Milennin

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I'm a bit torn. My boss takes me six minutes, so it could potentially still take someone else a bit over ten minutes. I don't know what I should do to shorten it, It's almost exactly how I envisioned it.
I'm finding the 10-minute rule very restrictive, and it's very likely the one thing my entry isn't going to be working on. Considering you have 4 characters, each with their own abilities. Let's say you have super basic skill sets on all of your characters, it'll very likely still take at least 15 seconds per skill set to read (totaling 1 minute). Let's say you have the tiniest bit of synergy or unique mechanics going on since it's what the entries are going to be judged on, add another 15 seconds per character just to comprehend what you're reading (you're now sitting at 2 minutes just reading and trying to understand skill sets). Then you'd expect the average player to mess around with skills in their first few turns to get a feel for the combat and the boss (waste another minute or 2). At this point, you're already nearing the halfway point of what you can do with your boss, on top of RPG Maker processing turns pretty slowly already, and it gets even worse if you dare use animations on your skills and/or go side view. And you'd still want the boss fight to feel like a boss fight, and not just a beefed up regular encounter.
The 10-minute rule goes against everything this contest is judged on. Good luck implementing your unique mechanics and all across 4 characters and expect the average player to figure it out without a tutorial in a boss fight of all places.

But I'll accept losing this contest because the average guy couldn't figure out my boss on a first playthrough within 10 minutes, when I at least put in the effort to try to make something mechanically unique and special. Also, it's simply impossible to tell how long the average player would even be taking in your game. You'd have to have a legion of people willing to playtest your game before this contest's deadline to find out how long the average player would take on it, and even then, good luck rebalancing the boss battle still in time for the submissions if your boss fight happens to take too long.
 

ScorchedGround

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@Milennin
Yeah, I agree fundamentally with the rule being restrictive.
I also think it greatly limits your creativity.



Even if you only have 4 skills per character, that's still 16 skills total.
In totality you have to consider:

# Reading AND understand each individual skill
# understanding the complete skill-set of each hero
# understanding synergies and combos BETWEEN heroes
# use all of the knowledge to adequately combat the boss (who has their own skill-pattern)

So like half (or more) of the 10 minutes is already "wasted" on understanding the skills.



So here is the dilemma then:

#1 Either you make your skills extremely simple to minimize complexity and reading time
#2 Greatly reduce the amount of skills and interactions in total
#3 Make bossfight itself shorter, which means however that hero-kits and boss patterns won't be able to bloom because there is just not enough time

The problem: ALL solutions also reduce your creative freedom, which seems to be at the core of this challenge. In that sense, this is pretty paradox.



Though I do kind of understand, that playing hundreds of hour-long battles could become tiring for the judges.

I'd still like to compromise on raising the time-limit to like 18 or 20 minutes.

I mean if people want to make the battle shorter then that's great.
And if people fail to make longer battles exciting then that's their loss in this event.

EDIT: Maybe we can raise the time limit and in exchange the judges may decide to prematurely abort the battle if they think it's not going anywhere (like a 30 minute troll-battle with no complexity).
 
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Aesica

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Definitely agree. The 10 minute limit is shutting down a lot of what I want to do with this. This is a contest about mechanics and overall boss design, and when you have mechanics, you also have a learning curve. This curve involves:
  • How to properly use each party member's abilities. I mean, yeah they can just get "Flare" and "Curaja" to make everything straightforward, but mechanics imply giving the players tools to counter said mechanics, so...yeah learning curve for player skills is a thing.
  • Fight-specific gimmicks, such as depleting a boss's special resource before you can damage it, or building up some special player resource to stay alive.
  • Adjusting to new/increasingly dangerous attack patterns at boss hp/status/etc thresholds, if any at all. This seems kind of important to make the fight feel more dynamic and less static. Otherwise, what you have is, "hi the boss just uses these 3 attacks from 100 to 0 hp."
...etc.

Right now, it's like the contest is saying "make an interesting boss!" while the 10 minute rule is saying, "...but not too interesting, actually."
 

Touchfuzzy

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... I'll be honest, we set 1 hour for entire games for most contests. I played several of them with multiple boss fights and I still finished in under an hour. And that was with cutscenes, puzzles, dungeons, trash mobs, etc.

10 minutes is much longer than you think it is.
 

ScorchedGround

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@Touchfuzzy
Hmm... I get what you are saying and I don't doubt your ability to read and comprehend skills and attack patterns, but I am still sceptical.

Considering that this contest is purely about one single boss battle, most people will go all out in creating the best possible mechanics and synergies. Taking that all in will take some time, leaving less time for the actual bossfight to unfold.

That makes it hard to create an enticing battle with build-up and setting up combos and synergies.

So I really have to restrict myself just to not to get disqualified.
That in turn will lessen the experience for both me while developing and also for everyone playing.
 

Aesica

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Just know that, for a contest aimed at showcasing what rpgmaker can do in terms of creating engaging boss battles (what I suspect the point of this contest is) you'll be getting entries from many of us that will be subpar compared to what can actually be done due to this restriction.
 

Chalk

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To me, it seemed like the main part of the contest was being able to demonstrate creative/fun mechanics without overloading the player. It is certainly restricting - there's little to no room for a learning phase.

However, I think these restrictions against dialogue and tutorials co-exist well with a short time limit. They create a very clear challenge for the contestants to work within.

Big disclaimer, I'm not super experienced on RPG Maker boss lengths, I've barely touched the actual battle-test for my entry. Perhaps 10 minutes minimum does not leave much room at all.
 
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Seacliff

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Having submitted my entry, I have to agree with Touch that 10 minutes isn't nearly as restrictive as some users are making it out to be.

Limiting, sure, but I think I was able to introduce multiple concepts and flesh them out decently enough in that time limit.
 

LyonBuster

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I was interested at first, but I am disappointed that I cannot participate. My idea can't cope with the dialogue restriction. The inspiration was to add the fourth member during the battle, but if I can't even show the connections within the characters, my hands are tied.

Also, and this is just my opinion, if the obsidian dragon is invading the multiverse, wouldn't it be useful to show a little bit of the universe of each participant? Not a tutorial, but a bit of lore of each one, no? And how they kick the dragon's arse to send it back to the void...

Finally, good luck to all participants!! I hope to see your entries there!
 

Yuki_P

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say, Can I submit my project via another way other than give a link in the submission thread?
 

Harosata

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To Yuki:
I understand you may want to keep your boss battle under wraps, but considering that half of the prize is based on Fans trying the boss themselves, chances are that the Staff will just place it in the Submissions thread anyway.

To LyonBuster:
Yes, the Obsidian Dragon is such a foe that it will Silence your party member, or worse, Skip Cutscene before he can dialogue. But really, there's the assumption that the party automatically knows that the dragon's from another world. Is it because there are no dragons thus quantum physics are involved, or is it because your world is full of dragons and that one dragon is sus?

To Seacliff:
I agree on the 10 minutes limit. After all, World of Warcraft raid bosses are usually 10 minutes max with complicated mechanics and phases. Even then, a dungeon boss may take 5 minutes average and still showcase a number of mechanics and phases.

Also, the staff didn't say they only had 10 minutes to judge the boss but that the time limit is on the boss. This means they might have up to an hour like other contests, which means that they can also judge of factors that aren't available in a single playthrough. For example, the first battle tests every skill and defeating the boss (if possible). The second battle may decide to exclude certain skills and see if there are alternative methods like focusing on boss or targeting mobs. The third battle might be to try out interesting strategies like buff-stacking which also means seeing what happens if the boss is given a few more turns to attack. This also means seeing how many skills are needed to fight the boss or if the boss can be taken down using Attack only. Maybe even see what happens if the party is reduced to one survivor. And above all, if the boss can be enjoyed on multiple playthroughs.

This is just speculation, though.
 
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LyonBuster

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Yes, the Obsidian Dragon is such a foe that it will Silence your party member, or worse, Skip Cutscene before he can dialogue. But really, there's the assumption that the party automatically knows that the dragon's from another world. Is it because there are no dragons thus quantum physics are involved, or is it because your world is full of dragons and that one dragon is sus?
That dragon is truly sus, as you are right my world is full of dragons; and my idea to come is that it would take the form of the father of some fighters, thus introducing my world even if they are not the main characters at all. But no one would know about it if they are silenced!!! :kaoblush: Also this dragon is sus, but come on, if it's only fighting without explaining all the fights will both start and end the same with the obsidian dragon death but no plot at all. That's why I belive the biggest prize is a Post-game boss badge. Post-game bosses tend to be that, a boss so difficult that meh, no story at all after beating it, just saying how difficult it was.

I totally agree with what you say to @Seacliff about the way the staff would be able to judge the boss, as there are AN AWFUL LOT OF MECHANICS they would have to revise. And also, i don't believe people would give 20 skills to each character for variation. I believe this is a bout in order to innovate with little and better, no the more the merrier.

If I could use dialogues, my innovative idea would have sense, but I can't, so nothing. This idea which is no innovative at all is just remembering Golbez fight and Rydia joining in Final Fantasy IV; but with my story as character roles fit the ones said by the poll.
But also, what about the abilities to the dragon? What would it be, the dragon casting an instant-kill attack-scene in order to rely on the main character and hurrying to revive the mates, just like the FFIV fight i am quoting? Or open a hyperspace hole like the one it came in from and summon minions? I believe doppelgänger and change the form of the dragon is not allowed, thus only using the sprite provided...

Imagination is the limit!!!
 

Milennin

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Also, the staff didn't say they only had 10 minutes to judge the boss but that the time limit is on the boss.
This would be fair, TBH. I don't see anybody clearing my boss fight within 10 minutes on their very first run, simply because reading the character skill descriptions first time would already take up close to half of the time limit. In the current version I got, I can't even beat my own boss fight within 10 minutes and that's with knowing what everything does, though it may be possible under the right circumstances and with a speedrunner's mindset. Right now, all I've got left to do is to lower the boss HP and increase some of the damage outputs and ensure it still remains somewhat of a challenge to beat, since all of the mechanics are in their place and working as intentional now.
 

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