xanax48

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BOSS: I'm the boss of this area. Therfore I have high HP, Defense and Attack stats. You'll never be able to put me to sleep, blind me or use other tactics that you may have found useful lately. I may even take a few cheap shots every now and then. 


Protagonist: Don't you think that's a little cliche? 


BOSS: HUH?


Protagonist: Well just because you're the boss you don't have to have high stats or unfair tactics  right?... Can't you think of some other, more inventive ways of being cool?


BOSS: *GROWLS * I DON'T HAVE TO CHANGE IN 30 YEARS CUZ I'M THE BOSS! 
 

Kes

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Several in here





EDIT


For some reason about another 4 links vanished when I posted and I'm not going hunting for them again.  But a little searching will pull up several threads with good discussions about Bosses.
 
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VideoWizard

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You can put the boss to sleep, that allows you to get a few turns. HOWEVER, the boss can respond in kind when it wakes up...


You can silence the boss, but all the MP pool that isn't being used may go into attack power, instead. Look out!


You can blind the boss, but the boss may switch to using abilities that don't rely on sight.


You can poison the boss, and that may actually be a good strategy.


You can paralyze the boss, but it will writhe with seething hatred at you and do a powerful attack when it wears off.


You can petrify the boss, but it will break out of its stone after five turns. And physical attacks won't work in the meantime.


You can freeze the boss, but its hatred towards your party will grow. Watch out for a one-shot attack when the ice thaws!


You can burn the boss, but when it wears off, the boss will return the favor by burning YOU.


You can cast death on the boss. If it works, you win. However... if it doesn't work, it will go onto your party instead.


You can cast mini on the boss, bear in mind that there is the chance an opposite effect will occur. Have fun now taking down a giant boss!


It's not 1986 anymore, so bosses need to evolve.
 

Kes

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It's not 1986 anymore, so bosses need to evolve.



Actually I think that in many cases that is exactly what they have done.  Sure, there are inexperienced developers who use the cliche, though it's likely to be just one cliche among many.  But in general I think that people have moved on.  See the many, many threads in Game Mechanics Design where different aspects of Bosses are discussed in a way which clearly demonstrate more imaginative approaches.  Which is what I was trying to indicate by my earlier post, except that it swallowed most of my links.
 

Aoi Ninami

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Also, cliches become cliches for a reason: they work. Just because something has been done before is no reason to throw it out.


Bosses get immunity to a lot of attacks, particularly instant death spells, because if they didn't, the boss would be no challenge, spoiling both the fun and the feeling of satisfaction at beating them. In many RPGs, the player has access to magic or accessories that protects them from instant death spells. If such a thing exists in the game world, then why wouldn't the boss take advantage of it? (That said, there are many other ways to handle the issue. The route I'm taking in my game is the simplest: instant death spells don't exist at all.)
 

xanax48

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I understand that there may exist plenty of examples within this site showing great takes on bosses. My true concern is AAA games. Even now there are games being released that still follow these old rules as the main sign of difficulty increase. AAA games are also designed to appeal to as many people as possible to increase sales numbers. Is this lazy design by developers, fear that mass players won't like or understand something more complex, or a sign that this is what gamers want and in that case we're just wasting time coming up with new things. 
 

Kes

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@xanax48  Ah, if you want to discuss AAA games, then I need to move this to Video Games.  This particular section of the forum is specifically aimed at RPGMaker game development.


Can you just confirm that you are not addressing bosses on games developed here.
 

xanax48

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I mentioned AAA games because they are expected to be played by millions. I asked is there a reason why. So far the posts have given tips and examples of interesting bosses. But are we aiming in the wrong direction. Yes, I'm developing with RPGM but should the end results mirror that which is popular or innovative? Am I (are we) wasting our time tring to reinvent the wheel? 
 

Kes

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I am a little confused here, which may be the result of tiredness.  You began the thread with a post clearly implying that bosses have not evolved over 30 years, and that this is a bad thing.  Now you're wondering if, by developing more interesting bosses, we are wasting our time trying to reinvent the wheel, and wondering if this is aiming in the wrong direction.  You seem to be equating non-evolved bosses as popular and interesting bosses as innovative.  I question the first part - at least on this forum, non-evolved bosses are not popular.  And innovative bosses can be popular.  I think you are presenting Members with a false choice.


As for how your own game is developed, only you can decide what sort of boss you are happy to create, and what your motivation is to create that type of boss.
 

xanax48

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Yeah, I do believe you're confused. The topic is about the cliches of bosses in games.

I question the first part - at least on this forum, non-evolved bosses are not popular.  And innovative bosses can be popular.  I think you are presenting Members with a false choice.


As for how your own game is developed, only you can decide what sort of boss you are happy to create, and what your motivation is to create that type of boss.

Bosses with the stat rundown from my original post is what's been used most in rpgs. I'm well aware that a few have changed but its no where near the normal for them to be different.


And of course I'm the only one who can decide what's going to appear in the game that i develop, I'm asking the question to gain some insight on what other developers think of these tropes.
 

Milennin

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BOSS: I'm the boss of this area. Therfore I have high HP, Defense and Attack stats. You'll never be able to put me to sleep, blind me or use other tactics that you may have found useful lately. I may even take a few cheap shots every now and then.



Of course bosses have high HP, Defence and Attack. That's how they last for more than a few turns against the player.

Protagonist: Well just because you're the boss you don't have to have high stats or unfair tactics  right?... Can't you think of some other, more inventive ways of being cool?



Unfair tactics work well, because they're the big bad evil. They shouldn't be playing by the rules, and it's what makes beating them feel all the better. Because you, playing by the rules, defeated something that broke the rules.

I mentioned AAA games because they are expected to be played by millions. I asked is there a reason why. So far the posts have given tips and examples of interesting bosses. But are we aiming in the wrong direction. Yes, I'm developing with RPGM but should the end results mirror that which is popular or innovative? Am I (are we) wasting our time tring to reinvent the wheel? 



Make the game that you, as a player, would want to play. If you want bosses to be different from AAA games, then go ahead and do so. I, myself, like to step away from certain tropes commonly used in RPGs in my own games. To me, it doesn't matter whether or not it's the popular choice, because my game is for free and I'm not dependant on lots of people liking it and wanting to spend money on it.
 

xanax48

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@Milennin thanks. I started working on this game with that same idea in mind...make the game I would want to play. While I'm not expecting millions to play it, I justed wondered what makes the tropes used so often. Why do so many people go back to games that use them. Final Fantasy bosses creep over 1 million HP at times, while Suikoden rarely went over 10,000, which one of those games are still around? I know there's more to longevity then the bosses but it does help. I also plan to step away from the old rules of the boss battle in favor of something a little fresh. Thanks to you I now have a second voice ringing in my head (make the game you'd want to play)!
 

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On the topic if hit points of the boss, it depends on many other factors. I once made a little module for unlimited adventures where the boss had HP barely in the double digits. But...it was so hard to hit that the entire battle was figuring out how to do any damage. Once you did, it was an easy fight.


But, just remember HP alone don't determine a bosses power. 10,000,000 HP means nothing if you do 1,000,000 per hit, but 10,000,000 HP is near invincible if everyone does 1 HP per hit.
 

xanax48

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@bgillisp That's an excellent idea! It's a style that's often reserved for insects and other small foes. Finding out how to do any damage at all cause your attacks miss is a great way to add complexity to a boss battle without creating "power creep". I plan to use similar tactics where clues were given in the narrative. Follow the story and you'll understand how to defeat a boss without needing to be told explicitly.


The boss as a puzzle,  now that's good game design. 
 

bustedradio

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If we're talking about AAA games, the Souls games, particularly Bloodborne and Dark Souls 3 have some standout bosses for me and it all has to do with phases.


For Bloodborne, Father Gascoinge is one of the early bosses in the game and he starts out as a pretty normal guy. He's a hunter like you, so the way he moves and attacks are easily understood. Once you bring his heath down to a certain amount, he'll change the way he holds his axe, one handed to two handed, and gain a new move set. Once he's at less than half health, he turns into a beast with a more frantic attacks.


For Dark Souls 3, the Abyss Watchers are hands down my favorite due to a certain gimmick in the first phase. In the first phase you are forced to fight multiple enemies at a time. Their attacks are pretty predictable and it's fun to dodge them. There is one main boss and two 'normal' versions that spawn. One spawn will work with the boss to take you out while the other one is corrupt (indicated with red eyes) and will attack the other two. The three will fight it out and you can join the fray to take down the boss. Once the boss is down, the fight goes into phase two. This time you're only fighting the boss. He gains fire damage and a whole new moveset. It's still pretty predictable, though he has a couple of fake outs to throw you off.


I think just having the boss changes phases in the middle of a fight can be really exciting and fun. It's probably a bit more forgiving in turned based games since you have more time to think than an action game.
 
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Dr. Delibird

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Don't pull a borderlands 2, bullet sponges add padding to the game but not difficuilty.
 

RetroBoy

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Rather than making the boss IMMUNE to sleep, why not give him a special move that he can only use WHILE he is asleep that is devastating to the party and wakes him up when he uses it?


I dunno, I am an amateur that just wants to make fun and memorable games. :\
 

xanax48

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@RetroBoy That is a steller idea as well. Reminds me of Pokemon. Use of moves like Dream Eater and Nightmare only works if the target is asleep. Thanks
 

aironneil

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Obviously every game is different, but the context of the boss is instrumental in it being memorable; as in it's part in the story, and how it is compared to other bosses in the game. For example, Demon's Souls's Maiden Astraea doesn't even fight you; her guard does and only if you try to get too close to her. Once you do get within attacking range of her she ends up killing herself. This battle only works because the area before her had violent and gross bosses until that point. Mechanically it's nothing more than denying the player an actual boss fight, but under the context it makes it very memorable.

It's the kind of thing that would only really work once which is why I'm a strong proponent in giving RPG bosses some sort of gimmick to make them memorable.

EDIT: Just realized that the thread was actually very old, whoops...
 

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