How often should boss battles appear?

TacoButters

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As the title says, I'm making a project in RPG Maker MV and well I feel as though I have always been one to put a lot boss battles within a short timeframe. Currently, the game has only one hour of gameplay and there's 3 bosses within that hour.

To be more, specific, the plot involves you being sent to a town ruin in order to investigate recent monster attacks. You end going down a ladder into a dungeon, after which you engage in a boss battle. Later on, after you return back home, you are sent again to another town to deliver a letter but a thief steals your letter. You have to go down into their hideout, which is a fairly short and linear dungeon. You're caught getting back the letter and have to fight 4 waves of enemies and then fight another a boss. After that, you deliver the letter and fight another boss. I know that the distance between the last two is incredibly little but to avoid that in the future, how often should they appear?
 

SantannaCL

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I believe that this depends entirely of what you're offering to your players. In the time frame of one hour, I think that three bosses, depending on their power, of course, is a decent amount. If the main focus of the game is enemy mashing, I'd turn that up to five. Personally, I'd have them from 30 to 30 minutes interval, perhaps a little less if you want to pressure the players.
 

TacoButters

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I believe that this depends entirely of what you're offering to your players. In the time frame of one hour, I think that three bosses, depending on their power, of course, is a decent amount. If the main focus of the game is enemy mashing, I'd turn that up to five. Personally, I'd have them from 30 to 30 minutes interval, perhaps a little less if you want to pressure the players.
I'm just going for a traditional RPG, i don't know if want to throw too many bosses at the player.
 

Poryg

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Then don't, you can always add them later.
 

Guiguimu

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Alright, how are you writing your story? I make a boss fight in the end of each chapter when I am working with a story already written. Then I have mini-bosses, which are tougher enemies than the usual but weaker than bosses.
You can make the boss before the letter a mini boss, and then the one after the letter would be a boss.
Now, I think that how often they should appear depends on what type of story you are creating, what type of game you are developing.
Since it is a traditional RPG give one boss at the end of each "chapter", dungeon or mission IMO.
Hope it helps...
 

Poryg

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It also depends though whether the game is story oriented or battle oriented. Battle oriented games accept more bosses better, story oriented depend on the game pace. For example very fast paced games don't cope very well with bosses. However, if your game isn't that fast paced, then bosses have more importance. Then there are also minor bosses, which are completely optional, but good in sidetracks or side quests. But if you don't know whether to add bosses or not, go as you like. You can always add or delete bosses. Trying it yourself in practice is better than any answer we can give here.
 

Rinobi

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Mechanics/Skills are the lessons. Enemies the homework. Bosses the test. Defeating the boss means passing the test, allowing the student move on the next lesson. Continue this pattern until you've run out of things to teach. The finale combines the previous lessons into a final exam. Following this mindset may help with pacing.
 

acidhedz

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Just depends.
In my last game I didn't stick to any particular method.
The first two areas have a boss, and a mini-boss. The third has a boss, then a dungeon with a boss at the end of each or three levels. The fourth area has a boss and two of three mini-bosses. There are nine areas, and three dungeons, and while I built the game around 3x9 so those numbers and 27 show up all over the place, how they present is never consistent.
Sometimes the boss battles aren't actually as tough as some of the enemy battles, they just happen to be the one you have to beat to move to the next area.

But I'm weird. You do you.
 

TacoButters

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Hey, thanks, everybody for their suggestions. I'm thinking of just turning the one before the letter into a mini-boss like Guiguimo said and I like the analogy Rinobi said. Thanks for your input. Other than that, the bosses will typically after a dungeon and after a story quest. But I'll probably toss in some mini-bosses too.
 

Hercanic

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Too much of a good thing spoils the broth. You want highs and lows, periods of intensity and calm. Without downtime, burnout is more likely, and you dilute the impact a boss should have.
 

NPC

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Mini-bosses are always a thing.

That said, having a boss at the end of the first dungeon, and then another upon returning from that quest is a fairly common practice in RPGs (for example the "evil NPC" trope where the one who hired you is actually bad is used quite a lot.

I believe that if it's at the end of a dungeon, don't feel shy about having a boss there. You can even throw in some bosses around wherever. As long as the boss battles are enjoyable, then I don't see the problem with your layout. You could increase the dungeon sizes if it makes it feel farther apart?
 

Rutlawski

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I can't really tell you how many and where to make bosses. As the others have said it solely depends on the story, gameplay etc. etc.

For me there are 3 type of bosses, that I can think of in an RPG:
* Normal though bosses - these are bosses that may or may not be crucial for the story. They can be though or not, vanila or more sinister but the practically serve as a challenge and a break from normal battles. It's here that the playern is able to measure his strength, level, strategy. It's a sort of ultimate challenge and a test of skills, gathered before, or in the previous area.
Examples:
Cray Crawl from FFV
Aps from FFVII

* Story related bosses - They often tend to be more sophisticated, depend more on strategy or even player's knowledge of the character or monster they're fighting. They tend to be more rare than the first ones, as encounters with them are to be more epic and grand.
Examples:
Elemental Lords from FFIV
Sanctuary Guardians from Earthbound

* Scripted bosses - Bosses which either are there to beat you brutally [ a trick in RPG storytelling, that I love ] or which are there to show a form of story or an event in the battle. Sometimes the player has no control during such boss and then it's purpose covers only the plot of the game.
Examples:
Saturos & Menardi from Golden Sun
Gades from Lufia series
Dark Elf from Final Fantasy IV


That being said I think you should decide beforehand what types of bosses are you really using and what are the goals of making them. Do you want the player to be challenged, will they serve ONLY the gameplay, the story? Maybe a little of both?

A boss is the ultimate challenge of the chapter or arc [ however short it may be; off course a boss battle may also OPEN said arc ] so I reckon don't flood the player's with them. Search for a golden rule, make the player always aware that they are to come so he feels the motivation to hone his skills.
 

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