Clackwork

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Hello!

As I plot out my current RPG project, I've been thinking about the boss roster I'm making for it: and moreso the issue of making a non traditional boss.

Specifically speaking, I'm referring to bosses who have additional interesting mechanics besides for "Hit boss, boss hits back, hit boss, boss applies debuff" and stuff like that. I'd like some tips and tricks on how I could make a boss fight that's more than basic combat.

Thank you in advance!
 

Soulrender

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Interesting question though... If I had to implement such thing in my game then I would take pen and notes and draw "tree of possibilities" wich is more-less chart showing what things can happen during battle. (The more branches you add, the better fight will look), but don't force yourself - if you can't come up with possibilities, then leave it for next day.

Now, when you decide your notes are complete enter MV's Troop editor and prepare empty troop event, but set it condition to "Turn End" (JUST turn end) and span to turn.

Now the most frustrating part:
Nesting Flow control -> Conditional Branch:

if (something from your notes) then do one thing - else do something other.

and nest it deeper and test, then nest next assumption and test it until you say it's ok.

I know, this is pain in a*s job, but if you want such thing then you have no choice. Because I don't think there is such plugin wich will automate entire event / process
 

ThreeSixNine

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A lot of creative mechanics for bosses are just extensions of the attack boss, boss attack back. Look at Cagnazzo from FF4 and Guard Scorpion from FF7, the creativity there was about when to attack.

All four Fiends from FF4 have some mechanic like that, while each unique in their own respect, theyre all just an extension of when to attack, or when to use a particular attack.

Take the Spherimorph in FFX, probably one of the most annoying bosses because of its constantly shifting elemental attributes, still an extension of the attack boss, boss attack.

I guess what I am getting at is that if you're looking to expand a boss encounter beyond the battle, it might help to look at what you can do outside of battle.

Maybe after a set amount of damage the boss flees and teleports to another part of them map. You can then start a timer to give the player a limited amount of time for the boss to fully heal. If the timer reaches zero, they basically have to start the fight over. But they still have to track the boss down so they will eventually learn the respawn points.

Maybe the boss is actually to difficult to beat but when the party looses, they go back to the map, which sould hint to the player that theres some other way to fight the boss. Maybe theres a rock the party has to push down on the boss from above, maybe a pit they have to lure the boss into.

If you're looking for something other than an extension of battle mechanics, I'd look to the map.
 

RePeat

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Realistically, there's only so much you can do. A fight is still a fight. Personally, I find that creating a bunch of story beats already does the heavy lifting.

The last boss fight I made was between partners so one wanted to fight while the other argued against it. There was a stipulation agreed on ("If I win...") and they changed locations mid-battle, then the guy who didn't wanna fight (the player character) got serious, giving him EXP and a new special attack. Mechanics-wise it's as simple as trying to survive and at the same time dealing enough damage to advance. At the end, someone else appears, giving the opponent chance for a surprise attack and the player actually loses. But you can't be too mad since there's still a gain and the outcome is important, plus it's still an accomplishment reaching the final event in the first place.

I think the worst you can do is nothing. Depending on your target audience you can get away with basic mechanics as long as the game still feels engaging.
 

AssumedPseudonym

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Depending on your target audience you can get away with basic mechanics as long as the game still feels engaging.
Furthermore, in a game where novel boss fight mechanics are the norm, a straightforward boss fight can easily be the non-traditional boss fight you’re looking for if you’ve gotten your players used to more outside-the-box thinking. Give him the standard boss immunities to assorted states and make it a good old fashioned hit-him-’til-he-falls-over fight while they learn the hard way that they’re not going to get anywhere with poison/confusion/stun/upside-down/etc.
 

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