Monolith of Minds

Boss Rush

Boss Rush

Abolish religion. Abandon your faith; for who has need of God when man can create beyond his image!

—Mechanist of the Infinite Empire

The transhumanists of the early 21st century dreamed of a post-humanity on a utopian scale, but like the first attempts of early flight their inventions failed, bringing their ambitions crashing down to earth. Most test subjects rejected their artificial limbs and clumsy implants, and those who survived a successful fusion were tormented by the mysterious phantom pains of their new mechanical anatomy.

This changed dramatically with the discovery of Link-Fluid — a viscous yellow substance mined from remote deposits across the planet. Capable of mutating living matter, the fluid was refined until it could stimulate the regeneration of cells. Abandoning their cumbersome machinery, and the unfortunate victims of their experiments, the transhumanists embraced the power of this new solution, spearheading the Cybernetic Renaissance.

After enhancing their own bodies to Olympian levels of intelligence and physical ability, the industrial leaders realized the world-altering potential of Link-Fluid, and gained exclusive ownership of the substance, making it the most valuable resource on the planet.

Views from the Monolith 003

Boss Rush

Boss battles are the reason we play action games. They test the player by demanding strategy coupled with the most challenging combat mechanics. Nothing is more satisfying than taking down a vile behemoth at a story's peak.

Bosses are difficult to develop, which is why we dedicated a full month to the first major villains. Resolutiion will only feature a few, so we wanted to invest in making them as dramatic and memorable as we could. We were silent for most of April working on this, as we wanted to spoil as little as possible.

Resolutiion's combat encourages focus and observation, not reflexes and button-mashing. The boss-battles have to reflect that philosophy by combining fighting-skills, puzzles and different tactics in order to be defeated. Different strategies can then lead to alternative outcomes of the fight, impacting the bigger story.

The complexity of boss-development comes from integrating a mesh of enemy-like entities, each with their own character and behavior patterns into a set-piece: the arena has to be defined and altered during the fight; obstacles will be created and removed; attacks need indication and execution; and we want those big guys to have some dialog as well.

These facets need to be created and balanced into an epic-scale conflict, impacting the in-game world and story, and we hope, the player as well.

Looking Up

During most of the production in 2018 we skipped GIFs and short videos, because we were not happy with our protagonist’s clumsy movement. While story, levels and gameplay progressed fairly well, the animations never satisfied our expectations. We needed help.

Finding good people in the video-game-space is hard, due to the ever-changing nature of the field. Indie-games obviously don’t have the means to pay high salaries for artists, who can balance between quality craftmanship and shifting requirements. Good communication skills, low ego and a grain of stubbornness come on top of the obvious creative capabilities.

We reached out to a heap of people on Twitter, but quickly stumbled over some animated pixel zombies by Chris Rafferty. He shot back  obscenely long, detailed emails faster than we could answer properly. When we gave him one of Jo’s sketches of our lead-character, Chris returned a running-cycle, hitting all the right notes.

Welcome to the team, mate.