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Any idea on this boss mechanism?

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Hi guys

I'm trying to design a Boss which has a special mechanism based on a 2.5D ARPG. In some cases,it can generate a lot of fog,then the players only have a limited view.

This situation has a feature: Players don't know where the Boss is and the surrouding situation,I want to make sth interesting based on this.

on this occasion,I have several ideas:

1. Boss have different ability in the fog,like being much more powerful,it is hard for players to avoid the skills.
2. Players can destroy or build sth to clear away the fog,then it is easier to fight the Boss.

I wonder is there any other things Boss can do based on the limited view of players?The ideas above are not special enough I think. Do u guys have any suggestion?

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Hi there,

I really like the idea of a fog-based enemy but I think that the combination of fog (limited view for the player) and this

9 hours ago, Jomissle said:

1. Boss have different ability in the fog,like being much more powerful,it is hard for players to avoid the skills.

could result in excessive difficulty (unless you want this) because you are enhancing the enemy's abilities while weakening the player's.

Personally, I think it'd be interesting to use the fog as a "hiding" mechanism for the enemy. For example, It could use it if its health drops and take advantage of the limited visual capabilities of the player to regain health. Player-side this results in a situation where you are "weakened" (low visual) but you have the possibility to find the enemy while it is regaining health and possibly deal lots of damage (high difficulty, high reward if you find it).

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I agree with V790, the boss should be more dangerous(attacking) while visible,

it's okay to have the boss make a surprise-jump out of the fog towards the player as long as he doesn't deal max-damage on impact.

10 hours ago, Jomissle said:

2. Players can destroy or build sth to clear away the fog,then it is easier to fight the Boss.

Keep the boss in a room, have thick fog near the walls, let the player make the fog thinner at points so the player knows when the boss is moving through those points to the other wall(s) of the room.

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40 minutes ago, v790 said:

Hi there,

I really like the idea of a fog-based enemy but I think that the combination of fog (limited view for the player) and this

could result in excessive difficulty (unless you want this) because you are enhancing the enemy's abilities while weakening the player's.

Personally, I think it'd be interesting to use the fog as a "hiding" mechanism for the enemy. For example, It could use it if its health drops and take advantage of the limited visual capabilities of the player to regain health. Player-side this results in a situation where you are "weakened" (low visual) but you have the possibility to find the enemy while it is regaining health and possibly deal lots of damage (high difficulty, high reward if you find it).

Hi there,thanks for ur suggestion. I agree with ur viewpoint of the first idea. I think I go to the wrong region of change for change,which ingore the player's strategy. (The initial idea is that it is really cool that Boss have different skill mechanism in the fog,:P)

I really like ur idea of hiding,in fact,I also thought about that,but I have a doubt about the situation when the players are trying to find the boss,will this process be too boring? (In my mind, players will rush around,try to find the Boss as fast as possible). How do u think about this?

Besides that,

you have the possibility to find the enemy while it is regaining health and possibly deal lots of damage (high difficulty, high reward if you find it).

I'm a little bit confused about the high difficulty part, do u mean the finding Boss part?

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7 minutes ago, Jomissle said:

I'm a little bit confused about the high difficulty part, do u mean the finding Boss part?

Yes, I was thinking something like:

-The boss is weak and puts up the fog

-The boss hides (maybe with the aid of obstacles created with the fog, maybe a sort of maze?)

-The boss starts to heal itself, but in the process it's very weak

-If the player manages to find the boss before it charges its healing, he can deal massive damages

This way, the fog mechanism triggers a change of the gameplay, in fact, without fog you have a classical ARPG battle while, when the fog is up, you have a sort of "hide and seek" gameplay.

I also like this:

22 minutes ago, Dramolion said:

it's okay to have the boss make a surprise-jump out of the fog towards the player as long as he doesn't deal max-damage on impact.

which could be used after the boss heals itself and which could also wipe the fog away, returning to the classical ARPG battle.

In the end, finding the boss in the "Hide and seek" mode is more difficult but you will be able to deal a massive amount of damage

1 hour ago, v790 said:

(high difficulty, high reward if you find it)

Hope you find it useful :)

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In a general sense, as long as there is still strategy behind the fight then you can make the idea work. If the fog results in literally just guessing in random places to attack or defend, then you've reduced the battle to a complete guessing game.

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4 hours ago, Jordan Hoffman said:

If the fog results in literally just guessing in random places to attack or defend, then you've reduced the battle to a complete guessing game.

Actually, I think the fog mechanism is more like a interval feature, it will not go through the whole battle. Maybe like when the Boss’s is 70% & 40%,then there goes the fog. So it will not be a complete guessing game,more like a classical APRG with some different gameplay  experience.

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12 hours ago, v790 said:

In the end, finding the boss in the "Hide and seek" mode is more difficult but you will be able to deal a massive amount of damage

Thanks for ur sharing,it helps a lot. I am trying to create some elements that will make the finding part more difficult and interesting.

8 hours ago, BlackMagicWolf said:

This is definitely a feature that will need to be tested thoroughly if you want to implement this,

yeah,it definitely need to be tested. I wonder whether the player will understand the fog mechanism naturally.

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Maybe the boss (assuming it sees through fog) could throw something at the player:

  • it would provide interesting dodging action (perhaps while the player is busy dispersing fog)
  • it would indirectly give away the location of the boss, so that attacking blindly (e.g. by aiming a crosshair to an arbitrary place on the screen) becomes meaningfully skil-based rather than pure guessing.

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As a mechanism, the fog can:

  1. Add latency to player perception - like the boss could leave turbulence in the fog that is visible after a while, and of course if you have to move to a position to see whats there, that adds latency as well. The player is always a few steps behind boss, encouraging prediction / tracking skills (like if player is familiar with boss behavior, and its deterministic, these latent signals are enough for player to know whats going on).
  2. Add hidden information, creating uncertainty - this really changes everything. Instead of single focused strategy, it makes sense to use multiple redundant strategies to cover the full possibility space of what could be happening (like place traps all over the place, have fallback plans, cover every direction, etc). Statistical/probabilistic thinking encouraged (risk/reward tends to arise too).
  3. Discourage or encourage mobility. Either have players set up a defense perimeter and let boss come to them (encourage fast reaction to unpredictable attacks), or do the opposite and have players attack the boss from surprise directions protected by the fog (of course fog needs to benefit boss in some way for boss to take this disadvantage, unless fog is environmental).
  4. Reveal what is hidden. If players/boss/weapon has some invisibility, fog could reveal that - like perhaps boss has some invisible aspects (intent orbs...?) that reveal where boss will attack, but you can only see those in fog.
  5. Have synergies with weapons/abilities. Maybe you can consume the fog to do something. Maybe the fog turns into poison if hit by fire weapons. Maybe it diffuses light, giving laser weapons AoE damage.
  6. Spread. It would be interesting if fog was emitted from specific locations (like monster), so player has to limit the propagation. Alternatively, emitting fog could tire monster, so player can encourage propagation (keep the place ventilated).
  7. Age (if fog is a fluid or particles). Forms a gradient that allows many things. Player can track monster by following that gradient. Weapons could be guided along that gradient. Aging fog could become damaging to player (or have any number of effects at specific points along the gradient).
  8. Have varying density over space/time (coherent noise or specific pattern). This could drive the movement of players/boss, if there is an optimal density that either prefers. Seeds the gameplay with some diversity in environment since these randomly moving areas could drive the battle into regions of the map normally avoided (and overall just keep things moving on a somewhat unpredictable path). Boss navigation could be more interesting if boss is constrained to the most-fogged areas (that keep shifting) - like perhaps players are worried that a specific location shifts into the fogged area, giving boss huge advantage (and seek to get something done before that happens). Perhaps circumstances cause boss to get temporarily stuck in an island of fog.
  9. Be 'denser than air'. If game has height, fog level can slowly increase until players have to decide what hilltop they get stuck on (if being in fog with boss is unsafe). This would slowly transition the mobility from players (low fog) to monster (high fog). This sort of avoid-the-lava mechanic can be more interesting if getting to higher and higher locations requires overcoming obstacles to clear the path to high ground. If boss monster flies, increasing fog allows boss monster to fly higher (or stand taller, I guess). Fog could also do the opposite and descend from above, pushing players into scary tunnels.
  10. Separate (players or monsters). Assuming single-player, multiple monsters could be separated by players to prevent them from cooperating (assuming they need LOS now and then to stay together) - of course, this would spread them over the map and be less predictable, so its up to players to decide what is wisest.

 

The primary effect of basic fog is probably the vast increase in hidden information (uncertainty), assuming players normally rely on looking at the map to see what is going on. Importantly, one can offer alternative information pathways for players. Memorization/deduction (cognitive load) is naturally available, but you still need to design for it (ensure monster behavior has clear patterns, ensure environment is actually fun to memorize). Alternative ingame senses reduce cognitive load and allow more control over the experience (hearing/smell/vibrations/magical auras, or maybe you can connect into a network that lets you sense some things if the network reaches there, or just use abilities to reveal information). Delegate memorization/tracking to the game (like mark map locations ahead of the time) to further reduce cognitive load. Even prediction of monsters path could be delegated to the game (render the possibility space some time into the future from where boss was last seen), if you want player to focus on strategy instead of prediction.

 

In the end, you could have as much information in the fog, as you have without, just a different perspective - that should ensure player skill determines outcome, not randomness.

A fog that actually hides a lot of information, is good for either a stressful test of skill (overreliance on mental model of gamestate), or a moment of relaxation (since if youre not doing much, you dont need all that information - the fog could enforce these moments without really having a big role in gameplay). Maybe you can let players decide which outcome they want through their own action?

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17 hours ago, LorenzoGatti said:

Maybe the boss (assuming it sees through fog) could throw something at the player:

  • it would provide interesting dodging action (perhaps while the player is busy dispersing fog)
  • it would indirectly give away the location of the boss, so that attacking blindly (e.g. by aiming a crosshair to an arbitrary place on the screen) becomes meaningfully skil-based rather than pure guessing.

yep,this will work. It has some challenge on the player's reaction on the skill and the strategy to find the Boss. Just personal perspective,I feel it is not enough,maybe some other elements to make the tempo change more.The core part is still how to find the boss,based on the direction of skills is a choice,the "hide and seek" is basically guessing(If multiple players then there is a strategy,players should split up to find the Boss.

I'm trying to think is there a method that has more strategy to find the Boss,and not just one optimal solution.

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On 12/15/2017 at 6:28 AM, Jomissle said:

I'm trying to think is there a method that has more strategy to find the Boss,and not just one optimal solution.

If the level has a lot of 'rooms' to it, players can eliminate those one by one (search and then block off with traps - anything that either prevents boss access, or informs players when boss attempts access).

Then on a higher level (more complex level), that can be turned into divide-and-conquer. Players could block off paths through the middle of the level. Now, give players a method for figuring out which side of that divide the boss is on, and they can instantly halve the search space. This could be as simple as waiting for the next time the boss makes a noise or ambushes the players (assume this does not qualify as the boss being 'found' since boss escapes too fast). Or just pure intuition (being wrong just means you wasted your time since boss never was on this side of the divide - perhaps allowing boss to gain strength).

For best experience, this could be somewhat approximate. Maybe boss can sometimes get through a blocked off path unnoticed. Or maybe boss walks over a bunch of traps, loses half HP, lets everyone know where boss is, but gets on the side of the level that players did not block off at all (and thus can hide a good while longer).

I think overall, level design would help here a lot.

Overall idea is that players dont try to find the boss. Instead, they try to drive the boss into a trap (into a corner). Dividing the level and blocking off areas is just one way to 'build' a trap (an opportunity for players to attack the boss). Players could also activate some level features to trap the boss (could just deal some damage and let boss go on). Players could set up actual traps, and merely try to get boss to pass through (drive boss in that direction, etc), without an intent to catch the boss right there and then.

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On 2017/12/17 at 9:02 PM, Waterlimon said:

Overall idea is that players dont try to find the boss. Instead, they try to drive the boss into a trap (into a corner). Dividing the level and blocking off areas is just one way to 'build' a trap (an opportunity for players to attack the boss). Players could also activate some level features to trap the boss (could just deal some damage and let boss go on). Players could set up actual traps, and merely try to get boss to pass through (drive boss in that direction, etc), without an intent to catch the boss right there and then.

Thanks for sharing ur idea.
 
I think it will be more interesting if player can have different strategy to fight the Boss. Like u said,Fight the Boss directly or use other strategy(like traps,roadblock or other stuff).
 
But if based on the subject I mentioned,it is difficult for me to understand how the mechnics u mentioned works.Because there are some preconditions.
 
1. Based on 2.5D ARPG
2. key concept: fog->limited view->the players don't know where the Boss is and the surrouding environment
 
So if the view is limited,how the traps or roadblocks will work?(Of course,if the Boss is chasing me,then I can set some traps to stop it,it will works,but with or without the fog,it will works both fine,so I think it is less interesting)
 
Another question is,I think if we add some elements with the core mechnics,to make the game fun,it is cool.But if the additional elements are not related to the core mechnics,maybe it will work fine,but it will not be so special. For example,the "Battle royale gameplay" is really popular recently,if LOL or WOW put a this gameplay method into their game,it will works,but it's not related to the core mechnics,so we can't get that kind of excitement when we play the PUBG.
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I think maybe we can share some ideas about core gameplay or Boss design with some specific examples,it is really interesting and inspiring.  @v790 @Dramolion @BlackMagicWolf @Jordan Hoffman @LorenzoGatti

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