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Robert Tamayo

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Making the Final Boss for Robot Ops

This week, I started brainstorming ideas for the final boss fight in Robot Ops. I'm about 40% to 60% done with the design of the final boss fight, so I still have a bit to figure out. This is the second final boss fight I've made in a video game. I can say that from a game design perspective, final bosses are tricky.

In my experience with other games, final bosses tend to be either too hard or too easy. If the final boss is too hard, then players are likely to abandon the game at that point. If the boss is too easy, then the feeling of victory is diminished. It's hard to strike a perfect balance.

Final bosses tend to have multiple phases, oftentimes changing forms in each phase. I think form-changing is a little overdone, but it gets the point across well -- the stakes are high! For my game, I'm going to keep things simple and stick to one final boss form. I'm going to keep the idea of phases, though. Each phase will ramp up the attacks of the boss and introduce other hazards to the battle. 

Some games even have an "escape" phase after the final boss is defeated. The most notable I can think of is the Metroid series, where after defeating the final boss the player has 60 seconds to leave the planet before it blows up. I actually did that in my first game, Bad Blaster, but without the timer. For Robot Ops, I'm going to keep things a little simpler and let the final boss be the final boss -- nothing but victory afterward!
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