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40oz

Mapped Bosses

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I've been trying to come up with alternatives to ending a megawad or episode with an Icon of Sin battle.

I've come to the conclusion that I thoroughly enjoy fighting things that are exponentially larger than the player. The Icon of Sin is cool in the sense that it is very big, but fighting constantly spawning monsters gets kinda old, and trying to time your rockets to land right in its head is pretty tedious.

If I were to create a boss, I think making a physical monster that can walk around using a gigantic sprite would be difficult and end up looking kinda ugly. Something that big needs to be three-dimensional (or 2.5D really)

I've already used gunfire switches to create a monster that has specific target areas that need to be shot in order to reveal its weak spot in UAC Ultra. Shortly after it's release, I kinda brainstormed another approach to creating a boss monster.

Let's suppose I have an idea for the monster's overall look drawn on paper, and I make that monster in a map entirely out of middle textures. The monster itself will not have any sectors that are of differring floor or ceiling heights, therefore having no physical matter, so technically you can walk and shoot right through it. Suppose I take a decoration, and use dehacked to make the decoration shootable, have a huge mass, a really tall height, a really wide base, and lets say, 10000 HP.

This way the boss itself won't be some complicated mishmash of finding weak spots and whatever. You just follow your protips and shoot at it until it dies, whilst dodging it's attacks the entire time. The monster will stay true to doom's mindless dodge-and-shoot gameplay, and at the same time the monster will have some sort of 3-dimensional appearance. It's only flaw is not being able to move. However, giving the player an open arena with minimal cover should make up for this. What do you think?

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Didn't Action Doom have a similar boss, the large face that had seeral "turrets"?

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40oz said:
Something that big needs to be three-dimensional (or 2.5D really)


The main thing that big 2D stuff needs to work is more frames of animation and rotation ideally, since if something is bigger a low framerate is noticable way more, and stuff starts looking decidedly choppy (since limbs and whatnot have to move between bigger distances and such)

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You could still go 2d with a traditional HUGE sprite, if you make it look surreal enough not to put people in question. Also, try using lots of 1-duration frames so it really looks like a giant swirling gizmo hovering around. No-clipping wouldn't be a bad idea -- or what about giving it 0-height 0-width (or 1...)? You could make something that -- once again -- can only be killed by rockets and certain attacks.

I'm saying all this, because I'm not very fond of rooted targets as monsters (used often in vanilla Doom with its stock bosses). I prefer scary fast-moving rapists as bosses, that are one level over the arch-viles in mobility.

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I think you could implement SOME movement. What about using crushers to simulate giant arms/tentacles/whatever continually smashing the ground? If you liberally use pitch black textures (and fades into darkness) I think that might look decent. I'm envisioning a platform set in a black void where you only see the monsters massive head and arms appearing out of the gloom.

You can also use some perspective tricks to make it appear that the monster is looking at the player no matter where they stand. That trick was featured in a collection of mapping experiments (I'm sure someone knows what I'm talking about and can link the the thread).

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here is sort of a spoiler on a mod I'm working on
and I've done quite a lot of playing around with scripts & frames on this particular boss.

please keep in mind that this is only a place holed since the monster has been scripted, but the actual sprites are far from finished.

http://i193.photobucket.com/albums/z224/Acunia/bb.jpg

what this is, is that the staring animation is just 1 animation with 1 perspective (the monster rises in front of the player), when the monster is up it has 6 different sprites
arms, hands, torso and head which animate separately. when the monster dies it goes back to just one sprite animation.

this is done in Zdoom of course.

[EDIT]
smm and former human only added for scale.

the level it self is also built around the boss just like the icon of sin level was.

heh, btw that's not the actual map it's supposed to spawn in, just something quick i put together to show the scale

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I'm more of a DECORATE nob than a DEHackED one, but here's my 2p's worth:

This sounds like a class idea, but without using regular monsters for support, a boss like this would need to have some pretty ferocious attack patterns. Doesn't DEHackED only allow a certain amount of codepointers? If that is the case, personally I would have the big single-frame actor the you shoot at, but have the attacks coming from seperate smaller (unshootable?) actors based around it.

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david_a said:

What about using crushers to simulate giant arms/tentacles/whatever continually smashing the ground?

You make it sound like a giant animatronic monster.

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