[Tutorial/Guide] Making a Boss

Discussion in 'Tutorials' started by Rickyling, Sep 4, 2016.

  1. Rickyling

    Rickyling Active Member
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    Jul 24, 2015
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    -----------------------------Ricky's Boss Guide-----------------------------
    Welcome to my thread on making bosses!

    I don't mean just custom mobs- we'll be talking about big, grand, make-players-shiver-in-their-boots bosses.
    I'll be breaking this guide down into the key components that I think are important in the boss making process, so I'll give you a quick run down.
    The main factors that I consider are these:

    1: Theming (What)
    What is the bosses theme? (AKA what is the bosses gimmick.)

    2: Location (Where)
    Where is the boss encountered?
    (This is why I don't consider this guide good for more mini-boss type that players can encounter anyway in the world.)

    3: Dialogue/Backstory (Who)
    What drives the boss? Are they intelligent? Some random mob? Why are they fighting the player?
    How do they speak?

    4: Moveset (How)
    How does the boss fight? What attacks does it have? Does it have too little moves? Too many?
    This ties into the Theme of the boss.

    5: Aesthetic (Wow)
    How does the boss look? What sounds does it use? Particles?

    All these factors have to be considered together before a truly great boss can come together.
    Let's move onto the first category.

    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Theming

    The first and one of the more important parts of making a boss.
    When you sit down and begin coding up your boss, you should consider this:
    What is the boss going to do?
    This gives you a major insight into the other 4 elements of the bosses design, and gives you an excellent starting point.

    Let me give you an example- Flammis, one of my own bosses, is in essence a Fire Elemental boss.
    This already gives me a great idea of where to start with him.
    I already know what mob I'll make him- a blaze, obviously.
    Now that I know what mob and what sort of boss I want him to be, it helps me decide what sort of moves he will have as well. Obviously, fire or lava related attacks, for a fire element boss.
    Besides that, you can design many of the bosses other features off of that theme. A fire elemental boss might talk in a crackling way like flames, or something like that.

    Once you have a theme, you just have to remain consistent, and you can move onto the next stage of development.

    Besides these main points, there are a few things I advise new mob developers to avoid:
    1. Don't make super fast bosses. They're both annoying to catch and annoying to fight. Players need to be able to get some breathing room every now and then while fighting.
    2. Don't make bosses with far too much health. This makes them tedious to fight, and just take a lot of time to kill in general. Try giving them moves that force players to stop attacking them occasionally or something along those lines.
    I'll probably add to this list as they come to mind. Now onto the guide!

    This is an element that is often overlooked, for a number of reasons. It's often difficult to make good boss arenas, or other things like that. But if you're making a boss for the end of the dungeon, (or making a dungeon for a boss) you should consider this when making them.

    What sort of dungeon/location is the boss found in?
    If the boss is an ice mage, or something like that, would it make sense for that boss to be found at the end of a lava filled dungeon? (Probably not.)
    In much the same way as how you need the boss to follow a theme, you need the boss to follow the theme of the dungeon too, otherwise it'll lead to some odd results. For a mineshaft dungeon, a miner would make sense as a boss. For a giant castle, maybe some sort of knight or king. For an abandoned crypt, a necromancer. The list goes on.

    What sort of arena should the boss have?
    This is always tricky to consider when designing a dungeon. You have more than just the boss to consider.
    A boss room should make sense within the context of the place it is found in.
    A throne room would make great sense for a boss fight against an undead King- but it would be odd to find a throne room in an abandoned lab, wouldn't it?
    If you were making some abandoned lab dungeon, with a deranged scientist as the final boss, you'd want the boss arena to suit that fact. Maybe it would be more appropriate to have a boss arena surrounded by brewing stands, or cages containing test subjects.

    But besides just considering the looks, you should also consider having the boss interact with the arena as well.
    Say, for example, your boss is a leader of other mobs. (For example, Tankdest22's Lord Varson)
    It makes sense that the arena would have tunnels or entrance points for reinforcements, so that mobs can come and assist their leader. Whenever the boss uses a move that brings mobs into the arena, rather than having them just appear, they can spawn in the tunnels and enter the fight from there.
    This is an underrated feature of a boss arena that just makes so much more sense than having mobs appear in the arena (unless your boss actually teleports them in).

    Alternatively, maybe your boss is a lava golem, and the arena is composed of platforms floating on lava.
    Boss attacks could involve sinking platforms with explosions, or having the boss raise the lava level to cover platforms with lava.

    If you're creative with your moves and include the location into how the boss fights, it feels much more natural and like the arena actually matters in the fight. This is crucial for player immersion in the world you create. I also think it makes for a much more interesting fight, if the boss actually uses the terrain to its advantage.

    Keep reading below!
    pinkpig3777, GammaRays and jaylawl like this.
  2. Rickyling

    Rickyling Active Member
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    Jul 24, 2015
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    Dialogue/Backstory/Character Design
    I'm sure all of us, at some point, has felt some sort of emotion toward a fictional character. Sometimes a character can resonate with us, make us like them, and sometimes there are characters we love to hate.
    This is all possible by our interactions with those characters.
    Now obviously, we're a bit more limited in how we portray our bosses as characters, but with a little work you can at least get players to understand why a boss does what it does.
    What is the boss?
    This is crucial when it comes to boss design. Look back at your Theme for the boss. What sort of mob is your boss? Who are they allied with? This all contributes towards how the boss will act. Obviously straight up backstory for a boss isn't always necessary- that random lava golem mentioned earlier probably doesn't speak, and was probably always there.
    But it's nice to consider how the bosses ended up where they are.
    Maybe they are a commander for the mobs that you fight in the dungeon? They might be invading the area, or defending it. This all should factor into how your boss acts.

    How do they talk/what do they say?
    Dialogue helps spice up battles. It helps you get an idea of the boss, and how they think. Maybe they're arrogant and boastful, and think you are beneath them. Maybe they treat you as a worthy opponent. They could hate you and only shout angry words at players.
    Exactly what a boss says can help a boss really leave an impact on players. A generic super-armored zombie will be quickly forgotten, but Commander Zombie defending his home and friends against invading players might be remembered a bit longer.
    There's a final component to dialogue that is pretty important to battles- dialogue is often used to telegraph attacks. They don't necessarily have to shout out what move they're about to use like some anime character, but maybe a boss will always use a move after saying a certain phrase?

    I wouldn't say dialogue is as key to making bosses as the other parts. But it's important to anyone hoping to build up a story, or make interesting characters that the players actually care about, even if it's only a desire to kill the boss.

    This is the part many people care most about- the core feature of MythicMobs, the ability to make loads and loads of awesome skills and moves for their bosses to use.
    But wait! There's a few things to consider first.
    Does the skill fit the theme?
    Now, we start looking back at what we have covered so far.
    Does the move the boss is using make sense?
    If you have a flaming creeper boss, would it make sense for it to suddenly start using ice typed moves?
    If you had a skeleton archer boss, would it make any sense for it to have an uppercut move called "Spiral Helix Punch"? (Maybe, I'm not really judging)
    Ideally, the boss should have attacks that fit the theme you have laid out when making it.
    My Flammis boss focuses on fire type abilities, and also is themed around two distinct attack types- fire pillars and fireballs.
    As such, all of his moves use similar styles and look somewhat similar.
    His defensive move is a thinner fire pillar in a circular pattern around him.
    One of his attack moves creates fire pillars near and around his target.
    He shoots fireballs at players, and also has other variants of fireball like moves.

    If you can keep your boss consistent, it makes a lot more sense and is less chaotic to fight.
    A sniper themed skeleton for example, would probably use different ammo types during the fight, such as explosive arrows, or freezing arrows, or even flaming arrows. It wouldn't make any sense for it to suddenly shoot fireballs and create pillars of flame around it.

    How do the abilities work?
    I think we can all agree that some bosses are made too weak, and some are made too powerful.
    You have to be careful when balancing how your moves work.
    Don't always just go for really powerful attacks that kill players in one hit. Try and make fun, interesting moves that make sense for the boss.
    For example, a poisonous slime would shot dodgeable slime projectiles that poison when they hit you.
    Or skeleton knight would sometimes leap away from players when attacked.

    If you're worried about players running away from bosses, don't make them super fast to compensate.
    Try using moves that keep players from running away, like freezing attacks, or looking back to the Location concept, make arenas that make it harder for players to avoid the boss.
    A word of advice, however. Constant moves that pull the players towards the boss or slow them down are very annoying to fight.

    When it comes to skill design, try and make moves a bit more obvious when they are about to be used. Rather than having the boss unleash it's super powerful fireball move instantly, having it broadcast to players/have the boss shout it out that it is going to use its move. Alternatively, use particle effects to make it seem like the boss is charging for example.
    If the boss has many moves, try and make each move visually distinctive so players can figure out what they are about to use right before they are unleashed. This makes it more satisfying to avoid attacks for players, if they don't have to play a guessing game every time the boss attacks.

    How do the abilities look?
    Obviously particle design is a crucial part of making a mob.
    I can't really give you any specific tips as I don't know what your moves will look like, but my general advice is:
    Keep particles under control. Some people have worse computers than others.
    Try and avoid just spamming lots of cool looking particles. If you can keep it nice and simple but still good looking, go for that instead.

    How do the moves sound?
    Don't forget about sound design with bosses. When the fight is going on and particles are flying, sound is a great way of keeping players immersed, and also helping them tell abilities apart.
    Maybe when a powerful move is about to happen, the boss plays the sound of a wither spawning, so players can tell it is coming.
    It's good to make moves have distinct sounds, for reasons I specified above with particles.

    This section is the most subjective of them all, but I'll give people my ideas on how to make bosses look good.
    When you make a boss, appearances can be important. You want a boss, a big boss anyway, to have a sense of importance, or gravitas.
    When a boss enters an arena, it should be impressive.

    For example, with my Flammis boss, a fire elemental, he enters the arena by filling the platform with flames, then absorbing it inwards towards the centre before spawning in a burst of flame and lava particles.
    I suggest including things like death "animations" where the boss dies in a dramatic fashion, but this depends on the boss, and your personal preference.

    Try experimenting with particles until you find something you like, then use it sparingly. Cool particle effects should be preserved for the best moves, obviously. If you use impressive effects more sparingly, they have all the more impact when finally used.

    Aesthetics take a creative touch, I admit, but pretty much anyone can make a nice looking mob with a bit of effort.
    If you run out of inspiration, try looking at other things, like bosses from other video games, or other developer created bosses on this forum.

    If you're just beginning and can't seem to get it right, there's a wealth of knowledge on this site. Try reading through the manual, or looking through showcases and tutorials. There's many friendly developers on this site, and all of them (I assume, maybe not for jaylawl :p) had a period where they knew nothing about this plugin either.
    You should ask questions, for someone will at least try to answer them. With luck, you'll be on your way making mobs with the greats in no time. Just stick to it and persevere. No one gets it right on the first try.

    Hopefully this guide helped you,
    Good luck!

    Thanks to Mr_Goodvibe and navett52 for helping me build amazing builds for bosses.
    Thanks to @GammaRays for being a guinea pig for bosses :p
    Thanks to all the other great developers on this forum (You know who you are)
    Thanks to @xikage for making one of the best plugins I've ever had the fortune to use.
    And thank YOU for reading this!
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2016
  3. zDrakon

    zDrakon Well-Known Member
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    Jul 31, 2015
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    Wicked guide. I haven't had time at all to record on how to create a boss even though i got some suggestons on what to make, but i'll see if i can incorporate this into the video if i ever make it :)
    Rickyling likes this.
  4. jaylawl

    jaylawl Community Manager
    Super Moderator Supporter Premium Supporter Quality Assurance

    Sep 16, 2015
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    lel this is breaking through things
  5. GammaRays

    GammaRays Member
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    Jun 8, 2016
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    Ayyy, I should thank you for letting me test with you. Its been awesome so far, and the Ideas you've given and helped me with are amazing. Thank you so much Ricky! :D
    Rickyling likes this.
  6. SaMaGamers

    SaMaGamers New Member

    Oct 20, 2017
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    A really Nice guide! But I wan't to see Some examples of code...
  7. pinkpig3777

    pinkpig3777 Member

    Jun 23, 2016
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    @Rickyling Awesome guide!
    Any chance you have or know of a tutorial for particles / Aesthetics?
    I found this, but it's pretty limited in comparison to what I've seen some people do with particle effects. So I'm wondering if there's a better explained / more advanced tutorial out there.

    Also, do you know of any good quest plugins that are updated to 1.12.2 and work with MythicMobs?

    Thank you! :)
  8. Rickyling

    Rickyling Active Member
    Supporter Quality Assurance Moderator

    Jul 24, 2015
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    Sadly, I have no clue how to explain how to make particles. I sorta just wing it and touch it up as is needed. Maybe one day I'll be able to figure out how to make a tutorial for that. Probably best left for someone more artistically minded.

    In terms of quest plugins, I think BetonQuest works, and there's some degree of add-on support.
  9. pinkpig3777

    pinkpig3777 Member

    Jun 23, 2016
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    Aw darn. :(

    Okay, thanks.

    Edit: Jeez, that quest plugin offers so many features. Looks epic! I'll have to check it out once I finish my server's reset. :)

    Edit 2: Oh.. I overlooked the Effect: particles part. In other words, this. Idk if it provides enough for doing fancy boss particles, but it allows me to do what I needed for simpler mobs! :D
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2017
  10. Michael Strast

    Feb 18, 2018
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    Thank you sooo much for making this guide man. It really helps me focus when I make bosses on my test server!
  11. Thanoxz

    Thanoxz New Member

    Sep 8, 2018
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    I really like the guide! The only thing is that I can't really make the skills. Do you have some codes as examples? (Or is there a special skill guide?)
  12. Fritzbi

    Fritzbi New Member

    Jan 10, 2019
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    how can i set mob/bosses if first spawn(from spawner) just silent(not move & another like that) for the animations ??

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