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Old 07-19-2017, 08:14 AM   #1   Add To Ignore List  
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Default Do you think Croteam needs to rethink how they handle bosses in Serious Sam?

[EDIT] Sorry. I meant to say "Do you think Croteam needs to rethink how they handle bosses in Serious Sam? "

I've noticed that when a boss or a part of it from Serious Sam games is not particularly liked it's probably due to following reasons:

1. Boss doesn't do anything or does little while the normal enemies do all or most of the dirty work.

2. It's a puzzle boss where failing to do something leads you to do some long process all over again.

3. Dodging its attacks consists of strafing one direction as hard as possible. Nothing more complex is needed to dodge its attacks.

So what do you think Croteam should do to address these issues?
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Old 07-19-2017, 09:01 AM   #2   Add To Ignore List  
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Default Re: Do you think Croteam needs to rethink how they handle bosses in Serious Sam?

I liked the boss fights in TFE and TSE, although I can understand your first point. I don't necessarily mind all of the little enemies doing the dirty work though because it makes the fight more frantic. Consider the first few boss fights in BFE - the adult arachnoid wasn't very interesting and the major biomechanoid was fun the first time but a little underwhelming. Granted throwing additional enemies at the player in the middle of these fights wouldn't have improved them, but the arachnoid fight just didn't feel dynamic at all or have that sense of urgency.

I did however enjoy the enormous, towering bosses in TFE/TSE and the additional enemies running around just made the fights all the more exciting. I also like that they had unique bosses instead of bosses that just became regular enemies at a later point. The one boss fight that blew me away in BFE was the very final one, which demonstrates a few things to me:

1) It had a lot of additional enemies doing the dirty work but that just added to the excitement and tension, so those little enemies aren't inherently a bad thing.
2) I personally enjoyed trying to figure out the puzzle. Flying around in a jetpack while shooting cannonballs at Ugh Zan wouldn't have made the fight as special or as interesting.
3) Giving players a brand new tool (apart from a classic weapon) can add a lot to a fight. Half Life 2 did this at the end when you got the souped of gravity gun. Getting the jet pack was an amazing moment and flying around an enormous map while trying to take out an enemy that is the size of a small country is what I love about these games. In TFE/TSE, the running shoes subbed in for the jet pack and in 2, we had vehicles.

Ultimately I think the classic boss designs were good and I'd like to see more fights along those lines in the future. The fights in BFE left me wanting more except for the incredible ending fight.
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Old 07-19-2017, 09:02 AM   #3   Add To Ignore List  
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Default Re: Do you think Croteam needs to rethink how they handle bosses in Serious Sam?

I fixed the title.

As for the topic, the type of game Serious Sam is prevents 2 from being any fun at all. But I think it's most important to learn from previous experience, basically Mordekai and Larva are boring bosses, Kukulkán is epic because of the complete chaos, and Ugh Zan III had the perfect build up and was more story involved (and generally a badass). Sam2's bosses are a mixed bunch. I appreciate that Croteam tried to do something different, but it was mostly a miss and especially Mental Institution. Ugh Zan IV had a great setup but the fight introduced a whole new mechanic (jetpack) and the fight could feel gimmicky with the steel poles. I personally really liked it, but the margin of error was really small on higher difficulties.

That's the thing though: Kukulkán was a pretty standard boss: It did minimal damage and had immunity to bullets, but the crazy tornadoes combined with the fantastic music made it really memorable. Ugh Zan III was built up the entire level and even if he's still a simple boss (you just need the laser in the final stage) it's still very memorable because he looked and acted like a living mountain. So I think the complete picture is more important than just the boss fight.
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Old 07-19-2017, 09:30 AM   #4   Add To Ignore List  
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Default Re: Do you think Croteam needs to rethink how they handle bosses in Serious Sam?

Out of all the games, I think TSE had the best bosses. That doesn't mean they were that good, though.

I never liked the idea of throwing other enemies at you during the boss fight. It just seems unfair and more like a distraction, rather than a challenge. Plus, it's kinda unmemorable, since fighting huge hordes of enemies is what you do outside of boss battles as well.

I loved Doom (2016)'s bosses. I like the setup: shooting at the boss requires absolutely no thought, and all of your focus goes into dodging the attacks.

And I guess Serious Sam's bosses do the same thing, but Doom's bosses telegraph their attacks, and spazzing around looking at enemies coming from a million directions randomly isn't the same as replaying a boss until you can memorize its attack patterns and what each telegraph animation means.

This could just be me, though.
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Old 07-19-2017, 11:56 AM   #5   Add To Ignore List  
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Default Re: Do you think Croteam needs to rethink how they handle bosses in Serious Sam?

I wonder if final boss of Second Encounter would have felt most satisfying it it had shot out projectiles that act like enemies that shoot out projectiles on their own?

This means if you want some more actual enemies to attack on higher difficulties, make them spawn in higher difficulties. However, let the player know that whatever spawns in finite.

Also I forgot the 4th point with current bosses:

4. They can attack one player at a time.

Bosses that could attack multiple players at a time, even when being surrounded, could make some more interesting boss designs.
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Old 07-19-2017, 02:26 PM   #6   Add To Ignore List  
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Default Re: Do you think Croteam needs to rethink how they handle bosses in Serious Sam?

Boss itself has to require all the different actions that player takes when facing multiple normal enemies.

  • Bosses need to have multiple attacks with each attack having different wound damage threshold. Maybe even damage-type/weapon specific dmg thresholds. Being able to interrupt attacks animations with different weapons would encourage weapon switching. Just like in normal gameplay with multiple enemies (like switching to tommygun or flamethrower just to stop near kamikaze/zorg). Also instead of simply preventing a single attack from happening by making the boss flinch. It could trigger it's another animation. It could be something like shooting blindly from it's other weapon. When fighting normal enemies disabling one enemy doesn't mean that everyone stops running at you.
  • Some attacks on the other hand could have destroyable projectiles. Again to encourage weapon switching (some weapons do not affect some projectiles). Projectiles need to encourage usage of different weapons by having different shapes and behaviors. Blob of multiple projectiles flying as a group could be more easily destroyed by rocket launcher than laser for example. I would love to see some type of projectile that would encourage the usage of shotguns.
  • Other attacks wouldn't be destroyable and/or preventable but could require specific movement to doge them. Just like with typical enemies (like side stepping form Kleers or projectiles from Fiendian Reptiloid Demons).
  • Maybe bosses need to have different hit boxes so it is more like shooting at multiple enemies.
  • Bosses do not have to be huge! Shooting up is harder and makes projectile based weapons worse since it is easier to miss. Also do not forget that enemies that run directly at you are more predictable and easier to shoot at.
SS works well with multiple enemies that run directly at you. So lets make fighting bosses be more like that without actually having to fight multiple enemies.
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Old 07-19-2017, 07:07 PM   #7   Add To Ignore List  
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Default Re: Do you think Croteam needs to rethink how they handle bosses in Serious Sam?

Croteam's Bosses are a mixed bag; here's what I think:

THE GOOD:
FE Highlander: I can only imagine how intense this boss is the first time you fight him, the second time in Moon Mountains, not so much, since he doesn't even move there.

Ugh Zan III: Build up as mentioned in previous comments, I remember something about FE classic having the 7th best boss fight of 2001. Not to mention the music is just epic

Larva: I don't really see anything wrong with this boss, it's a 1on1 boss fight with 3 phases and it's quite challenging to dodge everything

Krongo: A potential multi-phase boss fight, you have to keep the primitives off the Simbas as they prepare the catapults, if you fail to do that, it turns into a 1on1 fight where you get serious damage and Krongo chips your HP; I always enjoyed this boss fight

Hugo: I think the way Croteam started this level off really speaks for itself, and after you get to the chopper you engage in an air fight against Hugo while collecting ammo; one of the better fights in the series.

Ughzan IV: much like the last Ughzan, this one requires you to think outside the box, also getting and item that lets you fly around a massive warzone of projectiles and enemies is really cool. This is one of those fights that feels overwhelming but still beatable and that's why I love it.

THE MEH:
FE Lava Golem: kinda underwhelming if you killed all the other enemies first

Kukulkán: The chaos factor indeed was there, but there are 2 versions of this fight IMO: the Classic and HD version, with the HD version being worse due to Kukulkán's hitboxes getting so massive you tend blow yourself up. addition to that I'm not a fan of a boss that can barely do damage and has to rely on minions to do it for them.

Khnum (LOTB): It's basically a smaller UghZan III fight, only indoors with little room to dodge half the crap. I still think the "what's inside the massive buidling?" buildup to Larva and that fight was superior to this.

Prince Chan: Croteam needs to quit giving bosses extreme weakness, this is chan's largest problem and why he's meh. Normal when I fight this guy and he comes down, I don't even shoot gong because I want a challenge. Also, there's a building that can't be destroyed here and you can hide behind it.

ZumZum and Kleerski: they are basically the same boss, you destroy/open some hands to disable them from healing, they both have charging and ranged abilities (and Kleerski can break your beams as well), I didn't really like these guys as you can't do shit to the boss until you've disabled them from healing.

SS3 Arachnoid: another underwhelming boss fight, you have more than enough time to get behind cover and it doesn't take long to kill either.

Biomech (SS3): a bit better than the Arachnoid but still not great, again it's a another normal enemy introduced the first time as a boss and while the build up was done quite well, this fight not so much.

Techipolip: An interesting take on a boss that follows you around a level and forces you to stay out of the open, but once you reach the end you just straight up kill it no problem. The level is more-or-less the boss and Techipolip just makes this part gimmicky, like the whole idea of taking cover in a Sam game where you should be able to dodge most anything.

Khnum (SS3): I never really liked this boss. The thing is, you can kill this boss with rockets but he'll pretty much always dodge them, and the C4 is on the other side of the arena. I'm pretty sure he's more fair in Fusion, but in SS3 those 3 projectiles were a bitch to avoid in a closed in area like this.

THE BAD:
Mordekai: It's a boss that summons enemies, teleports, and that's it, considering the massive fight you had before the boss you'd expect something ALOT more epic, but nope, you get this sad sack of one of CT's worst ever bosses.

Cecil: I was never a fan of bosses you couldn't beat without your own weapons and Cecil is one of those, in addition to being underwhelming the way you beat him just feels, rushed, unoriginal, and just not fun. (not to mention the wtf cut-scene that follows after the fight)

Mental Institution: This fight is actually really well made, multi phase, very challenging final boss. However it's got one flaw that makes it bad IMO: And that's that it forces you into a vehicle that you can only do reasonable damage to the boss with, thing is, this vehicle takes the same amount of damage REGUARDLESS of difficulty, so little kid me who played the game on tourist had a very hard time beating this boss. Hell, he's still hard because of this.

SS3 Spaceship: Oh look it's Mordekai again only now even more annoying: Basically with limited weak points and a death beam, wow Croteam 'slow clap'
Also, you fight this boss 2 times 'even more slow clap'

Scrapjack Boss (JOTN): You throw C4 on him, you detonate it, you run away, you repeat this like 10 times, you win.


I think that's all of them (I'm not counting VR obviously because I haven't play it)
If I were to count bosses from the unofficial games like NE, Diablosaur would be the worst boss in the entire series.
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Old 07-19-2017, 07:41 PM   #8   Add To Ignore List  
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Default Re: Do you think Croteam needs to rethink how they handle bosses in Serious Sam?

I would say Hugo seems kind of meh. I wish you'd be able to fight him during its first phase instead of blindly run.

Ugh Zan III could have been improved in two ways: First: fix the enemy spawns when you're running towards the pyramid. Second: Make the final battle not dependent on the central beam.

Ugh Zan IV was meh for me. I felt like he never threatened me. The only threats were (in practice) infinitely spawning other enemies and only when I was on the ground.
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Old 07-21-2017, 01:18 AM   #9   Add To Ignore List  
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Default Re: Do you think Croteam needs to rethink how they handle bosses in Serious Sam?

I really liked the TFE and TSE bosses a lot.
I get what you mean though in adding enemies into 3 then making a total 360 from the game and just expecting users to automagically know what to do with the jetpack, instead of just blazing away at the boss. I personally had to go online to lookup how to kill him. And, it was that mentallity of 'I have played all previous games, and this game is NO different than them', and then just out of nowhere changing the gameplay. It wasnt good. Painkiller you knew you had to do certain things to kill the bosses, and it was like that the whole game, so the player knew what to expect for the boss, they just had to figure out what to actually do to kill him, what is the key. But, out of the blue changing up how the game is played with no warning and seemingly for no reason, I really disliked the end boss fight in BFE.

But, like Discy said, the nature of the gameplay kind of limits what you can do, or how you can do it.
Its a shooter. A straight up shooter.

If they want to change it up, they need to ease the player into knowing what he needs to know to be able to play the game.
You cant make a shooter all through the whole game, with nothing but guns, then at the end expect the player to pick up a pickax laying on the ground, have him dig a hole in a specific spot that only the devs know, to un-bury a keycard to a door that is 'somewhere in the last level' to open a door that leads to a long hallway, where the player then needs to pick a lock, which finally unlocks the door to the final boss.

You can still do something epic at the end, but it has to fall into what the player is expected to know by learning through the whole game (my opinion). Portal is a drastic example of this, but they did an excellent job of making the user aware of exactly what he was getting into, but easing the player into how to use the tools he was going to need to play the game.
Once you have introduced a mechanic in the game, then try to keep the player aware of it through the game, even if its small things spread throughout the game. But dont do it once, then abandon it the whole game until the end.
Discy mentioned Half Life, and the ending with the gun. Perfect example. They introduced the user to it, then made the user aware of it here and there, by needing to move a brick, or wall, or whatever, throughout the game. It became something that was 'oh yeah, I have this thing I can use too, besides guns' kind of thing. Again, very well done by Valve, just like Portal.

Oops, I think I cut out my 'I really liked all the bosses, except 1', and how they were done.
I hate to admit it, or get it wrong, but I dont want to open another window to search lol. But, didnt 2 have that whole boss level, where you were fighting enemies in the back and forth 'corridors' (even though it was outside), until you got to the big motha, with the tank like wheels, and all the weapons on him? I REALLY liked that boss fight. I thought it was unique, and added to the straight up shoot the bosses boss fights. You had your normal enemies, you half boss enemies, and as you progressed, didnt the boss shoot weapons at you also, when you got a bit closer to him? And how they showed just a little part of him, but not all of him. And how once you got to him, and you saw his massive size, and weapons, and the small area you had to fight him in. I really liked the way that played out.

You can do new things, in old ways, and have them still be exciting to the player.
I dont think they need to change the boss fights, per se, but they need to do them in a way that both fits the game, and feels new and refreshing, even if its just by sublety.

My opinion.

Last edited by Dave3d; 07-21-2017 at 01:36 AM.
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Old 07-23-2017, 11:19 PM   #10   Add To Ignore List  
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Default Re: Do you think Croteam needs to rethink how they handle bosses in Serious Sam?

Normal projectile attacks, bombardment attacks with explosive ordinance, aoe attacks, ground stomping, teleportation, etc have all been done and can be remixed uniquely for new bosses. New elements maybe: stages where boss gets progressively harder when its life drains; splitting into multiple enemies and then reforming; summoning spells/abilities (other than spawning creatures, instead spawn magic attacks like... spikes from the ground, meteor drop, whatever); transferring consciousness to other beings, objects, etc with new attacks and abilities; stealing life from its underlings to replenish itself; etc. There are plenty of things that you can do that still fit within the arcade shooter.
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Old 07-25-2017, 03:20 PM   #11   Add To Ignore List  
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Default Re: Do you think Croteam needs to rethink how they handle bosses in Serious Sam?

The only reason why I ever managed to kill Ugh Zan IV was because Devostator told me how.
I absolutely didn't notice those City Pipes existed until he told me about them.
Even then, "the fuck are these City Pipes doing here, anyway?"
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