The improved boss fights are something fans are really excited about for the Directorís Cut. Can you give us some insight into your process as you worked to improve the design of the new boss fights?
This one, my friends, was a challenge! Iíd guess that half my time on the project was devoted solely to the boss fights. It went a bit like this:
First, I took feedback on the original boss fights that the core DXHR design team had gathered and deeply analysed.
Then, I created brand new mock-ups of each map in 3D for each boss fight area to help me test my work. I wanted to take particular care to give more space for players in the boss fight areas to provide opportunities to flee, or give secret areas, cover etc. I also had to give special thought to the AI of each individual boss and consider how their behaviour and my designs could work together. This was a pretty huge task on its own.
Once Iíd nailed down a good feel for each map, I moved on to exploring different original ways to deal with each boss for players who wanted to avoid all-out gunfights. This is much easier said than done when you start to take into consideration all the different possibilities of augmentation builds a player might have. Every time a boss fight occurs in the game, it was imperative that players of every play style have options to suit them.
Once Iíd found cool new ways to handle the boss fights, it was time to tweak the AI. This was needed before we could move on to the playtesting, feedback and iteration phase of the game, something that was especially fun as we found some really sweet ideas that work really well!
Looking back, itís hard to imagine the amount of time spent researching, thinking, trying, failing and then analysing every idea… Balance is so important, you donít want to overlook an augmentation build that could make the fight super easy or impossibly hard. But it was also a really rewarding experience and Iím really proud of the new boss fights.