Dev Blog



4.13.2018  -  IN DEPTH WITH DR. DEATH

Today we're going to dig into a Gone Viral boss fight! 

Our design goals for boss fights are:

  • Involve action unique to Gone Viral - It can't be the "same old stuff" to gamers, so things involving walloping, physics, synergies, or funky projectiles are great!
  • Rock a strong theme - It's better to have a set of attacks themed with the design and visuals of the boss rather than a random mishmash!
  • Challenge all builds - Whether your particular loadout is melee-only or almost entirely focused on projectiles, the fight needs to be a) winnable but not b) trivialized!
  • Work in any boss room - Bosses can strike in any one of a number of rooms, so their attacks can't depend on particular stuff existing in the area (unless it modifies the environment itself!)

With that in mind, let's dig into the boss currently hanging out on levels 2 and deeper - Dr. Death.

Dr. Death is a giant, crazy Medbot and he'd like nothing more than to inject you with some goodness!  Syringes are a commonly found item in game - some will heal you, others will have less pleasant effects.  Dr. Death fires these at you as part of giant projectile formations that come in a few flavors.

  • Acid - Causes damage and drips more acid on the ground for additional pain.
  • Tar - Slows struck folks and again, drips on the ground, making a sticky mess you may want to avoid.
  • Vortex - Injects the target with a vortex drug, causing all projectiles and wallops to spin around in circles. (This is similar to the frequently found Big Shot injector!)
  • Healing - Heals whatever is hit, be it friend or foe!  You'll want to get hit by these, but not the laser bullets that surround them.  It's also easy to accidentally deflect them into Dr. Death or his minions.

Did I forget to mention that these syringes are physical objects so you can knock them back via wallops into Dr. Death or his buddies? Sounds like a great way to use an acid syringe against them but be careful not to accidentally heal your foes faster than you can kill them.

Dr Death dispensing both positive and negative syringes

Since syringes are a key pickupable item in the game, all the synergies that work on syringes come into play during this fight.  For example, if you have the mutation Low Tolerance (doubles syringe effects) not only do the syringe bullets affect you twice as much, but any you wallop back will duplicate for double the fun!

The good doctor has more tricks up his sleeves.  He spawns a ton of surgical assistants (Mutant Choppers, blind in their VR headsets) in any room in which he spawns.  Start meleeing too much, and he has the ability to wallop YOU into any of the hazards in the room by smashing into the ground!  Finally, if the fight starts going against him, he's not above resurrecting his fallen Choppers to fight again.

Even in his current unpolished development form (he'll get impressive animations, particles, etc. down the road) he's still fun to fight.  Knocking syringes into his buddies can be quite amusing, and trying to get yourself healed mid-combat without eating a wallop or a face full of laser bullets adds extra challenge.

That ends the quick peek of this particular boss fight, so let's cover a few other developments from the last week:

  • We've worked on a slew of our deeper level NPCs.
  • We've streamlined the carnage and audience reward systems.
  • We've worked on some new mutations.
  • ...and more!

Check out our Twitch stream Thursday nights at 5pm PST and as always, feel free to comment or ask questions!