Friendships are so strange aren’t they? You spend an extraordinary amount of time building
them, You build rapport, you make memories, shit, sometimes you spend more time with your friends than your actual family!
But then something happens that we all didn’t sign up for. Some of you will go to college,
sometimes in different states
“Aww don’t worry about it, we have each other on -insert most popular social media platform at the time here- we’ll stay in touch there!”
And you do, at first you can’t stop texting each other. You write out paragraphs of what
happened that day, Maybe you saw a crazy subway creature smoking crack right across from you with such passion you think “wait… should I?”, Or Maybe you saw a weiner dog on a scooter (You see a REALLY wide spectrum of stuff on the MTA here in New York). Then the time between text grows and grows, You see something hilarious that you don’t share. Your text are only two words or two sentences long until one of the strongest friendships in your life becomes nothing more than a series of quick reactions on instagram. Unfortunately we all learn the same lesson. That lesson?
People grow apart.
Perhaps that was the feeling that TRENK, One of the founders of TR3 Game Studios and one of the creators of ‘Build a Boss’, A game that Studio 149 was invited to play recently, was getting. “We ran into an issue where our friend group…started moving away from each other, We were all living in California and suddenly mazou has to move to texas for work…and other people’s work hours started changing up and suddenly we needed a game that we could play together that wasn’t in person and supports more than 4 people”
Thus, Some of the friends got to work. The end result is the aforementioned ‘Build a Boss’, An online multiplayer hack and slash party game that supports up to 9 people. With it’s hand drawn art style that hits this writer in some nostalgic part of his feelings, The game’s concept is simple: You select one of 4 heroes (Warrior, Ranger, Cleric and Thief) to use when you’re fighting against the boss that is controlled by one of the players, and you also select a boss (Dragon, Lich, Lava Elemental) to use when it’s your turn to fight the heroes.
A lot of fun I had with the game comes with its namesake. You choose a boss and then customize the lay out of your arena, Want to put some spike traps on the floor so the heroes don’t rush in and beat on you a la Pikmin?
Want to put some barricades down to impede the heroes while you smoke em with fireballs as the Dragon from a distance?
Maybe you just want to put down some goblin spawners so you can have minions even up the numbers?
Maybe if you’re feeling REALLY evil, you put down an amalgamation of all these trap + some more that I didn’t mention and you just watch the chaos unfold while you summon some minions as the Lich. The choice is yours and the variety can make it feel like no 2 games are the same.
It would be a disservice to the game if I didn’t touch on the artstyle again. You can tell from the screenshots inserted into this article, That the art was a labor of love. According to TRENK “All of our animations were hand drawn, Every animation has a minimum of 12 frames and they’re hand drawn cell by cell. It’s a very old school animation style.” The artist, Troy (Real name Daniel) would spend hours working on each asset making sure everything came out clean and smooth. All while working as a nurse during the Covid pandemic! And you thought you were a hard worker? HA!
-INSERT SCREENSHOT OF ARENA WITH A LOT OF TRAPS WITH THE CAPTION “BUILD A
BOSS LETS YOU CHOOSE THE LAYOUT OF YOUR LAIR. BE EVIL OR BE FAIR. THE
CHOICE IS YOURS.”
So now that the game is out, I couldn’t help but think, This is a group of friends who learned how to program, learned how to build a game, learned how to try and balance out a bunch of different factors to produce something they are proud of. I couldn’t help but wonder, Is this it? Will all those new found skills be wasted? Is this the last time we’ll see TR3?
“No. we will be working on a mobile game which will be like a little idler that you click, but just like everybody who played Runescape when they were a kid or got into world of warcraft early, the ultimate goal is to end up making an MMO”
Imagine that. A game company that was built just to make a game that a group of friends can play together, to growing ambitions of someday making an MMO. I’ll take that path over a quick reaction on my instagram story any day of the week.
Build A Boss is available on Steam and the Google Play Store
Written by THEE Broadway Vic