Bosses of Super Stardust Delta - Part 2: Buzzsaw & Maggotron

Bosses of Super Stardust Delta - Part 2: Buzzsaw & Maggotron

2012 Housemarque

This is the second episode in our series of articles about Super Stardust Delta Bosses. If you missed it, read the first here.

Buzzsaw is a boss straight out of the earlier Stardust games, but bigger and badder.

We like big and deadly cutting tools, and that shows in some of our games (see for example Dead Nation and Road of Devastation). It was then natural to use them for a great end-of-level boss.

This time around Buzzsaw‘s got some new tricks up his sleeve: he attacks you in several different phases, not only with his massive blades but also with a storm of plasma bullets.

What Buzzsaw looked like back in the 90s

The new Buzzsaw included in Super Stardust Delta went through quite a few iterations before we felt right about him. Initially, we played around with the size of the cutting discs, movement speed and tweaks like that.

Originally the blades were connected to the main body via chain links (like in the old Buzzsaw of the 90s), but that solution proved too difficult for the player because the space to manoeuvre was significantly reduced.

Connecting the blades to the boss via non-lethal energy beams added instead an additional layer to the gameplay – players only had to worry about hitting the blades while swooping around and between them, concentrating their attacks on Buzzsaw‘s main body.

Finally, we decided the boss should also give birth to little sawblades the player needs to take care of during the fight, making Buzzsaw‘s latest appearance a pretty cool and memorable confrontation.

Buzzsaw_screenThose blades look awfully big

Now on with the third boss of Super Stardust Delta, Maggotron.

We always wanted to have a giant space worm in a Stardust game but didn’t have the technology or resources to pull it off until SSDelta.

One of the early Stardust games had a much smaller worm, simply called “space worm”. The problem with it was that it was only big enough to eat the player’s ship, unlike Maggotron, which is so huge that he can chew through an entire planet!

Space Worm from Super Stardust

Once we got Maggotron slithering on screen for the first time, we started experimenting with his size and length, seeing how big we could make him without it becoming too much.

When we were happy with the size, we started testing different movement behaviors. We decided to give him a rush move where he charges the player ship every now and then, but it proved too difficult for the player to always predict where he’d strike next. So we added a warning signal that shows the player where Maggotron is going to charge next, and it worked out great. All in all, we’re pretty happy with how our big space snake turned out and hope players will have many fun and exciting battles with him.

Maggotron_screenThe name "Maggotron" may be a bit of a homage to the Decepticon leader, Megatron of Transformers


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