Author Topic: Shmup lovers!  (Read 5617 times)

vonWolfehaus

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Shmup lovers!
« on: Tue, Jul 27, 2010 »
I'm making a top-down shoot-em-up at the moment and while it has some fairly radical features already (dun dun dunnn), I'm still curious to hear how other fans liked their shmups. More/less sugar? Epic boss fights? 3D-type stuff? What kind of enemies? What now? Do tell!

Also, let's talk about shmups. Anyone play the new Raiden 4? I have it queued up on GameFly and am looking forward to it, looks good.
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wacyWeek

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Re: Shmup lovers!
« Reply #1 on: Tue, Jul 27, 2010 »
Truthfully, I like mine beatable.  I know most bullet-hell gamers are masochistic and enjoy dieing with one hit, but I like to have a fair advantage.

And beyond the crazy power-ups and bosses, I always like variety.  Not just shooting top-down, but some side-shooting.  Not just shooting 2 enemies of different colours, but several enemies. 

Hope that helps :D

racter

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Re: Shmup lovers!
« Reply #2 on: Tue, Jul 27, 2010 »
What do you mean by "more/less sugar" ?  Maybe that's some shmup lingo I don't know :)

Personally, my favorites are ESP Ra.De and DoDonPachi.  I love the bullet patterns; they're legible but still manic and often difficult.  Also, and this may sound small but it plays a big role for me, the explosions are so satisfying!  There's something very tactile about them; not sure if it's the sound design or the animation, but it really hooks me.

Another favorite of mine is Cactus' Minubeat.  Here's a video if you haven't seen it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XgidfsqlWjk .  It's also free to download from his site.  It's very short, very difficult (until you figure out what the different weapons do), but the artwork is fantastic and the explosions feel great.  I think having all the explosions happen in time with the music is a big part of what makes them so satisfying in this case.

flushfire

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Re: Shmup lovers!
« Reply #3 on: Wed, Jul 28, 2010 »
unique mechanics are also great, like Gigawing's barrier system. I personally believe that game to be the king of shmups, at least on the arcade.

zez

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Re: Shmup lovers!
« Reply #4 on: Wed, Jul 28, 2010 »
Variety is the spice of life. Throw in some enemys with different attack patterns, and some upgradable/tweakable player ships and Ill be pretty stoaked. After that, epic boss fights never hurt, especially if the force you to think and not just react.
My favorites of the genre are R-Type, Tyrian, and Ikuruga. Of these, Tyrian did the best job with player variance (the RPG element to ship design really helped that game. A lot.) Ikuruga pretty much won on enemy/boss variations (different movement patters? Check, Different shot sprays, Check, Requiring you to take advantage of different ship types for different situations.... half check.) an R-Type was kind of a happy medium between what was great about the two (Some degree of ship customization, and some degree of enemy variation, along with EPIC boss fights.)

vonWolfehaus

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Re: Shmup lovers!
« Reply #5 on: Wed, Jul 28, 2010 »
Truthfully, I like mine beatable.  I know most bullet-hell gamers are masochistic and enjoy dieing with one hit, but I like to have a fair advantage.
Dude, I totally feel you on that. Difficulty is over-rated and only suitable for a very niche audience. It should be challenging of course, but the point is to have fun, not get frustrated.

That whole thing where you die if you touch anything really pisses me off, so in my game you take multiple hits before you die (just like the enemies, so it's only fair!). And I'm trying to work out ship-to-ship collision reactions right now, so hopefully you'll be able to bounce off them. Should players take damage from ship collisions too though?

What do you mean by "more/less sugar" ?  Maybe that's some shmup lingo I don't know :)
I was joking, because I said "how do you like your shmup" as if it were coffee... bad joke :(

Personally, my favorites are ESP Ra.De and DoDonPachi.  I love the bullet patterns; they're legible but still manic and often difficult.
Huh. I was thinking of procedural enemy waves and bullets, randomly timed and adjusted to a certain difficulty level. But now that you mention it, bullet patterns ARE pretty cool, so I'll see how difficult it will be to implement. Thanks!

I'm paying close attention to explosions for sure, they're also one of my favorite parts. Right now I have a static class that manages pools of explosion sprites so that I can simply say "Sploder.placeOne(x,y,type)" and it handles everything else pretty efficiently. It's really flexible too, with methods to continuously explode an object by "assigning" the individual sprite to the object, as well as to place many explosions continuously or simultaneously, and also a flag to determine if it should place various sized explosions or just a single size. I like it lots! :)

unique mechanics are also great, like Gigawing's barrier system. I personally believe that game to be the king of shmups, at least on the arcade.
GigaWing looks AWESOME! That repulsor shield thing is rad, I like that idea :)

So what do you guys think about procedural enemy waves so they're different every time you play the level?

Also, my main control scheme is actually to move with WASD and aim with the mouse. It's not easy but it's definitely doable and makes the play field way more dynamic and spontaneous since the player can shoot in any direction. What do you guys think?
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zez

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Re: Shmup lovers!
« Reply #6 on: Wed, Jul 28, 2010 »
Both ideas sound good, but you shouldnt make your procedures PURELY random. Stick in stuff to generate waves of enemys (possibly random types of enemys that have similar movement patterns but not necessarily the same shot patterns) in different formations, and then just trigger the different waves or origins of waves randomly, that way you get the best of both worlds.
One key thing that separates good shmups from so so ones is how enemys and shots end up being placed and moving. This is more obvious in the bullet hell variety, with shots often moving in ways that almost resemble a dance, and cause still shots to appear as abstract vaguely geometric art. A good example of what I mean, taken to an extreme would be this http://www.significant-bits.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/03/touhou10fs4.jpg an example of doing it wrong, would be this http://batterytime.110mb.com/web_images/bullet_hell_preview_pic.png

You want readable patterns, but I like the idea of the patterns being triggered randomly.

vonWolfehaus

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Re: Shmup lovers!
« Reply #7 on: Wed, Jul 28, 2010 »
Both ideas sound good, but you shouldnt make your procedures PURELY random. Stick in stuff to generate waves of enemys (possibly random types of enemys that have similar movement patterns but not necessarily the same shot patterns) in different formations, and then just trigger the different waves or origins of waves randomly, that way you get the best of both worlds.
My thoughts exactly! I'm building a wave generator that the state calls on at certain times, so there's definite progression, but the generator will determine how many based on difficulty and how much screen realestate is free. Then the ships themselves fire randomly (at the moment, but I'm really warming up to the pattern idea) but have a base number of when and how much, also based on difficulty.

Ikuruga really blew me away and almost made me buy a GameCube (hahah). I want to copy it somehow in homage, but I'll probably just taint its concept :P

Anyone remember what the latest 1943 version was? Those got me hooked on shmups.
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zez

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Re: Shmup lovers!
« Reply #8 on: Wed, Jul 28, 2010 »
bangai-O did something kind of similar to ikaruga, but minus the defensive element that made it really shine. I wouldn't really recommend getting a gamecube just for ikaruga. EITHER get a dreamcast for around 20$ and download the iso (dreamcasts have pretty much zero copy protection, so no need to mod) as you probably wont find a hard copy, or get yourself a wii and take advantage of backwards compatibility.

TheLupineOne

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Re: Shmup lovers!
« Reply #9 on: Thu, Jul 29, 2010 »
Oh, I'm making a top-down shmup. Called... SHMUP.

zyxstand

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Re: Shmup lovers!
« Reply #10 on: Thu, Jul 29, 2010 »
shmup's for shmucks

flushfire

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Re: Shmup lovers!
« Reply #11 on: Thu, Jul 29, 2010 »
Anyone remember what the latest 1943 version was? Those got me hooked on shmups.
They're not technically sequels, but the games in Strikers 1945 Series take a lot from 1943 - the player's plane to enemies to the music and the morse code sfx in mission briefings.

Mike

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Re: Shmup lovers!
« Reply #12 on: Fri, Jul 30, 2010 »
The scoring system is very important IMO.  Finding ways to improve my score is what keeps me coming back, among other things.  Hell, I can't beat most manic shooters, but you just really start seeing the care and design that goes into the levels when you dive into the scoring system (especially CAVE shmups).  I love Mushihimesama Futari maniac mode's scoring system.

I like various shmups, from Darius to ESPGaluda II to Geometry Wars.




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Richard Kain

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Re: Shmup lovers!
« Reply #13 on: Fri, Jul 30, 2010 »
I've always been a bit of a SHMUP fan. I'm not rabid about them, but I definitely appreciate their appeal. One of the things I like about them is the art style they have traditionally adopted. I am very fond of the "chunky" Irem style of handling pixel art.

I actually have a copy of Ikaruga on the GameCube. That was one of the best full-3D graphics SHMUPS I've played. I think more SHMUPS need to throw in interesting environmental elements and exploratory elements.

vonWolfehaus

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Re: Shmup lovers!
« Reply #14 on: Fri, Jul 30, 2010 »
Yeah, all of my games have heavy interactive emphasis on environments--I think games have neglected the potential there for too long. In particular, I like the environment affecting the player back, not just as an obstacle, but more as a character itself.

The scoring system is very important IMO.  Finding ways to improve my score is what keeps me coming back, among other things.  Hell, I can't beat most manic shooters, but you just really start seeing the care and design that goes into the levels when you dive into the scoring system (especially CAVE shmups).  I love Mushihimesama Futari maniac mode's scoring system.

I always thought shmup scoring systems were pretty straight-forward? I mean you shoot a dude, get some points. Collect items, maybe more points. What kind of depth is there?
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zyxstand

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Re: Shmup lovers!
« Reply #15 on: Fri, Jul 30, 2010 »
I always thought shmup scoring systems were pretty straight-forward? I mean you shoot a dude, get some points. Collect items, maybe more points. What kind of depth is there?

not that i'm big into shmups (i don't really like that genre) - but there are many factors:  combos being the biggest one, kill streak, clearing all enemies of a wave, not getting hurt during a level, hit accuracy, lives saved at the end, and usually other obscure ones usually related more to the specific game.

vonWolfehaus

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Re: Shmup lovers!
« Reply #16 on: Fri, Jul 30, 2010 »
Whoa, now that you mention it I remember getting really pissed off when I don't get an entire wave and didn't get that sound effect for it... but I think it's also because I'm a little OCD. Christ, can you guys imagine someone with heavy OCD playing a shmup?

I never really cared about scores though... didn't occur to me that it was an effin science. Yet Another Feature to think about, hoo boy.
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Mike

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Re: Shmup lovers!
« Reply #17 on: Fri, Jul 30, 2010 »
Not at all :P.  Some examples are:

How you kill enemies (In Deathsmiles, what shot you use to kill an enemy determines what crowns/tiaras/skulls you get and how many)

Chaining Enemys (Ikaruga)

What mode your in when you kill (ESPGaluda 2 has 5 different modes your character can be in that affect score among other things.  You can read about it's deep scoring system here. I'm still struggling to grasp this system)

How quick you kill enemies (Raiden Fighters Quick Shot)

How much you "mine" extra points off of bosses/enemies them by attacking one of its areas that isn't exactly necessary to destroy.

Grazing Bullets (Touhou)

How many bullets are on the screen when you kill an enemy (EspGaluda II, Mushihimesame Futari)

And much more!

----

Of course, there are great games with much simpler scoring systems, so if scoring isn't your thing you can focus on other areas.
« Last Edit: Fri, Jul 30, 2010 by Mike »
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vonWolfehaus

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Re: Shmup lovers!
« Reply #18 on: Fri, Jul 30, 2010 »
Wow, I just went on a trip through bullet hell shmups. It's a huge subculture! Insane games, and a lot more complex than I thought.

I don't quite get what you guys mean by chaining enemies or combos... you mean kill streaks? But you mentioned that separately sooo.. I'm lost =(
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vonWolfehaus

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Re: Shmup lovers!
« Reply #19 on: Sun, Aug 1, 2010 »
Thanks for that link Mike, found a lot of useful stuff there. I'm wondering too, what art style do you guys prefer in your shmup? SciFi? Realistic/military? Steampunk? etc

Rented Raiden 4, is ok I guess. It has a cool gallery thing where I can view all the models of the enemies. As a modeler, I really appreciate this type of thing. Good stuff, great inspiration too.
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