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top-down shoot'em up. post your ideas


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#1 nathany   Members   -  Reputation: 122

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Posted 13 May 2000 - 06:00 PM

Hi, I am planning to develop a classic style top down shoot'em up which will be released as freeware, both betas and the final version. The game is currently in the design phase. Games "inspired by" include: Raptor, DemonStar, Tyrian, Blazing Lazers (TG16), Galaga'90 (TG16), Space Bats of Doom, OverKill, River Raid (but not any of the "unique" features of Hasbro/Atari's River Raid). Of course I have various ideas of my own that I'm just getting on paper now. Anyway, if you have any ideas or suggestions for this type of game, feel free to post 'em. Story, easter eggs, other top down shoot'em up games you like, whatever. Thanks, Nathan. nathany.com Edited by - nathany on 5/14/00 2:06:42 AM

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#2 Paladin   Members   -  Reputation: 122

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Posted 16 May 2000 - 03:41 AM

Ooooh gggoddd!!! Thank you for considering about creating 2D-shooter , and even better, TRADITIONAL ONE! Tyrian is one of the greatest Shareware games I have EVER, EVER EVER played, simply because it''s so complicated

I would love to play new shooter, and here are some ideas/suggestions:

1. Use colors! Make the game look REALLY CANDY , like Tyrian and Settlers did
2. Put lots of weapons, levels, ships, and everything! Everything that player can config even a little bit, is big plus!
3. Think about something really unique. I have had fun idea about this kind of plot :
"... After nations started world war III in 2043, sides blablbalblablabla-blaa... Now after thousand years , people who fleed from war are coming back to revenge! You are in control of fighter, mission: kick some butt
Now, this doesn''t sound too unique, but setup could make lots of cool and fun ideas:
Example: Earth would be divided for sectors. Player has to conquer all the sectors to win the game. Sometimes computer tries to conquer sectors from player!
Now, when player is flying, he wouldn''t be alone; sometimes he could see how friendly fighters are flying over the screen and shooting everything that they can.
4. There could be reason why the fighter cannot turn.This could be that the ship is kind of "catapulted" from mothership with enormous speed, and so it can only manage to turn so little that it can avoid incoming objects.
5. Sometimes player could turn and change direction! This could be even automatic, but it would be fun to see how fighter makes turning arc when it''s turning 90 degrees, and now the screen is scrolling lef t or right...

Boy, there are so many things that could be done

-Paladin

#3 karmalaa   Members   -  Reputation: 122

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Posted 16 May 2000 - 04:47 AM

quote:
Original post by nathany

Anyway, if you have any ideas or suggestions for this type of game, feel free to post ''em. Story, easter eggs, other top down shoot''em up games you like, whatever.




I liked very much vertical shoot''em ups like Raiden, Xenon II Megablast, 1942, 1943, Flying Shark, Xevious and Slapfight.

Don''t forget to include the GREAT "two-player-at-once" game option. Today''s games lack of this feature and I miss it very much.

BTW, I''m developing a similiar game... so if you like to debate on this topic...


Bye,

Karmalaa



#4 buh   Members   -  Reputation: 122

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Posted 16 May 2000 - 05:15 AM

Just don''t make it a one hit wonder game where you die after one hit. Man, I hate games like that. Stresses me out. Serenity now

Also make the weapons look really cool. Have lots of crap flying around. Lots of homing missles

And try to keep the number of useless guns down. Some of the weapons in Tyrian only fired to the sides. Kinda sucks when the powerups are your enemies too

I think the key is to make the player feel really powerful. It feels good to mow down wave after wave of enemies and only dying when the odds are really impsossible.

I love shooters

#5 Piksel   Members   -  Reputation: 122

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Posted 16 May 2000 - 05:44 PM

My favorite game was Overkill (or maybe I''m confusing it with Raptor), anyways, I liked getting powerup things, but being able to choose when I wanted to upgrade. For example, I could just keep using my upgrades right when I got them, or I could wait a little while, until the upgrade got better before using it. I hope that made sense. Also the level was kinda like a maze, because you couldn''t bump into the walls, so you went along trying to avoid the walls while at the same time killing the monsters, and avoiding the bullets and stuff. But there wasn''t so much going on that you didn''t have any control, if you died it was because you should have dodged the bullet by going left instead of going right and not noticing another bullet was coming down on the right, you didn''t die because bullets were coming down on both sides, and you didn''t have a choice. That gives me an idea!! Put in some simple AI, so the bad guys only shoot at you if you have an escape route.
Also, HAVE A BOSS, I hate game without bosses, and give him a routine and all, like ram forward, fall back slowly, fire a little, ram forward, fall back slowly, etc. When you hit him, make sure the player knows he is damaging him. I hate shooting at an enemy for an hour, only to find out I had to shoot at a certain place, and all the other shots were useless (that sucks).
Thats all I got to say, goodluck.

#6 nathany   Members   -  Reputation: 122

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Posted 17 May 2000 - 06:22 PM

quote:
Original post by Paladin
Tyrian is one of the greatest Shareware games I have EVER, EVER EVER played, simply because it''s so complicated



Yah, it''s cooL. There is a Tyrian 2000 update (see link above, it''s not from Epic)... too bad it is still DOS. My SB Live isn''t supported, nor is my MS Gamepad... kinda takes the fun out of it.

quote:

2. Put lots of weapons, levels, ships, and everything! Everything that player can config even a little bit, is big plus!



Well, I also have a few ideas for in game bonuses... plus I''m love the way the bonuses weapon config works in Blazing Lazers (TG16).

But for ultimate tweaking, you really need the store feature [or similar]. So either I will do arcade/story modes like Tyrian... or just combine the two in someway [still thinking:]

quote:

Example: Earth would be divided for sectors. Player has to conquer all the sectors to win the game. Sometimes computer tries to conquer sectors from player!



interesting idea.

quote:

Now, when player is flying, he wouldn''t be alone; sometimes he could see how friendly fighters are flying over the screen and shooting everything that they can.



yes. i have thought of this, plus ground troops and civilians. wingmen may be of more assistace than the others.

part of the reason for this is to make it so you have to be careful where you are shooting. it might be the case that you get paid for shooting enemies, but lose money for destroying civilian buildings (damages).

quote:

5. Sometimes player could turn and change direction! This could be even automatic, but it would be fun to see how fighter makes turning arc when it''s turning 90 degrees, and now the screen is scrolling lef t or right...



hm. i will have to think about that one. could be a bit awkward as far as the user interface.

i do plan to have a small amount of horizontal scrolling all the time though (Blazing Lazers and DemonStar)

quote:

Boy, there are so many things that could be done



for sure.

Thanks, Nathan.




nathany.com

#7 nathany   Members   -  Reputation: 122

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Posted 17 May 2000 - 06:26 PM

quote:
Original post by karmalaa
I liked very much vertical shoot''em ups like Raiden, Xenon II Megablast, 1942, 1943, Flying Shark, Xevious and Slapfight.



I''m not familiar with a good number of those... I will have to search around for their titles and see what''s unique with them. So much to do

quote:

Don''t forget to include the GREAT "two-player-at-once" game option. Today''s games lack of this feature and I miss it very much.



Two player arcade mode on one machine, guaranteed. LAN/Internet support for two player... maybe, but not added until near the end. Hopefully not designing with LAN/Internet support from the start won''t be a problem for this type of game.

- n8


nathany.com

#8 nathany   Members   -  Reputation: 122

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Posted 17 May 2000 - 06:34 PM

quote:
Original post by buh
Just don''t make it a one hit wonder game where you die after one hit. Man, I hate games like that.


Yah. Me too. I rather where you can have shields and only one life (i.e. Raptor). With unlimited continues and save/restore vs. lifes because it''s more realistic (well, as realistic as having an F15 with a force field is).

quote:

Also make the weapons look really cool. Have lots of crap flying around. Lots of homing missles



He.he. Fire all missiles. [Robotech/Macross]

Might need a "safety" for that one

quote:

And try to keep the number of useless guns down. Some of the weapons in Tyrian only fired to the sides. Kinda sucks when the powerups are your enemies too



Power downs, no. Enemies stealing your power ups, maybe. Shooting extra bombs causing explosions vs. collecting by moving over them... probably.

quote:

I think the key is to make the player feel really powerful. It feels good to mow down wave after wave of enemies and only dying when the odds are really impsossible.



Yah. Having the right level of challenge is important. And having some tough spots, along with some breaks and bonus waves to mix it up a bit. Will come up in level design...

Also that reminds me: difficulty levels. Must come up with inventive names for Easy, Normal, Hard, Impossible.

- n8











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#9 nathany   Members   -  Reputation: 122

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Posted 17 May 2000 - 06:54 PM

quote:
Original post by Piksel
My favorite game was Overkill (or maybe I''m confusing it with Raptor), anyways, I liked getting powerup things, but being able to choose when I wanted to upgrade. For example, I could just keep using my upgrades right when I got them, or I could wait a little while, until the upgrade got better before using it. I hope that made sense. Also the level was kinda like a maze, because you couldn''t bump into the walls, so you went along trying to avoid the walls while at the same time killing the monsters, and avoiding the bullets and stuff. But there wasn''t so much going on that you didn''t have any control, if you died it was because you should have dodged the bullet by going left instead of going right and not noticing another bullet was coming down on the right, you didn''t die because bullets were coming down on both sides, and you didn''t have a choice.



That''s Overkill.

I like the maze type thing and want to do that for some levels. Overkill reminds me of River Raid (Atari) in some ways... which was pretty cool in it''s day (even if only flying a plane over water doesn''t make much sense: it was supposed to be a boat but it''s hard to make a boat at so low res so it got changed to a plane).

As for the power up system, I will have to see if I can get Overkill working again as I don''t remember exactly how that works. I found Overkill pretty challenging, so I never got all the power ups anyway (didn''t even pass planet 1)

I am kind of biased towards the power up method vs. the store, so if it can be implemented in an interesting way that gives similar configurability to Tyrian, that would be way cooL. On the other hand, my bro. prefers the store where you can tweak your ship... what do others think?

quote:

That gives me an idea!! Put in some simple AI, so the bad guys only shoot at you if you have an escape route.



That''s original... on the easy difficulty level, extra AI routines are used to help make the baddies go easier on you

quote:

Also, HAVE A BOSS, I hate game without bosses, and give him a routine and all, like ram forward, fall back slowly, fire a little, ram forward, fall back slowly, etc. When you hit him, make sure the player knows he is damaging him. I hate shooting at an enemy for an hour, only to find out I had to shoot at a certain place, and all the other shots were useless (that sucks).



Must have level bosses. Sometimes one, sometimes more than one. If you played Galaga''88 (Arcade) or Galaga''90 (TG16) [same game] they have something else interesting that I''d like to do sometimes. At the end of a level, have a formation of smaller aliens that swoop down at you ... and you have to destroy them all.

quote:

Thats all I got to say, goodluck.



Thanks. I''m sure there are lots more ideas... as always, the tough part is going to be figuring out what not to implement, and focusing on enjoyment rather than every feature imaginable! But it''s always good to "blue sky"...

Thanks everyone, and please keep ideas coming. Sorry it took me a while to get back, I''m starting to wish I checked off the email notification option for this thread... because there is no way to change that now. But I will read every post, multiple times probably.

- n8


nathany.com

#10 Hase   Members   -  Reputation: 313

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Posted 17 May 2000 - 10:01 PM

im more inclined towards the store idea as well
(im doing something similar - a horizonal arcade shooter)

yeah - must have bosses. Big ones. and make em so that the player has to have some strategy to defeat them (weak points and so on, changing behavior patterns...)

Tyrian and Raptor are great, anyone know some cool parallax-scroller?

I must admit I rather disliked the two in one idea in tyrian, everything got so complicated with two ships firing, and you couldn´t stop accidental link-up.

Hope to hear more

#11 nathany   Members   -  Reputation: 122

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Posted 18 May 2000 - 02:20 PM

quote:
Original post by Hase
im more inclined towards the store idea as well



guess i will just need to do both...

quote:

(im doing something similar - a horizonal arcade shooter)



Cool... Star Gunner (Apogee), Pulsar (TG16)... those were pretty cool games. I did a horizontal shooter in 1993-95... in QuickBasic! [it wasn''t all that good, but interesting project]

quote:

yeah - must have bosses. Big ones. and make em so that the player has to have some strategy to defeat them (weak points and so on, changing behavior patterns...)



For sure. And the really lame thing where you blow chunk off them, and more guns appear... which are more powerful than the last!

quote:

Tyrian and Raptor are great, anyone know some cool parallax-scroller?



Well, overhead shooters don''t usually have parallax scrolling, just due to to view... of course Tyrian did some times.

quote:

I must admit I rather disliked the two in one idea in tyrian, everything got so complicated with two ships firing, and you couldn´t stop accidental link-up.



Yes, quite annoying, would''ve played 2 player more if it didn''t have that. Sort of an interesting idea, but they should''ve made it optional, or used a button to link/unlink.

Nathan.







nathany.com

#12 Hase   Members   -  Reputation: 313

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Posted 19 May 2000 - 02:03 AM

No, I meant horizontal parallax scrollers

I like the button to link/unlink idea


#13 NeilArrow   Members   -  Reputation: 122

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Posted 19 May 2000 - 02:36 AM

I liked the third level in R-type, where the whole level was one big boss, and you had to destroy it. That kind of simple mission, with smaller objectives working towards it, but in a linear kind of way, would work really well.

#14 baskuenen   Members   -  Reputation: 122

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Posted 19 May 2000 - 09:11 AM

Hey nathany,

Have you ever seen the PSX title Raystorm?
Great topdown shoot''em up! But gfx are 3D! But gives superb animated flight paths!

Some time ago I also tried to create a normal 2D topdown shooter. Never before had so much fun coding! The game flopped due to lack of gfx. I first brutally ripper my gfx from an coin-op game. (Don''t start to shout yet: I never sold it or anything...I''m a coder, and just using it for testing!)

I hope the same thing doesn''t happen to you! If I should restart coding this game, I''ll be using 3D gfx, just because it''s easier to design some gfx myself. (but probably harder to code...hum...)
But on the other hand, back then I didn''t discover this site yet!

Here''s a simple screenshot:


You can also download a playable version from my homepage (but you''ll need 640x480x24bits).

#15 Seigfried   Members   -  Reputation: 122

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Posted 19 May 2000 - 10:00 AM

I happen to be a big Tyrian fan myself... Man, that game ruled

One feature I''d really like to see used more is the customizable ship you had in Tyrian... Stores, lots of different weapons (I think there were 40+ total in Tyrian), and the ability to try out a lot of different setups... I had a lot of fun just messing around with my ship in Tyrian, even if you did nearly always end up with some combination of Zica Lasers/Normal Lasers/Lightning Gun, Sonic Wave, and Plasma Cannon/Atom Bombs.... I kind of enjoyed selling off all my stuff, getting a really impressive generator, sticking a pair of Zica Flamethrowers on my ship, and then toasting everything foolish enough to get in front of me

The other thing that I think is important in any game is lots of extras- new stages to explore, new weapons to find, new ships to buy... The creator of the Super Mario Bros. games (whose last name is Miyamoto and whose first name slips my mind at the moment...) once suggested that at least 1/3 of your game should be secret. Once again, remember all the secret areas in Tyrian?

A third thing I appreciated about Tyrian was the fact that it only sort of took itself seriously... There was the plot to the whole fourth chapter, not to mention the datacubes on why enemy ships dropped coins and fruit when you destroyed them... Those were classics

So, to recap: lots of customization, lots of secrets, humor.

--{-Seig----

#16 baskuenen   Members   -  Reputation: 122

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Posted 19 May 2000 - 10:03 AM

How about this idea:

Give your levels a certain "random" look like Diablo

#17 nathany   Members   -  Reputation: 122

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Posted 19 May 2000 - 04:06 PM

quote:
Original post by baskuenen
Have you ever seen the PSX title Raystorm?
Great topdown shoot''em up! But gfx are 3D! But gives superb animated flight paths!



I haven''t seen it... but I was considering 3D. Low poly ships and the terrain as well (allowing the terrain to rotate when following a river, or zoom in and out sometimes).

It would be cooL, but I don''t really want to get caught up in all this 3D stuff and trying to making a marketable game. I rather stay in my little 2D world and do a simpler freeware game. I haven''t yet done a really complete Windows game and distributed it... most important thing is to finish it!

Nathan.



nathany.com

#18 nathany   Members   -  Reputation: 122

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Posted 19 May 2000 - 05:33 PM

quote:
Original post by baskuenen
You can also download a playable version from my homepage (but you''ll need 640x480x24bits).


I didn''t realize this until just now... my Voodoo3 drivers under Windows 2000 don''t support a 24-bit dekstop! (Just 16/32-bit). So unfortunately your game doesn''t work.

That will make it tough for me to make my game support 24-bit desktops, as if 24-bit isn''t bad enough, I won''t be able to test anything. Hrm, time for a new video card?

Nathan.



nathany.com

#19 rivit   Members   -  Reputation: 122

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Posted 20 May 2000 - 02:45 AM

well i played a few...
some ideas might have been mentiond thow?
1.a lot of pull back ,on the joy stick"somthing whont pop on ferst 4 blasts, and it aint going to move ,exsept right threw you.."
2.power up "something happens to your ship ,so when power up is actevaited your ship becomes the weapon for (x) amount of time.."
3.when in 2 player mode ,so make it that powerups rowtait to players,if they are waisted,they get the next power up,as the player still active is /should have safishint fire power to cover his own ass,if not ferst rezerect will receve ferst power up if bath ships are destroyes,or at least give the option at the start of game..free life"same with ubove .
[c].delayed attac"so you must look infrunt and behind you,at all times,but this afects game play alot,so attacs must be slowed down or soffend when this takes plase .
[d]have ship upgraids to,youse a kill counter to gain access to this option ,each upgraid costs (x)amount of kill tokens/points..and there must be speshal tokens thew out the game,these must be held within the tuffist of your aponints in every level ,when you have colected all the tokens /not missing one token"which can happen !"a worp gait appears,game should be set up so when worp accers its at end of stage ,so uther play duse not have to be destracted or left behind to cuver his own ass in the senter of hell lol**thort""then you get one player blasting all the aponents,like rambo thus killing you in the prosess..solve problem haha..if one player shoots to menny aponents in a row the aponents becom resistant to that players fire powerand yes both players can get worp gait,as there should be 2 sets of speshal tokens,...how are tokens alikated to players?"IE"have the games ie scan players contrabotion to see who is a team player..how?
set up sertan battels were both players must be involved,destroying one thing,as well as the small attacing aponents,so players will be distracted from that one thing ..note you will get players that will not cover you from the small aponents,they are just intrastid in the one big aponent and the uther way round to,so set up [set waves]
where the one big aponent is only afected by one of the players fire,and the small aponents are afected by uther players fire ,in rotation between players.."IE" looks at players skill level in this intereaction,simple as who killed the most in there alotted wave.
[e]woohoo peald game back ..... game over ?!! that suckss
so alow carry threw"game restarts,but harder...so you can get into the game and realy have fun..
[f] limit continues...whats the point of playing if you play like a egg,where has the point of achevment gon then??
best you watch a vidio or read a book IF you cant play the game :/ (point of reason dont make it that unrealistic where you have to youse 100 continues..alow player to pass with ferst credit if they good..extra life is cool
that my apinion on that point lol
[g]i hait clocking a game ,the ferst time playing it to

sorry my spelling ..
'' Target=_Blank>Link


#20 nathany   Members   -  Reputation: 122

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Posted 20 May 2000 - 07:11 AM

quote:
Original post by rivit

well i played a few...
some ideas might have been mentiond thow?
1.a lot of pull back ,on the joy stick"somthing whont pop on ferst 4 blasts, and it aint going to move ,exsept right threw you.."
2.power up "something happens to your ship ,so when power up is actevaited your ship becomes the weapon for (x) amount of time.."
3.when in 2 player mode
a. you allways get the wanker who steels all the power ups ,so make it that powerups rowtait to players,if they are waisted,they get the next power up,as the player still active is /should have safishint fire power to cover his own ass,if not ferst rezerect will receve ferst power up if bath ships are destroyes,or at least give the option at the start of game.



I had something like that planned. An option to color code the bonus to the player who "earned" it, indefinetly or for a given amount of time, after which anyone can get it.

quote:

b. free life"same with ubove .
c. delayed attac"so you must look infrunt and behind you,at all times,but this afects game play alot,so attacs must be slowed down or soffend when this takes plase .
d.have ship upgraids to,youse a kill counter to gain access to this option ,each upgraid costs (x)amount of kill tokens/points..and there must be speshal tokens thew out the game,these must be held within the tuffist of your aponints in every level ,when you have colected all the tokens /not missing one token"which can happen !"a worp gait appears,game should be set up so when worp accers its at end of stage ,so uther play duse not have to be destracted or left behind to cuver his own ass in the senter of hell lol**thort""then you get one player blasting all the aponents,like rambo thus killing you in the prosess..solve problem haha..if one player shoots to menny aponents in a row the aponents becom resistant to that players fire powerand yes both players can get worp gait,as there should be 2 sets of speshal tokens,...how are tokens alikated to players?"IE"have the games ie scan players contrabotion to see who is a team player..how?
set up sertan battels were both players must be involved,destroying one thing,as well as the small attacing aponents,so players will be distracted from that one thing ..note you will get players that will not cover you from the small aponents,they are just intrastid in the one big aponent and the uther way round to,so set up [set waves]
where the one big aponent is only afected by one of the players fire,and the small aponents are afected by uther players fire ,in rotation between players.."IE" looks at players skill level in this intereaction,simple as who killed the most in there alotted wave.
e.woohoo peald game back ..... game over ?!! that suckss
so alow carry threw"game restarts,but harder...so you can get into the game and realy have fun..
f. limit continues...whats the point of playing if you play like a egg,where has the point of achevment gon then??
best you watch a vidio or read a book IF you cant play the game :/ (point of reason dont make it that unrealistic where you have to youse 100 continues..alow player to pass with ferst credit if they good..extra life is cool
that my apinion on that point lol
.g.i hait clocking a game ,the ferst time playing it to

sorry my spelling ..


thanks for the suggestions...

- n8






nathany.com




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