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Something easy: 2D shooter ideas?

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Do you have any top down space shooters you like? What do you like about them, and how would you improve them? I''m thinking of doing a quick little space shooter themed around a mouse controlled turret. You''d steer the ship independently of aiming. I''m trying to think of overall structure, and how to make play addictive. I''ve also got a couple of questions: On powerups: Collect them from enemies only? Or buy them? Or should they be lying around? On boss enemies: Like, dislike? I was thinking boss enemies could be tough to kill capital ships. On physics: Inertia-less "sliding" or no? Any input appreciated... -------------------- Just waiting for the mothership...

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Personally I love those simple games with a top down view, and your ship has inertia. you can control the heading, and the speed, and guns. Usually you run around collecting doodas avoiding enemies, then warping to the next level.
What I would like is more customization like in Xenon 2 (BitmapBrothers). And more ships to pilot. Of course, there would be a reason for the variety of ships... Maybe different ships would involve different winning conditions ? Maybe change the "collect all the doodas" to different missions ...

Capital ships are cool

Make more structures than a bland asteroids field. Ground missions would be nice ?

And of course, multiplayer !!!

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How about "maze runs", in combination with multiple ships - you pick one ship, and have to fly through the hostile maze, finding the center before all the others.
You don''t all start at the same point, and there may be more than one way into the maze, but it could be an interesting combo of race-game and 2D Space Blaster

People might not remember what you said, or what you did, but they will always remember how you made them feel.
~ (V)^|) |<é!t|-| ~

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Anyone here play SubSpace? Its a massively multiplayer top-down 2D space game, and it kicks. Unfortunately, my modem connection drops too many packets, so I can''t play for more than five minutes at a time before it boots me . Their website gives a pretty good idea of what the game''s all about.

Other than that, the classic top-down has to be Bosconian. It came out around the same time as Galaga, but it has a multi-screen map, spy ships that spot you, (if they get off-screen before you blast ''em, you''re in for a world of pain!) and cheesy voice samples! (whoever did them has a nasty lisp, so "Red Alert" comes across as "Wed Awert, Wed Awert!". . .hope he''s not reading this )

When I remake it, (my first real game project) I''m looking for non-technical ways to improve on it. The only technical improvement I''m making is that it''ll be 3D isometric, and the only reason for that is I need to learn how to do that in DirectX for my first really real game project.

Other than that, so far I have-

  • More diverse missions/levels,
  • Better AI,
  • Multiple ships to choose from.
  • More "realism" (eg. the mother base will _not_ look like it was built w. an Erector Set)
  • Wider array of weaponry.
  • Deformable terrain. . .well, ok. . .you can blow up walls
  • I have no idea how hard it would be, but I''m looking at making it multi- over a LAN. If it looks too hairy, I''m leaving it out.
  • State-of-the-art, non-lisping voice technology

Any ideas? It''ll be available freeware, so if you''ve got some great idea you''d like to see in this kind of game (and I''m capable), you''ll have the opportunity to play it. Oh, and shhhh. . . Don''t tell Hasbro! (couldn''t help myself)

If you see the Buddha on the road, Kill Him. -apocryphal

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I play Subspace all the time, the best servers are here in Finland so I get 30 ms ping.

You could put in 2d space shooter:
- an (rp) adventure game: you fly around and then go shopping to buy better weapons/powerups. You can buy better ships too. And then you can buy hints of enemy bases and weaknesses and solve missions. Like kill the enemy base in sector xyz. It would be much like Star Control 2 actually.

- a storyline, SC2 was great!

- physics: make cool rigid body physics and put some balls & cubes flying around. Then you can shoot them and they fly and bounce realisticly! You could have physic puzzles too.

- boss enemies are the salt. They''re so cool, lots of those and all the time just bigger ones.

- I like gravity, it gives more dimension to a top-down shooter.

- multiplayer is great of course, if you can make one.

-Hans [home page] [e-mail]

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I think that it would rock if someone changed the emphasis of side-ways shooters to something other than just kill''em all (cool album tho ), and from having to avoid all the horrible projectiles.

My thoughts were maybe a Stealth based side-scrolling shooter, or a collect''em up ?

I agree/disagree on Bosses, sure great looking bosses are cool in games, but it takes the &$(* when you manage to get to the end of the level, and face some "&*$ing huge thing that fires a machine gun at you. How about a more interesting type of Boss, maybe more Zelda: A Link to The Past like ? Where sure they are bigger than you and your standard enemies, but it is the things that they do and the simple interactions between the several characters / attacks that they have that is interesting.

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The freshers flu is going around. "Sniff", see you guys / gals next week ! .

Edited by - Ketchaval on October 3, 2000 5:36:15 PM

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Just wanted to say thx for the great replies, everyone!

BTW, here''s what I think I''ll go with:


Different ships, with different handling characteristics (speed, sideslip, turning)

Gravity wells affect flight paths, and acceleration bonuses for gravity whips!

Collect pieces / parts from destroyed ships. The more you shoot them, the more worthless they become.

Player can outfit / upgrade ship hulls

Shoot asteroids to mine, or create debris fields for enemies!

Attack space stations, find and disable certain ships

Zoomable radar

Flocking, regrouping enemies

Any more ideas?

Just waiting for the mothership...

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I liked Einhander and it''s way of picking up weapons while playing the game. The only thing I did not like was that you could only have a few weapons at a time (well, I think that one ship could hold 4).
How about being able to move the ship in 360? Instead of being forced to go a certain path, which always turns out to be really narrow, full of enemies and asteroids and missle spreads you can''t get through, how about allowing the player to try to go around. You could also add an element of fuel, this way you could limit how far the player wanders.
One thing to remember, one small fighters can take out 2-3 fighters no sweat, but one small fighter cannot take out huge battleships, just ain''t gonna happen.
How about missions where you pilot one of the huge battleships? You wouldn''t be able to avoid too much, but you would have so much frickin'' fire power, and armor, and maybe you could launch fighters also. The bigger ships usually have other abilities that the fighters don''t have, like hyperjump and advanced defense screens or something.

shut up

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