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Dual Stick Shooters - Flying or on Foot?

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I'm working on a Dual Stick Shooter where you fly around and shoot stuff in every direction. While checking out other dual stick shooters, I've noticed some common differences between ones where you fly and ones where you walk. Of course, shooters on foot are more likely to have rooms and walls than games where you fly in air or space. They also seem to have more exploration, where flying includes constant scrolling or a fixed space. Shooters on foot seem more likely to have health bars where you soak up damage compared to flying games, which more often kill you in one hit and require you to dodge attacks. 

 

There are exceptions of course. Nuclear throne gives you health, but still requires you to dodge bullets. I mentioned this topic idea in the chat room and Khatharr pointed out the upcoming Galak-z where you fly inside asteroids. 

 

Overall, what do you think of these themes and game mechanics for a dual stick shooter? Is there something in these games that you especially like or dislike?

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Most walking shooters are about avoiding fire as well, usually meaning the player gotta keep moving and occasionally hide behind something.

You probably already seen it but the game Descent is a flying shooter inside a complex mibe.

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I personally like the on-foot idea because then there's much more exploration (as you said). Maps can then be filled with obstacles, mazes, and cover spots, giving the player a lot more options and raising both the difficulty and general fun of the game.

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Im not sure the setting (space, on foot) is actually the item in question here, but rather the design of a "Bullet hell" game vs. a traditional top down shooter using dual stick controls.

 

Most common is how quickly you can turn between on foot vs. space, but there's no particular reason you couldn't have it reversed (Say, if you were a gun toting ice-hocky player ... ok now I am just getting side tracked by brilliant ideas...)

 

Also, for PC I always prefer WASD + Mouse over dual stick... just my personal opinion though. Crimsonland may be my favorite game in this genre and a great example of how a "twin stick" style game can avoid being a bullet hell.

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Yeah, I'm surprised to find I prefer WASD + Mouse on a couple games that I tried. For now, though, mine feels like it needs dual stick. I'm expanding on this game I made for a game jam, http://gamejolt.com/games/assault-on-ceres/80512

 

In the game jam version, you don't move. You use both sticks to shoot, and you can transform either gun into a force field to block attacks. For the full game, I've added the ability to detach a gun/ship from the space platform and fly it around with the left stick like other shooters. Then you can fly to another platform, attach to it, and have access to it's weapon or shield in place of movement.

 

I think I'll make it important to dodge or block attacks, but not entirely a bullet hell. I prefer enemies that attack you in more direct or interesting ways vs a spray of bullets chaotically in all directions. Currently, I give the player very limited health (4 hits kills you in the game jam version). Since starting this topic, I tried out a constant scrolling compared to the camera following you as you explore, and the exploration version works much better with the stationary platforms. There are still a lot of little things to consider with a game, so I'm still playing other games in the genre to think through the possibilities. 

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