Developing a shoot 'em up game???


yes, there’s an order-of-magnitude difference in complexity there


What do people use nowadays to make sprites?

I had this mega thread once where I compiled all these things like programs and pdfs of animation books and so on… And now I once again know nothing lol


idk that there’s a standard but i like Pyxel Edit


My read is that you’re too late to stand out with voxel explosions; we were pushing it in 2012 because we knew we’d just barely scrape in front of everyone playing in this space post-Minecraft. Half a decade later and people aren’t doing it now because the wave already crested.

~~~ excuse me while I reminisce ~~~



yeah I mean the thing about voxels is they’re just not sexy to people. They never were. I was alone playing Delta Force and I can’t think of many voxel based games that have made it big. Voxel explosions just look a bit cheap.

Whereas pixel art is revered and looks great to people. Well, a certain group of them anyway.

So it looks like I’m doing pixels now, huh. That’s how I imagined the game at first, in my earliest dreams. Pixel art shoot 'em ups were what I loved since before the term pixel art was a thing. I could never get into modern, polygon shoot 'em ups. They all have too many particle and light effects and I just can’t “read” them. Pixel art is where it’s at for readability. Even though or maybe because you have to use your imagination sometimes with them


What shaped me the most are probably these three seconds:


Mimicking this – if you’re not dealing with perspective, bullet holes are sprites/decals added on top of the base, with a flame particle system on top. Easy-peasy as long as you don’t have sprite sorting issues!


I don’t make sprites but I came across Aseprite recently which you can do sprites/animations in and while I haven’t actually used it myself I can say for certain that it has a lovely interface regardless.


I use Aseprite. It’s good to me.


I have no advice on this front but your game pitch reminded me of Gorf and I love Gorf, so thank you for that.


If you end up using Game Maker, you might want to look into GMOSSE:

It’s what most of the shmups I’ve worked on were made in.

But yeah, don’t use Game Maker, lol.


Remember Game Maker 5.3? That was pretty cool imo


I only suggested Game Maker cos I never used anything else and “well, it worked for me…”

As far as I can tell it is pretty much fine as long as you are not making anything too much more complicated than your typical 8 / 16bit throwback, but for BBP’s destructable ship idea it might fall apart under the sheer weight of all those sprites

I also just use Photoshop for making sprites, so I should probably just stop making software recommendations


Naw, that’s cool. With Photoshop and Gimp you can do cool stuff like this:

Gradients and reflections and so on

I knew you’re heavily into the genre but I didn’t know you made games as well… Do you have any that you’re proud of that you’d let me try?

I don’t get it… What’s the connection?

Aseprite looks very good but I ended up deciding on Pyxel Edit because it’s got a function that other editors don’t have. It displays lightness and shading colors based on the color you choose. This is huge to me because I’ve no experience with picking colors for that. It’s just a qol thing to me.

Thanks, that’s reassuring! I do plan on having “hunter” segments, where I want to play with the perspective and put the “camera” to the left of the front section of the plane. You’d be chasing down enemies that fly away from you and see the destruction on them much closer. That would be Big Sprites time. Because I love big sprites. And cinematic views. Add some bokeh to the background. Shit like that. Ahh if only it were as easy as imagining it!

Honing my pixel art skills to where they’re actually decent enough to prototype stuff is probably going to take me 6 months, at least… That’s how long it took me to learn how to make good renders in 3D programs, if I can even use that as a base.

Everybody interested in adding to or getting something out of this thread set your notifications to tracking or watching because I’ll be moving it to Output soon and then you won’t see it much anymore! Unless you browse that subforum often


Ach no just use simple boxes and shapes as placeholders so you can start prototyping as soon as possible so you can get basic stuff like objects on screen moving and interacting with each other, and to get an idea for your animation timings.

Do all your art stuff last after you’ve nailed down the feel and flow of your basic gameplay loops.


Oh, yeah, I guess that’s how you do it, isn’t it. I don’t have much experience with that because the visual novel I’m working on doesn’t have much of a “gameplay loop” but with this sort of game that’s the core


Yeah once you’ve decided on what you’re going to use to build your game (Unity etc. whatever) just get in there and start learning how to piece things together and make stuff talk to each other and so on.

So for what you’re wanting to do I’d start by just making a 2d square (or 3d cube of that’s what your wanting) and have that be my core then stick smaller squares on either side to stand in for wings and maybe smaller one still on top and bottom to represent the nose and tail, and then I’d figure out how to marry those objects together so they can move around as one unit. Then I’d figure out how to make each attachment disappear individually when coming into contact with a foreign object.

Basically I would first learn how to make a really simple version of Kenta Cho’s Noiz2sa and then I’d work on making sprites and stuff to put on top of it.


@Mr_Mechanical is right, you gotta get things moving quickly so you can figure out what’s fun and what’s not. You can’t get hung up on making something reach a standard before you move into a bit that might obviate the whole project.

Generally I cycle in passes of art as it becomes the worst element – spend a day doing some art so I feel good about it, then do a lot more work until the art becomes the worst bit again and I have to replace a lot of greyboxes and touch things up.


Oh no no, the ones I wrote soundtracks for is what I meant. I’d certainly like to give dev a good try, but haven’t overcome the mental barriers yet.


I watched these three seconds and instantly imagined them as like the stage 2 part of a boss fight that happens after a few waves of pew-pew-pewing regular enemies (who still get shot apart and explode in satisfying ways). So like you shoot the enemies then a bigger one shows up and after you blast some bits off of that one the perspective shifts from overhead to quasi-isometric as you blast apart the rest of him while dodging fire, the view so close to the cockpit you can feel the heat from the cannon fire coming and going. Then he dies and it goes back to overhead and chills for a moment before new waves show up and the cycle starts over again.

Make a few different backgrounds based on some common themes like city, field, cave, space etc. that cycle each time the basic loop culminates in the boss battle and you got a shmup right there.

Reading this thread today got me thinking about that bit from the opening stage in Einhander where the view shifts so you can see further down the 2D plane you and the enemies are on. I thought that was so cool back when I was 12. I thought 3D games would go on to do lots of neat stuff like that with the camera and 3D spaces but instead they didn’t except for a few rare cases like Nier. A shmup with that sort of thing happening regularly but with much tighter views closer to the ships (which also break apart in neat dynamic ways) sounds really cool. Keep us updated on your progress!