Developing a shoot 'em up game???


the only way i can make sense of it is that it might derive from “beat em up”


“Shoot x up” is an idiom that way predates vidcons methinks. Someone with an OED subscription go find out


Yeah as in “Those dudes got shot up there were no survivors.”


Gorf had a boss stage against a single giant mother ship that you could in theory take out with a single perfectly placed shot, but generally it would take several shots and each landed one would destroy where it hit, leaving a deformed sprite/ship behind. Given that I mostly played the Coleco version, what that often meant is that there would be this unidentifiable thing flying back and forth after a dozen or so “close but not quite” shots failed to blow it up.

If this doesn’t start at 8:07 then skip there to see it in action.

I swear, the explosion right after you hit the killing shot is one of my favorite gaming moments.


@username Ahh, yesss, that is very cool! These older games often had more destructibility than later ones that used sprites. Didn’t the ground get deformed in Missile Command, for example? And that explosion! It really hits you

@Mr_Mechanical Yes! You got it! I’m so glad that I could communicate the concept somewhat and wasn’t straight up laughed out of here because I sound stupid.

I just watched gameplay footage of Einhänder a couple days ago. I still got the tab open because I haven’t finished watching it, that’s how recent we’re talking about. And it really impressed me. I love the camera changes. It’s got quite a nice feel to it and the graphics are nice. I was aware of Einhänder when it came out (mostly because that was Square’s German phase together with Ehrgeiz) but I never played it. I too imagined the genre going wildly different directions than it did…

I was heavily into airplanes and especially fighter jets when I was younger and played simulations as soon as I could read the manuals. Raptor was my first shoot 'em up I think because I only had a PC at first. It left a mark on me. So much more action-packed than the simulations! It was like a feverish power dream come true. I’d like to make something like that, too.

Right now I only have a couple of hours to spare each day for this game but I’ll keep the thread updated whenever I get something interesting done. Oh! I thought about a name for this project yesterday. I started out with something dumb like Rip 'n Roar and gradually got to something really classy instead. But I’ll keep that name reveal for later. For now it’s back to Construct 3 and Pyxel Edit…


Whoa this is a cool thread. Good luck dude.



I built something weird because I was fooling around with sprite scaling. I made something where you fly your plane around on 3 axis. Meaning you can go up and down a layer smoothly. Has this ever been done in a 2D shoot em up? I know of Space Harrier but my perspective is different. I also heard of RayStorm/Layer II (Arcade/Saturn), which is 3D,where you have two guns, one for ground attacks and one for aerial. But you can’t move between the layers there.

Anyone know any more?

This might be a horrible idea because I have to make sure it’s clear which sprite is on which layer. So far I feel like I’m doing well because I gave the sprites different shading and tint when they’re below you. I have yet to make them appear above the player… I’ll probably have to make them transparent for that. It’s really kinda weird and I like it.

It might be too much of a brain fuck to play it though. It’s really, really unusual and difficult. Probably also because I have no fitting background for this system yet, which makes it more confusing.

I might throw it out in a day, who knows, but it’s fun to tinker with for now. It’s all about learning things

For the story im thinking about making it a love story instead of the usual lone hope of mankind/alien invasion/all-powerful computer plots

For the player ship I’m thinking about something like a mix between F-22 and Su-27. Those are some of the most beautiful jets to me. I always loved the F-14, F-15 and F/A-18 as well but I’m thinking about fifth (and hypothetical sixth) generation fighters here. To design something from scratch that looks badass is too difficult for me. I love made up, spacey jets.

I’m working pretty hard on a 128x128 sprite with 16 colors of a Su-34 right now and I’d love to present it soon. That seems to be the ballpark I want to make this in. 32x32 would be practical and already good looking but you know, I’m dumb


Vertical Force for the Virtual Boy does this. It works great because it’s in 3D, can’t imagine it would be easy to implement otherwise.

In other words, I am telling you to make a virtual boy game.


I can make it all red!


I don’t know if it would qualify… but Zaxxon?

I’m just here to reminisce about various Coleco games from my youth.


That looks fuckin nuts! Look at how the enemy ships are moving between the layers! I never knew there were Coleco Vision games like that.

It’s basically what I came up with, only you can move forward and backward on the field and it’s top down instead of isometric. Which is why it won’t work. I don’t know if I want an isometric view like that for my game. The feel is so different…

I ended up buying Construct 3 because I ran into the limitations of the free version, so now there’s no return.


Super Thunder Blade has top-down levels like this, I think.

Now, it’s not necessarily easy to play, but if it’s good enough for M2,…


there’s an arcade game i’ve played that’s a top down stg where you’re a robot that con go between ground and sky.
i can’t remember the name of it though


Sadly no. You can only go left and right in the top down segments

Aw, sucks. Do you remember if it was rad or bad?


ah, here it is. equites



You know you’re in trouble when you’re trying to fix things for a few hours and then end up with variables called things like “fuckness”


Well to be completely honest I just linked to the arcade version as it came up first and to be blunt looks a lot better. The Coleco version still plays the same and has much of the same layout, but it is very much a downport.


A top-down shooter in VR is fun to think about. You’d probably have to bring back Voxels into the equasion, I’m curious to see what sprites would feel like though. Ideally it would resemble something like a model train diorama?


This might fail already. I’m stuck.

I added 10 sprites to the layout. They’re pieces of one whole (an enemy ship). I put them together spacially so they fit. I had to group them together as a “family” so they would move together. I can just give the family orders and it all moves in unison. I programmed some basic behaviors. So far so good.

But now how do I create multiples of it? I can select the whole ship and ctrl drag to copy it. But then I can’t program the two ships independently. They both have the same behavior. Including if I shoot one, the other one takes damage too.

I looked at some examples for STGs in Construct and they don’t use a familied object, like I do. They’re all single sprites. But I need the different sprite pieces so I can have multiple collision polygons and break off pieces. Well, at least that’s the cushy way to do it.

Paging @haley. Maybe you have an idea?

I could program every one of the ten pieces individually (to move in unison as one ship) but that would suck

I could put transparent boxes on top of that and program those to work like the collision polygons/hit boxes and also program them to move together with the pieces, individually, but that would suck², just imagine that work

I could simulate the pieces breaking off by just adding them in when an original, complete sprite (as in not in pieces) is destroyed and then give them a “bullet” direction and speed but that would suck, too

So these are the options I see and I don’t like them. Isn’t there some way I can make this work with families?


I remember! having this exact problem on the first game I made at school, and I ended up creating a unique object & class for each enemy in my platform levels because at least it Got The Job Done.

Conceptually, you want multiple instances of your archetypal fighter, each spawned identically and running the same package of code. I don’t know Construct but generally you’ll be using the editor to define an archetype or prefab, and then at runtime spawn them into the world when needed.