Further motivated by Lessie2D’s Recent Post, I have decided to post my first Sharing Design installment. This coincides with my next personal project, Shoot ‘em Up Dream.
Good Bye Bullet-Hell
I have never found the memorization of elaborate curtain fire very fun, therefore I have chosen to…
So I forgot that the ask feature has a character limit so I’m just gonna reblog this and offer my criticism.
So pretty much as I already mentioned the ammo concept might force players into memorizing the stages and make them focus more on trial and error to progress rather than reflex and hand eye coordination. If you’re too generous with the ammo count it will go back to being what you mentioned to where the player could just focus on dodging and not worrying about running out of ammo.
It will be difficult to find a balance, but it could add a compelling element to the gameplay if it’s pulled off properly. You could do what Einhander did and have a super weak fallback weapon. Or you could make it so that once the player runs out of ammo it slowly regenerate. In a doujin shooter called Hellsinker there’s a player ship that had a extremely powerful main weapon, but it had an ammo count that runs out very quickly. Once it ran out it would become super weak until the player stopped firing and allowed the ammo to regenerate.
The regenerate feature would probably be a good balance because it keeps the game fair for those who play for survival and still reward them for performing combos. These are just my concerns, you don’t have to give what I said thought and given time you might come up with something better.
In Tyrian, you had a sort of limited ammo, as in firing weapons uses up your ship’s generator. Therefore, if your ship is equipped with weapons stronger than your ship’s generator (which eventually it will), then you will inevitably run “out of ammo”, which not only makes your firing stop, but also prevents your shields from recharging, leaving you unable to kill enemies AND unable to take extra hits until your generator gets enough breathing time. (you can play it on modern machines through the OpenTyrian port. Highly recommended)
Tyrian also features the armor/shield bars instead of a counter for lives, just like you mentioned, and it also has room for different kinds of weaponry (if I’m not mistaken, it has room for a front weapon, a rear weapon and an “option” that either has (actual) expendable ammo or is just another regular weapon that circles your ship). But I really loved your idea of different buttons for different weapons, although I do find that four face buttons are a bit hard to press all at once when trying to go all-out against a boss. Have you considered adding an extra “fire everything” button the player can hold to try to plow against a hard opponent through sheer firepower? (might not be the best strategy, but who doesn’t get excited during “this is it, people, let’s fire everything we have at once” scenes in shows and games? I know I do!)
I also get your opinion regarding bullet hell. I always found it extremely fun (just look at megushing over Touhouover and over again), but it is a genre that is pretty much the least inclusive possible. If you look at Touhou’s fanbase, you’ll find that most probably about half never played any of the games because theyre too hard/not their style, and probably less than 20% (I’d shoot for less than 5% but I’m trying to be optimistic here) kept playing after their initial contact with the game. That’s just not good enough, to publish games that are indeed really good, but that - for mechanic issues - are turned down even by people who liked pretty much everything else about them.