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Sorrow's market research! Shmup!
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Sorrow



Joined: 16 Jan 2004
Posts: 146
Location: Australia



PostPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2007 2:31 pm    Post subject: Sorrow's market research! Shmup! Reply with quote

If anyone has some time id love some opinions on the follow regarding a Shoot em Up (shmup!):

Number of levels / game length?

Individual enemy challenge vs. Carnage?

Choice in ship layout/weapons?

Backrounds?



Fost/poobear i hope you guys don't mind me posting these kinds of things here, im just after some opinions to better shape my upcoming entrance into the indy game dev world, i have left the questions as vague as possible to scare away people who arnt as hardcore a shmup fans! roar!
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Fost
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Pod Team


Joined: 14 Oct 2002
Posts: 3734



PostPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2007 2:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

No that's fine. I actually did some research what the average was for a vertical shmup a while back, but I can't seem to find it now Sad
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Sorrow



Joined: 16 Jan 2004
Posts: 146
Location: Australia



PostPosted: Thu Apr 26, 2007 1:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

well due to lack of responses i figured id post my points on them, maybe get the ball rolling or something Smile

Number of levels / game length?

Shmups in my opinion have been left short due too their traditional arcade setting, you don't want it too keep on going while you keep putting coins in Smile.

However for free systems there is nothing preventing a shmup from being a decent length, well..as long as it doesn't start to feel repetitive.

Individual enemy challenge vs. Carnage?

i personally am a huge Dodonpachi fan, lots of little ships that fall like flies Very Happy with challenging bosses and a few sub bosses in between.

Choice in ship layout/weapons?

i've always found the choice quite disappointing when it comes to shmups, i personal love the idea of a starscape style ship layout system in a shmup Very Happy.

Backrounds?

The only game where i haven't found the backround distracting is Dodonpachi, that could be because the screen moves quite slow.

Im also very worried about hitting the backround in some of these games like when a big rock appears, turns out you can fly right through it Surprised.
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Fost
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Pod Team


Joined: 14 Oct 2002
Posts: 3734



PostPosted: Thu Apr 26, 2007 2:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If anyone could make a game remotely as good as DoDonPachi then I'd buy it.

King of the indie shmups though is Demonstar http://www.mking.com/demonstarsm2/index.html
which is a bit more like Viper Phase 1.
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Sorrow



Joined: 16 Jan 2004
Posts: 146
Location: Australia



PostPosted: Fri Apr 27, 2007 1:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

i played demonstar, quite a few things ticked me off about it though. hated the way they did their powerups hehe.

At the moment i have a real Dodonpachi / Xenon 2 hybrid planned, 2 of my favorite shmups Smile

but i would love some opinions on those topics ive posted to help me finalise the design.
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icarus
Troll
Troll


Joined: 01 Mar 2004

Location: Olympia Washington



PostPosted: Fri Apr 27, 2007 1:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

**** demonstar. Play Raptor: Call of the shadows. Its way better.

Hard to believe they are made by the same company.
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Agrajag



Joined: 04 Aug 2006
Posts: 342



PostPosted: Fri Apr 27, 2007 3:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Raptor is kickass. I need to find a copy of it online somewhere, I lost the disc for it.
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icarus
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Joined: 01 Mar 2004

Location: Olympia Washington



PostPosted: Fri Apr 27, 2007 10:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow your like the brother I never had.
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SethP



Joined: 24 Apr 2006
Posts: 302
Location: Connecticut, USA



PostPosted: Fri Apr 27, 2007 12:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I used to play Raptor so much. I only ever had the demo because I was too young to have any money, but damn that game was fun.

Anyone remember cheating your way to the pulse cannon on the second (first?) level?
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Agrajag



Joined: 04 Aug 2006
Posts: 342



PostPosted: Fri Apr 27, 2007 3:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you mean did I keep replaying the fiirst level over and over to get enough money to buy all the best weapons, then yes.
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Lucretia



Joined: 29 Mar 2007
Posts: 3



PostPosted: Mon Apr 30, 2007 2:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorrow wrote:

Individual enemy challenge vs. Carnage?


You'd do well to look into the censorship of games in Germany if you intend to make money out of it. You may have to change a lot of stuff. Germany has the most aggresive censorship of any country.

Luke.
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Slyh



Joined: 25 Nov 2004
Posts: 480
Location: Karlsruhe, Germany



PostPosted: Mon Apr 30, 2007 6:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lucretia wrote:
You'd do well to look into the censorship of games in Germany if you intend to make money out of it. You may have to change a lot of stuff. Germany has the most aggresive censorship of any country.

That depends on what you understand by "censorship". We have the USK (Unterhaltungssoftware Selbstkontrolle - Voluntary Monitoring Organisation of Entertainment Software) which rates games. This is quite similar to ESRB or ELSPA. The USK is a non-government organisation; their ratings are binding, though.

Most of the time the USK acutally does its job well.

We have 5 types of ratings:
  • no restriction (age 0+)
  • not below the age of 6 (6+)
  • not below the age of 12 (12+)
  • not below the age of 16 (16+)
  • not below the age of 18 (18+)

Every game in germany has to be rated if you want to sell it legally. If your game was not rated, it automatically gets a 18+ rating, even if it's a harmless game like Frogger.

If the game received a rating which is not 18+, there is no way for a government organisation (for example the BPjM) to ban (or censor) it.

Indizierung
If it got an 18+ rating, however, the BPjM (Bundesprüfstelle für jugendgefährdende Medien - Federal Verification Office for Youth-Endangering Media) can put it on the so-called Index if it appears to them as being "harmful to young people". The process is called Indizierung and is not a decision of a single person. The authors, producers or right holders have a right for a legal hearing. I know of games and songs which were supposed to be put on the index but weren't due to good arguments of the artist which created the game/song.

If the game was put on the index, then this does not mean the game is banned in germany, but that the game is not allowed to be advertised or presented in any way. In theory the game is still available for sale, but an adult has to explicitely ask the sales staff for it. Practically the game sooner or later will not longer be available. If it was put on the Index before its release, the game will most likely hardly be available. Those games are also not allowed to be sold via mail order etc.

The concept of the Index could be thought of as censorship, yes. It's explained quite good in the english Wikipedia article I linked above.

Usually only games containing Nazi symbols outside of a historical context or really brutal games (like Manhunt) are put on the Index.
sometimes the BPjM's decisions are quite controversial, though.

Confiscation
There is another instance, which really is censorship in its real meaning: Some games or movies (usually Nazi related stuff like KZ Manager) can be banned. If media is banned, all available copies are confiscated and destroyed by the police. If original source code is found, it will be destroyed, too. A judge or court has to decide if a game/movie violates current law in such a manner that banning is the appropriate approach.

Selling games
Now, back to selling games in germany:

As I said above, you have to rate your games in germany before you can sell them in stores or from german web shops. (The ratings costs money, by the way.)

If you don't do so, the game is automatically rated as 18+ and, depending on its content, may be put on the Index or even be banned. If you sell your unrated games via internet only, this (probably) is illegal. But as no one can control the internet, no problem arises. You may be asked by german authority to stop selling those games to germans. But you will not put on "wanted persons" list if you don't. :-)

And, by the way, most games which can be bought from one of the many portals (and even from Valve's store) have no rating or a rating 18+. Still Valve sells the games to germans without asking for any age verification. (And age verification would not even be enough...) And moonpod does, too. :)
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Fost
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Joined: 14 Oct 2002
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 30, 2007 10:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Currently though, most laws apply to selling games through retail, and on-line is exempt simply because it's totally unenforceable. If we make a game that's an 18, then we would want to make sure it's not on sale to minors - but how can you guarantee that when selling online? and how do you allow a free demo?

OT - sorry Smile
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Lostlogic



Joined: 30 Jun 2005
Posts: 19
Location: United States



PostPosted: Sun Jun 17, 2007 1:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Number of levels / game length?
12 levels or so

Individual enemy challenge vs. Carnage?
Carnage

Choice in ship layout/weapons?
Many weapons

Backrounds?
1 for every 3 levels

I really liked Psygnosis' games like Blood Money and Menace for the Amiga back in the day.
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