I over the last two weeks have been trying to get the CRT TV that has been collecting dust under the counter connected and setup to my computer. This started because I wanted to play Castlevania for the NES on a CRT. As part of an October playthrough of a bunch of Castlevania games, making sure to play the handheld games on some sort of handheld and the TV console games on some sort of TV. Not for some sort of authenticity reason, but just because that is the kind of sitting position that the game was expected to be played at. I want to see how much of a difference it makes!
Well, for setting up the TV I got myself an HDMI to RCA converter, then I had to get the original remote control for the TV off of ebay so that I could switch the inputs (since the TVs buttons don’t have a button for it). I got it all setup, and I started playing GUN NAC. A game that I love a lot, it just feels simple and fun, I love the art direction for the sprites, the silliness of it, the weapon types are all so different and fun.
Why did I start playing GUN NAC first? I like the game, but also because I was going down a shmup rabbit hole again the days before. Trying out different Compile games in Retroarch, checking out their early catalog and history of shooter releases. I played some Final Justice for the MSX! It felt like there was a clear evolution of honing down and learning more and making more shmup games, it felt like a cool story to look through.
So, I want to make a game inspired by GUN NAC. I have done the early steps of messing around in Game Maker and trying to make shooter type games, but with a clear template and being in the finishing stages of my mini game Stranded Robo, I have the most energy I have had yet to make a shmup game. And having a game to compare it to, and to really dig into for inspiration is helpful for those first baby steps of making shooter games.
The goals for this game are similar to Stranded Robo. We aren’t aiming for perfect, we are aiming for small scope and done. It is my first shooter game, so I want to do the thing, enjoy it, make something small. If I like the process alot then I will make another but I want to prove to myself that I can do it first! Compile looks like a good inspiration in this case, as they made a game, then just made more to hone that craft. But first they had to get something out the door.
That is why STAFITR has these design goals (constraints):
- Game has 1 Stage that is 3 minutes long.
- Game has 1 Boss at the end of Stage 1.
- Game has 1 Weapon Type that can be ranked up.
- Use stock and easily homemade sound effects.
- Get the game out the door and have it be playable.
The game also has these artistic limitations, again, in order to make sure that the game is able to develop as quickly as possible. A lot of these constraints are coming from the inspiration for the project, GUN NAC. But also because they create hard limits for my own creativity. As an illustrator I tend to go incredibly detailed, so to fight that we are going low res pixel art with a limited color palette.
- Use NES color pallette that is in Aseprite.
- Screen resolution of 256 wide by 240 tall (NES resolution).
- Placeholders are ‘good enough’, but upgradeable.
This will hopefully allow me to focus on just getting it done. Assets that are playable will be able to be done quickly! But it also will still allow me, as I go along and get closer to the finish line, edit and update the art while staying within this constraint. Letting me go simple, within the constraints, then as I learn and get practice, give me space to replace the art while still within said constraints. For an example, I imagine my art will look like a bad NES game, but during development I will still have the ability to update and replace my bad NES art with good NES art!
Basics of the Game:
- Vertical scrolling shmup.
- Ground targets for scoring/bullet blocking.
- Present questions that players answer by shooting.
This first dev log is messy and just about getting some sort of letter of intent onto my site, for myself. Part of this project will also be dev log writing, with some sort of intent for each log that will keep it more focused. But, I am an amateurs’ professional, so expect these to still be a bit messy and as if I was speaking impromptu. I have already started the game maker project and started creating enemies, UI, created the stage and have it scrolling, etc. But it is hella rough, so next dev log I will share some screens of how rough it looks.
Anyways, till the next dev log. Cya