Due to my limited coding knowledge, I'm using GameMaker. However, I've become convinced if used properly, it can make a gorgeous shmup! While I don't have anything close to a playable build yet, I've done some tinkering with an engine for this project, and the initial results show promise, albiet there are some pros and cons....
-Easy to use, but also allows for more advanced coding and such.
-The revamped graphic system allows for some nice visual effects.
-Expandable with DLLs and similar files.
-Even with the revamped graphic system, 60 FPS is still unattainable unless you go bare bones minimum on visual (My engine's FPS is currently capped at 30)
-Collision problems that I've yet to fully fix (Mainly for Gradius style missile behavior and using a 'pathnode' system to direct the movement of Fan type enemies)
Sadly, I have no idea when a playable demo will be released, seeing as I do quite a bit of other things along with making this little shmup. However, for those who are curious, here's some of the stuff I have successfully implemented thus far:
-Basic enemies of the popcorn variety
-Pretty explosions! (They could get prettier, but they look good so far!)
-A somewhat forgiving collision system for the player, small hitboxes all the way!
-Functional power gauge, limitations are not yet implemented (IE, you can keep using speed up to the point your ship jumps across the screen with a single tap)
-Missiles partially implemented:Still need to find a way to effectively make them travel along surfaces Gradius style (Current method is rather sloppy)
-Options fully implented, and are practically identical to the Options of more recent Gradius games in terms of behavior (No sloppy following methods used, these Options move based on an array that stores the player's last 30 locations relative to the screen, this means these Options work perfectly, even in a scrolling environment!)
-Laser partially implemented (Functional, though I'm still debating minor tweaks to the behavior)
-Double partially implemented (currently more like 'Triple' as it fires a three way spread, debating changes to how many shots can be onscreen and such)
-Gradius style turrets just added (They don't fire yet, but they aim at you!)
I have a feeling that if I do a playable demo release in the future, it may be level made specifically for demo purposes:IE, it wouldn't be in the final version as a normal level. The purpose of my first demo would be to get input from players and see how the system I'm using feels, and tweak as necessary. Needless to say, when that time comes I'll be counting on you guys!
...As for the suggestions I've recieved thus far...
-Highscore saving will be implemented, no question about it. In fact, I have three ranking tables in my plan file so far:Arcade ranking, Score Attack (Single stage runs) Ranking, and Boss Rush (Time Attack) Ranking.
-Customizable keys will come later once I figure out how keybinding works in GM. I can tell you what the default control scheme is as of now though:
Z Key-Shot/Missile (If I add custom keys, you'll be able to assign separate buttons for these if you wish)
C Key-Cheat/Debug Key (Increase power gauge by one slot)
YOU ARE APPROACHING THE TARGET OF ATTACK! THE MISSION STARTS NOW! ARE YOU READY?!