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 Post subject: The problem with shmups as a genre.
PostPosted: Sat May 28, 2016 5:29 am 


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What's the problem with the shmup? What's the deal? I paid $9.99 for Jamestown and you know what? I am requesting a refund. I'm mad, bro. Real mad. It's not because I don't think Jamestown is worth $9.99... it probably is, to somebody. It's because I don't want to give $9.99 to some guys for making me wiggle between colorful orbs in the far corner of the screen.

Okay, so the problem?

Shmups are too cocky.

Think about it. What other game genre expects *existing* to be justification enough for people to like it? Let me tell you what I mean. Take any kind of combat system around which someone has made a decent game, and think about all the things in that game that were added to the combat system to make it a deeper game, a more nuanced genre. These days, even first-person shooters have RPG elements and character building. Why? Because... why not? If it makes the game more appealing, do it. If it makes the game more accessible, go for it, right? Hmm... this is where shmups get it wrong.

See the shmup developer's mentality seems to be... forget accessibility, forget appeal, forget 99.99% of people... and to focus on that one one-hundredth of one-percent of the population who will play a "hardcore" game just to prove how "hardcore" of a gamer he is. And yes, a he... because let's face it, shmups are pretty much a dude thing.

If other genres took the same approach that the shmup genre has, they would die too. But racing game developers were totally cool with letting players customize cars and get under the hood. Fighting game developers keep inventing new characters and experimenting with different things to try to broaden appeal, and the difficulty of a fighting game is determined by who you're up against. I can't think of any other genre that hasn't tried to evolve. Even match-3 games have evolved, for god's sake.

If shmup players and shmup developers could just accept one simple fact, things would be a lot better. The simple fact, being: Shmup is just a combat style. A pretty damn cool one, at that. But on its own, it's just not enough for the market place, it's not enough for the 21st century gamer.

Shmup needs to take a back-seat to some other type of primary genre, in some kind of hybrid game, if it wants to survive.

I made a really experimental shmup, where the core of the game is simply shooting everything. If anyone wants to try it out:

http://www.kongregate.com/games/anselmo ... teor-crush

I left out a lot of ideas to keep it simple, purely about moving and shooting. In fact, you can't even dodge bullets in this game. The whole game is literally just about shooting everything that moves. I got a lot of mixed complaining about it. Some people said it was too easy, some people said it was too hard... originally it was longer, so I shortened it. In the end, I realized that "just shooting stuff" isn't really enough. And dodging and shooting stuff, while better, is still not quite enough.

I am really interested in making a shmup that is genuinely enjoyable by a broad cross-section of the gaming populace, including some more open-minded hardcore players and some slightly brave casual players. But "a pure shmup" game will just be another micro-niche serving flop.


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 Post subject: Re: The problem with shmups as a genre.
PostPosted: Sat May 28, 2016 6:38 am 


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 Post subject: Re: The problem with shmups as a genre.
PostPosted: Sat May 28, 2016 8:46 am 


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masterfrog wrote:
. Why? Because... why not? If it makes the game more appealing, do it. If it makes the game more accessible, go for it, right? Hmm... this is where shmups get it wrong.


There are advantages and disadvantages to everything you add to your game, and nothing you add will appeal to everyone. Just cramming everything in without considering how they fit together is the mark of a terrible game designer

For example, why don't fighting games use rpg elements and character building? Hmmmm...I wonder....

masterfrog wrote:
If shmup players and shmup developers could just accept one simple fact, things would be a lot better. The simple fact, being: Shmup is just a combat style .


Nope, completely wrong. Most people here like the "arcade style" format as much (or more) then they do the actual "combat style". This is attested by the popularity of other, non-shmup arcade-style games around here.

masterfrog wrote:
including some more open-minded hardcore players and some slightly brave casual players.


Realistically, these are the only people you'll ever hope to ensnare with a single player, arcade-style game. But honestly, that's not a bad market if you can fully take advantage of it.
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Last edited by Squire Grooktook on Sat May 28, 2016 9:08 am, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: The problem with shmups as a genre.
PostPosted: Sat May 28, 2016 9:07 am 


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While I do agree with some of your sentiments, your mindset comes off being rather shallow and misguided. Pretty much any genre can be reduced to "wiggling between colorful orbs" without a proper understanding. If you really think shoot'em ups haven't evolved at all during the past decades, it just makes me wonder what kind of games you've been playing then?

Slapping RPG elements into a game does not automatically equal more appealing experience and it's not like some shmups haven't tried it with varying levels of success. Actually those hybrid games you mentioned already exist - games such as Enter the Gungeon and Binding of Isaac mix shooter and rogue elements and have find critical and commercial success. But that doesn't mean "pure shmups" should either disappear or assimilate themselves with other genres completely since they offer different experience from their roguelite counterparts.

All that being said I do believe shmups have a lot of room left for improvement and growth as well especially when it comes to accessibility. How to convey concepts such as creditfeeding, 1cc and scoring to new generation of players? I'm sure these kind of amendments can be done without alienating old players altogether.
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 Post subject: Re: The problem with shmups as a genre.
PostPosted: Sat May 28, 2016 9:11 am 


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^^^There's also Undertale. There's no problem shoehorning shmup combat into other genres, if you do it smartly.

Problem is, without the arcade-style, you'll never hook us.

Making a popular game with shmup-style combat is not a question, it's been done (it's also been tried and failed a lot of times, which is what is guaranteed to happen if you add mechanics to your game with reasoning like "LOL why not? XD", though that is true for any genre, not just shmups).

Making arcade-style games popular though...that's what a lot of people here would like to see, and that's what will probably never happen. Those are niche by default, but honestly they're not niche enough to stop them from being made or even being decent sources of income for their creators. Which, in the end, is all you really need to keep a genre alive and perfectly healthy.
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 Post subject: Re: The problem with shmups as a genre.
PostPosted: Sat May 28, 2016 11:50 am 


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masterfrog wrote:
If other genres took the same approach that the shmup genre has, they would die too. But racing game developers were totally cool with letting players customize cars and get under the hood. Fighting game developers keep inventing new characters and experimenting with different things to try to broaden appeal, and the difficulty of a fighting game is determined by who you're up against. I can't think of any other genre that hasn't tried to evolve. Even match-3 games have evolved, for god's sake.

If shmup players and shmup developers could just accept one simple fact, things would be a lot better. The simple fact, being: Shmup is just a combat style. A pretty damn cool one, at that. But on its own, it's just not enough for the market place, it's not enough for the 21st century gamer.


This kind of gimmicky/hybrid shmup thing has been happening forever in the indie side and some developers like Treasure/Milestone. You must not have looked around much.
recently two big games like this came out which you might have seen on steam that were successful and won awards:

Astebreed (2D mecha action hybrid)
Revolver360 RE:ACTOR (360 rotating system)

I can totally see why some dont like these but they succeeded in appealing to new people. Experimental but accessible in difficulty (scoring can still be challenging).
There are a lot of these experimental games most people never get to know about because they were only released in japan or are experimental without appealing to casual players. Akashicverse, StellaVanity, etc.

Though this kind of game is constantly being made it doesn't suddenly make the genre popular ever since the 90s.


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 Post subject: Re: The problem with shmups as a genre.
PostPosted: Sat May 28, 2016 1:42 pm 


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inb4 Enter the Gungeon but oh wait someone actually beat me to that for once

I don't agree with much of what you're saying such as "Shmup is just a combat style" but I do think shmups are too insular and dismissive of/out of touch with people who aren't already fans of the genre. The core gameplay of most shmups is easy to pick up but there's plenty of things, such as the role of continues, that devs and existing shmup players just expect players to understand despite the fact that arcades haven't been a thing for many years. The tendency is to just leave it up to the players to figure out the appeal for themselves, and if they don't naturally gravitate towards the 1CC/highscore-chasing mentality then they're not cut out for the genre and are probably filthy casuals playing through their easy story-driven games.

But it's misguided, if not straight up arrogant, to expect players to search for the "right" way to play your game when it should be the game selling the player on its vision. Design isn't just about making the game fun when played in the right way, it's also about anticipating how your audience will see your game and encouraging them towards that "right way." Shmups have long struggled with this outside the arcade setting since their typical design assumes an arcade-like setting which may not make sense to the people who end up trying the game.

I don't think you necessarily have to sacrifice the session-based replay value gameplay that people call "arcade-style," but you do need to find the right spin on it to help outsiders understand why it's worth a try over other more familiar games they could be playing. A non-shmup player giving a shmup a try is always going to require a leap of faith, but games could do a better job lessening the leap required, whether by changing how they play or by showing players they're not as unfamiliar an experience as their arcade trappings suggest.
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 Post subject: Re: The problem with shmups as a genre.
PostPosted: Sat May 28, 2016 2:03 pm 


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"Problem is, without the arcade-style, you'll never hook us."

1) Who exactly is "us"?
    How many of you are there?
    How much money do you spend on games a year?
    What are the most popular games you all enjoy?
2) Why bother making a game catering to a market that is already well-served, where supply far outweighs demand?

"you must not have looked very hard"

If you look-up shooting games, only good ones come up. Try it. In all actuality, the majority of everything I find falls into one of several categories:

A) Japanese - Everything in this category just looks, feels, sounds... like it was made in Japan. And as a result, it's all just noise to me. The Japanese are masters of flash. Large-breasted anime figures with European model faces, explosions, particles, particles, particles and lots of full-screen effects that are known to give certain children seizures. And beyond that... absolutely nothing. The most beautifully shallow stuff ever is Made in Japan.

B) Crappy - Everything in this category is actually worse than something I could make myself. This includes a lot of indie stuff that you can find out there that just isn't very good, by any standards.

C) Retro Arcade - I tried making an experimental shooter in this category, with a friend of mine. In the end I wanted to see if a game that was just purely arcade-style and retro could be fun if it didn't follow all of the genre norms, if people would respond well to it... since that's what a lot of people are always asking for. My finding is that, a lot of people say that they want something... but in reality, it is not what they actually want. The same people who praise endlessly the retro arcade genre probably spend the majority of their time playing other games, or spend little time gaming in general. The best part of retro games is the nostalgia factor, and also for whatever reason retro games have huge street cred that even youngsters seem to respect. Too bad its all just a bunch of bogus, nostalgia-based retcon.

D) BULLET HELL (ZOMG) - This... this I don't have words for. Read the comment sections of bullet-hell games and you will find that they have one type of person pushing them. This guy: "IF YOU THINK THIS GAME IS HARD... YOU WON'T SURVIVE TOUHOU!!!1" And that's it. It really is just mindless. I have nothing in common with someone who thinks that playing a game is all about surviving something that takes really precise reaction time (and memorizing the bullet and laser patterns after re-playing the same stage several times).

...

It's simple, in my mind.

The flashier the game, the shorter it is going to be. All that flash takes a lot of development time and it can get repetitive super fast, compared to a game which doesn't care about flashiness or repetitiveness because the core game the player is playing is about something else. Warcraft never bothered me with all of the repetition of units, because I was trying to run a war machine. If a shooting game repeats the same enemy too many times... end of the world? Sort-of, since the different enemy patterns are basically all there is.

I just think that there are too many games out there to sift through without being guided by recommendations.


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 Post subject: Re: The problem with shmups as a genre.
PostPosted: Sat May 28, 2016 2:05 pm 


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Shepardus wrote:
inb4 Enter the Gungeon but oh wait someone actually beat me to that for once

I don't agree with much of what you're saying such as "Shmup is just a combat style" but I do think shmups are too insular and dismissive of/out of touch with people who aren't already fans of the genre. The core gameplay of most shmups is easy to pick up but there's plenty of things, such as the role of continues, that devs and existing shmup players just expect players to understand despite the fact that arcades haven't been a thing for many years. The tendency is to just leave it up to the players to figure out the appeal for themselves, and if they don't naturally gravitate towards the 1CC/highscore-chasing mentality then they're not cut out for the genre and are probably filthy casuals playing through their easy story-driven games.

But it's misguided, if not straight up arrogant, to expect players to search for the "right" way to play your game when it should be the game selling the player on its vision. Design isn't just about making the game fun when played in the right way, it's also about anticipating how your audience will see your game and encouraging them towards that "right way." Shmups have long struggled with this outside the arcade setting since their typical design assumes an arcade-like setting which may not make sense to the people who end up trying the game.

I don't think you necessarily have to sacrifice the session-based replay value gameplay that people call "arcade-style," but you do need to find the right spin on it to help outsiders understand why it's worth a try over other more familiar games they could be playing. A non-shmup player giving a shmup a try is always going to require a leap of faith, but games could do a better job lessening the leap required, whether by changing how they play or by showing players they're not as unfamiliar an experience as their arcade trappings suggest.


EXACTLY.

Before Diablo, were there not just tons of generic hack n' slash games that went no place?

The core of what I am trying to say is built upon the idea that shmup is "just a combat system".

Look at all of the different games that are considered shmups. What do they all have in common?... aside from basically being the same damn game, for the most part... and you will find, the method of combat is all about dodge and shoot. Dodge and shoot.

Shmup = dodge and shoot.

All of this other "stuff"... the "1cc" the "playing for score" and all of that stuff that hardcore shmup enthusiasts are absolutely all about... that's just a bunch of niche stuff that really should be thrown into a subcategory. It's been made such a mess of because of this insular (I love it) boy's club mentality that essentially says, "if you have to ask, you'll never know." It's to the point where the games are emphasizing being not very enjoyable as a core feature of the genre... the more annoying, painful and difficult to play, the more "hardcore" the game is. It makes me wonder what we would see on a brain-scan of a hardcore player playing one of these hardcore, retro, arcade-style shmups.... would there be any happiness or enjoyment at all? Okay, maybe that's too much. But I definitely think the isolation from other genres is part of the appeal of these games I hate. It's a chance to be counter-culture, or maybe just not mainstream.

Did I not read "casual filth" in the replies above?

What about someone who only plays games for enjoyment makes them filthy? Seems like someone who invests less in games would have more time for showering. Haha. But in all seriousness, that's exactly the attitude I'm talking about.

I'm only here because I always thought that top-down shooters were awesome. I just figured they were too difficult to play. Then I played them, and they are difficult and challenging (the older ones) but they're still possible to win at. The problem is when you start getting better at them, you realize that they're REALLY, REALLY short... and because the genre evolved in arcade cabinets, the solution wasn't to give the player more to do, the solution was to make the games REALLY, REALLY ANNOYINGLY HARD to clear. And so we are here...

Nobody is happy with modern shmups except for you guys.

Everybody else thinks they're pretty much dumb and un-fun.

I'm simply of the school of thought that seems to indicate that maybe the problem is not with everybody else. I just am not seeing shooting games that offer a decent level of challenge, replayability, customization and an appealing aesthetic. I guess if it's my fault for "just not looking hard enough"... a ludicrous sentiment, by the way, when I literally am constantly being bombarded by advertisements for games... maybe the games just don't exist. And if they do exist, then maybe they don't want to be found?

I'm baffled.


Last edited by masterfrog on Sat May 28, 2016 2:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: The problem with shmups as a genre.
PostPosted: Sat May 28, 2016 2:22 pm 


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Bullet hells, with a few exceptions, really aren't any harder than more old-school games and don't require unusually precise timing and memorization. The "Touhou is harder" or "difficulty level: Asian" sort of comments are terrible though. The games are good because they're fun, not because they're hard.

I'd say there are plenty of shooters that don't fall into the categories you describe, even excluding old (pre-2000) games. Revolver360 Re:Actor and Dariusburst Chronicle Saviours come to mind immediately, and I'm sure others will think of more.
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 Post subject: Re: The problem with shmups as a genre.
PostPosted: Sat May 28, 2016 2:27 pm 


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masterfrog wrote:
1) Who exactly is "us"?


Pretty much everyone on this forum, and all the people who have continued to buy these games for the past 15 years, to the point that developers still make them and make a profit on them. This is not a dying genre, it's honestly stronger then ever. There are more shmups then ever before on digital distribution services, and they're profitable enough that publishers and localizers keep coming back for more.

If you want to try and make a new sub-genre, that's fine, but don't try to convince us to not like what we do. I for one like a lot of different kinds of games, but the arcade format is one that will always be especially close to my heart.

masterfrog wrote:
2) Why bother making a game catering to a market that is already well-served, where supply far outweighs demand?


Because, within the confines of the genre, there are still an uncountable number of ideas and concepts that have not been fully explored.

And supply does not outweigh demand. There are enough developers who love experimenting with stg/arcade gameplay, and enough people who sympathize with the above line, that it's still worth it to make them.

There you go, supply and demand.

In fact, let me try a less deceptive google search

Image

Hmmmm...

masterfrog wrote:
. The Japanese are masters of flash...And beyond that... absolutely nothing. The most beautifully shallow stuff ever is Made in Japan.


No, that would be modern Hollywood. The current anime industry is a somewhat distant runner up.

Of course, if you're going to generalize everything produced in a country, no one is going to take you seriously.
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Instead I am stuck in the America's where women rule with an iron crotch, and a man could get arrested for sitting behind a computer too long.

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 Post subject: Re: The problem with shmups as a genre.
PostPosted: Sat May 28, 2016 2:34 pm 


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Shmups being "really, really, annoyingly hard" is a popular misconception, most are not any harder than challenging games that have managed to find sizable audiences. I do agree that the problem is not with everyone else, though - there's no sense in blaming them for this misconception. I don't think most people think shmups are "dumb and unfun" - the reality is that most people don't think of shmups in the first place, even though there are plenty of gamers out for a good challenge.
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Last edited by Shepardus on Sat May 28, 2016 2:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: The problem with shmups as a genre.
PostPosted: Sat May 28, 2016 2:36 pm 


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Shepardus wrote:
Bullet hells, with a few exceptions, really aren't any harder than more old-school games and don't require unusually precise timing and memorization. The "Touhou is harder" or "difficulty level: Asian" sort of comments are terrible though. The games are good because they're fun, not because they're hard.


My argument isn't that they offer difficulty... my argument is that they are annoying and hard to get past. You can literally luck through walls of these tiny hitbox bullets, and other times, one stray pill-shaped bullet blending casually into the background is all it takes to bring your run to an end. We can argue for the rest of our lives about background contrast vs. bullets and all that... but the reality is, 1-hit deaths suck and if you made 1-hit deaths, or "one mistake and the game is over" an integral part of any other game genre, you would find people nitpicking certain ways to die, as well. When you really look at it, the fact that the games are only exciting because it's so easy to die... really tells you a whole hell of a lot, all by itself, if you are open to see what this says about the genre.

Shepardus wrote:
I'd say there are plenty of shooters that don't fall into the categories you describe, even excluding old (pre-2000) games. Revolver360 Re:Actor and Dariusburst Chronicle Saviours come to mind immediately, and I'm sure others will think of more.


Revolver360 Re:Actor: Blue.
Dariusburst Chronicle Saviours: Sushi.


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 Post subject: Re: The problem with shmups as a genre.
PostPosted: Sat May 28, 2016 2:41 pm 


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Shepardus wrote:
the reality is that most people don't think of shmups in the first place


Exactly, again.

There's simply no reason to. I became obsessed with the beauty and technical mastery of shmups because of the demo mode of an arcade cabinet version of Raiden II that I used to just watch loop over and over again at an arcade near my house. The more I saw, the more impressed I was. It's in large part probably why I became a video game programmer, stuff like that.

I'm just disappointed that the games are not even as rewarding as a simple idle-clicker game.


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 Post subject: Re: The problem with shmups as a genre.
PostPosted: Sat May 28, 2016 2:41 pm 


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If anything old-school checkpointed games are far less forgiving. In the more egregious examples your extra lives don't even matter, if you die once you're screwed. Games like the Touhou series and Mecha Ritz are actually quite generous with handing out extra lives and bombs, which make them no more "one-hit game over" than a game with a healthbar that can take an equivalent number of hits. Some games such as Guwange actually do present it as a healthbar. Luck-dodges are a thing in any game with hitboxes.

I don't think the games aren't rewarding (quite the opposite in fact), but they do rely on players being in the right mindset to grasp said reward and don't do a great job of communicating and encouraging this mindset to the uninitiated.
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Last edited by Shepardus on Sat May 28, 2016 2:52 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: The problem with shmups as a genre.
PostPosted: Sat May 28, 2016 2:49 pm 


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masterfrog wrote:
My argument isn't that they offer difficulty... my argument is that they are annoying and hard to get past.


Everything in this block is subjective. Really, you don't seem to understand the concept that the reason all these different genre's and niche's exist is because people have different tastes and needs. Yeah, maybe one person finds something "annoying"...and another finds it the most fun thing ever. Why do niches like shmups exist? Because people are individuals and have different tastes. Some tastes are less common then others, but it's somewhat insulting to imply that people who are in the minority should roll over and give up on their favorite flavors of gaming. Especially when there's no reason both can't exist, side by side.

If you want to make something new that combines different appeals (while sacrificing parts of them, which is necessary when combining distinct entities into a new whole) then that's a noble goal. But you should make sure you fully understand both genres and appeals. I don't mean to be mean, but your knowledge on the genre and why people like it right now seems really shallow and uninformed, and you'll definitely want to improve that before you try to make a game that appeals to anyone within this genre. You may even have to (the horror!) play a few.

For example, if you were making an rpg, you'd probably want to play a lot of different rpg's. Western rpg's! Japanese rpg's! New rpg's! Old rpg's! Dungeon Crawls! Story telling based rpg's! Rogue Likes! Even (or perhaps especially) table top rpg's like D&D, Shadowrun, etc. Understand the genre/medium, it's fundamental appeals and nature, its subtleties and quirks, its history and evolution, and its diverse potential. This doesn't mean you have to copy them, but if you want to make one (especially one that's innovative and original or has some sort of breakthrough appeal) you need to understand them on a deep level. Same for shmups.

Shepardus wrote:
Shmups being "really, really, annoyingly hard" is a popular misconception, most are not any harder than challenging games that have managed to find sizable audiences. I do agree that the problem is not with everyone else, though - there's no sense in blaming them for this misconception. I don't think most people think shmups are "dumb and unfun" - the reality is that most people don't think of shmups in the first place, even though there are plenty of gamers out for a good challenge.



If you bring up shmups on a fighting game forum, or any place where people who have been gamers for a reasonably long time hang out, most people will have affection for them. Even if they aren't hardcore players or regular buyers themselves.

I think a big problem was that there was a very awkward period where, for a very long time (between Gradius V's ps2 release, and a few years ago, roughly), every shmup you could possibly want to pay was an 80$ import on xbox360. I was fond of my snes-ps2 collection back then, but even I really didn't want to buy a 360, let alone import.

Nowerdays, with digital distribution, the games are picking up steam again, it seems. Arcade-style stuff is by definition niche IMO, but the niche is starting to recover into something that feels a lot more reasonable and natural IMO. I think they've found their best natural home since arcades died.
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Japan an almost perfect society always threatened by outsiders....................

Instead I am stuck in the America's where women rule with an iron crotch, and a man could get arrested for sitting behind a computer too long.

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Last edited by Squire Grooktook on Sat May 28, 2016 3:15 pm, edited 9 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: The problem with shmups as a genre.
PostPosted: Sat May 28, 2016 2:58 pm 


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You might want to read my post regarding "why are shmups niche" here. In fact you could check out the whole thread.


Quote:
I'm just disappointed that the games are not even as rewarding as a simple idle-clicker game.

...the fuck do you mean? I literally don't know a genre as naturally rewarding as shmups.

Quote:
"one mistake and the game is over"

No, shmups offer lives and ass-saving bombs.
Besides, the same one mistake mentality is used in platformers too.


This entire thread sounds like you failed in a shmup, got very angry, and despite liking the genre you want to change it to something more popular.
Personally I'm happy that shmups still are like they are, a niche hardcore genre that isn't watered down to appeal to the average mass audience resulting in less rewarding and skillful play, although probably more thought provoking or otherwise impactful (...which happens with every genre and sub-genre of entertainment...).
While I understand that some people might want to go for this change, I don't. Me as a long-time gamer am running out of exciting entertainment already, so in my selfishness I'll continue to defend shmups the way they are.
I'd also recommend you trying to get past the mainstream starting barrier of 'these games are hard >;(', actually get some 1 credit clears and maybe you'll have a less shallow understanding of why we, "us", like these games, or why this niche exists.

Quote:
Nobody is happy with modern shmups except for you guys.

Everybody else thinks they're pretty much dumb and un-fun.


This is because modern 'casual' shmups pretty much don't exist, they're all hardcore games catering to "us". Go ahead and attempt making an interesting mainstream shmup if that pleases you, but coming to a forum and basically saying "you guys like something unpopular and i don't get it"
is an idiotic way to start. Like Squire said, them being "annoying" and "un-fun" is completely subjective, and being baffled about some people getting over this "hard & annoying" part and achieving something in them is pretty much as shallow as a mindset can get. :lol:
I don't go to a soccer club and complain that the hobby is un-fun, hard and annoying because I'm bad at it and don't want to put in the effort.

Again, if you want some insight, I'd recommend you to play the games in their intended arcade-style manner. Try getting less angry and try actually achieving something in them, you might learn something about yourself and about the genre.
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PostPosted: Sat May 28, 2016 3:00 pm 


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Cagar wrote:
so in my selfishness I'll continue to defend shmups as they are.


Or take a third option and let people continue to make shmups as they are, and make new innovative sub-genres and stuff. I'd be happy with The Guardian Legend 2 with elements from Dark Souls. Nothing selfish about that. The more the merrier~
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 Post subject: Re: The problem with shmups as a genre.
PostPosted: Sat May 28, 2016 3:29 pm 


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Squire Grooktook wrote:
Nowerdays, with digital distribution, the games are picking up steam again, it seems. Arcade-style stuff is by definition niche IMO, but the niche is starting to recover into something that feels a lot more reasonable and natural IMO. I think they've found their best natural home since arcades died.


I would just like to emphasize that arcades are dead and that old-school arcade style shoot 'em ups only existed because of arcades. The "hardcore arcade-style shoot 'em up" seems to almost exclusively have given way to these more forgiving, full-screen orb fest "bullet hell" games that look harder than they actually are. The thinking that "everybody likes different stuff" and "you can't categorize/generalize anything or anyone, ever" can't be based on anything real. I don't know where to start. The marketing industry has pretty much broken down human likes/dislikes, spending patterns and behavior into a near exact science... people aren't actually that unique. In fact, people tend to group together and conform and homogenize. It's basic human nature 101. Shmups continue to be produced because of enthusiasm for the genre. Not because it's a great business model. If there was tons of money in shmups, then you'd see more games by bigger publishers. Instead, they're making sequels to games that are proven sellers.

Cave has 158 employees according to the Wikipedia page. As a point of reference, I worked for a family-owned local business that only served one small city that had about 50 employees. Companies like Nintendo and Konami have in excess of 5,000 employees. Cave is the biggest names in shmups, meaning that the average (not Cave) shmup maker is a smaller-scale operation than an HVAC company in a large city. Again, no hate, these are just numbers.

And outside of Japan, I'm not even sure that the shmup is actually relevant in any way. I remember reading once that Japanese men still congregate at Tekken machines, smoking cigarettes while they play.

Perhaps this all falls upon deaf ears. Anyway, pretty interesting responses. I'm gonna let this one go and see what develops.


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 Post subject: Re: The problem with shmups as a genre.
PostPosted: Sat May 28, 2016 3:31 pm 


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masterfrog wrote:
Squire Grooktook wrote:
Nowerdays, with digital distribution, the games are picking up steam again, it seems. Arcade-style stuff is by definition niche IMO, but the niche is starting to recover into something that feels a lot more reasonable and natural IMO. I think they've found their best natural home since arcades died.

The thinking that "everybody likes different stuff" and "you can't categorize/generalize anything or anyone, ever" can't be based on anything real.


Except for the fact that people want to keep making different stuff, and people keep buying different stuff. And as a result, thousands of different mediums, genres, and sub-genres continue to exist and continue to multiply.

Detective dramas! Crime Shows! Comic Books! Action Games! Puzzle Games! Adventure! Fantasy! Sci Fi! Visual Novels! Romance! Rap! Heavy Metal! Theater! Shakespeare! French existential literature! Super Hero Films! Medeival Fantasy! Slice of life! First Person Shooter! Real Time Strategy! Fan Fiction! Fighting Games! Cartoons! Jazz! Board games! Golf! WOW, so many flavors...

And of course, in each of these medium > genre > sub-genre chains, everyone still has their own personal tastes. Some people like X metal band in same sub-genre and hate Y, and viceversa, etc. etc. Have you ever talked to friends about stuff you both seem to like, and found that you're tastes never quite align 100%? Like, you're agreeing and stuff and suddenly he mentions he hates movie Z, and you're all like "WHAAAAAAAAAA???How can you not like Z??? It's my favorite movie ever!".

masterfrog wrote:
Shmups continue to be produced because of enthusiasm for the genre. Not because it's a great business model.


Yeah, they continue to be made because enough people have a liking for the arcade experience, and are willing to develop and buy them. Once again, taste~

Oh yeah, and most new shmups are new properties rather then sequels. Darius and Raiden are the only sequels that come to mind.

masterfrog wrote:
Perhaps this all falls upon deaf ears.


I could say the same to you, my lovably condescending amphibian friend :3
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RegalSin wrote:
Japan an almost perfect society always threatened by outsiders....................

Instead I am stuck in the America's where women rule with an iron crotch, and a man could get arrested for sitting behind a computer too long.

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Last edited by Squire Grooktook on Sat May 28, 2016 5:33 pm, edited 12 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: The problem with shmups as a genre.
PostPosted: Sat May 28, 2016 3:38 pm 


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masterfrog wrote:
Shmups continue to be produced because of enthusiasm for the genre. Not because it's a great business model.

Exactly, and I don't understand how you can see this as a "problem" from anyone's perspective? Actually, from whose perspective are you approaching this whole subject from?
Wouldn't you be happy if something that you really liked was produced in this way?

Like you probably saw here, I'm more than aware of why shmups aren't popular, but I'd still not want the developers to start bandwagoning and catering to masses to attempt to make them popular, because right now they offer an unique (although unpopular) experience not seen in other genres, that is stable enough for the niche to survive.
And I value this way more than chewing every niche into a popular but boring porridge (looking at popular western movies and music).

I guess your 'problem' boils down to this. You want to make everything popular by appealing to broader tastes, but you have to understand that this is exactly how you end up making average stuff for everyone, not GREAT stuff based on specific tastes of different types of people.
The more people you appeal to, the less specific taste you're satisfying, and we'll just end up with average shit.
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 Post subject: Re: The problem with shmups as a genre.
PostPosted: Sat May 28, 2016 3:54 pm 


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masterfrog wrote:
The "hardcore arcade-style shoot 'em up" seems to almost exclusively have given way to these more forgiving, full-screen orb fest "bullet hell" games that look harder than they actually are.

Said bullet hell games are often, maybe even usually, what people are referring to when they talk about "hardcore arcade-style shoot 'em ups." Whether a game looks harder or easier than it is depends as much on the player as it does on the game itself, anyway.
I'm afraid I don't understand the point you're making with this post. Of course shmups aren't the greatest way to make boatloads of money right now, but I don't think anyone was arguing to the contrary. Are you saying that we're wrong for liking these games and that we need to be corrected to fit with what marketing says people like? If you really believe everybody likes the same stuff then either everybody likes shmups including you, or we don't actually like shmups. I don't foresee you having much success convincing us of either.
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 Post subject: Re: The problem with shmups as a genre.
PostPosted: Sat May 28, 2016 3:58 pm 


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Shepardus wrote:
I don't foresee you having much success convincing us of either.


Don't be so sure, he is a frog after all!

Image

*edit*oh wait, that's a toad. Nevermind. ALL GLORY TO THE HYPNOTOAD
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RegalSin wrote:
Japan an almost perfect society always threatened by outsiders....................

Instead I am stuck in the America's where women rule with an iron crotch, and a man could get arrested for sitting behind a computer too long.

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 Post subject: Re: The problem with shmups as a genre.
PostPosted: Sat May 28, 2016 4:50 pm 


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Just an FYI: as long as you maintain the position that anyone who doesn't absolutely love shmups just doesn't "get" it... You're basically hipsters.

And I'm not here to convince anyone of anything. I'm here to test my ideas by trial of fire. So far, so good.


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 Post subject: Re: The problem with shmups as a genre.
PostPosted: Sat May 28, 2016 5:20 pm 


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masterfrog wrote:
Just an FYI: as long as you maintain the position that anyone who doesn't absolutely love shmups just doesn't "get" it... You're basically hipsters.


I don't think that at all!

If someone doesn't like shmups, I just chalk it up to a difference in tastes, and leave it at that. Someone likes one of my little hobbies? Great! Someone doesn't like it? Great! Whatever floats your boat man ^_^

I have a close friend who loves sandbox/simulation games, which I can't stand, and he can't stand shmups. But we both totally respect and understand each-others tastes and the conflicting playstyles and experiences we're both drawn to.

I'm just happy that there are so many unique and different types of games, music, and entertainment out there in general, so that everyone can find something they dig. It's also nice, 'cause I like to experiment and try new things, so there's always different stuff out there for me to try out and sink my teeth into.

Well, I'll probably call it quits on this too. Do keep in mind what I said earlier. If you want to make an rpg/shmup hybrid, make sure you study and understand both genres!Both the fundamental elements and the little subtleties and nuances that developed over the years. Same for any genre. Don't assume you know it all, but always try to learn with every game you play! Even "bad" games can be teachers to us.

Toodles, froggy sensei
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RegalSin wrote:
Japan an almost perfect society always threatened by outsiders....................

Instead I am stuck in the America's where women rule with an iron crotch, and a man could get arrested for sitting behind a computer too long.

Aeon Zenith - My STG.


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 Post subject: Re: The problem with shmups as a genre.
PostPosted: Sat May 28, 2016 5:26 pm 


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Most people should stay away from shmups. Especially millenials and up.
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 Post subject: Re: The problem with shmups as a genre.
PostPosted: Sat May 28, 2016 6:00 pm 


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Quote:
Just an FYI: as long as you maintain the position that anyone who doesn't absolutely love shmups just doesn't "get" it... You're basically hipsters.


Even though that's pretty much a meaningless ad hominem statement, I don't think that anyone here has said something like this? :roll:
You're reading too much between words and fighting a mean hipster-elite that only exists in your head. (your 'trial of fire')

It's not some great realization that average gamers don't like shmups because of their 'cocky' nature. I'm pretty sure that even the majority of this forum knows that.
We, people here just don't see this 'cockiness' as a "problem" (and I still don't fully understand why you do), because it's exactly what we like about these games, and it's something still unique to this genre.

Again, why would you think of it as a "problem", that some niche likes about something that majority of people don't? That's a very asshole-ish mindset, which you will only get hostility with. Unsurprisingly applies to this forum too.

Usually in discussions it's good to answer eachother's questions but whatever, it seems like you're not putting much into this anyways. You're here because of getting angry at a game and wanting to feel like a revolutionary smart guy by spitting into whatever made you angry.
What did I even expect when the premise was
"I don't want to give $9.99 to some guys for making me wiggle between colorful orbs in the far corner of the screen."

Things would've gone better if you approached this from an angle like 'The problem with shmups as a genre for mass audience', not from 'What you like is wrong and problematic, I don't like current shmups'.
Even then that'd be nothing new but whatever.
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 Post subject: Re: The problem with shmups as a genre.
PostPosted: Sat May 28, 2016 6:07 pm 


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you just bought a bad game, it happens. try crimzon clover


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 Post subject: Re: The problem with shmups as a genre.
PostPosted: Sat May 28, 2016 6:10 pm 


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LOL @ using google search suggestions to start an argument

lots of people who say "shmups are too hard" just watch "HARDEST VIDEOGAME BOSS EVER" and a random 2hu lunatic video without looking into details or actually playing them

and you're exactly one of those people as well

also you shoulda bought crimzon clover instead of jamestown, you fucked up there bro

also why thread in the dev section? if you're a dev you should make a game with your ideas in it mr.i-know-all-about-shmups (not really, please don't make a game, just go away)

EDIT: holyshit you actually did make a game, and you couldn't possibly give it any more generic name to it so that i can't even find some footage of it on youtube, good job

masterfrog wrote:
And I'm not here to convince anyone of anything. I'm here to test my ideas by trial of fire. So far, so good.

you should work for necrostorm
cause you're pretty good at making yourself being hated at the target audience, and make crappy games at the same time!!


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 Post subject: Re: The problem with shmups as a genre.
PostPosted: Sat May 28, 2016 10:38 pm 


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Van_Artic wrote:
also why thread in the dev section? if you're a dev you should make a game with your ideas in it mr.i-know-all-about-shmups (not really, please don't make a game, just go away)

EDIT: holyshit you actually did make a game, and you couldn't possibly give it any more generic name to it so that i can't even find some footage of it on youtube, good job


Wow... like, you basically have just proven that you don't even read things in their entirety before just taking a complete crap all over them. Well played. I will now take everything you say that much more seriously. Your new nickname is "Mr. Credibility".

I'm not defensive about that game. I have gone on the record very publicly saying I didn't think it was very fun. I have beaten it, of course, several times and I have gotten extremely mixed feedback on it. Nobody has said it was a great game, the most they have said was that it was "nice" or "pretty fun" and I think one person said... addictive? But that word gets thrown around so much these days it has no meaning to me. I have showed it to developer friends and they all agree that the meteors hitting the ground mechanic is an epic fail. Which is fine. I actually didn't even name that game. My friend did. The real story was... "hey, lets make a generic retro game"... and I looked at the list of games he showed me, and I picked the first one on the list. And it was Astro Smash. So, we said... Astro... Meteor... Smash... Crush... had a quick lol and then started working on it.

I finished the development of it after the other guy went to go work on another simple retro game and when I started it was basically unplayable. I took an unplayable game and turned it into a 2.7 game with some tweaks and tricks and rule changes over the course of about a month. No advertising, no promotion. I just wanted to establish a minimalist base line of what would happen if you took a really, really minimalist design and made it as good as you could within the context of what it was, and put it out there. And I am actually pretty happy with the result. I know people who have more plays and better scores than me, but what I really treasure is the feedback and comments that I have gotten. Real people who played my game and had opinions of it. You can't buy that with advertising dollars.

I have always thought that the most knowledge is always going to be possessed by the players of a genre, not by the developers of that genre... unless they are players as well. Just, players don't know how to channel that knowledge into hard and soft rules and floating point variables, goals and objectives, etc.

I mean if you want to have an argument... or a flame or something, that's nice and all but I am not really interested in "winning" the great internet wars.

As for "pissing off the target audience"... you have to understand, I highly doubt that the shmup audience is more than the population of a small city, spread out across the entire globe, mostly non-English speakers. So that's really not a valid, true or relevant statement.

"Most people should stay away from shmups. Especially millenials and up."

Down? I mean... in age... numbers go down. Confusing statement to be sure.

Even at that... yeah. You are just proving me right. I mean Christ, just put up a sign that says, "GET OFF THE LAWN YOU LONG-HAIRED HIPPIES!" I mean, at this point it's gone from an inability to evolve, to stubbornness about not evolving... to literally being and old person stuck in your ways and angry at the mere suggestion for a need to change... to pride in the genre's shortcomings and antipathy for anyone who likes anything else.

That was my guess, more or less, but I'm sure of it now.

Well, you'll be glad to know that the future happens with or without your participation. You can literally hate everything that's not the good old days... and we will just go around you and make new games, anyway. No participation on the part of people who still think Galaga is the best shmup of all time is necessary. I'm just an explorer, of sorts, I'll go into the hive and see what's up in there. So I see what's up in here. A lot of negativity, actually. But a lot of energy, as well... but what would you expect from people who play these insane games? *nods*

Anyhow, for the few and far-between who read... think of this:

Imagine you're player a shooter game and you're trying to locate hidden treasures in an area. You have 2/3 treasures but the location of the third one has been a PITA so far, you finally find it and then you're destroyed by a solid wall of bullets... and the map is re-randomized and you have to find all three treasures again. Yes, it's time to rage quit.

But without the treasure finding objective, death is just a mere inconvenience, a speed bump on the way to playing the level again 3.8 seconds later and still clearing the whole game in under and hour.

And that's really the difference... not getting shot IS THE WHOLE GAME and therefore, must be difficult, as that is the whole game's difficulty. If there are other goals, other things to do, the difficulty and frantic pace is suddenly a hindrance to a good game design. It's all relative, it's all subjective. And that's another example of the problem of "shmup" as an entire genre.


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