I’ve been thinking about what to do after I’ve finished ULSG. Sure, it’s probably gonna be a little while ’til it’s finished, but it’s always nice to have ideas. And for quite a while now, my mind’s been blank. No ideas for anything new. At all. Well, there was one idea for something a while back, and I’ve jotted a few things down for that, but there was nothing that made me say "Holy shit, that sounds awesome." And you know what? That’s annoying.
That is, UNTIL TODAY!! Or yesterday…!
I was poking around for MAME games, and I found a game called "Cyvern", which sounded quite interesting. It’s a Vertical Scrolling Danmaku Shooter. Some people call them "Bullet Hell" games, and they contain enemies and bosses that spit retarded amounts of bullets at you, and if any one of them hits your hitbox (which is usually pretty small in comparison to your sprite), you lose a life. I’m not an expert at these games or anything, but I find them quite enjoyable.
So I downloaded Cyvern and gave it a try (it took a shit-ton of searching just so I could get it running ). And what can I say? It was pretty damn good! It’s called "Cyvern" because it’s a shortened version of "Cybernetic Wyvern", so naturally, you play as… um… a cybernetic wyvern. And you’ve got a choice of three, actually, and they represent fire, lightning and earth… at least I PRESUME it’s earth. It’s not QUITE in the same league of impossibility as the Touhou games, but it’s challenging, pretty, and has some great gameplay. Nice music, too. Even if I still can’t beat the preset score of a million points, I still liked it.
But this game, for some unfathomable reason, started some sort of chain reaction inside my brain. The chain reaction seemed to get Jets ‘n’ Guns involved, which is THE greatest shmup I’ve ever played – it’s up there with the crazy-awesome Stargunner. And suddenly, a few hours later, my mind seemed to EXPLODE in a HUGE shower of great ideas for one side-scrolling shooter. I opened Notepad IMMEDIATELY. I fucking LOVE it when this happens.
Yeah, I know. A side-scroller. It seems that I only EVER make side-scrollers, huh? Well, I grew up with Stargunner, Salamander, and at least one other shmup that I can’t remember the name(s) of. Later on in life, I found Jets ‘n’ Guns and nearly peed myself when I played it, because I thought nothing was better than Stargunner, and I thought that shmups had died out and no-one knew how to make them anymore. Then I played Galaga Deluxe, and subsequently played Warblade, the 21st century upgrade to Galaga Deluxe. Then I found out about the Touhou games and played several of those. Then I searched for MAME games and played Gradius, Dragon Spirit and finally, Cyvern. ALL of the games I’ve mentioned were amazing. I LOVE shmups, because the variety is insane, and the gameplay is almost always great, as well. So, being a shmup veteran (sort of), I’m making another one. If you have any problems with this, kindly go suck a cock.
Thanks to Cyvern, Dragon Spirit and one of my previous attempts at a side-scroller, Dragon’s Alliance, you play as a dragon. Thanks to Jets ‘n’ Guns, there will be more weapons than you can shake a stick at, and you can use said weapons in any combination. Thanks to my brain (I think ), these weapons can be customised with a massive amount of special Mods, which add damage, fire rate, elemental effects, score boosting, reduced heat generation, increased heat dissipation, etc. etc. etc. Thanks to Dragon Tail (a little ), you can customise your character and choose their element, which gives various benefits and disadvantages depending on what you pick (the advantages and disadvantages are already so perfectly balanced that I can barely choose between the four, and they accommodate to three different styles of play – aggressive, technical and defensive). Thanks to my currrent disability to make a serious game, it will have plenty of attitude and lulz, and thanks to ULSG, it will have occassional moments where you say "WHAT THE FUCK?!"
The ONE THING that’s holding me back, and has almost ALWAYS held me back when starting a new game… are the graphics. I can’t make a game without graphics, and I can’t rely on the MMF library this time. Nor can I really rely on myself, because I suck at everything apart from HUDs. The things that worry me the most are the stage graphics, backgrounds and enemy ships. I’m not worried much about the dragons, however. Unlike the time when I started Dragon’s Alliance… I’m prepared this time:
DAZ effin’ Studio. If I can pump out renders like this, it may just save my ass when dealing with the dragons. And UNLIKE this render, the sprites WON’T take almost an hour to render. HOWEVER, I didn’t particularly WANT to use DAZ Studio, thanks to its fail animation features, and the fact that the SubDragon is difficult to… um… "unique-ify". Yeah. So if there’s no other solution (which there won’t be) I’ll have to use DAZ Studio. But I’m not using the MilDragon. I bet it’ll be noticed in a split second if I use him.
Backgrounds and enemy ships, though. Hrm… I’ll probably have to plan the story and all the stages far in advance so I have an idea of what backgrounds and props I’ll need for the stages, and then create/find the right things. The enemy ships aren’t gonna be as irritating, but they’re not gonna be easy, either.
Once all the graphics are done, I’m home free! I can program this in MMF2, no problem. Just need to get the ideas down, then I can try making the prototype. I’ve got a good feeling about this idea, so I’d stay tuned if I were you.
Okay, it’s about 15-20 minutes after I posted the previous entry. Now someone answer me, WHERE THE HELL DID THIS COME FROM?!
I typed "Dragon Storm" down, and explicitly said, "That’s just a placeholder, I’m not using that." I don’t even know where the words came from. I set a gradient and a border. Then, I flicked through my fonts, and stumbled across that one. It IMMEDIATELY sounded right. Then I rendered a dragon silhouette, and put that behind it. It IMMEDIATELY looked perfect.
And so, Dragon Storm is born. The way that happened was just… unreal.