I'm making an overhead shooter. It's actually a remake of an older game I made called Gearbolt Rage. You can find an old old version of GBR somewhere on the interwebs. Don't bother, it's not that good. Try out Destruction Carnival - that's my biggest inspiration. The remake has the makings for a modern indie game with better resolution (1024x768 vs. 640x480) and more special effects. It also has two more enemies for a total of six badguys (half of which are short range, the other half are long range) and six weapon upgrades.
The reason I'm making this thread is to ask how to make my game better. I don't want to just remake GBR or DC. I was playing through NeoContra today and I'm thinking, "wow, this is kind of dull" (it's kind of awesome, too!). I don't want to just make more pixels, bigger explosions, more guns, and more badguys.
Maybe in a couple days I'll whip together a playable demo, but for now just post your thoughts and ideas on what makes a good overhead shooter. There are the mindless ones that go on forever and ever, and there are the ones that have concise levels. I may want to steal ideas from those games, but I'd also like to hear what is interesting about games like... Shock Troopers? Smash TV? Total Carnage?
By the way, here is a screen shot