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TIGSource ForumsCommunityDevLogsSHMUP Creator: build & blast!
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suny
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« Reply #80 on: May 24, 2018, 10:46:06 AM »

Quote
No Problem. Smiley See you in two month or something for the next check up :D
Ohh, I'm late... Sad

Original post: http://bulostudio.com/2018/05/23/may-update/

MAY UPDATE

Something happened: I had an offer from a company I couldn’t refuse, and I have been working full-time since January. The result is that I don’t have a lot of free time to work on the SHMUP Creator anymore, and it makes my heart bleed.
But since last month I have begun to work again, at a slow but steady pace.

2D SHMUP:
I’m working on a 2D sample level using sprites.
It’s an horizontal shmup, like Gradius or R-type, and it will be part of the package.
It also a good way to polish and debug the engine: I’m doing a lot of small adjustments and corrections.
For now, there is the player space ship, one enemy, one weapon and one explosion, but I’m working on it Smiley

SPRITE ANIMATION:
Working on this level made me rewrite the sprites animation code.
Until now it was using Ogre3D animation technique, where users have to save one picture file per animation frame. It’s cumbersome and not good for performance, so I wrote a proper atlas animation shader.
Now user can put all the animation frames on one sprite sheet and give the tool the number of rows and columns, the animation speed and the shader will do the rest!






BUG FIXING:
A lot.
This is my primary concern: I want to do an Early Access as soon as possible, but I don’t want to give people an unstable build.
Another concern is that I want to be sure to stabilize the level’s file format before allowing people to start making games to avoid breaking their creations.

NEXT:
Working again on the SHMUP Creator feels good! I know a lot of people are frustrated because this project is taking so long to complete: I’m the first one to be looking forward to its completion, trust me !:)
I promise to write a follow-up next month, even if it’s a small one.
See you!

S.
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« Reply #81 on: July 03, 2018, 09:30:06 AM »

Hi, some update about the project!
(Original post: http://bulostudio.com/2018/07/01/june-update/)


JUNE UPDATE


AUTOMATIC 2D COLLISIONS:
You can press “auto” in the collision panel and the 2D collision points will move automatically around the sprite. It’s quick and it works Smiley




2D PLAYER ORIENTATION and BANK ANIMATION:
. I corrected a lot of issues with the player orientation options: the player can stay in the same direction regardless of it moves, it can flip left-right or top-bottom, it can be oriented in the move direction or with the mouse or pad right stick .
. A new feature is that the player sprite can play an animation when the player press a new direction which allows to animate the bank of the player. It’s something you couldn’t do before with the old animation system, and that it’s quite easy to do now.
I still have to draw the new sprites for the player ship banking animation, though, and it’s not easy Smiley

SNAKE:
On of the enemy type is the snake: it’s an enemy made of one or several parts which moves like a snake or a worm… You can use a different object or picture for the head, the body and the tail. Even if its made of several parts its one enemy, at the difference of the pseudo-snake you can create if you spawn a lot of enemies on a path.




2D SAMPLE LEVEL:
I created the snake and some animated power-ups. Now, I’m working on a turret.

GUI:
I’m doing some design and UI correction with Mathilde. There are a lot of menus to review, the design of Professor Bulo for the in-game tutorials etc.

BUGS:
Did I mention that I corrected some bugs, like I do in every update?

As always, slow but steady progress. I plan to keep a monthly update rhythm, so stay tuned!
S.
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suny
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« Reply #82 on: August 08, 2018, 12:22:32 PM »

JULY UPDATE

(original post: http://bulostudio.com/2018/08/03/july-update/)

Last time I wrote that I planned to work on the 2D sample game: I lied.
The new goal is to complete and polish the editor as much as we can until it feels great and “shippable”. We are making great progress and I’m quite happy to see new bits of UI getting nicer and cleaner everyday.

WHAT WE DID:

As always, I corrected bugs (in the snakes, in the animated textures…). I still have a few minor one to fix, and 2 or 3 big one which causes me headaches…

The in-game tutorials are completely revamped, and they look great Smiley
We can introduce you to “Professor Bulo” who will teach you the basics of shmup creation! The tutorials are using the editor and the game engine and so are interactive and fun to watch.
We still have to script some more chapters.



At the moment, the focus is really on UI. The most important goal is usability… Making sure that things are easy to use, to pick, to see… Added new and missing icons, moved things pixel by pixel, adding colors to some elements to tell the user  “this is a menu about the level” or “this is a menu about the game”. It’s not about look but really about helping users find and understand things better and use the SHMUP Creator in a more intuitive way. It’s about design and usability, and it’s very interesting and very very hard to do Smiley

We have a lot of work to do on the weapons and bullets editors: the current UI is not reflecting the way the weapons system works to the users. I’m sure we can do better and, with some changes only (renaming things, moving some parts of the UI elsewhere), make things easier to understand.

I’d really like to complete the whole editor polish at the end of August. It would be an important milestone: the tool will be “complete”, and we’ll be able to focus on the last part of the adventure: completing the 2D sample game, completing the documentation and so on.

See you next time!

S.
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suny
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« Reply #83 on: September 12, 2018, 04:22:15 AM »

The monthly devblog is still monthly: I'm happy!
Original post: http://bulostudio.com/2018/09/10/august-update/

august update

Hi everyone,

August was a short month because of holidays. We managed to do some work though:

COLOUR CODING:
We added some colors in the editor panels and windows. The UI was very white and is now more colourful. But the real reason was to add an information about the scope of each editors: does it modify some features of a level, or does it modify some features of a whole game? The distinction is important: the lighting or the fog is a level feature. Modifying the lighting of the level 1 will not change the lighting of the level 2. But modifying the player properties will modify the whole game because the player is shared in every level. This is why in the SHMUP Creator the game properties are blue and the level properties are yellow.




(OK, in this picture, player is yellow. It should be blue, my bad)


WEAPON EDITOR:
The weapon system in the SHMUP Creator is simple and powerful. It works like this: you can create weapons for an enemy, and each weapon uses a weapon definition. It means that you can have two weapons at each side of the player using the same definition, which is quite handy because you only have to modify the definition to modify the 2 weapons.
Another thing is that you can have several weapons sets. A set is a collection of weapons for a player or an enemy. You could create set called basicWeapons, a set called mediumWeapons and a “superBonusWeapons” set, and use one or another depending of the item the player takes. Or you could use a power-up to go from the basicWeapons set to the superBonusWeapons set. Or you can use a set for an enemy, and use another one when the enemy goes to a particular waypoint.
We modified the layout of the Weapons editor to reflect this mechanic: a Sets column, then the list of the weapons of the selected set, then the weapon properties, and then the realtime preview. The new editor is sequential, and we hope, is more easy to grasp.


<2014


2014


2018


EXPLOSION EDITOR:
A lot of time when I add a new features I prototype quickly an editor. The explosion editor was still in its prototype form until now and was, quite frankly, a complete mess. Mathilde redesigned everything and I had to re-code some part of it. But at least, it’s really better now, and follow the Weapon editor philosophy.

GUI POLISH:
And as always, we are polishing each part of the SHMUP Creator editors one by one. We added new icons, modified old one, moved things…. Still quite a lot of small adjustments to do, but the end is now close.

WHAT NEXT?
We still have to complete our work on the weapon and explosion editors. We need to review the control settings editor, the about panel, correct the last bits and pieces. All this should be complete at the end of September.

I hope to be able to resume my work on the 2D sample game next.

See you!
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suny
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« Reply #84 on: December 20, 2018, 12:34:34 PM »



December Update

Last post of 2018, a little bit sad, but who knows, it's almost Christmas!!!
Original post: http://bulostudio.com/2018/12/18/december-update/

I tried to post something every month, and as you can see, I failed.

PART-TIME PROJECT:
This is a good opportunity to write about the difficulty of working on something on the side: it’s really hard!
I have a day job, which is taking a lot of my energy right now, a long commuting time and all the things you have to do in real life and outside of work.
At the end, there’s not a lot of time left to focus on a complex project. It’s also a balancing act, between the frustration of not making progress during the week-ends and the fact that you want to spend time with your girlfriend, your friends, have some rest, watch a movie…. The last 2 or 3 months, my job and commuting took too much place in my life.

I managed to do some work though, but it was also frustrating: all the HUD/start menu/menu editors, which I thought were completed, had really deep and unexpected  issues. I found that the previews were not correct most of the time. It was also crashing sometimes, depending of what assets or what settings were used….
I corrected all the issues but it took a really long time and I had to rewrite a lot of the code. Furthermore, working on a complex issue in 30mn chunks was not effective at all. At the end I managed to make everything work as expected, and to be honest, I’m really relieved Smiley
This kind of issue is happening a lot with this kind of work, in an editor where everything is interrelated, changing something will cause unexpected issues somewhere else. And even worst, most of the time I’m aware of the issues only weeks or even months later when I test something else.
Sometimes it’s quite discouraging: when a lot of things breaks at the same time, you can be in a state of mind where you feels that the more you work, the more you have to work. Without making any progress…

Ok, it’s the “Depressing End of Year Post”, but all this is behind me now.
I mean, it’s almost Christmas!!!

So, moving on.

WHAT WE ALSO DID:
Apart from the usual debug and polish, I finished the modifications on the weapon workflow and editor.
I also completed the explosion editor reboot and corrected the controls editor, where you can modify the keyboard and joypad keys and buttons.

WHAT WE ARE DOING NOW:
-We are testing the last editor panels and correcting some issues with the UI
-I’m making sure that there are consistent minimum and maximum values for everything
-I’m correcting the tutorials

WHAT WE WILL DO UNTIL THE END OF THE YEAR:
-I’m going to add the 2 last in-game tutorials: weapons and triggers
-I still have some editor corrections in my to-do list
-I’m going to make the list of every features of the SHMUP Creator in order to make progress on the documentation
-I’m going to work on the SHMUP Creator during the holidays

MY NEW YEAR RESOLUTIONS:
– To at last go back to the 2D sample games and the 2D sprites assets creation
– To answer the question: “can we target a real beta release for April???”

Stay tuned Smiley

S.
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« Reply #85 on: February 04, 2019, 12:38:04 AM »

Hi everybody, first update of 2019! And a more positive one as well.

Original post:
http://bulostudio.com/2019/02/04/january-update/




JANUARY UPDATE

Hi everybody,

After the depressing Christmas post, a positive new year post!
I’m doing my best to work on the SHMUP Creator. It’s a little bit too interstitial for my taste, but I’m making progress:

2D SHMUP LEVEL:
I’m doing pixel art and making progress on the 2D level assets. This month I completed:
. Some animated items (power-up, force field…)
. Some particle systems
. 2 new enemies
. A turret
. Some temporary background blocks
At this point, I’ll soon be able to start designing the level and play with the editor. I already started to test some ideas, and as expected, it’s a good way to find bugs or things with unwanted behavior. It’s the best way to complete the SHMUP Creator: to really use it. I know it sounds obvious, but even in the pro industry we often don’t have time to do so.



DEBUG:
. I fixed some crashes, some annoying bugs (why the turret is moving magically from its base when I go back to the editor?) etc. I’m started a “no priority bugs” list, which is a shame, but is the only way to finish the editor: I know it could be better, and it will be, but I don’t want to diverge too much from my short term goal.

POLISH:
. I did some minor modifications to the UI to streamline the workflow. Sometimes, a really small adjustment makes a great improvement to the look and feel of the UI. The devil is from the details!

NEXT MONTH:
Due to some personal things, February will be a very short month. So I will not be able to achieve much. Nevertheless, I plan to make progress on the background sprites and start designing the level. I also plan to fix some of my “not so priority bugs” but “things that looks not so good in the game” bugs.

See you!

S.

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suny
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« Reply #86 on: March 13, 2019, 12:29:11 AM »


Hi everybody!
A small update for a small month. Next month will be better, I promise!
Original post: http://bulostudio.com/2019/03/11/february-update-2/





FEBRUARY UPDATE

February is always a short month, but especially this year for me as I took 2 weeks of vacation. It was nice!

Before that, some work was done:
Some important bugs were fixed, as well as some minor ones. I also added some small features I forgot to implement before, like being able to choose the color of the small light being spawn where an explosion occurs.

I’m still making progress on the 2D level Art, and it’s going well. I hope I’ll be able to share some pictures very soon.

I also did some modifications to the editor and to some tools and workflow: it’s a big reason of why I’m doing a 2D level. I knew that I’ll find that some tools which are working well in 3D will not be as consistent with the 2D workflow. For instance, I added an orthographic view to help align things, and did a lot of correction to the snapping and grid code.

It was a short month, and so it’s a short post.
I plan to continue the 2D level next month and I have a lot of gameplay ideas to try Smiley

See you!
S.
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suny
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« Reply #87 on: April 07, 2019, 11:33:14 PM »

Hi!
A new post, which show the harsh reality of game development (which I know everyone here is well aware of...)

Original post:
http://bulostudio.com/2019/04/07/march-update/



MARCH UPDATE

Hi everyone!

March was a “bugs fix” month.
I’d like to say that my code is so clean I never see any bugs, but it would be a big, big lie. After a while, the code get bigger and bigger, more (too) complex, and each time I do some work somewhere I can break something elsewhere. It’s sometimes quite stressful
This month I fixed some old and very annoying crashes and bugs, and it felt good.
To illustrate the kind of non-sexy work I do those days, this is my March list:

(OK) – f9 don’t hide the background collisions preview boxes
(OK) – backgrounds collision boxes preview is broken
(OK) – if we are editing a collision box, “Focus on selected” doesn’t work as expected
(OK) – the speed decrease at the end of a spline for enemies doesn’t work for every case: refactoring needed
(OK) – prevent user to move the first waypoint of an enemy
(OK) – the selected collision box doesn’t blink anymore
(OK) – the sprite preview in the collision panel is not big enough, depending of the picture ratio
(OK) – if there is no collision, update the collision panel anyway (to avoid old pictures in the panel)
(OK) – hard to select some sprites on screen: bug in the rendering order part of the selection
(OK) – when we stop shooting, the laser sound should also stop
(OK) – add a sound and a default particle effect when we create an SFX
(OK) – double click on text to rename doesn’t work well
(OK) – when we reload a scene, the sprite rendering order is not the same. It should.
(OK) – the transition to a waypoint Aim should use aimSpeed
(OK) – after a checkpoint and a level restart, the music should not stop
(OK) – there were an old default explosion for the player (playing at the same time as the real one): remove it
(OK) – if the player dies and one stray bullet kills the last enemy: we should not win the game
(OK) – if we select several weapons, display the red outline around all of them, not only the last one
(OK) – there were an old default material on some objects adding error message in the log: re-export the weapon objects
(OK) – if we use another window for a while and come back to the SHMUP Creator, the frame rate is too fast for a few seconds
(OK) – if we minimise the SHMUP Creator and maximise it again, the camera scroll bar is moved to the center of the screen
(OK) – waypoints flip flop : the icons are inverted
(OK) – the thumbnails of the background assets are not displayed anymore in the game box
(OK) – transform panel: a lot of issues :/
(OK) – undo position: some waypoints manipulators are showing up even if we are in weapon mode
(OK) – if we select the first waypoint and another one, we can moves the 2 waypoints. We should never move the 1st one.
(OK) – a lof of issues with objects duplication in the editor, because of bad vectors code
(OK) – crash only in release with undo and weapons
(OK) – crash with vector when selecting an enemy after deleting others + crash changing tab in the editor panel
(OK) – crash with undo after translating a weapon: seems to be because of the waypoint manipulator bug

It can give you an idea of what is feel to work on a tool, and why it takes time.
What a great hobby, coding tools and engine! The last 3 crashes where a pain to fix, but at the end, it felt good to be able to find the issues and correct them.

Also:
I made progress on the beginning of the 2D level and on the end of level boss and added a new Kill trigger. I also modified the default grid snapping behaviour with multi-selection.

See you!
S.



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GeorgioMS
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« Reply #88 on: April 13, 2019, 03:07:59 PM »

I've been following the few projects for a few months, but didn't know it had a devlog on TIGSource - mark me a follower for it! I'm excited to see the engine coming along. It'll be a definite go-to for SHMUP makers once it's finished.
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« Reply #89 on: April 14, 2019, 12:43:40 AM »

Thanks GeorgioMS Smiley
This kind of comment give me energy to get back to work.
S.
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« Reply #90 on: June 08, 2019, 04:36:20 AM »

New post at last!
Times flies.
Original post: http://bulostudio.com/2019/06/06/april-may-update/

april – may update

Hi everyone,
It is still hard to find time to work on the the SHMUP Creator, but I’m finally doing things I’m postponing since months. (Or years? :/)

I’m doing 3 things at the same time, which are all important to complete the tool:

DOCUMENTATION:
I wrote half of the documentation. It’s a first draft but the structure is there and I’m describing all the features and tools.  And there are a lot of features. I will also write a few basic tutorials to help people at the beginning, but it’s for later.

DEBUG:
As always, I corrected a lot of bugs, crashes, small annoying things, as well as correcting small UI features to streamline the use of the tool. I’m the first user, and I want the SHMUP Creator to be nice and friendly to use. This is why there is a lot of invisible things. For instance, this month I added a variable speed zoom: the more we zoom out, the faster it gets, the more we zoom close to the level, the slower it gets. It’s invisible, but it works and make the level navigation more precise and fun.

2D LEVEL:
I completed the level design on paper, then I created the whole level with basic shapes. It allowed me to adjust the scrolling speed, the position of the different gameplay sections and the length of the level.
Then I started to prototype the gameplay, and it was great: I had some gameplay ideas (often inspired from R-type Leo or Gradius,I confess) I was able to set-up and try in a few minutes with the SHMUP Creator: moving platforms, a boss escaping the player and destroying walls in the way etc. Sometimes, trying things is a way to find new bugs or forced me to correct some behaviour because I didn’t thought about it. But when it works right the first time it’s a real joy!





SOUNDS:
I’m beginning at last to think at the release as a near event, coming slowly but surely. One blocker for me is that I’m using some temp assets from commercial games to test the tool. Most of them are sounds and musics. I cleaned everything this week and made a list of sounds I need in order to release the game, and I will ask a talented musician and sound designer to create them for me.
It’s really something I’m looking forward to, because without those sounds I can’t make videos, teaser, trailers on youtube. And I’d love to show more soon, like some level creation timelapse.

See you!
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« Reply #91 on: July 20, 2019, 05:17:18 AM »


Original post here.





JUNE UPDATE

BETA IS COMMING!

Ok, a small update this month. I made quite a lot of progress, but there are not a lot of interesting things to say.
Most of the coding work was polish and debug. That’s crazy the number of small issues I can still find…

But I spent more time on the documentation. It is now complete, a v0.5, full of spelling mistakes. The next step is to format it, choose the colors and fonts and add a lot of screenshots. It’s incredibly time consuming!



I also sent my sounds and musics list to a sound designer.

The documentation, the sounds, the debug: the goal to all this is to produce a beta version after the summer. I will then start a closed beta for some happy fews which will allow me to further polish and debug the tool and the engine.

NEXT MONTH:
As I said I will continue my work on the documentation.
I will also hopefully resume my work on the “Gradius like” 2D level.

MAILING LIST:
Oh… And did you notice we started a mailing list?
Don’t hesitate to sign up: it’s on the top of the bulostudio page. No spam, we will only send emails to announce the release of the SHMUP Creator.

See you!
S.
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GeorgioMS
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« Reply #92 on: July 22, 2019, 08:18:40 PM »

Just signed up for your mailing list; lookin' forward to seeing your engine beta!
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suny
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« Reply #93 on: July 26, 2019, 04:14:32 AM »

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Just signed up for your mailing list; lookin' forward to seeing your engine beta!
Thanks GeorgioMS!
S.
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« Reply #94 on: October 27, 2019, 07:12:14 AM »



Tiny small october update
Original post: http://bulostudio.com/2019/10/15/october-update-2/

Ok, last update was a long time ago.
A lot of things happened, in real life as well as technically. Let’s say I had some issues to sort out.
Everything is fine now, and I’m back to work.

So, please bear with me, and expect a longer update in a few weeks!
S.
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« Reply #95 on: November 23, 2019, 08:30:52 AM »

RANDOM BULLET PATTERN #1

Playing with the bullet editor.

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« Reply #96 on: December 08, 2019, 03:55:14 AM »

Some news at last! I'm making good progress righ now, I'll try to keep up the pace until Christmas.
Original post: http://bulostudio.com/2019/12/07/november-update-2/

November update



I’m a Technical artist by trade.
And the SHMUP Creator is my first C++ project: I’m learning as I go. I started to modify a sample and try to display a bullet on screen, then I tryed to understand what is object oriented programming, then I tryed to understand why Visual C++ gives me linker error messages with 150 @ characters etc.
In September I decided to do what I have never done before since I started the project: updating Visual C++ and all the libraries I’m using.
So, I did that…
Of course it broke everything, (API changes, compatibility issues etc.) and I had to modify the code for some weeks before being able to compile again. I converted all the shaders to .hlsl to get rid of .cg, which is now obsolete.

I also did something incredible: I installed Git and now I’m using GitHub. For devs reading this: don’t laugh. Until now I backuped my code manually. Which is ok because I’m the only dev, but which is really bad when things go wrong. Again, don’t laugh, please: It’s never too late!

MEMORY LEAKS:
I did a lot of work on memory: I xas doing very bad things, and memory was growing each time a level was loaded. It’s really better now and quite stable.

POLISH:
I fixed the grid, the update and import of textures, and added a lot of small UI improvements.
The Snap tool was working well, but was failing on some occasions. It’s quite robust now and really improves the 2D levels creation.

Some months ago I wrote a complex hack to add parallax to layers, and it kind of worked. But it was difficult to use and created a lot of bugs and unwanted complexity, as well as bugs with the translation and scale tools. I found another solution and rewrote the thing: it’s now really easy to use and allows users to add parallax to background layers, only for 2D games.



We also did some work on the weapons to make them more easy to understand. Sometimes its only a matter of renaming, or moving some part of the UI somewhere else… Same thing with the waypoints. I’m quite happy with the result.

BETA:
The documentation is almost complete, I added sounds for 2D games, and we are working on another 2D sample game called “Dominique’s adventures”. I’ll write about it next time!

NEXT MONTH, we:
.continue the Content and Artist documentation
.continue to clean the UI and fix bugs
.create all the sound effects
.create a lot of bullet patterns and include them in the package
.I hope to be able at the end of December to distribute an early Beta to some people

Fingers crossed!
S.
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« Reply #97 on: January 04, 2020, 11:19:38 AM »

RANDOM BULLET PATTERN #2
Classic style.
S.

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« Reply #98 on: January 11, 2020, 09:41:30 AM »

GAMEPLAY TEST #1
Using only the basic SHMUP Creator tools, I'm trying gameplay ideas.

Here: enemies spawning destructible bullets with a 0 speed.
S.

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« Reply #99 on: January 18, 2020, 02:24:53 AM »

RANDOM BULLET PATTERN #3

.Ikaruga style.
S.

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