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Keeping a top down shooter interesting.

Discussion in 'Game Design' started by SarahR, Mar 21, 2016.

  1. SarahR


    Mar 14, 2016
    Hey I was wondering if anyone here had ever designed a top down shooter game, and if so how they went about making sure things didn't get repetitive.

    By top down shooter I do not mean bullet hell games, those are far beyond my understanding.

    I know the basics of weapon and enemy verity, but even then there's only so many "useful" ways you can create a gun.
    Is it purely down to level design or is there something more complex about top down shooters that I am missing?

    I've always wanted to create one as I have a good idea about a narrative I could put with it, but I've honestly not played a massive amount outside of classic like gauntlet and a few odd ones like Alien Swarm.
    So any ideas on this subject, or better yet any good top down shooter games I should check out so I have a good idea of what is expected in the genre
    Martin_H and e05mlb24s4n841D like this.
  2. JoeStrout


    Jan 14, 2011
    I would think it's mostly about level and enemy design. The satisfaction of discovery is a big part of it. Also, be sure to include limited-time powerups, which change the gameplay noticeably, and of different rarities. That gives players more to strive for, as well as breaking up the monotony.

    Also consider something that occasionally reverses gameplay entirely, like when Pac-Man gobbles a pill. In that case you switch from evasion to pursuit. In your top-down shooter, maybe you could go from shooting enemies to... um... not shooting them, while they desperately try to be shot? Not sure how to apply this, but see if it spurs any ideas.

    Finally, don't forget about collectibles! People love collectibles. Most LEGO video games are built almost entirely around these, and usually with two types: cheap, common ones that you scoop up by the dozens and provide minor benefit every 100 or whatever, and rarer, more carefully hidden ones. At the end of each level, report how many of the cheap ones you collected, and how many of the rare ones you found (e.g. 3 out of 5).
  3. Aiursrage2k


    Nov 1, 2009
    Geometry wars 3 - story mode theres 50 levels and theres like 10 different level types (boss, king of hill, theres a level up system so if you suck).

    Assault Android Cactus - is really great each level has a unique mechanic.

    Hotline Miami, biding of issac

    But by far my favourite is the gore porn sub-genre.

    Before they made boring Trine series they worked on shadowgrounds.

    Sigma Team - not sure why they stopped making them but they were my favourite publisher.
    Alien Shooter

    Zombie Shooter
    Zombie Shooter 2

    Alien Shooter2


    Splatter Blood Red Edition
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2016
  4. Martin_H


    Jul 11, 2015
    I always thought it's because they didn't make enough money with them. Or have they just switched to mobile games maybe?

    A quote screaming to be taken out of context :D.
    Westland likes this.
  5. Aiursrage2k


    Nov 1, 2009
    I guess they tried to switch over to 3d and I think it failed so maybe thats why and I guess they did switch over to mobile, so maybe a game like that cant sell anymore. I guess the fact alien swarm was free probably was the nail in the coffin
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2016
    Martin_H likes this.
  6. PenguinEmporium


    May 30, 2013
    Consider giving the player the ability to change the flow of the level temporarily (such as a wall-gun or pitfall-gun).