Fang Talks

The Game

They blow my damn mind.

You should know the genre. SHMUPs (SHoot ‘M UPs), bullet hell or bullet curtain games. Lots of enemies shooting tons of bullets in all kinds of crazy patterns. And they’re hard. Every Shmup worth its salt is difficult. And yes, that means “hard” difficulty is a bit like a nightmare. Playing them is… a unique experience. You know that thing where, when you put too much focus in, you start messing up, so it’s better to go with the flow, not thinking at all? That’s pretty much how they play. Idea Channel recently did a video on it.

But man, there’s so many bullets on the screen. It is insane to think how fast computers are to be able to handle all those separate objects, and how optimized their code is to be able to run at full framerate on most hardware. But I can get into that. I know a small thing or two about optimizing collision detection, I’m fine on that front. But I’m having a rough time figuring out how they store all the spawn and attack patterns of enemies. Some patterns are aimed at the player, others aren’t. There’s a couple great ones that put good effort into simply looking amazing.

Found a book on the subject, it’s supposed to be really good, but sadly it’s in Japanese, and I can’t find a translation. I should probably just search around a little harder for information, it’s bound to be documented somewhere.

Yeah, that’d be cool, making a bullet hell game.
~ Fang


  • Eric
    28/04/2014 (2:45 AM)

    I wonder if they could just cut the processing power A LOT by making only the bullets in a circle around you have collision detection.
    Seems much easier making only 1/7 of the bullets at a time doing that and the rest for show until you move.

    • 28/04/2014 (11:06 AM)

      Actually, that should be what they’re doing. First do a rough check to see which bullets are near, and then only do the complicated checks for the closest bullets!

  • 29/12/2013 (2:38 AM)

    Can’t say I’ve ever seen a game with that many bullets but they sound way too demanding. Can’t say I’m a big fan of games that really demand that much power, when they’re on a PC anyway. They’re typically all style and no substance and they cut off a large number of people who simply don’t have the tech.

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