Post image for Plane jam game: unnamed shmup

Plane jam game: unnamed shmup

by Darius Kazemi on September 21, 2011

in plane jam

I made this in 3 hours in Game Maker on the plane to onGameStart in Warsaw. No time for screen shots, sorry, gotta make a connecting flight!

Windows executable, really rough, but kinda fun to figure out how it works. left/right move, Z shoots, X for secondary fire. Let me know what you think.



Dark Acre Jack September 21, 2011 at 2:57 am

I’m sure most can figure it out, but the URL in the post needs to be shortened to:


kirkjerk September 21, 2011 at 11:19 am

Not a bad little jam! Interesting mechanic.

Secondary fire seems a little useless. Would dig it if I could use its diagonal nature to nudge out of place blocks to the left or right.

(Couldn’t quite find the pattern to when the smallest enemies would come to when they wouldn’t. Also there’s a fractal asymmetry in terms of small invaders ignore blocks their size, but medium invaders are wiped out by blocks their size.)

Darius Kazemi September 21, 2011 at 2:28 pm

Yeah, the diagonal is mostly for mob control. I actually had it set so that it would shoot blocks diagonal, but you’re right, nudging could be useful.

As for the asymmetry… yeah, I should fix that!

Dan Long September 21, 2011 at 1:16 pm

That game is actually super fun and very hard! I like the fact that if you die, you completely have to start over. I do cross my arms over the keyboard so I can move with my right hand and shoot with my left though. I am going to have to get good enough at this so I can see what happens when all the big aliens fill up the alien base!

Zachary Hoefler September 23, 2011 at 3:10 am

Quite an addicting game! It was fun having those “OH, I get it now!” moments as I figured out (presumably) the game’s goals.

Diagonal shot has its uses, but it seems more like a cheap fix to a bad mechanic rather than an interesting mechanic on its own. It could use a bit of thought put into it.

Also, there was an interesting gameplay feature I noted (before I remembered there was an alternate shot buttom): intentionally hitting the aliens to get my shots reflected would clear out enemies, which I used as a tactic to keep the screen from getting too flooded.

Darius Kazemi September 23, 2011 at 3:41 am

Thanks! It’s always gratifying to get a comment from someone who understands what I was trying to do with my hastily made game :)

You got me thinking: originally the diagonal shot was intended to allow you to safely trigger the alien green-sweep thing, but instead I made it just clear out enemies.

I changed the rules a bit: the diagonal shot is now a lot less diagonal (only a few degrees off from 12-o’clock). The diagonal shot no longer clears enemies. It does two things: it triggers the green wave from the mid-size enemies, and you can use it to nudge a block piece left or right, which I think adds some strategy. Thanks for the inspiration and critique! You can try it out now, I’ve uploaded the changes.

Darius Kazemi September 23, 2011 at 7:11 am

Oops, and by “updated” I mean I updated the HTML5 version that I posted recently.

Zachary Hoefler September 28, 2011 at 3:32 am

The game itself feels a lot more fluid with blocks that are constantly moving (albeit slowly) rather than stopping to a dead halt when you shoot them. The downside is, that makes the diagonal shot pretty hard to use effectively for nudging, as there’s a very short window to get it in there!

The diagonal shot feels a lot more situational, but that’s probably a good thing. My previous strategy was “spam the alt shot button” because, honestly, if I hit a stray enemy, it was one less problem for me while I was focusing on a different one. This one feels useful strategically rather than as a benefit to button-mashing. It’s absolutely situational, but seemed useful while I was playing with it.

Of course, for nudging blocks sideways, I didn’t feel like I had a lot of control over the destination. I basically just hit it once from the side and figured “at least it has some off-chance of doing *something* now” and then proceeded to forget about it – however, I feel like that might’ve been the intent?

P.S. Interesting little glitch in the HTML5 version: it works fine in IE, but the arrow keys don’t move the ship in Firefox 6.0.2 for me. Of course, Vimeo is also broken in Firefox on my end, so take that with a grain of salt.

Zachary Hoefler September 28, 2011 at 5:05 am

Disregard the ‘bug’ there – it was something on my end. Turns out my arrow keys just weren’t working period in Firefox. Fixed with restarting it.

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