B: On rails SCHMUP

Intention: I've always felt that the much maligned "on rails" shooter was just a SCHMUP with the camera behind the plane as supposed to a top down view; but for some reason people sneer at "on rails". My intention is to show these aren't different types of games but applying SCHMUP mentality with a 3D perspective.

I will have a ship that is locked on the Z-plane and can move on the X and Y axis to the screen boundaries. Initially random objects will appear on a deeper Z-axis and travel towards the ship, passing it and disappearing. The ship can shoot at these objects for points and if they collide the ship loses health.

I'll build this over the weekend before I continue with "more" design


  • Quick things that spring to mind:
    -How are you dealing with players having to dodge things in 3D space? Dodging bullets in a SHMUP is easy because there's no depth to things, dodging slow bullets in an FPS is fucking hard because you can't tell exactly where they are without some sort of 2D projection (often multiple 2D projections).
    -Are you shooting along the Z axis?
    -What does this game do differently, in terms of minimalist gameplay, to tube-shooters and things like Tempest/Space Giraffe/etc?

    I'm not sure what it is you're trying to prove, or even why you're trying to prove something with this concept, as opposed to simply having an interesting question to explore around SHMUPs. I think that comes down to you starting with a SHMUP and adding 3D to it, that doesn't feel right.
  • It would make way more sense to take an on-rails shooter and move that into a SHMUP setting: Remove movement and dodging from the SHMUP context, put down a rail and all you can do as the player is go in or out of the cover provided by the rail and shoot.
  • I'm starting from rail shooter like Star Fox and maybe Rez and moving it to the SCHUMP gameplay. I want a definite on "on rails" experience. My thinking was along the Star Wars space battles where you zipping around the large ships so your movement is very controlled and all you're really doing is picking targets
  • That sounds like Starfox to me. Or Space Harrier. What's the difference between those zooming-along-a-rail games and yours? I don't really understand?
  • I'm not trying to be different. I'm trying to get it right like they have!
  • I imagine that difference will come up when we see the idea put into action, ey? :P

    I like the Star Fox perspective
  • edited
    Yeah I loved StarFox :) just didn't realise you didn't mean something different.

    It all comes down to the implementation! Looking forward to it :)
  • edited
    After much thought and only a little experimentation I figure this'll actually be a lot more work than I intended. Please disregard this thread and look at my other entry
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