Sunday, August 7, 2016

Episode 124: Shoot Em Ups

This is episode 124 of Roguelike Radio, where Mark Johnson is joined by James WhiteheadBen Hendel-Doying and Chris Park to talk about roguelike elements in Shoot Em Ups ("Shmups").

You can download the mp3 of the podcast, play it in the embedded player below, or you can follow us on iTunes.

Topics Discussed:
  • U.N. Squadron and R-Type as the inspiration for Really Big Sky
  • Mixing genres as inspiration for Mysterious Space and Starward Rogue
  • The progression system in Really Big Sky
  • Procedural and handmade aspects of Really Big Sky, Mysterious Space, and Starward Rogue
  • Bullet patterns as terrain and Super Hexagon
  • Responsive PCG-like bosses in Warning Forever
  • Tactics and strategic choices in AI War and other roguelike shmups
  • Speed upgrades and player experience
  • Score in shmups with PCG
  • The future of roguelike-shmup hybrids
  • Other games discussed

Join us next time for a recording from the New York 2016 International Roguelike Developers Conference!


  1. An excellent Rogue-like Radio episode. Looking forward to more episodes in the future with a focus on how the boundaries of the Rogue-like genre are being pushed.

    Or maybe a Rogue-like episode simply about where you draw the line on what is or isn't a rogue-like for the ambitious.

  2. AFAICT the boss in Warning Forever is procedurally generated, in the true sense of this phrase (procedurally generated = created by a computer algorithm rather than by hand), even if it is purely based on the play rather than randomness.

    I am aiming for meaningful score in HyperRogue -- to have high score you have to collect lots of treasure, and the more treasure you collect, the harder the game becomes -- but the best players don't seem to be interested in playing for score (possibly because of exploits which allow getting very high scores in very boring ways -- hard to avoid in a complex game, although there are also challenges which focus on smaller fragments of the game, so they should be exploit free). Also, some of the best players say that playing HyperRogue is like playing a shmup (I am not sure exactly why), and there is also a shmup mode -- almost all of the game remade as a real time shooter.