Friday, July 1, 2011

June Happenings and the Final Theory

When I first created this blog, my intent was to get out a few ideas I had surrounding shmups. I wrote them all down in my sketchbook one particularly motivating day in February 2009. Back then I was posting once a week, eager to get all of these ideas out before they went stale. To my surprise, the blog took off, gaining readership by hundreds of people from around the world. Simon Carless himself asked me to crosspost my words of bullety wisdom to the then-new Gamasutra Expert Blogs. Things were great (i.e. chains were high), but then I started to run out of ideas. I slowed down to posting every two weeks, then to roughly every month, until I stopped posting for the latter half of 2010.

The Final Countdown
To this day, the site has gotten 20k+ views, excluding any feed readers out there (untrackable), so I'd say this has been pretty successful, especially for a blog without any ads, marketing, or under-the-table networking deals. I had gotten a few requests here and there during my lull to write some more SHMUPtheories. So I decided to make it my New Year's resolution to post a new something or other on the first day of every month in 2011. So far so good, but I don't see much of a future in 2012.

I'm not exactly saying this year will see the end of my writing about shmups and their theories. I see myself only writing from that point on when I think of something profound once again, something that captures my thoughts and doesn't let them go until I reason with them and walk away with a greater sense of understanding about the world revolving around bullets and superplays. Or maybe to boast about 1CCing Ikaruga ( day, my old friend). Or maybe to get all giddy about RS3. Or maybe to continue touting my love for Treasure (♥). Who knows!

Around The Arena
This month, instead of focusing on some quirky quality about an element of a piece of a whole that makes up some obscure shooting game that only a handful of us have heard of, I'll instead give a bullet buffet of things happening in the world of shmups. Time to spread the love:
  • A chap by the name of BulletMagnet - a much respected aficionado in the shooting-things-up world - has lovingly put together a *FANTASTIC* write-up on everything shmups, appropriately entitled "Shmups 101: A Beginner's Guide to 2D Shooters". It's long, thorough, accurate, and filled with more nostalgia than the sound of inserting another quarter into a Galaga cabinet.
  • Cave, continuing to get hot and steamy with their love for porting arcade classics to the small screen, is getting ready to release Death Smiles for iPhone and iPod Touch. There's apparently some kind of live stream going on today (July 1) to show off some deathly gameplay (7:00am EDT, 8:00pm Japan), with the game releasing July 7th at a temporary discounted price. Get it.
  • Child of Eden came out. You've already played it. I haven't completed it yet, so no spoilers. I'll likely be covering this bad boy later in the year once I can pick my jaw up off the floor and collect my mental euphoria into coherent internet babble.
  • Eschatos and MuchiMuchiPork/PinkSweets combo pack are both still sold out or expensive everywhere. Does anybody know where these gems are available to a boy in the USA for less than $80? I've already accepted that importing is expensive, but maybe somebody knows of a secret shop somewhere I haven't heard of (worth a shot!).

Moving On Up (Highscores, I Mean)

I think I might have something special planned for the final scheduled [SHMUPtheory] of the year / ever (???). I've decided to not keep my posting intervals regular because, frankly, I've already said what I wanted to (and that was 2 years ago!). Even though more things will come to me that I will certainly want to talk about, there is an entire world out there of other things I'd also like to be talking about (referring to either videogames in general or life itself; can't decide).

I'm working fulltime on videogames, and making indie games in my freetime. Needless to say, games are still very much a significant part of my life, and will continue to be as such until basically the end of time. If I'm not making them, I'm playing them. If I'm not playing them, I'm discussing them. And when none of that is happening, I'm probably sleeping (which means I'm dreaming about them).

Until next month, keep those shots comin!

[cross-posted on Gamasutra]