FAQ You ( Very Much ) 26. April 2011 Squize game development, General, Post Mortem (1) The response to DN8 seems to have exploded, and I've tried to reply to all the comments where I can, but some common questions keep coming up, so I figured I'd try and answer them here."is there any possibility of updating it with arrow key or even better WASD controls?"Nope. Firstly you'd lose a lot of speed, and accuracy. To stop the movement feeling clunky I'd have to ease the ships movement, and I think that would adversely affect the gameplay. Having it as an option would just lead to a lot of people selecting that over the mouse, hating it, and never playing the game again. Sometimes less is more."It's too hard / it's too easy."Not even worth trying to deal with, and I don't mean that nastily. Game balance is never going to be perfect for everyone, the best we can ever hope for is the middle ground. If anything we've made the game easier, the power-ups are always more powerful than you actually need. We want people to complete the game, creating an awesome last level that only a tiny hardcore ever get to see if just pointless.We could have difficulty levels, but if the easy level still has people struggling ( Which it would ) and others just piss through the hard levels ( Which they would ) then we'd get exactly the same feedback and have spent time adding a feature which isn't really needed."My one big problem is that the shield is just too powerful, it really does make the top path worthless."The shield does help a hell of a lot, get that with the side pods and you're really heavily protected. Conversely, the weapons on the lower path are shooting a lot less bullets than the top path, plus grazing is made harder as the side pods protect you from so many bullets. Again it goes back to balance. The game code is set up so each level can have different attack waves, so in theory I could have tailored baddies to match the player upgrades ( eg, got the shield ? Ok, the baddies are going to fire more bullets to make up for it ), but that's self defeating.Many shooters give you a really powerful laser, but to balance that and keep the challenge high they just make the baddies take more hits. So in effect you haven't really upgraded, you've just got a different graphic to look at ( A trick is to give the player a kick ass weapon and send some of the lower powered baddies in so you can get a clear sense of how powerful it is ). We've done that to some extent, it's very hard not to, but by keeping the waves the same for every possible branch we've avoided the worst of that ( I think )."First but S-U-C-K-S!!!"Yeah, like your momma. The only difference being my game sucks for free.( To be fair we've had very few prick comments like that, the feedback on newgrounds especially has been excellent )"For this being advertised as a "bullet hell", I lose the vast majority of my lives to being rammed."There have been quite a few "Bullet hell ? Not really" comments. It's all relative kids. Play a "Real" bullet hell game. What's that ? It's too hard and you gave up because bullet hells are only really fun when you're watching them on youTube ? What's that ? You only stuck at it 'cause you paid money for it, and we'll suffer any old crap to get our money's worth and not feel stupid about buying something we don't really like ?Bullet hell games are niche, I didn't want to make a niche game ( This time ), I wanted to make a casual bullet hell inspired shooter."Also once you get the the boss in the third to last level (the one that shoots 3 lasers essentially) you can get extra lives like crazy. I ended the game with 20 some odd lives."There is a loop hole with grazing. You can really build up the lives really quickly if you're aware of it. As a developer what are my solutions ?* Change the baddie shooting patterns and hope that no one figures another way around it.* Cap the max number of lives and then award points instead.* Leave it.I opted to leave it, not through laziness, but as part of the reward mechanism. I know, that sounds like I've been caught out with a bug and I'm trying to lie my way out of it. I'm really not. As a player learning how to beat the system is a good feeling. Not just beating the game, but finding a way around what the game designer has done, to break through it, and take advantage of it.When I've tried my best to make sure as many people as possible can complete the game having a known loop hole to make that even easier isn't the end of the world.Actually it's not a case of completing the game, or abusing grazing to rack up the lives, the question is did you have fun ? If you had fun even if you made it easier for yourself by having 20 lives queued up, well I've done my job then.Hmm, still sounds like I'm lying to cover for a bug doesn't it."there should have been like a shop so you can buy upgrades"Fuck off. Honestly, just fuck off with that shop shit.I think that's most of the common ones ticked off, along with a couple I just wanted to swear about as they annoyed me.Just to stoke my ego a little, I'm going to link to an excellent review over on the Guidology blog ( Which is a really great blog, well worth having a look around there ), review.Squize.