During my recent hiatus I polished my art and music skills… and completely forgot how the hell I programmed this damned game. It’s taken me about a month to relearn this plumber’s attempt at code, but I’m back on track again. Last night I added a focus button to slow the ship down during difficult-to-navigate bullet patterns and punched up the music and sound effects.
One of the hardest things to calibrate in a vacuum is difficulty. Shmup fans typically don’t shy away from difficulty, but I’ve found myself playing Jamestown+ a lot more because the older I get the more I appreciate an accessible shooter. It’s satisfying being able to 1CC a stage without memorizing every single pattern, but also having the option of increasing difficulty (I have yet to beat the final Jamestown+ boss despite steamrolling all the others). I would love Blood Ship to ease players into the madness the same way, especially since I hope the planned art style draws in people who have rarely played a shmup before.
The problem? I’ve gotten pretty damn good at playing my own game. I really don’t know how difficult the game is outside the vacuum I’ve created. Which means my next milestone is getting Early Access out there as soon as possible. I was shooting for April, but I haven’t even gotten around to putting up a Steam page yet so that seems unlikely. Check back to keep informed!