About 5parrowhawk


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Hempuli says ...

Too old computer to play.

greencow says ...

pew pew!

Doches says ...

Plays just fine, here -- and looks great! Biggest complaint: either I'm really bad at shmups (possible, likely) or this is really fscking hard.

Can't get past Act 2. Still, a very solid shmup, here...I'm impressed. Why are these flying monks attacking me, though?

Edit: Gargh! No reset button? But I die _all_of_the_time!

scionkiller says ...

Yeah, the game is too difficult, but with everything else being so excellent, the game is still awesome.

Art is incredible for 48 hours, animation is great (bombs and super), performance was good with so much going on, and the first parts of the level were fun. The gameplay idea is really fun and cool, similar to Ikaruga.

- didn't like the wall switching method... maybe better to have less circles and have them togglable/cycleable directly with buttons?
- wall switching didn't seem to work completely... I could only take non-red circles and make them red, no other changes worked.
- You mentioned music? I got no sound of any kind.

Endurion says ...

Hard. I'm not a big fan of bullet hell shooters, but there's a nice slice of strategy involved with the wall.
Still, it's too hectic for me (i'm getting old), so i can't evade bullets and switch wall colors at the same time ;)

jhauberg says ...

This is really hard for me to judge because I really don't like shmups, and I suck at 'em too!

The game is way too hectic and intense for me to enjoy it, but, that's just me. It looks like you put a lot of work into this game, lots of graphics, effects, particles and enemy movement patterns. I can definitely appreciate that :)

A little gripe I have is that it doesn't seem to register certain arrow key combos, like for example down+left/right, making it hard for me to navigate.

Hamumu says ...

No function.

muku says ...

I'm a... flying girl? What? :D
The wall-switching was an interesting concept, but didn't really work out for me in the end. I was too busy dodging stuff to make effective use of it.
The pixelated background looks lovely. I feel that the high-res, cartoony sprites are at odds with it though (and I like them less than the background, actually). All in all, the game is quite pleasant to look at though.
Player movement felt a bit stiff, I think adding acceleration would help.
Difficulty seemed okay; I'm not much of a shmup player, but I still got some playtime out of it on my first real run.
All in all a very nice effort! But please do include a readme in the zip file, especially when you use non-obvious mechanics.

LunarCrisis says ...

Yay, bullet curtain shooter, touhou-style! I had fun with this, but it took a few tries before I could survive long enough to really get into it. It felt a little constraining because of how low the wall started off. The game actually
became easier for me when I started ignoring the wall and using more of the screen. Also, there was little feedback for when you hit or missed enemies, I think sounds would have helped here.

sinoth says ...

Not feeling the 'wall of doom' in this one. Visually, very nice, although the nice graphics make the lack of sound very apparent. I'm not sure there is a lot of strategy involved in the wall other than turning it all red or all blue. Definitely a neat engine though, and I hope you use it in the future to crank out a more polished game.

SethR says ...

Pretty cool, the tiny collision point of the player and such is dead-on for a bullet hell game.

I think the wall thing might have worked better if the game only used single color bullets for a while, instead of spraying with everything, which for me anyway, made it so ignoring the walls and dodging all over the screen was a better strategy.

Nice looking weapons

HybridMind says ...

crap.. this game won't run.. big error popup. Graphics look great in the screenshot too! winxp, dx9

jsb says ...

Runs smoothly on my machine, but - damn - this is hard :) Even after looking up the rules in your blog post I found it difficult to use the color switching intelligently; maybe I'm too slow for these kind of games :)
Good job on the graphics esp. the cloud layers in the background!

Archive for the ‘LD #14 – Advancing Wall of Doom – 2009’ Category

[Wall Girl] New version available, now with Easy mode

Posted by
Sunday, April 26th, 2009 7:08 am

In response to many comments, I spent a few hours to improve Wall Girl and have released the results.


Edit: If you have yet to rate Wall Girl, the older version is available at:


If you intend to rate the game, please do so before playing the new PR1 version.


– Most of my respondents observed that the game was too hard for them. In response, this new version comes with an Easy mode. Press X at the title screen to start Easy mode.

– The Normal mode has seen several balance changes. On the whole, the game is easier, but a couple of parts have actually been made more difficult.

– There is now music! Still no sound effects, though. I was really bummed that I couldn’t finish the music in time for the entry, but here it is. Not great, but it’s my first shot (in a very long while) at composing something from scratch.

– Several cosmetic enhancements have been made to the boss fight.

– This version has a readme! :) It’s actually more like a full-on manual…

I think this is really very close to how I envisioned the game when I first started work on it, apart from the lack of a tutorial mode. If you have a bit of time to spare, reviews and/or comments would be appreciated.

Response to comments

Posted by
Tuesday, April 21st, 2009 5:32 pm

Hey, everyone who commented on my entry! Thanks so much for playing and commenting!

I felt it would be good to respond, so here’s some quick answers to the comments.

(1) Sorry, I was too busy making fancy-looking graphics to do the reset button ><

(2) Sorry, I couldn’t finish the music in time, so there’s no sound! Once I regain some energy I will release a new version with sound. I think this game has legs.

(3) Yeah, the wall-switching is a bit cumbersome. I guess this is where memorization comes in – if you know the pattern beforehand or can read it quickly, then you know which wall colours to use and can set it up pretty quick. Not sure if that’s bad design… You can actually just hold down a shot button and move laterally across the wall to change all the circles at once, by the way.

(4) Sorry, there wasn’t a help screen, or it would be more obvious that there are three weapons (Z, X, and Z+X), and that each corresponds to a different colour for wall-switching. Edit: I haven’t encountered any problems with the wall-switching – maybe my explanation was unclear? An animated tutorial might help.

(5) shrt, it seems you have one of Those Keyboards. I’m not sure what the exact reason is, but some keyboards (like the one on a laptop I once used) seem to not want to register a combination of a letter and certain arrow keys at the same time. So you can’t press Z, Down and Left together. Best I can do is to put in 360 pad support, and possibly other pad support too, in the remake.

(6) All told, if you actually use all the bombs, you have 12 shots of the superweapon. This is (in theory) enough to clear the Horrible Rush Of Enemies before the boss, and kill the boss, without firing a single conventional shot, and being invincible about 90% of the time. (Edit: Assuming you don’t die before the Horrible Enemy Rush, that is.) C launches the superweapon when your wall is up, and re-summons the wall when it is offline. I was actually worried that it would be a game-breaker, but it seems it… well, wasn’t. If you’re having trouble, use more superweapon!

(7) There’s a semi-hidden trick to the game. You can operate either the spread shots or the laser simultaneously with the missiles. To do so, hold either the Z or the X key to fire the spread or laser, and simultaneously tap the other key (X or Z). This increases your firepower very substantially, but also makes your movement speed erratic, so threading a path through bullets gets a bit tougher.

(8) Have you ever encountered flying monks that *weren’t* attacking you? 😉

Edit: (9) Muku, your comments were completely spot-on. I wonder if you were reading my mind! Yes, I realized a couple of days ago that I should have added a readme with instructions – will try to remember to do so next time. Yes, I am actually considering a more extensive remake/expanded edition with SNES-style blocky sprites (after I finish solving the more obvious issues). Yes, I did think about adding one or two ticks of acceleration, but my experience in the past has been that adding excessive acceleration to a shmup causes the player’s movement to feel sluggish – that’s probably something that can be solved with tuning though, so if I do a more extensive remake I will seriously consider it (thanks to your feedback!). Finally, the wall mechanic currently relies heavily on memorization (you switch the wall between waves to prepare for the upcoming wave); in the remake I am thinking of giving the player the choice of 2 different “wall modes” – manual and semi-automatic – where the former is the same as the current wall, and the latter is easier and more responsive but also far less flexible.

The other last foodphoto, and post-mortem

Posted by
Sunday, April 19th, 2009 7:34 pm

Dinner last night was Chinese.

Clockwise from upper left: cold dish platter (chicken, roast pork, char siew and jellyfish), diced duck in lettuce wrap, roast chicken, tofu mock-meat with veggies, dessert (hard to explain unless you live in Asia), fried shrimp in wasabi sauce, steamed fish, and noodles in the centre. Not pictured: Peking duck and one other dish which I forget – probably veggies of some description, if memory serves.

Hooray for crappy photography skills and almost-as-crappy cellphone camera.

Actually, this was my grandmother’s birthday. Dinner took 4 hours, which kind of put a ding in my development time. Food was good if somewhat “innovative” (roast chicken on top of fruit salad?).

Well, on to the post-mortem.

What I did right:

– I was using very familiar tools.

– Tools were mostly in place before development began.

– I deliberately left out 3D skeletal animation from my toolset. Integrating it would have tempted me to make animated 3D characters, which would have killed the project due to the time required.

– Character sketches at the start gave me a very clear direction.

– Chose to hard-code my level rather than making a more open framework.

– Froze development half an hour before the end of the compo, to avoid running out of time.

What I did wrong:

– Not enough practice with composing music. The first song took 2 and a half hours. The second was half-done in about half an hour. In the end I scrapped music because I couldn’t finish the boss fight theme in time.

– Didn’t build my toolset with quick development in mind. Some features which would have been useful were left out, like sprite animation and object state-management.

– Included toolset features, like lighting, which pushed the game’s specs to a point where some people couldn’t run it. :(

– Edit: Made the game too hard. I forgot that most people are not shmupfans.

– Attended the birthday dinner. I kid, I kid – making Grandma happy is usually a good thing, and I got a nice meal out of it too.

[Wall Girl] FINAL

Posted by
Sunday, April 19th, 2009 6:52 pm

I’m calling this one done. Will post a post-mortem (and food!) later.




(1) You’ll need at least the XNA redistributable to run it. Also, a decent 3D card (anything from the last 4-5 years. Technically Intel GMA should work too!)

Download: XNA redist

(2) During gameplay, Z fires spread shots, X fires laser, Z+X fire missiles.

(3) The wall circles block enemy bullets of the same colour. Move into the circles and shoot to change the colours.

(4) When the wall is up and running, C uses your super attack (+ temporary invincibility). When it is offline, C summons it at the cost of one bomb.

(5) When the game finishes, please press Esc to exit. Didn’t have time to test and debug go-back-to-main-menu, even though the code is half-finished.


If it doesn’t run even after installing the XNA redistributable, please consult my contest page:


[Wall Girl] Still at it!

Posted by
Sunday, April 19th, 2009 5:44 pm

All graphics done.

I’m gonna see if I can finish that music track I was working on…

[Wall Girl] All gameplay done

Posted by
Sunday, April 19th, 2009 12:59 pm


I will need to do the title screen, game over screen, and so on, but not just yet. It’s 5 am and I need to catch a quick nap first.

Hopefully there will be time for music (I have a track almost complete) and possibly even sound.

Back in a couple of hours.

[Wall Girl] Development log entry: 8 hours left

Posted by
Sunday, April 19th, 2009 10:11 am

All the gameplay’s done except the boss. Gonna see how much of it I can implement in 8 hours.

The difficulty is pretty tough. I guess it’s about on the same level as the Extra mode in “Perfect Cherry Blossom”. If I have the time to implement scoring, I’ll start an unofficial highscore board here after the final submission is done!

[Wall Girl] Testers wanted for experimental superweapon

Posted by
Sunday, April 19th, 2009 12:37 am

The above screenshot says it all. I wanted to have more enemies and bullets on screen for the picture, but they were gone before I could take it *grin* All the player’s abilities are now complete – after this I’ll be doing the level design.


Please test if you have the time and energy. I really do appreciate the feedback.

The controls are: any key to begin, then arrow keys to move, Z for firebolts, X for laser, Z+X for missiles. When the wall is up and running, C launches the super attack (which consumes the wall). When the wall is not up and running, C will expend one bomb to summon it. You have 3 bombs.

The circles that make up the wall will absorb same-coloured enemy bullets. If you move into the circle and shoot, it will reappear (after a brief period) as the colour of the shot you used.

Enemies who hit the wall are immediately killed, but the circle they hit will be pushed back towards you! If the circle is pushed back too far, there is a chance that it will disappear. After three circles are gone, the entire wall disintegrates. This is a good time to use the superweapon (before it disintegrates, that is).

Esc exits the game when you’re done (sorry, it still doesn’t return to title screen).

For troubleshooting, etc., please see my previous entry:


I has a wall.

Posted by
Saturday, April 18th, 2009 10:26 pm


The circles that make up the wall will absorb same-coloured enemy bullets. If you move into the circle and shoot, it will reappear (after a brief period) as the colour of the shot you used.

Enemies who hit the wall are immediately killed, but the circle they hit will be pushed back towards you! If the circle is pushed back too far, there is a chance that it will disappear. After three circles are gone, the entire wall disintegrates.

Currently there’s no way to regenerate the wall other than dying. However, once I implement the bomb/super attack (the next item on my agenda), the player will have a way to regenerate the wall.

Also, have an advancing wall of sickeningly cute.

Wall Girl: All player weapons complete!

Posted by
Saturday, April 18th, 2009 7:48 am

Big milestone here. The other 2 player-weapons are finally done! Next update: THE WALL.

I’ve released a version with all 3 weapons:


As always, I will be very grateful – not eternally so, I’m afraid, but very grateful nonetheless – to anyone who feels like testing it.

As with the previous version, controls are Up, Down, Left, Right (arrows) to move. Z launches firebolts (spread), X fires the laser, and Z+X launches magic missiles.

When the program starts you need to press any key to start the game. Esc exits.

You have 4 lives, and when all are gone, the game doesn’t return to the title screen (yet) – you have to exit and start again.

For those of you who are missing a redistributable, you can find it on my compo page:


And now I must sleep. Good night (or whatever the time is where you are).

Hint: The Malice Cannon technique is alive and well, for those of you who know what that is!

Wall Girl – Appeal for stress testers

Posted by
Saturday, April 18th, 2009 5:01 am

Hi all,

I’m running a quick stress test of my game (pre-alpha 1) to make sure it runs on as many machines as possible. (Min spec is a Geforce FX or equivalent – i.e. about 4-5 year old machine.) If you have the time, it would be a great help if you took a break to play it!

Here’s a direct download link to the file:


Since it’s made using XNA, you’ll probably need to download the appropriate files. I’ve placed links to all the needed files on my contest page:


If nothing else, you can download the redistributables etc. in the background while working on your entry. (Pretty please?)

Controls are Up, Down, Left, Right (arrows) to move, hold Z to shoot. When the program starts you need to press any key to start the game. Esc exits.

You have 4 lives, and when all are gone, the game doesn’t return to the title screen (yet) – you have to exit and start again. Sorry about that – I’m planning to fix it up before I submit the final version.

Thanks in advance!

Basic shmup logic done

Posted by
Saturday, April 18th, 2009 3:01 am

In case there’s any doubt, the blue bullets are going downwards.

Only one problem: I haven’t implemented collision detection yet, so no shooting enemies and no getting shot. And the framerate is already acting funny for some reason. -_-; I have to force myself to concentrate on making the gameplay work first…

Progress report: 4.5 hours in

Posted by
Friday, April 17th, 2009 11:27 pm

I’ve got the basic thing up and running. There’s an attract mode which pretty much displays nothing (just the scrolling background), and the play mode. Player can move around and is stopped when she hits the edge of the playable area. Animation not in yet.

Design (already kind of figured out)

Posted by
Friday, April 17th, 2009 8:55 pm

The funny thing is, the one theme I actually did plan out in my head was “Advancing Wall Of Doom”. So here’s my design (Kabe Shoujo).

It’s a vertical shmup where you’re a magician. You’ve got the usual 3 kinds of shots: red shotgun spread (shot button 1), blue laser (shot button 2) and purple homing bolts (hold both shot buttons down – makes you move slower).

In addition, you can summon a “wall” of 6 or so magic circles (the Advancing Wall Of Doom) which forms a line about 1/3 way up the screen. You start with the wall active.Each circle starts as a random colour – red, blue or purple.

Enemies who touch the wall are destroyed. Every time an enemy touches the wall, it moves back a bit.

Now there are 3 kinds of enemy bullets – you guessed it: red, blue and purple. The wall circles only absorb bullets of the same colour. However, if you fly into the circle and use one of the shots, the circle will change colour after a short duration. The trick is to change the circle colours to best absorb the massive barrage of oncoming fire.

Also, you can dispel the wall by using the Bomb button – doing so makes you briefly invincible and unleashes a super attack. You can re-summon the wall using the same button, but you only get 3 re-summons per life.

I’m planning to have 1 tutorial stage (really a mini-stage) and 1 real stage.

First poster after theme

Posted by
Friday, April 17th, 2009 8:17 pm

Aaaand away we go!

Posted by
Friday, April 17th, 2009 7:02 pm

Good luck, y’all. :)

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