Ludum Dare 35 — April 15th-18th, 2016 — Theme: Shapeshift

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by TerraCottaFrog - Compo Entry

NOTE - A bugfix update was released that addressed unplayable control layout for people with certain keyboards.


ShmupShifter is a 3 stage manic shooter developed in 48 hours for the Ludum Dare 35 compo, based on the theme "Shapeshift."

Fight 6 enemy types and three boss fights as you make you way through space. Use your powers of transformation to gain an upper hand, firing on enemies from all sides.

Featuring real shoot-em-up difficulty, ShmupShifter will surely satisfy your shmup appetite.


- Use the arrow or wasd keys to move.
- Use Z, X, and C to fire, and change ship (J,K,L also work. Y can replace Z)

Z type ship:
Red, medium speed, forward spread

X type ship:
Green, fast speed, backward spread

Z type ship:
purple, slow speed, side shot

Enemies don't kill you. Bullets do. Score by destroying enemies.

Use the different ships to your advantage!

Downloads and Links




XAND says ...
Apr 18, 2016 @ 2:31am

Very fun. It did seem a bit unfair that I could just spam ZXC but I think that was intended. Very nice!

Red15 says ...
Apr 18, 2016 @ 2:36am

Very good entry, a classic shmup as you clearly state yourself. Love the 8bit style. Shame there's no awesome soundtrack to go with it.

Apr 18, 2016 @ 2:38am

Pretty fun and hectic, The variety of firing modes was fun, and pretty well balanced!

Cerno_b says ...
Apr 18, 2016 @ 2:58am

I love SHMUPs and this one is very well done. If I had one request, that would be to allow pressing Y in addition to X since on German keyboards these keys are switched and it's really hard to play like this (maybe other locales require key switches as well). The only game so far that I would continue playing after LD (if that keyboard thing gets fixed that is). No music is pity though.

Brice says ...
Apr 18, 2016 @ 3:01am

Ok, this was pretty fun. I got frustrated that I couldn't beat the boss.

I liked the tip: "Try approaching from a different direction", but I was disappointed that the boss shot at me no matter where I was. It seems like the concept of "you can shoot in different directions" was leaned into a bit more. It seems like there's a bit of that, but it really still heavily favors shooting upwards. The tall vertical screen also reinforces that, and there weren't many enemies (that I got to) that really forced you to go into the other 2 forms. It seemed like those were just novelties, except when bad guys were down at the very bottom.

Nice job!

Nice big bright pixels!

Apr 18, 2016 @ 3:08am

If you don't hear music, try turning up a little bit. If there is none, tell me the system specs. A post-compo thing will be posted tomorrow with keyboard fixes and gamepad support

Cerno_b says ...
Apr 18, 2016 @ 11:13am

Yeah, I have sound after all, must have overheard it. Sorry. I was a bit tired yesterday.

Technically, the keyboard fix would count as a bugfix according to LD rules right? So you could add it to your regular release if I'm not mistaken.

Red15 says ...
Apr 18, 2016 @ 12:21pm

Found the music now as well, the volume balancing is a bit off, music and most sound effects are rather quiet while the deaths sound is obnoxiously loud :)

Flygamer101 says ...
Apr 18, 2016 @ 1:14pm

This was a great game :D Had really good polish, gameplay, and fun, as well as a cool take on the theme. I think I've played this game longer than any other. Imma keep it.

AnaGF says ...
Apr 18, 2016 @ 1:27pm

Nice shmup, gameplay is rather original. Graphics are nice too. I had a good time with it!

FloatingGhost says ...
Apr 18, 2016 @ 1:50pm

Nice traditional shmup - I've always sucked at shmups and this was no exception :P

I didn't make it past the first boss, but everything up until then was done pretty much perfectly, Nothing terribly new or innovative, but what was there worked well <3

Goutye says ...
Apr 18, 2016 @ 3:30pm

I really like Shoot'em up games. Because of that I wanted to try your game! A bit tough, but really fun. Take a bit of time to learn the best pattern to kill everyone! Well done.

Cerno_b says ...
Apr 18, 2016 @ 4:45pm

I just returned to the game after you fixed the buttons and I have to say it's really lovely. I got stuck at the second boss though. May pick it up again later.

I would encourage you to keep working on it. A bit of polish (e.g. boss energy bars), more content, powerups and so on and you have a game that you could sell on for a few bucks.

The visuals are quite unique and it's fast paced and fun. Great job again.

Hyoga-3D says ...
Apr 18, 2016 @ 11:37pm

Nice gameplay, very classic style too, the controls works very well and fluid, good job.

Apr 19, 2016 @ 2:17am

There is now a "Jam version" of the game. Made in 72 hours with the additional features and polish to match!

hadesfury says ...
Apr 19, 2016 @ 2:28am

Great idea ... quite hard by the way :)

Garris says ...
Apr 19, 2016 @ 3:09am

Disclaimer: I am very bad at shmups.
Solid game! I only barely got past the first boss, but I love how different enemies seemed to have vulnerabilities/exploits based on the forms. Good use of theme and mechanic!

oxysoft says ...
Apr 19, 2016 @ 5:45am

Cool idea but would be a lot better if it

1. particles didn't make it so hard to see everything
2. having more accurate hitboxes. I wasn't even sure where I was supposed to be exactly to stay alive, there were multiple times that I went over enemy shots that I thought would kill me but ended up doing nothing instead, making the whole thing feel less tight as a result

Ithildin says ...
Apr 19, 2016 @ 3:22pm

Awesome! It all felt very polished, and I love the retro graphics. Great job!!

ianh says ...
Apr 19, 2016 @ 4:03pm

I love the style and use of the theme! Cool stuff.

samlo says ...
Apr 19, 2016 @ 7:31pm

Awesome! Love how the ships have individual lives per type.

EpiFouloux says ...
Apr 19, 2016 @ 7:35pm

Nice ! I don't have anything to add from all previous comments

Sanka-X says ...
Apr 19, 2016 @ 7:50pm

Very fun! I like very much that enemies can come from the bottom !

plaguespark says ...
Apr 20, 2016 @ 12:26am

C-attack seems lacking DPS

The unsippable attention screen makes you skip main menu if you spam enter trying attention screen to end

RockNRedPanda says ...
Apr 20, 2016 @ 12:39am

Really fun game, I'll definitely play this occasionally!

And i haven't even played the post compo version. YET...

WizByte_Games says ...
Apr 20, 2016 @ 1:16am

This game is hard, but fun. The sound is great as well.

RyanNielson says ...
Apr 20, 2016 @ 2:25am

Great little game, I love the art and the idea of shooting in multiple directions to destroy enemies. It's too bad there's no music though. Also, I think the game would feel better if the basic enemies died more quickly.

CrazY says ...
Apr 20, 2016 @ 12:18pm


Apr 20, 2016 @ 5:38pm

Great work! Sadly I wasn't very good at the game, so I didn't get very far. Good job though :)

Maysickdev says ...
Apr 21, 2016 @ 1:31am

This was the game I was waiting most for based on your progress gifs. And it was everything that I expected. Good job!

thedashdude says ...
Apr 24, 2016 @ 4:28pm

Liked how the game looked, but shmups aren't really my thing. I thought it got hectic too quickly and the boss was too hard, but these are my complaints with all shmups so I am biased there. A pretty fun game from the parts I played ( up to the first boss).

Horsed says ...
Apr 28, 2016 @ 10:30am

I used the version that was labeled "JUDGE THIS". Nice take on the theme.

rnlf says ...
Apr 30, 2016 @ 9:50am

Nice idea with the different fire modes! The game itself felt solid and was fun to play. Too bad I suck at bullet hell style shooters and there sure was a hell of a lot of bullets :D

CodeNMore says ...
May 3, 2016 @ 1:25am

I absolutely love the style of this game, it fits so nicely and works wonderfully!

Gamepopper says ...
May 3, 2016 @ 12:58pm

Very well polished vertical shmup! The particle effects are very smooth and colourful.

Didn't really understand the benefits of the different ship types, there weren't many scenarios I had to shoot downwards and shooting at the sides didn't have much of an effect.

But as a huge fan of shmups, this was very satisfying. :3

Rock Eaters says ...
May 4, 2016 @ 12:12am

good danmaku game, really responsive but not easy to focus on patern. i like the shape shifting for the te weapons direction :) great game

MrMordem says ...
May 4, 2016 @ 9:38am

Simple but fun, the game feels very polished overall, my only problem would be that it's kinda hard to see the ennemy projectile at times.

Other than that, nice job :)

May 8, 2016 @ 12:23am

Really nice, well made game! I included it in my video compilation series of Ludum Dare games, if you’d like to check them out :)

Ellian says ...
May 8, 2016 @ 10:30am

Classic idea, but executed so well!
I'm amazed at how good it feels and plays. Super snappy, super nervous, feels so satisfying! Good job!

spiffl says ...
May 9, 2016 @ 10:01pm

I really enjoyed this game! I'm a big shmup nut, and it was well-designed and the graphics and music are rad! I do have a few minor criticisms though:

1. The elongated bullets that many enemies (particularly the first boss) shoot look incredibly cool, but I think they might be a bad idea from a design perspective. They're not large, but they can easily form nearly-impenetrable walls and are much more dangerous than even a whole bunch of normal circular bullets. You should use them more sparingly, I think.

2. The enemy types and flight patterns are a bit dull. GameMaker's path feature is super easy to use, so there's no reason the enemies shouldn't be moving in more complex formations! And you dont' need to hold off until the end for that cool stuff, either; even from the first level I was a bit put off by the fact that enemies always just flew in a straight-ish line.

3. There's not enough incentive to use the sideways gun. I would suggest copying the excellent Radiant Silvergun, in which the sideways bullet does much more damage than the other guns to counteract its difficulty of use!

Despite these nitpicks, I think you've done a great job with this game, and I'll probably play the updated non-submission version in just a bit! Congratulations :)

Aaranos says ...
May 9, 2016 @ 10:43pm

Pretty standard shmup. Being able to shoot in multiple directions is nice but not needed.

TheCain says ...
May 10, 2016 @ 12:58am

1 minute left. Oh man, this was close. No time to give criticism!

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