Hysteria Star is a shoot-em-up game set in space. Gameplay involves a spaceship flying to the right through forced-scrolling levels, shooting enemy ships and evading obstacles.
It’s my second game, and another that I’ve cut off in early development to focus my attention elsewhere. After my current project I may return to this one. But for now consider it shelved. (more in the bottom paragraph)
For this game, I focused almost entirely on unique level designs and game mechanics to make it as awesome as possible. The idea was to take a simple control scheme and concept and extrapolate to the extreme. Lots of unlockables, different modes, difficulty levels that alter level layouts for the main game, a variety of spacey ship thingies for the player to fly around in, each with their own strengths, weaknesses and certain quirks, and more.
Hysteria Star is an oldschool game with modern sensibilities. High-definition sprites and a 2D lighting system make the game look great on any resolution. There’s a lot of content and the game is tough as nails if you want it to be. Difficulty settings change up level layouts entirely, and different ships get entirely different sets of levels to play through. This combination means that even though you will be revisiting the same areas, every playthrough will present different challenges tailored to different play styles of the many ships in the game. The controls for those ships are so easy to learn and use, you can pick up Hysteria for the first time and whether you’re playing on PC, Mac or smartphone, you can be sure they will never hold you back.
There will be some story to the content, but Hysteria Star focuses on mechanics first. Everything that’s there is set in place to do new things for gameplay and make the game more interesting as you fight your way from level to level and through multiple playthroughs. For the hardcore, this will be a game to last quite a while. New challenges are always popping up, daring you to play the game a different way, with an achievements system tied to unlockables.
The main platform for Hysteria Star is Android, but plans were to bring it to PC, and those Apple things everyone loves. iOS and Mac, specifically. (sorry, Pippin) The work done on the game’s prototype was in Game Maker Studio.
I may come back to this game some day. Looking back, GM Studio is not the capable software I once thought it to be, and since I really started to get a grasp of Unity and the programming world at large, I’ve found that what I’m looking for is almost universally better found elsewhere. If I revisit this project, I’ll almost certainly bring with me new insights into the game’s design and modernize it a lot more with a better engine. But until then, what’s left of Hysteria Star is some nice ideas and a basic prototype. I think I got Game Maker to do some fancy things with level loading and the 2D lighting system, but I let my wild ideas get ahead of what the software itself was actually capable of doing.