In the interview we talk about Legacy of the Elder Star's planned accessibility features, the inspiration for its story, emphasizing skilled offense over dodging, the game's unique "star dash" mechanic, and even a little bit about the Utah Games Guild, my community-building side project.
Here's an excerpt:
ZN: Why did you decide to emphasize offense over dodging in the gameplay?
JS: Over the past decade shmups have trended increasingly toward danmaku or “bullet hell”, typified by games like DoDonPachi, Mushihimesama, and much of the Touhou series. These are games that literally fill the screen with bullets, putting the gameplay focus squarely on learning each pattern’s “safe spot” and reacting with micro-movements to inch your way through the bullet field.
Those games are cool, but they’re incredibly intimidating to genre newcomers and they demand an enormous amount of training before you can start posting competitive scores. I’ve talked to loads of players who like the idea of shmups but feel like they’re nowhere near skilled enough to play these bullet hell games. I really wanted to make a shmup for those players.