February 29th, 2020
Time To Be Determined
(But Probably 9 AM – 2 PM MST)
Shmup Slam is coming back for round two. As you will notice by the highly clever subtitle of the event, this second incarnation will attempt to focus much more heavily on live demonstrations. Going into Shmup Slam 1, I expected that live demos would be an exciting portion of the show, but I wasn’t exactly sure how well they would work and if people would be interested in them. Gathering the feedback from everyone though, it is clear that the people want live demos, so live demos is what the people will get 🙂
With that said, there are some aspects of the idea of Shmup Slam that I would like to highlight, as well as some misconceptions I would like to clear up. Shmup Slam has two primary purposes. The first is to have a community gameplay event that is accessible, fun, and not totally life or death serious. The second is to give players a bit more motivation for their current shmup goals. Coming from my experience with fighting games, I remember that I would practice and focus much more heavily in anticipation of a tournament, as opposed to when my schedule was completely clear of events. It is my hope that Shmup Slam will do this for players. Even players who feel like they are not quite ready for Shmup Slam 2 will hopefully feel like they’d want to enter a future event.
So speaking of player entrance and submission, this is where things get tricky. Naturally, since I am going to be encouraging live demonstrations as much as possible this time around, I figure less people will be inclined to submit to the event. But in the case where I get a good number of players interested in participating (which would be a good thing), I’m going to do my best to try and find collaborators who can help host and extend the event without me having to run a 12 hour stream like in Shmup Slam 1 (which was crazy). So for the time being, don’t be shy submitting if you are interested in participating, just know that how many people submit and what level of interest I receive will determine how the schedule is constructed. Also, if you know for sure that you want to submit to the event, I’d recommend doing so as soon as possible because the earlier I know who wants to play, the easier it’s going to be to create a suitable event schedule.
For the nitty gritty details of the submission process, this time around I want the event to be almost exclusively live runs, with a few premier prerecorded runs sprinkled in. Future events may revert to having more prerecorded stuff, but this time around I am curious to see how a heavy emphasis on live runs will work out. As far as the level of game play is concerned, I feel like I want to encourage more players of different skill levels, rather than just the boss-tier players, to join and do a run. I get why the average player would feel hesitant to do so, considering just how brutal and unforgiving the genre is, but that brings me to my next point. As far as approving a run, the main thing I want players to do is submit a run that is challenging, but achievable at their current skill level. The tension of whether or not the player is going to achieve his goal or not is the most important criteria. I’ll use myself for example. As a shmup player, I’ve spent the last year pursuing a 2-all in DDP, but have not achieved a level of consistency to where I think it’s at all likely that I would be able to pull this off live. So, for myself, I wouldn’t really submit this as a run goal. However, at my current skill level, I do think it is possible that I could pull off a DOJ White Label 1-all live, but still with some level of uncertainty that’s going to be interesting for both myself and the viewers. What I would want to avoid is people being really nervous about failing live and so picking a goal that they will easily be able to achieve, even on a bad day (such as a DDP 1-all, in my case). In short, don’t set yourself up for failure by aiming tto above your ability, but also don’t lower the hoop so low you can dunk without jumping (sorry for the sports metaphor). Try to be honest with yourself and find that middle ground.
As with Shmup Slam 1, not all the runs need to be high scoring superplay material. I definitely encourage people to submit creative runs (like doubleplays) and meme runs. That being said, just also try your best to make the creative runs challenging and interesting to watch, there should be some sort of tension because that is what makes things fun. As for the prerecorded runs, the same ideas from Shmup Slam 1 apply, just know that I am going to be favoring the live runs this time around, so try and take the plunge and propose a live run for the event, if possible.
For the players like myself, who aren’t level 99 maxed stats players, just try to keep in mind that the purpose of the event is just to have fun and have something that the community can watch and enjoy, so don’t psych yourselves out too much. If a good amount of players join, there are certainly going to be people who get crushed by STG, I probably will, but that’s part of the genre and what makes shmups fun to watch in the first place. It wouldn’t be as exciting if every player was certain to complete their goal.
So that’s pretty much it, I’ll have another update as to how the schedule is looking and all that in a month or so. If you are interested in participating, feel free to leave a message on the r/shmupstg reddit thread, the r/shmups thread, on the system11 thread, or via twitter. If you prefer to contact me directly rather than posting on the thread, feel free to do so 🙂
Thanks for reading and I am looking forward to seeing whose interested in joining.