[Steam] BlackjackGT's "Twin-Stix" Community Group & Twin-Stick Shooters "Curator Page"

So its Steam launch planned for today (July 27) got botched by a technical glitch, but Aniquilation is a clever “spherical” twin-stick shooter that could have some appeal to fans of the largely overlooked Battle planet. I find it bizarre that Steam’s automated “similar to games you’ve played” doesn’t in fact look up my copy of Battle Planet. :slight_smile:

Battle Planet - Judgement Day was a 2019 “spherical” top-down rogue lite that was fun and challenging, but didn’t hold much replay value for me (got around 13 hours before I got tired of it):

From my crude demo experience, Spellbearers ain’t no Gauntlet, but is maybe “Gauntlet-ish,” though devs claim Smash TV is more their inspiration, and now has an October 2022 release date. They’ve supposedly made some changes since the festival demo.

REDSIDE, which I’ve oversimplified as a solo “Hotline Miami meets Running With Rifles,” released. I had some fun with its demo until an impossible tank finale in which the scripted enemy tanks never stopped respawning. It’s pretty cheap ($7.99; $5.59 launch sale), and is billed as “part 1,” which seems rather hopeful. I think it’s a solo-dev project.

My main demo feedback beyond the messed up tanks finale was the need to enable players to give our couple AI troops some simple comments. Even “stay” and “follow me” would suffice. As it is, they “clump” too closely to you and are often more troublesome than helpful.

As with most of these “true-top-down view” games (like Hotline Miami), that perspective is sometimes problematic as far as providing the player a sufficient “field of view” to see oncoming enemies, vs. isometric games. But it does prevent the “blind spot” problem some isometric games have with environmental objects obscuring view.

I’m not sure what to make of Redside’s solo dev. All my suggestions are met with “nah,” and while I could say Arrowhead tended to respond to my suggestions the same way, back when they actively supported Helldivers, they at least pretended to care about our feedback/suggestions. It also seems to have some game stopping bugs in places, according to other players, so I’d like to see if Redside’s going to get any post release support.

ZERO Sievert is a pretty ambitious, pixelized top-down looter shooter/survival game whose demo has so far turned me off due to a steep initial difficulty curve (other players say the demo actually gets too easy once you upgrade to better armor). But in early stages I just feel I get one-shot killed way too often.

Fully upgradeable weapons (attachments system), questing and a procedurally generated wasteland that at least for me often takes a full minute or more for level-loading/generation are among its distinguishing features. From your base camp, you talk to a train conductor to take quick rides to other wasteland zones.

I just feel in the early stages I get blasted by enemies I can’t hardly see in the pixelized woods and Damage over Time annihilated by radiation practically everywhere. Can still see a lot of potential in this, and it’s something I want to at least Follow the development of.

Synthetik 2’s multiplayer co-op mode is finally rolling out on a limited basis soon in the optional “alpha test” branch in Steam early access: The info was tucked into the end of some patch notes on the game’s U7 update.

Multiplayer Rollout
First Multiplayer testing begins almost directly after the full launch of U7!
U7 adds a new server pool, allowing global chat and other services to continue running, while allowing you to test multiplayer in a alpha test branch. We start with time limited test phases and a fast update cycle (in the testing branch) to get fast iteration and quality improvements.

This big U7 update overhauled enemy AI behaviors (much more aggressive now) and movement animations. I’m still getting used to it.

I’ll be curious how the balancing is in online co-op because solo the game’s balancing and boss battles have been all over the place (often too easy if you have certain weapons/upgrades/items).

Last I’d heard months ago was they were aiming for 3-player online co-op, but I’m not sure what the plans are now. This will be fully server-based and won’t be a player-hosted model.

I don’t play S2 on controller so I can’t speak to it. I can say they designed the UI and the mostly “auto triggering” of items and no more inventory drop/drag to better accommodate controller limitations.

I had some fun with the playable demo for Project Morph, a nice looking isometric shooter with a twist – DNA pickups let you morph at will to/from alien creature forms that you’ve defeated (or you can remain in your human form to use more conventional weaponry), using their special attacks and movement abilities.

On forums a dev responded with feedback, and I was surprised to learn the dev, Threaks, made the imho underappreciated “rotational planet” shooter Battle Planet - Judgement Day. :slight_smile:

A few roguelites tagged as twin-stick shooters, popped out in Steam’s upcoming games list:

I’m getting tired of “swarm” top-down shooters, I really want more variety in enemies, enemy AI behaviors/movement patterns – all stuff Helldivers did so well. I feel like too many now fall into the promising but disappointing Solstice Chronicles: MIA’s trap – if all the AI enemies just rush at you like you’re a postal delivery person wearing steaks to a dog pound, there’s no variety, no tactics, and things become one-note predictable.

Shift of War is an interesting top-down military shooter due out in about 9 hours on Steam. While it has 4-player split screen local co-op, no official online co-op plans (beyond what Steam Remote Play Together can do):

Great update news for From Space, which finally gets a proper online co-op multiplayer game lobby / sessions browser. Host has options for “anyone can join,” “only Steam friends can join” and “private” sessions, and it sounds like host now has ‘kick’ option for miscreant players (although my experience in some games shows this can be a badly abused feature).

Although I’m most excited about the co-op MP lobby / sessions browser, they’ve made many other mainly co-op oriented improvements as well:

*** Multiplayer Lobby**
That’s right, we have added a Lobby browser which means you can now easily find and join other players, even if they’re not your friend (yet). You can use the progress and level indicator to find sessions that are on par with your personal progress in the game (or you can help out a player who’s just started).

Starting a new game automatically allows other players to join you as well. Don’t worry, you can still choose to have a session that’s only open to your friends, or even a completely private session. Hosts can moderate other players if needed, so remember to play nice!

*** Improved Networking**
We’ve updated the game to fully utilize Steam Datagram Relay, this should improve the quality of your sessions for many, including those with lower bandwidth connections.

*** Improved Enemy Targeting**
We’ve updated the Enemy Targeting system to target players more accurately with more balance. This means Enemies no longer prioritise hosts over client players, improving the experience for all.

*** Improved Difficulty Scaling**
Previously, the game difficulty was based on completion of Energy Harvesters. It’s now also influenced by player progression, providing you with a more appropriate challenge if you play earlier maps with a high level character.

*** Added Rich Presence information**
Your friends will now be able to tell which character you’re playing, what map you’re on, and if there’s room in your squad for them to join.

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So I stumbled onto the recently announced top-down shooter DarkSwarm, which while it is NOT in anyway affiliated with Alien Swarm, is clearly going for something in a similar vein, but with the differentiation of procedurally generated levels and what seems to be an interesting mix of stealth, hacking, tactical play etc. on top of the expected gooey kablooey of alien monsters. :slight_smile:

More importantly, the plan is to offer both solo and online co-op modes, alongside 4 distinct player classes. Nothing yet about release dates, but the devs seem optimistic about pushing a playable demo out

  • Loads of blood & gore
  • Solo play + Local & online co-op
  • Huge swarms of nasty aliens
  • 4 distinct player classes (With the option for more down the line)
  • Cunning gameplay like stealth, hacking and tactical play
  • Procedural map generation - never play the same level twice
  • Semi-destructible environment
  • Guns, gadgets, progression and things that go boom!

NOTE: They assure that the screenshake and screenscan stuff in the trailer will be adjustable (or can be switched off), and have been tweaked since the trailer was posted.

At the least, the devs are hilarious – or at least try to be :smiley: – at the Steam forum for this.

While DarkSwarm seems very promising, I thought the same about games like Trident’s Wake and Anvil, and um, don’t ask me how I feel about those games now. :sob: :face_with_symbols_over_mouth: So we’ll see. No release date. They sound optimistic about pushing out a playable demo at some point.

I’ve gotten back into isometric roguelike Synthetik 2 to add some fresh video clips to my S2 Classes Guide. Guess I can’t link here at the forum anymore.

One of the German devs told me at S2’s Steam forum that they hope to finally move its server-based online co-op mode out of the “Testing Branch” (I haven’t to this point been able to recruit any other S2 players to try it there) and into the main Early Access build.

While they won’t listen to me on my push for Objectives/Missions, I think one modder did add back in these consoles that generate a random objective (assault servers, defend servers, defend mission console, take down enemy group that teleports in, etc.).

With Helldivers 2 transitioning away from twin-stick/overhead shooter into 3rd person shooter, I woulda loved if Synthetik 2 had veered into more of a missions/objectives category but the devs are just focused on their roguelike roots I guess.