Make your own Bullet Hell

UPDATE: Check my new blog about developing a Bullet Hell game at

Work continue apace on my Flash game, Bullet Hell Surive. Actually, no it doesn’t. What’s the opposite of apace? Slowly? That will do.

With most of my time now taken up by housedad duties, I’m finding it hard to get enough time to get things done on the project. Occasionally I get an uninterrupted hour or two and get lots done, but usually it’s half an hour here or there and once I’ve got settled in the time is half gone. I get the distinct impression that, were I working on this fulltime, I could have got to this stage in the project in a single week.

(click on the picture to run the demo)

So what’s new in this version? First up is the level editor. You can use this to create your own levels, which you can then play. Continue reading

Posted in Computers, Development, Games | 11 Comments


Yup.. I’ve finally joined Twitter. Drop by and follow me, I’ll be talking about BHS development (and other things) as they happen.

Twitter username: evilpaul_atebit

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Bullet Hell Survive… Flash!

UPDATE: Check my new blog about developing a Bullet Hell game at

I’m getting more interested in making my work more easily accessible. After dabbling around with Processing for a while (and enjoying it’s ability to publish-to-web fairly easily) I’ve decided next to take a look at Flash. This should make it even easier to get my work into the hands of more people.. excluding you people with iDevices of course ;P

For my first Flash project I’ve decided to write a game. More specifically, I’ve decided to update my old Bullet Hell Survive game that I wrote as part of the first one day game jam that I organised, Dundee Jam. I thought the game in its original form was fairly fun, but it certainly had a few flaws that needed fixing. I’ve been wanting to update it for a long time now.

(click on the picture to run the demo)

The premise of the game is pretty simple – dodge a storm of bullets while trying to maximise your score. In a normal bullet hell game you have to defeat enemies, but not here. In BHS you just have to survive against the clock. You can score in one of three ways: camp out in one of the level’s score zones, graze bullets (à la Crazy Taxi) or collect the special “score bullets”. Click on the image above and you’ll be able to play the work-in-progress build of the game. Use WASD or the arrow keys to move around. It’s only a couple of hours work so far and uses coder art mixed with a touch of hastily ripped Xenon 2 graphics. There’s still a hell of a lot more to add. Oh.. heh.. no pun intended there! ;D

The only really interesting piece of code so far is the part that controls the spawning of the bullets. Continue reading

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So here’s a little ZX Spectrum platform game prototype that I threw together at the end of last year. After getting so far into the project I decided that it wasn’t worth continuing with – too big a project, not enough time and I couldn’t find any artists or level designers to help out with the workload.

Anyway.. cut to now and I’ve finally got around to packing up the source code (and the tools to build the thing) and releasing it. Feel free to grab it and do with it what you will.. within reason of course! ;D

Continue reading

Posted in Computers, Development, Games | 3 Comments

Depth-of-field in Processing

It’s an old trick: generate a set of pre-blurred sprites and choose the right one to show (based on depth) to give the illusion of an expensive depth-of-field effect. Here it is in a Processing sketch:

(click on the picture to run the demo)

Use the mouse over the applet to control it – left/right controls rotation, up/down controls focal point and a deft click of the left mouse button gives an extra little kick to the simulation.

Continue reading

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Oh no more Processing!

I was discussing Flight404‘s flow field simulation experiments with Roxlu yesterday and I realised that I’d never actually tried to recreate the effect myself. I’ve played around with stuff that was inspired by these works, but never really been that satisfied with the results. So I thought I should just borrow the idea wholesale and see what came out. The result is this:

(click on the picture to run the demo)

Continue reading

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Pimp My Actual Spectrum

Well who’d have thought it? My Pimp My Spectrum demo has actually been ported to run on a real Spectrum! Here’s the video of it being shown at the Sundown 2010 UK demoparty where it took second place in the Oldschool Demo competition:

Continue reading

Posted in atebit, Computers, Demoscene | 1 Comment

64KVJ Preview

Recently I’ve been playing around with writing some VJ software for the PC. I decided to do this after enjoying writing a handful of audio reactive sketches in Processing but then wanting to have something with more control. The other thing that Processing gave me was a desire to complete the project quickly without worrying too much about how well it was engineered. One thing that helped here was that I decided to fit the entire thing inside 64k – I guess you could even call this the spiritual suscessor to my 1KDJ program from last year. With only 64k to play with I didn’t have enough space to add things like giving the user the ability to load their own models, images or effects, or to reconfigure the way that the existing effects are set up. With these deliberate limitations in mind you can think of 64KVJ as a “fixed function” VJ program.

Continue reading

Posted in atebit, Computers, Demoscene, Development, Music | 10 Comments

Game Developer Magazine

Yay. Grab the May edition of Game Developer Magazine and turn to page 5. There you’ll see an editorial piece on the 2010 awards written by me :)

I’m really pleased that this has come about as I’ve been a fan of GD mag pretty much since I started working in the games industry back in 1997. The magazine is run by UBM, who also produce the mighty Gamasutra and the even mightier (and not just because I occasionally write for them!) GameSetWatch websites.

Posted in Demoscene | 2 Comments

Site update..

Just a quick post this one.. I’ve updated the site to the latest version of WordPress. This seems have have got rid of the spam issues I was having. Presumably I’ll just have to wait for Google to re-index me before the last vestiges of the attack go away.

And to make the post slightly longer.. I’ll say that I really like WordPress! The update process (from my manky old version that hasn’t been updated for ages) was painless and the new version is so much nicer :)

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