Want to try your hand at making a shoot-’em-up, but not sure where to start? You may want to check out the new SHMUP Creator software that just landed on Steam today. As the name suggests, it is to shmups what RPG Maker is to RPGs and Visual Novel Maker is to visual novels: a relatively beginner-friendly, no-code-required way make a game.
The basic framework of SHMUP Creator is a drag-and-drop level creator, with a handful of other tools for creating things like enemy waves, bullet patterns, and power-ups, and customising various game settings and the UI. It doesn’t look like there’s any option for custom code, but a handful of example levels and clips the developers have shared on Twitter show that there’s a lot you can do with the tools available, from classic Gradius-style shooters to danmaku games. It supports both 2D and 3D assets, with a couple of asset packages included with the software (alongside the ability to import your own, of course).
At this stage, SHMUP Creator doesn’t have a lot of bells and whistles, with the focus being primarily on getting the fundamental creation tools just right. Developer bulo studio plans to continue adding new feature over time, though, and a quick scan of the Steam forums shows that things like Cave-style slow movement, improved animation tools, and more complex weapon upgrade paths are all things that they hope to implement. But from the little bit of playing around I’ve done so far, the core shmup tools seem solid—so long as you’re not trying anything too experimental or grandiose in scope, its current form has everything you need to make a decent shmup, with a lot of potential in future developments too.
And yes: you can distribute and sell the games you make.
SHMUP Creator is out now on Steam for NZD $87.99, though at the time of writing, a 10% launch discount brings that down to $79.19