LittleBear says: It's six-dozen of one, half the other.

DS4: Experimental Shooter

DS4: Experimental Shooter is my first rapidly prototyped, experimental shooter. It was completed in a span of roughly 2 weeks, with just under 24 hours of development time. After obtaining some great feedback on the first version, a few hours were spent applying some of the suggested modifications.

DS4 is quite simple to play:

Use the arrow keys to move. ‘Z‘ is your primary shot. ‘X‘ is used to slow your ship down, and slows it down enough that your missile locking system can be activated. The trick to getting a really good score is to lock on as many missiles as you can. The longer you hold down ‘X‘, the more missiles your ship locks on to the enemies. While pressing ‘X‘ your slow down is enough to allow you to dodge the enemy bullets accurately… though be careful as you are now slower than the bullets. Release ‘X‘ to fire off the missiles that are locked on. Your score for any locked target is then multiplied by the total number of missiles fired at that moment.

The rapid prototyping style of development worked out very well for me. Considerable thought went into the game upfront, before a line of code was written, which helped to organize the project. Of course, this being a small and simple game the scope was such that the overall plan was always fairly easy to envision. The pre-design helped tremendously with breaking the project up into 1 or 2 hour pieces, perfect for my schedule.

One of the best features of the game is the very catch background music, by Lupin. I caught my son humming it the other day, and its upbeat tempo and sounds fit wonderfully with the game.

Play it now: Windows Standalone and Java WebStart version.

Related Articles:

DS4 v0.3
DS4 v0.2
DS4: Experimental Shooter

DS4: Experimental Shooter

DS4: Experimental Shooter

DS4: Experimental Shooter


  1. Umbram said,

    February 11, 2008 at 1:03 pm

    I’ve just started working on game programming in Java, but figured I’d have a low ceiling as I am horrible with art. Wow, you proved me wrong; this (DS4) is a great game!

  2. the2bears said,

    February 11, 2008 at 1:12 pm

    Thank-you for the kind words. Good art can certainly help, but as you can see it’s not necessary 🙂 Good luck with your games, let me know if I can help.


  3. Geoffrey Wiseman said,

    February 17, 2008 at 7:02 pm

    DS4 starts up, gets to a splash screen, chews up as much CPU as it can hold, and does nothing else, at least on my system. Both Java WS and downloaded versions. Java SE 6 U4.

  4. Michael Prescott said,

    February 18, 2008 at 4:11 pm

    Get a real computer, Wiseman!

  5. Pete Maynard said,

    March 24, 2008 at 2:29 pm

    I love this game!
    I hope to create a game like yours, keep up the great work!


  6. the2bears said,

    March 24, 2008 at 2:40 pm

    Pete, thank-you very much for the kind words. They are truly appreciated 🙂


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