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Aurora Strike



A side-view 2-D shooter with some thought towards integrating aspects of real-life dogfighting. The player should be able to move and fire like in a traditional shooter, and then pull an Immelman to jump half the screen height and point in the other direction.

The game would mix deconstruction of the genre with a few new gameplay concepts, and keep enough traditional concepts to stay within the genre.


  • Gradius, R-Type, Twinbee, and so on for the side-view shooting.
  • Real Life WWII dogfighting and movie dogfighting for the special moves
  • Real Life 1990s aircraft technology and the Aurora Project mythology
  • Mid-1900s comic books and movies for the invading flying saucers


The player flies into space to destroy the mother ship and stop an alien invasion.

Development Roadmap

Version 0.1

  • TODO: List features…


Technical Features

  • 2-D maps, physics, and collisions


  • TODO

Gameplay Features

Input controls

  • Arrows - Maneuver
  • Button 1 - Fire main cannon (main weapon; limited to 240 rounds)
  • Button 2 - Fire missile (limited to 4 missiles)
  • Arrow + Button 3: Special Maneuver.

Game rules

Player's fighter

Movement differs from 2-D shooters in a few ways:

  • Acceleration is taken into account, so player movement is not as sharp as in most 2-D shooters.
  • Moving up or down will also angle the fighter up or down, so shots no longer go straight ahead.

The player has a few special moves:

  • Barrel Roll - Reduce hit chance for a few seconds. This is the default action for the Maneuver button.
  • Jink - Reduce hit chance for one second. Activated by pressing the Maneuver button while tapping left or right.
  • Loop de Loop - Rapidly move in a circle and end up near to where you started. Activated by pressing the Maneuver button + up or down when at a low angle.
  • Half Loop - If the game allows for changing directions, this will perform half of a Loop de Loop and leave the player turned in the other direction. Activated the same way as a full loop when the enemy is behind the player.
  • Immelman - Rapidly gain or lose elevation. Activated by pressing the Maneuver button + up or down when at a high angle. If the game allows for changing directions and the enemy is behind the player, this will also turn the player's plane around.
  • Cobra - Rapidly flatten the angle and move forward. Activated when at a high angle by pressing the Maneuver button + up or down in the opposite direction.

The player has important stats:

  • Hit Points - Easily drained by enemy attacks. A solid laser strike will destroy the Aurora in one hit.
  • Stealth - reduces the quickness with which the enemy can lock on and the accuracy of the enemy's attack. It is reduced when the player is damaged.
  • A limit on infinite maneuvering, which could be one of:
    • (maybe) G-force. Increases when performing special maneuvers. When it hits a limit, the player cannot perform another maneuver until it goes down.
    • (maybe) Airspeed. Reduces when maneuvering and slowly recovers when flying straight.

The player gets infinite lives and keeps playing until the game is won.

Allied Fighters

AI-controlled allied fighters will randomly appear. They usually don't last long since they have far less stealth than the player.


The game has key differences from normal side-scrolling shooters.

  • All enemies move around and attempt to avoid being hit.
  • Enemy lasers have little forewarning and are difficult to dodge.
  • Bosses do not absorb a large amount of damage.

Boss UFOs have two types of attacks:

  • Traditional bullets and fireballs - damage your fighter on collision.
  • Lasers - Must lock onto the player's location before firing.

Game challenges

Targeting the enemy while moving so as to avoid getting zapped.

Useful Strategies

Dodge, straighten, fire, repeat.


The year is 1993. Flying saucers are attacking from outer space. The US deploys its most secret fighter from Area 51 to fight the alien invasion.

Why set the story in the past? The scenario is a cultural product of that time, so we may as well set it then.



Game World

The levels should follow each other with minimal interruption or loading time.

If your plane is damaged at the end of a level, a replacement arrives for you to control while your old plane retreats offscreen. The player is not charged with the loss of this aircraft.

Level 1

In the air. You launch from the desert, cross the Rockies, and fly over the North American plains. You see battles taking place in the background, usually one-sided fireworks shows as the saucers' lasers shoot friendly planes out of the sky. You see big explosions as the aliens blow up major cities and military bases. You see dropships falling from the sky. About 3/4 through the level you see the remains of Air Force One tumbling out of the sky. The background rotates as your plane turns towards the next objective.

You get the most and best allied help in this level.

Level 2

In space. Movement is difficult since there is no airflow. The background shows other ships attacking the Earth, with a few large ships being hit by ICBMs. You may get help in this level from other Aurora fighters or a shuttle that shows up long enough to either fire a missile and leave or drop off a pickup.

Level 3

Inside the enemy mothership. There are walls at top and bottom. Special maneuvers are likely to smash you into a wall.

You escort a nuke-carrying shuttle to the core. If the shuttle is destroyed, another appears and it counts against you as a lost life. When you reach the end, your plane automatically turns around and flies offscreen.

Level 4

Return through the atmosphere.

Maneuvering will sharply cut down on stealth. Just being there will sharply cut down on stealth. Special maneuvers could cause your plane to fall apart.

This is a relatively short level. You may only fight two relatively weak craft.

Level 5

Back in the air and flying near the ground in an African jungle region. The aliens now have some ground turrets. You take down a few saucers and then help lower-tech African aircraft mop up the ground forces.

End of game

After winning the game you land in, say, Nigeria and have a victory party with the Africans. A few planes of nearby countries are on the tarmac, the implications being that their pilots had no other place to land after their bases were destroyed and that these pilots survived the fight in inferior aircraft and are also heroes.


Player Character

You fly an Aurora, the mythical experimental aircraft/spacecraft. In this game it is a super-maneuverable fighter with strong stealth capabilities that can also fly through outer space.


In the air stages, allies will randomly appear and attack the enemy while drawing fire.

  • F-4 - slow and easily destroyed.
  • F-15 - average.
  • F-22 - strong stealth. Rare.
  • F-117 - slow with excellent stealth, but they depart after firing two missiles.


  • Small Saucer - hard to hit, can be downed with a bit of cannon fire.
  • Medium Saucer - Can be shot down with one missile.
  • Large Saucer - Can fire two lasers at once and survive a single missile hit.
Gameplay Problem

A greater variety of enemies is needed if the game is going to be any fun. Alternately, the game could be redesigned as a boss grind with each enemy having a different attack pattern.

Enemy Turrets

Enemy weapons will be their own classes. Enemies will have weapon points with weapons attached to them.

Weapon types include:

  • Laser Turret - deadly
  • Large Laser Turret - deadlier. Fires a wider and stronger beam
  • Small Fireball - fires bullets
  • Large Fireball - fires a larger faster bullet


Objects drop in parachutes on the first and last levels, and are delivered by shuttle in the second and third.

  • Missile Reloader - restores two missiles
  • Nano Repair - restores HP
  • Stealth Paint - restores stealth


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aurorastrike.txt · Last modified: 2013/11/28 05:38 by deltatango