Captain’s log – Jan 31 Sometimes it is better to let the player die.

Right now there is a pause menu in the bullet hell part of space girls. My main reason for putting it there was to give the player a break in case a real-world emergency happened. The pause feature is currently stopping the ship’s movement and displays the “pause” text. Since a pause menu wasn’t part of the origin feature list the game wasn’t built around the idea. Core elements in the game aren’t built around the update function, so pausing the game is not a simple task. To give an example of what I mean by this, the bullets used the physics engine and all bosses use actions. So right now if you pause the game bullets still fly past you and the action finishes executing their code. In addition, the iPad version would require the user to retouch the ship in order to fully start the game again.

So that’s the situation and it’s all fixable with enough time. So why remove it? My answer to you is CupHead. The other day I was playing the indie game cupHead and I needed to pause the game in one of the run and gun levels. The pause menu worked kind of but the monster kept moving and the collision detection box position stayed the same. So now you have a monster you can’t see/shoot and they can still kill your character because the collision boxes haven’t moved but the image is now gone. It’s a mess and it made me realize that there shouldn’t have been a pause menu in the game to start with. The play session is short and you die a lot so you replay the same parts 20 + times if you’re lucky. So why is it important to pause the game state for a game cycle that is short? I say, let the player die, all that the pause menu does is ruins the player’s core experience and can possibly kill you off anyways with a bug. Run and gun is very similar to bullet hell in the way that you basically have to survive the level just on quick reflexes and understanding how the enemy will react; pausing takes you out of the flow and in some case can lead to the player to die.



In short, I am removing the pause menu from my game because the bullet hell experience is better when you don’t have a safety net in the form of a pause menu and players can always die and try the level again.

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