Adrian and Anthony wanted to see how Shinu was getting on with Wings of Bluestar now the game is finally out for purchase. You can buy it on Steam.
It’s a pleasure to have you back with us Shinu. Hope all is well during these hectic times we are experiencing throughout the world?
Thanks a lot for having me again. Well, like the majority, I’ve been financially hit, but I’m surviving, most important family and friends are safe.
How’s your current game Wings of Bluestar coming along?
Biggest news is that the game is finally released on Steam. I was able to finish all feature I promised fans, even the story mode.
For our new readers that aren’t familiar, would you be able to give a brief description of yourself and your game that is available to play?
My name is Shinu Real Arts, also known as Shinureal or Shinu Real on the net. I’m an artist and solo developer. I mostly do digital paintings and comics. As for games, Wings Of Bluestar is my first released game. It’s a horizontal shoot’em up that was totally hand painted and animated, no pixel art, just HD hand crafted visuals, like an anime from the 80s or 90s, as people describe it. The game is a hybrid between classic shmups, in which you have stage obstacles, and between a bullet hell, where your ship has a small hitbox and a focus function in order to navigate throughout tight bullet formations, especially during boss fights.
Since its completion, how many hours did you put into the game’s development?
The game took me exactly 3 years and 10 months to be finished. I don’t have an exact number as daily work hours, simply because I have a day job. However, during vacations or Weekends, I work the whole day on the game, from the time I wake up, until I’m about to sleep, especially last year, since release was approaching.
Since the story mode and the game itself is 100% complete, would you mind telling us about the characters in the game? Such as the heroes and their main antagonist to give a heads up on what to expect?
The game has two player characters, both have different ships that offer different gameplay styles and different scoring mechanisms. As for their background story, we have Aya, a young trainee pilot at the United Government Of Accessia (UGOA) for short. She comes from a honorable family of high ranked officers and politicians. During her story, the player will have to chose between the duty of protecting Accessia as a pilot, or to make it personal and go in a revenge quest against a certain family member.
As for the 2nd character, Zarak, his story is more mysterious, since he’s amnesic and has no idea about his past. During their progress throughout the story, players will slowly uncover his past and then have to make choices, either to keep looking for the past, or give it up for the sake of the future.
The story mode will have different endings, depending on player choices and other conditions.
Since we last spoke, what new features have you added to Wings of Bluestar?
Two main features where added to the game, an interactive tutorial and a training mode. In the latter, you can replay stages that you’ve already reached, no need to finish a stage in order to unlock it.
I also made some gameplay changes, like ship 2, Altair, now have lasers as subweapons and the 1st Ship, Bluewing, has a more powerful shield.
Ships also won’t enter slow focus mode is the fire button is rapidly pressed, it’ll focus only when you hold it pressed down.
The game also has native support for Xbox and PlayStation gamepads.
Looks like lots of amazing and unlockable features are included in the game. How much of it can we expect to see and try to achieve in it?
The game has a lot of unlockable, first come the 90 Steam achievements, I still have many ideas for more, but the time didn’t allow it.
You can earn Risk Stars and use them to unlock many things from the game shop. Things like buying extra credits and unlocking new features like:
The gallery, which includes original artworks, concept arts, sketches and fanarts made by amazing fans of the game.
The sound test mode, where players can enjoy the amazing music made by Big Impact Sound.
Trophies, where you can navigate throughout achievements and learn about their requirements.
The Boss Rush mode, in which you fight against bosses you’ve already defeated.
I’m planning to add more achievements and artworks in a future update.
We love to see hidden Easter Eggs in titles, will there be any in your game?
Since my game was heavily inspired by Blazing Star and Pulstar, I put some hits from those two games. Fans already spotted some, especial the “Are You Serious” message when you get hit. Other hits are background elements, like the start of stage 2.
You’re now on Discord. How have your supporters reacted to your game so far?
Discord was a positive experience to me, although just a few members, it’s filled with fellow game developers and fans, they are very friendly, supportive and active. In general, everyone who tried the game has a positive impression. Even people who are reporting bugs on Steam gave me positive reviews and are willingly helping me polishing the game. To me, that’s the biggest achievement; releasing a good game that people are enjoying.
Now that your game is released, where can we be able to play Wings of Bluestar?
Yes, Wings Of Bluestar is already on Steam for the price of $19.99, there’s also a demo for people who wanna try it first.
Is there still a possibility to try and develop on units such as the Vita, the Dreamcast, and the Neo-Geo?
Yes I remember that (from the previous interview). However, a few things have changed. For once, the PS Vita port is still a possibility, but as for the Dreamcast and Neo-Geo, there are two main requirements for the ports to see the light; first, since I made a contract with a publisher for console ports, I need their permission first if I want to work with someone else for the DC and NG. Second, even if I get the permission, I don’t know how to code for those consoles, so, it’ll depend on the help of a third party.
Another issue with the Neo Geo port is what I’ve read in forums; the majority of the Neo Geo community aren’t interested in the game because it’s not pixel art. I’m afraid the effort will go to waste.
I can’t say more about the publisher for now, but I may have some news soon.
Are you currently working on new games or projects?
Right now, I’m still working on Wings Of Bluestar, because releasing a game never means it’s done. I’m doing my best to fix release bugs as fast as I can, since the persons reporting them aren’t beta-testers, but customers.
As for eventual future games, it all depends on the commercial success of Wings Of Bluestar. If it’s successful, I’ll continue making shmups, eventually a sequel. I already have some ideas and concepts.
If sadly not, despite my initial wish to become a shmups developer only, I’ll have to switch genre to something less niche, like platformers. However, I’ll keep the same visual touch; hand painted and animated HD graphics, and introduce shmups mechanisms in it, simply because I can’t help it.
And as always, thanks again for the support and interest in the game!
Adrian & Anthony