Psichodelya Logo

Released on 8. August 2014

In the clouds reaching as low as the gusts of dusty wind is where we find our hero - inside the spaceship ready for battle, armed and ready. Rugged battle spaceships combating above these industrial and military complexes as far as the laser can reach. One strange race against the other - without mercy and without respite. No human form lingers in sight, but the remains under the dunes and ship's skeletons in the riverbed tell a story. Our hero, confidently cruising in his favorite spaceship, gets roused by the warning sign. "Warning! Approaching the target of attack!" Laser gatlings - at the ready. Triple H bombs - at the ready. Gravity free chamber - rotation on. Time to decorate the sky with Explosions!

Psichodelya is a vertical shoot-em-up (aka SHMUP) game set in futuristic worlds. It is hard, fast and frantic. Player controls one of 3 types of ship, dodging heaps of bullets and killing wave after wave of enemies over 5 memorable stages, each culminating with an epic boss battle. It is a shoot-em-up that is structured and paced like a series of boss battles, throughout the whole level. In single player or with local multiplayer, with 5 difficulty levels, the game will test strategy skills as well as reflexes. It features a unique polarity shifting mechanic, that doesn't completely protect from harm like in similar games, but instead is a softener for mistakes, which is also critical for efficient play.

This game is for both hard-core players and players that don't have extensive background with SHMUPs but have experience with games in general. This game is Indie in spirit, so fans of indie games in general will enjoy it, as will competitive players and high-score chasers.

Available for Windows, Mac & Linux.

Box Art no Logo
  • Challenging but balanced gameplay - easy to pick up, difficult to master
  • Advanced bullet patterns
  • 5 levels
  • 2 players local coop multiplayer
  • Controls for 2 players on Keyboard or Gamepads
  • Scoring system based on speed and efficiency
  • Huge epic bosses
  • Memorable tunes: techno score with guitar riffs by Dylan Barry of RailSlave Games (NPPD Rush, Super Killer Hornet: Ressurection)
  • Distinctive visual style
  • Advanced gameplay mechanics based on polarities
  • Saving of level progression, in single or multi-player
  • In-game leaderboards: local and global
  • On-line leaderboards
  • No two playthroughs are identical - calculated randomness in levels
  • 5 difficulity levels
  • Support for huge resolutions
  • For Windows, Mac and Linux
System Requirements:
Minimum Recommended
Processor: Dual Core 1.6 Ghz Dual Core 2.2 Ghz
Disk Space: 1GB 1GB
GPU: GPU: Intel HD Graphics 4400 GPU: DX11 compatible with 512MB VRAM
Monitor resolution: 1024x768 1680x1050 or other 16:10

Psichodelya is a humble project - a game which is an old-school style top-down SHMUP in the likes of Aero Fighters, Giga Wing, Espgaluda, R-Type Delta, Raiden, more recent Jamestown and our main inspiration DoDonPachi.

Controls are very simple - there is fire to shoot, hold fire to activate the laser stream, alt fire to bomb, and action for polarity switch (described below). Firing the stream also slows the player down - which is customary in these kinds of games - so there is a dual tactical component there. Bombs damage everything on screen and clear all the bullets, but are limited in supply.

One of our central mechanics is the switching of polarities on the player ship. All bullets in the game have 2 base colors: red and blue. Each enemy can also be red and blue. Player can switch between two colors (polarities) of the main ship at any time, by switching the color of the shield. Shield can protect from a certain number of bullets of the same color, but getting touched by the opposite color kills the player instantly. Once the polarity is activated, player's shots and streaming are in that color. Enemies are also more vulnerable to the color opposite to theirs, making the player choose color in consideration to enemies' color and current bullet color density on screen. It is a play of "risk and reward". Certain game situations are much easier when the player is in the appropriate color.

At the end of each level there is a huge boss: multiple stages, many attack patterns - requiring quick thinking and good reflexes.


The gameplay is different based on one of the three playable ships, each with different shot types. Each ship has 5 fire-ing sources, and 3 always point forward. The other 2 are ship-specific:

  • Ship #1: Has two circling alt fire hovers, always pointing forward, and rotating around the axis of the ship. This gives the player maximum power forward.
  • Ship #2: This shooter turns its shots to the side player is going towards, meaning: when turning left the fire position on the left turns left and allows for some damage to the side, and also some tactical options in avoiding enemy bullet patterns.
  • Ship #3: Fires simultaneously to both sides - giving maximum flexibility in avoiding enemy bullet patterns.

Shooting vs streaming on one ship:

Shooting VS Streaming

There is also something known as shot type. Player chooses either one based on preference: one shot type makes the player stronger when firing bullets, while the other makes the streaming stronger. This is also chosen on game start.

The game can be enjoyed in both single and local coop multiplayer. There is support for both Keyboard/Mouse and Gamepads, so two players can play both on one keyboard, on a keyboard and gamepad, or using two gamepads. All controls are completely customizable.

Our take on game profiles is simple: every game should have them. Each player chooses ship type and preferred shot type on the profile creation screen, and continues to unlock stages from there. There are unlimited profiles per machine, and separate profiles for single player and multiplayer.

Pickups exist in Psichodelya, but are relatively rare. Shields, Bombs, Powerups and Lives can all be picked up. The pickup drops are deterministic, which decreases the reliance on luck for stage completion.

There are 5 available difficulty levels, chosen at profile creation time. All difficulties play the same stages in the same way, but the number of shields and lives added on level start is different.

Background Renderer

Psichodelya's gameplay is also characterized by extensive usage of bullet patterns in most enemy attacks. While some other SHMUPs keep the base enemies light on challenge, here every enemy killed is a bit of an accomplishment. Most big enemies fire specific patterns, and take relatively long time to kill. With big enemies, we combine smaller enemies (aka Popcorn) that are less challenging but are important for high scores. With this, we achieve a unique variation of both dynamism and challenge. The bullets in Psichodelya are not super-fast, but there is always a good amount of them on the screen.

Most of the mentioned patterns have random seeds. That means they incorporate a variation that is slightly different every time, which makes it hard for players to learn the level by mechanic repetition. On the other hand, random variations are purposefully light, and good strategies and techniques will win the game.

The stages are carefully designed to offer optimal challenge. There is a secret sauce in the ways and timings enemies appear on screen. The slight, controlled variation in levels presents additional challenge, but also adds to replayability. Careful design means we combine parts of a stage of high effort with parts of a stage with lower effort, culminating with a boss at the end of every level. Some levels incorporate mid-bosses, which are stronger then usual enemies. Each level is long enough for the action portions to be manageable.

Ship Concept

There are no continues in the game. There is, however, automatic saving of each unlocked level, so players don't have to start from the beginning every time.

Scoring system is really important to us as most advanced players like to compete - beating their own score, or the score of somebody else. Getting high score in Psichodelya is highly dependent on 3 factors: length of time since enemy appeared, the current string of enemies of the same color (shown as "chains" in the HUD), and the chosen difficulty level. The game awards quick destructions and tactical thinking.

Total cores are calculated on level end. Bonuses are awarded for: remaining lives, killed enemies percentage (same for both players), max chain number, remaining bombs, remaining shields and adding those on stage ending score.

We have implemented online and local leaderboards that are connected with profiles. Each profile remembers the highest score for any stage (which can be replayed). These scores are displayed at local leaderboards screen, from where the player can "push" the score online at the global leaderboard - the publishing of scores is not automatic. These scores can also be removed at any time. Each game installation is identified with a unique machine ID, so that profile names don't have to be globally unique. We have tested our system with a huge number of profiles. Rankings are visible from the game's global leaderboards screen. Those can be filtered for profiles only from the current machine, which shows the global position quickly.

Background Concept
Gameplay Images:
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Launch trailer:

Here you can see the game in motion: my playthrough of the playable demo.

This is a revised version of the tutorial. This tutorial is included in the game and the Demo, and it explains the basics of game's dynamics. Watch in HD for full experience.

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