Twin-stick shooter controls

Currently UniBlaster (the main engine of RetroWar) supports four different games / character types. They are similar in many ways, but the controls vary slightly.

I've been thinking how to create a more general abstraction of these differences.

Instead of one weapon, each character would have three weapon slots:

This would allow characters to carry multiple weapons and use all three without any switching and only needing one fire button.

Possible uses:

Finally, I've been thinking about how RetroWar could be played on actual 8-bit joysticks. Currently 8-way d-pad movement is supported in all games as a virtual stick, (although it puts you at a disadvantage in most of them that aren't grid based.)

But then how to aim when there is no second stick for aiming? You could just fire in whatever direction the sprite is facing when the button is pressed. But that would fire the C type weapon, which is likely to be non-directional bomb anyway, and leave no way to fire the A directional gun. Games like Paradroid handled this by requiring you to move a bit before pressing fire. So the virtual input would create a second stick pointing in the same direction as the real left stick when you press the button with no input from any right stick. Many games also had a locking mechanic, so once you started shooting you held down the button to lock the firing direction while you could move in a different direction. Not sure how that could work in my scheme.