Vertigo Laser Xenon Striker Storm

VLXSS is a game in which the user must perfectly line up two spheres in their field of vision.


I wanted to create a shooter-like game where the user has to align their aim with three axes, rather than the normal two.


The player moves their viewpoint around a wireframe sphere (the Xenon Striker), trying to align it perfectly with a number of spherical enemies. When the player moves forwards and backwards, I use the vertigo effect to keep the targeting reticule at a constant size. There are two reasons for this: Without it, the targeting sphere would be huge when close up, and tiny when far away, making it hard to aim; thus, maintaining its size allows a greater range of motion than otherwise possible. The other reason is that it looks cool.

Since aiming with three axes is inherently harder than aiming with two, I had to make the game easier in other ways to compensate. First, the Vertigo Laser fires automatically once aimed correctly. Second, the enemies only take one hit. Lastly, the enemies move in a predictable pattern: perfect circles around the targeting sphere.


The game is novel in two separate ways:

Normal shooters don't require you to be a certain exact distance from your target to hit it, and

I am unaware of any other games that use the vertigo effect constantly during gameplay.


Players seem to get the hang of using all three axes quite quickly. Even though it looks like a traditional shooter, playing it never quite has a shooter feel. I suspect this is because the actual firing of the laser happens automatically, without user prompting. Perhaps "aimer" would be a better name for its genre.

I had to use an odd control scheme because the user has three axes, but keyboards can only register two buttons at a time. This meant that I had to use the mouse buttons for one axis. Unfortunately for Mac users, this means you really need a two-button mouse for this game.

The vertigo effect seems to justify the control scheme to a certain extent: Since one axis behaves differently than the others, it makes sense that it is controlled differently as well.