European PlayStation Store icon
|Publisher(s)||Sony Computer Entertainment|
|Engine||Homebrew in Visual C++|
Everyday Shooter (known as Riff: Everyday Shooter in Europe) is an independent video game developed by Canadian programmer, visual artist, and guitarist Jonathan Mak. It was released on the U.S. PlayStation Store on October 11, 2007; the European PlayStation Store on February 14, 2008; and for Windows PC via Steam on May 8, 2008.
Everyday Shooter was developed in the span of a few months by Jonathan Mak using Visual C++. After his last project, Gate 88, which Mak called a "complicated mess of rules and controls", Mak desired to make a much simpler game. Initially the game started out as a puzzle game inspired by Mak's interest in Lumines and Every Extend Extra, however Mak had trouble with this route and decided instead to turn the game into a shooter. In addition to programming and graphic design, Mak recorded and implemented an all-guitar soundtrack to the game.
Everyday Shooter is a dual-stick, multidirectional shooter. In the game's "Normal Play" mode, the player maneuvers a small dot through eight different levels. The gameplay dynamics (enemy types, chaining systems, etc.) change with each level, encouraging the player to observe their surroundings closely to best adapt to new rule sets.
Jonathan Mak describes the game as "...an album of games exploring the expressive power of abstract shooters. Dissolute sounds of destruction are replaced with guitar riffs harmonizing over an all-guitar soundtrack, while modulating shapes celebrate the flowing beauty of geometry."
In addition to unique background music for every stage, the player creates procedurally generated music as they interact with the environment. For example, shooting one type of enemy will trigger a guitar note or riff, while destroying another enemy will result in a different guitar sample.
Initially, the only way to play the game is through "Normal Play" which presents the player with all eight stages in order from first to last. However, points scored in the game can be used to unlock several features such as a "Shuffle Mode". Similar to using a shuffle mode on any music player, turning on shuffle mode in the game will reconfigure the order of the stages except the final. Other unlockable features include various graphic filters and the ability to increase the number of lives the player has at the beginning of a game. The player may also unlock the stages to make them available individually in "Single Play". After completing a run through normal mode, a new game mode is unlocked. "Travel Mode" allows the player to play either the main game or individual stages while being invincible, at the cost of the points scored in this mode being unusable to unlock anything.
Reviews for Everyday Shooter have been generally positive, with praise for its creative music, graphic style, and variety of gameplay. A review from 1UP.com concludes, "Everyday Shooter succeeds wildly as an engaging shooter for the art-house crowd, and a creative change of pace for the hardcore-shooter crowd." Some critics pointed out similarities to the game Rez, while The A.V. Club pointed out homages to classic arcade games such as Centipede, Robotron 2084, and Time Pilot.
Many publications have cited the game's difficulty as a source of frustration, though some have pointed out that the game's unlocking system can ease the process of getting through "Normal Play" (or, that it can be bypassed altogether by unlocking songs in "Single Play"). IGN also criticized the method of point-collecting: Points in Everyday Shooter must be physically collected by the player in the brief amount of time after they appear or else they'll quickly fade away. In IGN's review, it was noted that "flying over all the points is far less effective than it should be, since zipping through a huge clump of them will often yield only a few actual pick-ups."
- "Official Everyday Shooter Information Thread" (Forum Post). Queasy Games Forums. Retrieved 2007-10-09.
- Wallis, Alistair. "Road To The IGF: Queasy Games' Everyday Shooter". Gamasutra. Retrieved August 25, 2014.
- "Q&A: Everyday Shooter creator Jonathan Mak". Gamespot. Retrieved August 25, 2014.
- Evan Shamoon, "Garage Game Developer: Our monthly look at the industry's most interesting gigs," Electronic Gaming Monthly 225 (February 2008): 33.
- "Official Everyday Shooter Homepage". Queasy Games. Retrieved 2007-10-09.
- "Everyday Shooter Reviews". GameRankings. Retrieved 2008-07-20.
- "Everyday Shooter (ps3:2007): Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 2008-07-20.
- "Everyday Shooter Review". 1UP.com. 2007-10-11. Retrieved 2008-07-23.
- "Everyday Shooter for PlayStation 3 Review". GameSpot. 2007-10-12. Retrieved 2008-07-23.
- "Everyday Shooter Review". IGN. 2007-10-11. Retrieved 2008-07-23.
- "EveryDay Shooter". The A.V. Club. 2007-10-22. Retrieved 2008-07-23.
- "Independent Games Festival Finalists". Retrieved 2007-10-09.
- "Kotaku's 2007 Games of the Year".
- Everyday Shooter official website
- GDC: Nikki Inderlied Gets the Low-Down on Everyday Shooter on YouTube
- "Road to the IGF" feature on Everyday Shooter on Gamasutra