ast.jpg Everyone loves 2D-playfield shoot-em-ups, even if they are somewhat of an otaku-inhabited niche in today's mainstream video game market. There's already the excellent Shmups Forum for consumers of classic and modern shooters, and now, there's the newly opened, unrelated Shmup Dev game development site.

There are certainly some dedicated shmuppers here - moderator Matt McFarland introduces himself by recalling: "I... remember faking sick so I could play R-Type on the Sega Master System!" Good man! The Member Games forum already has a number of interesting amateur/indie shooters posted, including a music-cued Asteroids clone and the source-included 'ship gets bigger' Ego Shooter, inflating self-esteem and all. More niche development sites, please.

[Oh, and a random free Flash shmup recommendation, while we're here - Drakojan Skies: Mission 3, the latest in the series, is plenty fun/good for a JP shooter-aping Flash title.]