Another Project

I never actually talked about this at length on Twitter because I didn't really want to overplay my hand there. So I'll do it here instead.

I'm making an original-story, original-characters, open source shooting/shmup game, in the same vein as Touhou Project. And I'm wondering if anyone else out there wants to contribute.

I'm calling it Another Project.

Small Warning: the below might contain slight spoilers for a game that is extremely far from being completed.


The name Another Project is multi-layered. It's another game made in homage to Touhou. It's another project that I'm taking on because I have ADHD. It's also about another world.

Touhou Project inspired me to create art after many years of convincing myself that I wasn't capable of it. The creator of that series, ZUN, specifically opened up the license of Touhou to allow for fan-works, a break from the kind of intellectual property and copyright we usually expect, especially from a successful series.

I started out wanting to make a Touhou fangame, but after a while I found myself making the entire cast, including the protagonists, completely original. And I also wanted to focus on themes of western folklore that had been Christianized and lost to time, not unlike how Touhou focuses on youkai that are slowly being forgotten.

I wrote a blog post about what that series means to me here.


And at that point, I thought that I may as well not be in Gensokyo, the world-setting of Touhou, at all, either, and I made my own world, called Lunasol.

Lunasol is a solarpunk enclave where weirdos thrive, not unlike Touhou's Gensokyo. Rather than be a carbon copy of Gensokyo, however, I want it to be solid, embodying dirt and stone, with key landmarks. Whereas Gensokyo centers itself on a small town, I've only ever known city life, and I wanted my experience to be reflected in that.

In a certain way, you could say it's an idealized, anarchist version of my own city: Toronto, Canada.


I created a protagonist called Kira Star. She's a plural witch, an fusion of five different people who bring their own aspects to the entity known as Kira. Friendly yet complex, able to adapt to many situations, but still trying to find her place in the world as someone so unique and esoteric.

Too often, people like me are considered passive navel-gazers who never do anything. I wanted to see someone like me as the protagonist of a game like this to not only prove that wrong, but inspire others to be better as well. A lofty goal, but it's one that gives me drive to press onwards.


Magic should always be esoteric and focused on finding your own way through the world. I'm hoping to capture the many ways of being within Another and giving the player and outside observer an insight into that subjective truth.

Magic is not about casting fireballs or enchanting objects like you see in popular media, but about discovering meaning and connection to yourself and whatever you consider to be existence and the universe as a whole.

The first game will focus mostly on the supposed conflict between magic and rationalism, and the way the two have never been fully separated to begin with, neither in their essence, nor in their practitioners. How do you reconcile the real with the surreal? Fiction and reality?

The story revolves around an incident where various groups of fairytale creatures begin sparring for the right to greet a new, powerful arrival, hoping to be first in line to gain her favour. Who is she? What does she want for the fledgling city of Lunasol?


In 2019, I went to go help Taisei Project fix some bugs I found with rendering on macOS. I stuck around, and eventually began to learn the ins-and-outs of Taisei's engine, which is a bespoke, multi-platform, open-source engine written in C, using OpenGL 3.3. The main devs on that project have been very kind to me in answering my questions and teaching me about things about C and the Taisei engine itself.

Growing up, my favourite shooting/shmup game was Gradius III for SNES. I sucked at it, but I loved it, and its soundtrack. So, I wanted to make a game both like Gradius and like Touhou.

Last winter, I forked the engine onto GitLab and started hacking away on it.

What I've Made

The first things I did was add Gradius-like elements to the engine, like terrain, and horizontal scrolling. I also made it so that the game could switch dynamically between top-down (Touhou-style) and left-right (Gradius-style) scrolling on command, while preserving gameplay elements. I also replaced all of the game's Touhou assets with temporary assets.

I've made a story outline, defined characters for all six main stages, the Extra Stage, and the "Esoteric" Stage (think Phantasm Stage from Touhou: Perfect Cherry Blossom). I've also written some dialogue and a STORY.txt.

@jneen has made a few very nice songs that can go into the game when they're ready. It was actually a song she made for Taisei (that was ultimate rejected as not being a good fit for the game) that inspired me to make the main Stage 6 boss for the game: Queen Mab.

In summary, what has been worked on:

  1. the story outline, characters, some dialogue and interactions, and gamedev notes around shot types
  2. hybridizing top-down and side-scrolling shmup perspectives
  3. adding terrain physics, including damaging terrain, slowing terrain, and blocking terrain
  4. increasing the aspect ratio of the game to 16:9, and simplifying the UI to accommodate it
  5. removal of Taisei assets, and changing the code to reflect its new name, ANOTHER

What Comes Next

I don't have much content made aside from that. It's been slow going and I had a very hard year emotionally due to a bunch of factors. In short, the following needs to happen before the game can even be considered a "rough beta":

  1. bullet patterns for all stages
  2. all character portraits for dialogue
  3. on-field character sprites
  4. music for at least five bosses (again, some music is complete thanks to @jneen)
  5. 3D models for background animations
  6. shader work on many things, including UI
  7. testing, balancing, etc.

If you want to contribute to this project, please let me know. It's entirely volunteer-run and I can't promise any payment for it. I don't plan on selling this game in any capacity. This is a labour of love, first of foremost.

I had an inane idea to keep the code private until it was “ready,” but at a certain point, I knew I’d never get any help without reaching out for assistance. So, the code is now open to the public.

(Side note: Akari and lao, please forgive me for the crimes I have committed in my customization of the engine. orz)


I don't want to start a game studio, and I don't want this game to be my day job. I also don't want to hide this story behind a copyright. I'm not so full of myself to think that any of this will be a smash hit the moment it releases, but I want to leave the door open to as many people as possible to enjoy the characters and world in their own way. But I also don't want any potential businesses or VCs abusing my generosity and openness by exploiting it for profit.

Too much of our culture is locked away behind fences and vault doors for the purposes of exploitation. I'm staunchly anti-copyright for that reason. I see it as a contemptible blight on human culture and our progression as a society.

So I've decided to settle on some sort of copyleft license for the visual/audio content. Creative Commons 4.0 Attribution-NonCommercial with specific exceptions carved out for indie artists, and explicit disallowances for “Web 3.0” and other scam tech. I'm still working out and researching the details of that, but something along those lines is my intention. Taisei's engine is already licensed as MIT.

Another Project will be open source to the fullest extent possible, for the betterment of our culture, in its own small way.

Thanks for Reading

I know this is long-form, but I want to say thanks if you got this far. I haven't really shared anything about this project as I've been too up-tight and worried about how it would be taken.

Again, let me know if you want to contribute in any way. Visual art, 3D modeling, etc. and even assistance in doing those things with my own hands is appreciated.

And once again, here’s a link to the repository on GitLab.

We also have a development Discord you can join.

You can also reach me on Mastodon at as well as on Cohost.

This post probably doesn’t match the overall formatting quality you’ve seen in my previous posts, but as stated, I’m trying to be less obsessive around looking perfect at all times.