WARNING: The word "shmup" will be repeated to the point of nonsense in this post. I'll use "shooter" here and there for the sake of variety but it really don't break it up enough. I'm sorry. I'm so sorry.
Shmups, or "Shoot 'Em Ups" rather, have a long and rich history that can be traced back to the earliest days of video games. Whilst Space War (1962) is often taken to be the first shmup, it's Space Invaders (1978) that really lead to the birth of the genre we recognize today with all of its recognizable conventions and sub-genres. It was, simultaneously, largely responsible for the Golden Age of gaming and the rise of the video arcade.
And indeed, shmups of every sort, be they fixed, on rails, multi-directional or scrolling, have a deep-rooted connection to the arcades. And to examine the genre you are required to examine the place they were all born and raised and the effects the environment had on the product.
"November Is Awful" was the name of an event I proposed to my game dev inclined friends. The aim was simple: to work on our games as much as possible through the dismal month of November. Everyone was (and continues to be) at different stages of development and so there were no clear goals or deadlines. That didn't matter, I just wanted everyone to get that little bit closer to completing their first game.