In 2003 I began research for my PhD topic. As part of my research, I began to explore the family tree of the Shmup genre, the oldest and most profilific genre of gaming (within the context of the arcade medium). Using MAME, A Yahoo Auctions Japan account & a Sega Astro City Arcade machine I began to trace the origins of this genre by playing over 3,500 arcade games.
It’s been a while now since I actually made the post on Gamasutra. Some people have asked if this is ‘it’ in terms of the Shmup history. Th quick answer is that ‘yes’ this is it in terms of the history of Proto Shmups. I am currently looking into what the best options are to make the whole thesis publicly available. Stay tuned!