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MiniDoom2 gets a full Soundtrack

For miniDoom1 we used fan made music from cover albums (“Dark side of Phobos” and “DoomII: Delta-Q-Delta”). Awesome music indeed, but maybe not appropriate for every level.

This time the will have a complete soundtrack, this means that every level will have its own music according to its theme.

Responsive music and transitions

The music in some levels will vary according to the environment such as electric blasts in level 2 that will trigger an electric guitar, it will also slow down when opening the weapon select menu and other effects such as that.

Also the music will have a normal version for the normal or platforming sections of the levels and another version for the closed fights that will be much more aggressive and fast.

Here’s a really small sample of the music with some gameplay.

A third member joins the dev team to take charge of music and other aspects of sound design! He is very talented and will give all the music the Doom flavor it deserves.

Oh and don’t worry this won’t delay the game further, he’s already been working on the music for months.

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Level Design

Turns out making levels is pretty hard. Specially figuring out whats gonna work. So whats the design process like over here? Well let me give you a brief tour:

When designing a level first we decide on an overall theme for that level, also which new weapons or mechanics need to be introduced there. Next think about which enemies will fit that level and will go well with the new weapons.

To keep the game fresh each level has some unique hazards or obstacles (like the jump pads from Doom2016), or a unique layout (like a vertical descending level for example). I’m not gonna go into each one of them; don’t want to spoil the game.

A shitty sketch photographed with a shitty camera

Next is to roughly sketch the level in paper. Its good for visualizing the whole route. Here it gets tricky since its hard to come up with something new (or at least different) for every room in the game.

Thats the room editor

Then its translating the sketches into the game editor, and everything usually changes a lot! When a room is done, a quick play to check for errors. I don’t usually place textures or graphics in a level before testing since changing the terrain would mean repainting everything all over again, and we don’t have the time for that. A pity since graphics change the experience and tests become less reliable.

Not the room editor; its a composition for the artists to get the layout of the level

And that’s how we do things, pretty standard I suppose. But that’s what we have been doing right now; finishing what’s missing in the last few levels, and revisiting the old ones. See you next time.

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New movement Mechanics

There are a couple of new moves in MiniDoom2 besides the grenades and quick weapon swap.

When play-testing the first corridors of MiniDoom1 I was immediately bummed out because there was almost no way to avoid straight enemy fire. In my opinion a crouch mechanic was vital; it gave the player a defensive option besides jumping. I liked it.

Crouching makes you invulnerable from most ranged attacks. But it removes your ability to move, so you become more vulnerable to enemies like pinkys. It’s a cool trade-off I think.

dod2

But then crouching became useless when the enemies where not directly in front of you. Which was way too often. This and the addition of new enemies with new ways of attacking (such as the arch-vile) demanded the addition of a more reliable way of defense.

dod1

So, dodging! You can set a key to hold and dodge with the directional keys, or you can set two keys to dodge, one in each direction. I prefer the first option for keyboards and second for game pad.

dod2

Dodging will make you invulnerable for a short burst. If you are bold you can make some great plays.

dod3

olé

Also coming: A much needed Double jump

move3

Yes, the double jump will allow you to make longer jumps.

dj1

But its most important feature is that it will give you much more control over your jumping.

Jumping over enemies and shooting them down is more viable than ever! (If you saw the teaser then you know that’s my favorite strategy hehe)

dj2

This and maybe there are other inventive ways to move using whats at hand.

dj3

See you soon space marines!

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Ammo Types and Weapons

Hello, we wanted to talk about how ammo works on MiniDoom.

There are 10 weapons in MiniDoom2. 6 from the first game, we have already shown 2 new weapons, (not counting grenades and the Soulcube) and there are still 2 we haven’t shown. And we won’t do so just yet. Sorry about that.

weps

About them I’ll just say that one uses enemy kills as ammo. And one is just pure death.

So we have expanded the types of ammo in the game. On MiniDoom 1 you only had bullets, rockets and energy. We wanted to keep the game simple! But this is why the BFG was weak, it had to share ammo with the plasma riffle.

On Minidoom2 the BFG will have its own kind of ammo, much harder to find. So it will be much more powerful. It will also share ammo with the ???????.

There will also be an additional resource acquired through kills: enemy souls. This will power the Soul Cube which can restore your other types of ammo. And the ???? ???? which can just use this resource as ammo. Both are meant to give options on ammo management.

picks2

yellow for bullets, blue for energy, grey for rockets, green for BFG

The other types of ammo we plan to leave unchanged. Bullets for Shotgun and Chaingun. Energy for Plasma and Gauss. Rockets for Grenades and Rocket Launcher.

Feedback welcome here:

Some people found it jarring that the shotgun and chaingun share the same ammo.

We think that that’s okay because the two guns use the ammo differently.

down

The Shotgun gives pain up front, it is slow but good for saving ammo. Since you only shoot every so often, you can dodge and reposition yourself in the down-time.

right

The Chaingun deals insane Damage (highest in the game) and burns ammo quickly. But to deliver this damage, you have to remain facing your opponent and shooting constantly. This means you can’t run away or dodge.

Both weapons are good in different situations, we didn’t want the situation to be “out of bullets, switch gun”.

  • So should there be a new type of ammo? “Shotgun Shells”?
  • Would that make the game needlessly complicated?
  • Would it give the player freedom to use the guns independent to the other?
  • Would the player lose the need to choose and just go for whichever one has ammo?
  • What do you guys think?
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The Revenant is back!

Yes this spooky skeleton back in game. And it is the smartest enemy yet. He can walk, jump obstacles, jump cliffs, shoot or punch you in the face!

reven1

Usually he will chase you around and shoot its standard homing missiles at you.

reven2

But don’t worry, you can shoot them off the sky and they are slow enough to dodge.

reven3

The Revenant will try to stay near to you, but doesn’t like to get too close. If you get too close he will try to run away or punch to make you back off.

reven4

Revenants don’t have much health or deal a lot of damage. But don’t underestimate these crafty bony bastards. If they surround you, they will pummel you mercilessly.

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MiniDoom1 – Level Design

How is the level design in minidoom1? In short: not very good.

All levels where made in just a couple of days (had some additional days for the boss fight though). I didn’t have time to properly plan the maps and it shows.

During the crunch time I focused on making each level feel unique. So I tried to focus on a different mechanic in each level. And in making sure the key-cards worked as Check Points.

1st – Make it like original Doom, going right

2nd – Pass through platforms, going left and returning

3rd – Barrels, acid, exploration.

4th – Vertical movement, flying enemies.

5th – Short and difficult, plus the boss fight.

Let’s check out the first level and see how faithful it is to the original Doom.

hangar-1

hangar2 In this first area I just tried to reproduce the look in 2D.

 stair1

stari2

Next there is a staircase that leads to the first armor, some windows and pillars.

 tech1

tech2

Then there was this short tech section.

acid1

acid2

Then there were the first acid pools with two imps shooting you from above. Very much alike.

candle1

candle2

Then this final section, I remember that in the higher difficulties you could find a pink demon here and of course; the candles leading to the exit.

It was a good translation to 2D but it was not so intuitive to play. It didnt teach the mechanics well.

So in Minidoom2 we will not focus on making a faithful reconstruction.

Well just make it better to play.

See you next time.

 

Sneak peek: The effect of one of the new weapons. What could it be???

gauss

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Improving on MiniDoom: Diagonals

Lately I’ve been busy trying to improve MiniDoom to release a new improved version, but after so many changes it is becoming more of a sequel than a new version.

One of the challenges of MiniDoom’s gameplay is simply to hit enemies that are not directly in front of you. You can only shoot in four directions and you have to find ways to position yourself so that you can hit the enemies. This is most easily done by jumping to hit enemies above but becomes really tricky for enemies bellow you.

wat

This obvious problem is a staple of the platform game, Mega Man NES games were all about this. But even in these games, you were usually given some options to deal with tough situations. In Mega Man you had special weapons; other games like Contra just gave you the ability to shoot in eight directions.

contrm

I identified this as a problem early on, and decided to adapt one of the game’s weapons to fill this gap. I really liked Mega Man 3 Magnet Rocket’s design. It moves horizontally then vertically, but it just wasn’t useful enough to make it a core weapon.

mega

Since the plasma rifle and chaingun were so similar I made the plasma a homing weapon. The bullets would be able to go up or down depending if there was an enemy near. This made the weapon kind of homing but not too much as to not make it too easy. It was a good gun, I like it a lot. But it has a flaw: you get it too late in the game.

plasma

I realized a new option is needed earlier in the game. And Doom 3 gave me the answer: GRENADES. Another classic game that has almost the same mechanics and uses grenades really well to allow you to hit enemies above and bellow you is obviously Metal Slug.

metalgran

So then grenades will be coming to MiniDoom in the shape of Doom3’s ugly yellow grenades. They will deal medium damage and the blast will deal low damage, and they will consume your rocket ammo. Due to this change, the rocket launcher will get a buff!

grenade

See you next time.

grnd3