Life before checkpoints
Previously the game used keys as a sort of checkpoint. Once you got a key and died, you didn’t need to get it again and could just access the next area of the level. This was a clever shortcut I took to making checkpoints since the game was made in a rush.
We even have fancy new doors for each key.
This had a side effect though, all restricted color doors had to be around the starting point so they weren’t frustrating to get to after dying. Levels in MiniDoom1 had to be modular and all grow around the starting room this meant they couldn’t really be very different. BUT NO MORE!
And a gorgeous hell themed door set.
The implementation of killing rooms (fighting challenges) meant that a quicker retry method was needed! So yeah now we do have checkpoints, there are many in each level and you will always find one before a challenging battle.
Can you tell where we got inspiration for the design? I bet you can.
Keys still restrict access to areas and in some levels you will have to get a key then backtrack to a central hub to its color door. But now it’s not a necessity so levels are much more varied. One even follows a linear structure of checkpoints and fights where there are no keys.
The forced suicide problem
MiniDoom2 has no “lives” you can die and respawn infinitely; dying will respawn you with full health and a little ammo. This also meant that if you reach a checkpoint with low health it was better for you to kill yourself and respawn refilled. I hate this in games, especially the megaman series where it’s mandatory to game over after every boss just to refill your extra lives…
I like my marines well-done. (sorry about the mouse)
So yeah, there were 2 ways to go about this. 1: Don’t reward the player for dying (respawning with low life or ammo or no BFG ammo OR implement an extra life system). 2: Just fill the player’s health and ammo at each checkpoint as if he/she died and design the levels accordingly. I obviously chose the second option because it led to less player frustration.
This means that at every checkpoint the player is refreshed and between checkpoints there has to be a challenge according to that. I actually like this a lot, the progression is designed checkpoint to checkpoint and not necessarily as a whole level where the player can’t die. Every section of the level can be challenging and interesting!!
See you next time.