Checkpoints and Keys

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.

Life now

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.

5 thoughts on “Checkpoints and Keys”

  1. I quess better make in Hard Mode save with status u have, but with normal – make full health and ammo WITH save. Also i think, fight areas (challange) should put u back together anyway.

    Pls, don’t respawn enemies in rooms that u clear. That killing any sense in clearing them.

    1. Yeah, perhaps ill test different recovery options for the other difficulties. Dont worry, If you clear a room with a fight you wont have to do it again, those enemies wont respawn. But single enemies that are around the map still respawn like in MiniDoom1, I think I want to keep that aspect of the game.

  2. Si implementas vidas, el sistema de checkpoints podria ser valido hasta que pierdas todas las vidas, una vez perdidas, se volveria a empezar el nivel del principio. A no ser que hayas pensado en reiniciar el mapa entero si el pj se queda sin vidas. Es menos frustrante la primera opcion ^^ y da mas sentido a los checkpoints.
    Grandisimo trabajo.
    Seguid asi. Un saludo.

    1. Creo que lo que voy a hacer es implementar un modo de juego normal con vidas infinitas y donde puedes rejugar los mapas que terminas. Y uno “arcade” donde tengas vidas contadas y solo puedes jugar un mapa una vez, una vez que se te acaban las vidas se acabo. Como los juegos lineales antiguos.
      Muchas gracias por comentar!

  3. That’s the way do do it, for exactly the reasons you say.
    Some caveats though :
    -The refill is not obvious, there should be some visual feedback.
    -The fight room cleared exception is useful, but confusing (and more so the trial exception to the exception). If it is hard enough to deserve saving, it might deserve a check point. It should at least be obvious, like a different door, different again if cleared ?
    -Since a check point is now also a resource, it may be tempting to skip it, do some clearing/spending, and only then register it.
    -Some players are bound to be challenged in unexpected ways (or feel daring), and wish for more check points. Since the Doom save-whenever was too powerful, a compromise could be to allow a manual “check” every X progress, or allow to reuse check points.

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