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Secrets and score

So the score screen is lot different from the classic Doom’s, this one is a lot simpler. This is to save the score you get and display it in the overworld map too.

Classic Doom score screen counted kills items and secrets in a percentage basis. Then it counted your time vs a level standard time. We wanted to take this into MiniDoom if possible but ended up making some changes along the way.

Ye olde screen

We don’t use percentages because we wanted to store and display your score for each level, and to display a score in 5 different parameters was a lot of info on the screen. So the score is just one parameter that goes from 0 to 5. If you meet one of the scores’ criteria for that level (like enough kills) you get one point to your score.

Also the “items” score parameter had to go. Its no fun to go grab every last health bonus, this isn’t Banjo Kazooie.

The score parameters

hmmmm dat screen melt

Kills: Of course you will be awarded this point if you kill most of the enemies you encounter. Summoned enemies (like lost souls from a pain elemental) don’t count towards this score, however enemies that respawn do count.

Deaths: If you die too many times in a level you won’t get this point.

Time: Gotta go fast. This score gives a margin for time wasted dying the allowed amount of times.

Difficulty: Playing in any difficulty harder than normal will award this point.

Secrets: You do not need to find all secrets in one go. All secrets you find are saved and you won’t need to find them again if you want a good score.

You can check your score and secrets from the overworld map

So since “Score” is one whole thing from 0 to 5 to get a perfect one you need to do all 5 things at once, you can’t get “kills” in one go, then try for “time” the next time you play. Except with secrets, take your time exploring.

Secrets

We want to include a lot of secrets in the game and we needed a way for players to know which secrets they already found and which are missing. So we use a collectible item to mark this: Runes.

Runes dont have graphics yet hehe… they will probably look something like that (Doom2016)

So secret areas may contain standard pickups or some other secret thing, in these cases the area will also contain a Rune. Runes do not respawn once picked up, so you will have a better idea of where you have already been if you reenter a level looking for secrets. Secret areas may also contain small upgrades to your total life, armor, or ammo; these count towards the total secrets found for each level. And of course they don’t respawn either.

Runes do not do anything by themselves but collecting them will unlock extra cool things in the game, if you are into that sort of thing.

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The Overworld Map

Let’s talk about how the overworld map works. First of all this is not a final version of the map, it will still change in its graphics and layout. In the design of the map we obviously based it on the super Mario bros 3 overworld. You navigate it in rails and you unlock the way by clearing levels.

This is the tentative map for the first part of the game: Mars. It consists of 6 levels and 2 trials.

However here you can replay any level you clear. This has a couple of uses, when you select a level you can chose a difficulty to play it in. So you don’t select a difficulty at the start of the game, but on each stage. This gives the player a lot more flexibility. Right now we have decided for 3 difficulty levels on start: Too young to die (easy), nomal (normal), and Ultra violence (hard).

The Runes are a way to quantify how many secrets you find, more info on that next time.

There are also 2 more difficulties to unlock: Watch me die! (very hard), and Nightmare (nightmare). Higher difficulties will raise the amount of enemies and damage you receive. I won’t get too much into it right now because they haven’t been properly balanced yet.

You can also go back to a level to search for secrets you might have missed or to challenge yourself on obtaining higher scores. Both will be tracked and displayed at the start and end of every level. I will explain more about how the score and secrets system works on the next devlog.

You can also quit a level at any moment. But lose your extra ammo, as if you died

So now tell me what you think about the Normal difficulty being called “normal”. Is it a good decision for the noobies? Or should we just call it “Hurt me plenty”? Would it maybe add too much text and confusion to an already cluttered selection screen? The logic here was that when you read “normal” you immediately know what’s up. Is it just boring?

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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.

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MiniDoom2 Cover 01

Well here is the first attempt to make a fake box art for the game. Nope, the game wont exist in any physical form, and yeah, it doesn’t really need a cover… But it looks cool! And was damn fun to make!

So I took Inspiration from the old Mega Man covers where there was a bunch on enemies in the back and some ridiculous terrain haha. Also tried to keep the cartoony style as best as I could.

As I explained in our facebook page; I want to make an open gallery in the website for submitting cover arts or just fan art for MiniDoom, I’m sure someone out there can give it a more deserving treatment.

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The Summoner

The summoner is a slippery flying enemy that can be really difficult to kill. As the name implies, he can summon other demons. The summoner floats around the room and prefers to keep away from the player, letting it’s summoned demons do the dirty work.

Killing the summoner can be tricky because it spawns with a shield that can take a few hits (a weaker version of the armored-pinky shield). If the shield is destroyed and the summoner starts taking damage, it will teleport away from the player and regenerate its shield. For this reason using splash damage is most effective against summoners.

Rockets are almost mandatory

Summoners can also attack by throwing a slow traveling energy wave at the player. This attack can go through walls and is very wide, but is kind of slow. Summoners have a really slow fire rate, so they aren’t very dangerous without their minions.

And of course the sommoner can summon lesser demons. There is a chance the it summons a hellraiser or a smaller chance it summons a new imp or a pinky. Right now those are the only 3 demons that can be summoned. I might add revenants or heavy weapons dudes to the list later, but I haven’t tested them with so much summoning variety yet. Don’t worry they have a limit to how many enemies can be summoned at a time (right now its 3).

You can actually bypass the shield with clever angling

Even without their shield summoners are very tough and hard to catch. These enemies should be your first priority on any battle! Kill them before they fill the room with enemies! (A couple of unmaker shots are the best option)

Nice mid-air weapon switch, brah
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The smaller things

Let’s not forget about the lesser enemies. They might be small but they received big changes.

Lost Soul

Let’s face it; lost souls in miniDoom1 were overpowered as fuck. They could charge into you then just continue to damage until you moved or somehow killed them while they were inside your hitbox. It was pretty bad (also in version 1.0 they used to do double damage).

Now with bouncy action

So now the super needed change: Lost souls now bounce off you. Once they charge you or you run into them, lost souls will be pushed back. A small change but it makes a huge difference!

Lost souls 2016

It’s a new brand of lost soul from D2016. The main difference is that contact with them will make the lost soul explode. The explosion is not too damaging but the pushback effect can be really dangerous, especially since they tend to hang around cliffs. Killing the lost soul will not produce an explosion, just some harmless sparks.

Mini Arachnotron

Well this is one enemy that we changed completely. I posted some sketches of this enemy last year and ever since I really liked the concept. I went for it because the alternative was just not different enough from the heavy-weapons-dude or mancubus. I thought this would be better for gameplay diversity. It crawls around walls and ceilings (like the Metroid guys) but it also shoots plasma at you if you cross its line of sight.

This is the only incarnation of the arachnotron in the game, but if we ever release more content for the game, I would like to do a proper sized one based on the Doom64 arachnotron.

Got a soft spot for this fellas, still gotta murder them
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Armory 01

Complete table below

Since we are finished with the weapons I wanted to make a chart with the weapon information.

Of course it’s not a complete chart, it doesn’t have values like range or ammo consumption. But those numbers might change in development… well all numbers might change haha.

DPS (Damage per second) is not a determinant factor on which weapon is better. All weapons are better in a situation. The minigun has the highest DPS and it’s definitely not always the best weapon. Most of the times up front damage like the shotgun’s is more useful. Or the Gauss wich might have a low DPS, but its range, auto aim and piercing bullets make it very useful.

Right now I think weapons are mostly well balanced.

A weapons’ SPEED is determined in shots per second. Some of these and DPS values are rounded.

To get an idea of damage values a zombie man has 30HP, imp has 45HP, a pinky 80HP, caco 115HP, baron has 280HP.

I might do a more complete chart later in development.

You might want to open the picture in a separate tab to get full view

Some clarifications: Staggering enemies like in the original Doom is just stoping their movement for a while when they get hit, it’s a new mechanic we are working on. Enemies killed with the chainsaw will always yield a random ammo drop. Soul cube doesn’t have attack speed or DPS because you can not fire it repeatedly even if you have many souls, you have to wait till it returns to you before firing again.

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Weapon Upgrades

Some of the starting weapons in MiniDoom2 can be upgraded to a new weapon if you find the corresponding powerup. It’s not just cool, it was necessary.

I was halfway through designing the levels, and there is a difficulty spike when entering the hell levels. There are new enemies and they are tougher, so I planned to introduce the super shot-gun there and increase the player’s damage output as well.

The design philosophy here is that no single enemy is supposed to be too hard to kill (except for bosses of course). Enemies are meant to be killed in large quantities, with the challenge not being in taking them down but in not receiving too much damage in the process. I think I will do another post detailing more about where we want to focus the challenge in MiniDoom2 and why I opted for including small ammo and stat collectible upgrades.

Anyway I noticed that I didn’t use grenades, the shotgun or the pistol after a while. Because these weapons were the first in the game I realized that they did have a lower power level, and I couldn’t change that without making the game easier. BUT I WANTED ALL WEAPONS TO BE EQUAL. So a solution was to include an upgrade for the weapon later in the game to raise their power to that of the other guns.

Super-Shotgun

The necessary double-barreled partner you need to go into hell. When you get this upgrade, the shotgun has become a lot mostly outclassed by the gauss canon and minigun. But then it gets elevated to god-tier. At the cost of a higher ammo consumption and reload time, a well-placed super-shotgun blast should dispose of most of hell’s minions in one shot. You’ll fall in love with the shotgun all over again.

Double the barrels, double the fun

Fragmentation Grenades

Grenades are very useful in the start of the game, but slowly become irrelevant. With plasma and gauss as better alternatives to aiming and rockets as a more devastating use of your ammo, halfway into the game grenades seemed to have been forgotten.

The fragmentation upgrade increased the damage area and makes each grenade fire a blast of 16 shrapnel fragments in a short radius. This weapon is very powerful against big enemies since they tend to catch much more of the shrapnel. The grenades become really useful against single powerful enemies rather than area weapons since there are better options for that (like the BFG), it’s a really nice switch in utility. And the shrapnel can bounce of walls too!

Those fat cacos are a good target

EMG Pistol

Its Doom2016’s Energy-Matter-Gel Pistol. This upgrade increases the size of the pistol projectiles a lot, making it easier to hit small enemies like lost souls. The damage is also increased enough to one-shot them. However you CAN NOT charge up the damage of the shot like in Doom2016, this mechanic would promote passive playing and reward waiting. I don’t think this would be a good addition to MiniDoom. It may have worked in Doom because they have other mechanics that encourage engaging enemies (like glory kills).

So right now the EMG is just a damage upgrade, I’m still thinking if it should add some extra utility to the pistol. Tell me what you guys think.

Feedback is welcome
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Imps, imps, imps

You want imps? We have that. We got more imps!

Working on the later hell levels I realized we needed a new flag enemy, someone to welcome you to hell with open claws. And that enemy had to be a good ol’ imp.

Doom3 underrepresented? we demand diversity!

This one is based on Doom3’s imp (lets show poor Doom3 some love). And it is not just a dumb roamer, it will chase you, jump obstacles and cliffs shoot and slash at you.

These imps are quite agile and can jump far.

They can shoot fireballs but prefer to get close and use their claws on you.

Just a few more enemies till we are done showing them all. See you soon!

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Killing Rooms & Chosen Hell Spawn

Hello! Here are a couple of incoming new mechanics that make the levels in the game way more interesting.

Chosen Hell Spawn

Sometimes you will encounter specially powerful demons. Hell’s chosen champions. They are differentiated by having a burning crown on top of them.

A juiced up imp

These bastards have more than double the HP of a normal enemy of the same type. But that’s not all. Most chosen hellspawn behave differently from regular ones, they may attack more often or be faster, or even attack in completely different ways.

Most of the times these guys serve as mini-bosses in killing rooms.

Killing Rooms

There are several rooms throughout the game that will lock down when entering or performing an action. Triggering these will spawn waves of demons which will have to be killed before being able to escape.


I do like that cheesy line

These rooms are carefully crafted encounters that will put your murdering skills to the test. Dodging enemy attacks while attacking, navigating confined spaces and managing your ammo and items will be key to survive these gauntlets.

All levels end in a brutal encounter before exiting, and most levels have several of these fights. So be ready, running away is no longer always an option.

A sample of killrooms in some of the actual levels (not actual game music haha)

See you next time and prepare to die space marines!