Posted on

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.

Posted on

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?

Posted on

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.

Posted on

The Game Maker Studio 2 switch

Recently we pooled some resources and bought Game Maker 2 (MiniDoom was made in Game Maker Studio 1.4) we did this mainly to work with a few audio plugins, which will allow us to modify sounds and music in real time. Here are some thoughts about the switch to 2.

Everything is nice and ordered now

So how is this upgrade relevant? This will hopefully be better for game stability (Less likely for bugs to come up) and supposedly better for hardware detection. I gotta say, how the workspace works is A LOT better, you can have multiple tabs and objects open at once, and just scroll through them. It also looks a lot better.

So far xBox360 Gamepad seems to work perfectly 😀

The main reason to change the software was to use audio plugins that will allow us to modify or add filters for our sounds and music (Specifically the WWise plugin). We are very excited about this part and will give more details as soon as we can.

Level making just got way easier with box selection (yeah that dint exist before…)

For anyone interested in Game Maker Studio 2. Well it’s definitely better, but most of its changes are just to the interface. So nothing revolutionary, but it makes the level design a lot faster. And I’m really liking the workspace. Is it really worth paying to upgrade? Well in our case it was, but it won’t always be the case for everyone. I’d recommend searching youtube for more detailed comparisons between the versions if you doubt switching.

More things to come, see you soon.

Posted on

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.

Posted on

Bestiary

Another convenient chart. This one contains all the enemies in the game!

I arranged all the enemies in 4 tiers depending on their combat capability. Of course each tier adds a more complex behavior or just bigger numbers to an enemy’s arsenal. This chart does not represent the order on which you will meet these enemies in the game, you can see barons of hell very early, but mini-arachnotrons very late in game.

Tier 4 enemies cannot be stunned by the chainsaw, also the Hell Knight. I’d say the hell knight is in a point between 3 and 4, it has a lot of damage, but not a lot of hitpoints.

Below the enemy name is their type.

Roamer: Walks around aimlessly and will attack if you get in range.

Chaser: Will move towards you and try to smash you with its body.

Hunter: Will keep a close distance to the player, attacking with ranged attacks when far, and melee attacks when up close.

Sniper: Will try to keep a far distance from the player, attacking with long-range fire or spawning other enemies.

Of course, any of the enemies can have the Chosen modifier, which increases its life and can change its behavior.

It makes me happy to see all these cheerful demons in one place.
Posted on

Other Enemies

With the last post about the summoner we have covered all of the enemies in the game, except for a few special cases. I’ll clump two of these extra enemies here.

Possessed/Unwilling

they don’t deal damage for a second when coming out

These enemies are kind of a level hazard, since they appear only on a single level of the game and only on very specific areas.

They are a very simple monster, just a slow melee attacker. But in certain areas of the level they spawn endlessly from the ground, every time you kill one, another will raise somewhere near. They are a pretty fun obstacle to overcome. Every level in the game has its own unique mechanic like these zombie-like guys.

Cyber Mancubus

don’t step on the puddle

These variation on the mancubus used to be just the same but with more hit points. After reding some comments in the blog, I decided to give a shot at making it a more unique enemy.

So I made an acid version of the shots with some simple particles, the shots are also a bit faster but smaller. And now that a cyber mancubus dies it creates a pool of acid for a few seconds. Also there is a new effect to distinguish when  the player is touching acid or lava.

About the D3 mancubus, hes probably gonna work like the cyber-mancubus but stronger. Anyway it just appears in a single stage.

Posted on

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
Posted on

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
Posted on

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.