Let’s take a look at what the first levels are. The first 2 levels of the game are pretty tame.
The first level is of course the beloved Hangar; it has the purpose of teaching the basic mechanics of the game and is the home of the Shotgun and the Grenades. It doesn’t have much combat or platforming.
It has some nice outside areas though
2- Central Processing
The second level Is Central Processing, it has a high tech setting. The level will give you two new powerups very early: Double Jump and the Plasma Gun. Yeah plasma is the second weapon in the game, this is because it has an important role. The weapon is very powerfull, but it consumes a lot of ammo and your maximum energy cells are not very high at the start.
High tech all the way
The rest of the level has more platforming than combat and a lot of enemies in angles to get players used to the double jump and plasma. There are plenty of electric traps and the first chosen hellspawn awaits there to battle.
Shit gets serious
Level three is the Foundry, a Doom2016 inspired level. And it’s here where you learn the last of the basic mechanics like rolling around and using switches. It is a large stage with a lot of combat. This level is the first real challenge in your journey.
Seconds away from death.
But I won’t get much more into the levels than this. I don’t want to spoil too much, also I don’t think I will do any more of these descriptions for the other levels, so you’ll just have to play them.
See you soon!
Things are moving along. We have the Save and Load functions working! There are 4 save slots to save your game.
Just a dummy menu I’m using, but it works perfectly
I’m finally adding textures to some levels. More on this later this week!
Level 3 is looking damn fine
Also here is a section of the Hell over world map.
The hell map is hella-awesome *wink*
Much to do, see you very soon!
Throughout this year I’ve been able to watch many different people playing MiniDoom. I got a better idea of what people want or expect when playing the game. And exploration IS NOT IT. A clear path, clear objectives, hard challenges and quick retries. This is the best formula I came up with, this is most of all an action game.
But I always liked exploration in games, it can be so rewarding if you have the time. I wanted to put something in miniDoom to discover, not just carve a straight path of blood (which also is awesome, don’t get me wrong).
Plenty of stuff to discover in every level!
Remembering MiniDoom1 the place where most players stopped playing was level 3: the Toxin Refinery. This is because the Toxin Refinery is not a lineal level, you can chose between two paths to get the keys, and then use them in a poorly placed door. The problem here was that the objectives weren’t clear, but I also believe the maze like layout of the refinery caused frustration in a fast paced game.
With the level structure in MiniDoom2 I try to solve these problems. The main route through most levels is very straight forward and clear. There are also optional areas which contain powerups or upgrades. These optional areas are usually harder to access or hidden.
Level 1. Red are optional areas. Its the smallest map, the larger maps have less optional areas.
So a player who plays straightforward can finish the levels without confusion. And someone who wants to explore a bit can look for optional secrets. In the end, the upgrades should only be necessary if you plan on playing the higher difficulties, or if you are having trouble in a certain level (they are optional after all). You also have the option to revisit other stages and search for upgrades or you can just lower the difficulty.
So is exploration a part of MiniDoom2? Nope, but there are things to discover if you want to.
See you next time.
Let’s get into the more platforming aspects of the game now. As I mentioned before, each level has its own thing, so there are level specific hazards for each map.
Whats a 2D game without spikes? Don’t worry they don’t insta-kill
We have got barrels, teleporters, spikes, spike traps, lasers, electric traps, acid, high jump platforms, falling platforms, pits, lava and even more shit to keep you on your toes.
The cool thing about these hazards is that all of them can be used against the enemies (just like barrels). And you will probably have to use them in battle to overcome some challenges MiniDoom is an action game after all.
High jump pads in level 3
I don’t want to show too much about these mechanics to not spoil the game. So just know that hazards are here but they are not the focus of the game, they just spice up the gameplay.
See you soon!
There are 4 special levels around the maps that are trials. Each one of these is like a really short stage focused on a certain theme.
All enemies in the Trial of Might are Chosen Hellspawn that’s the theme!
Trials focus on combat and have little to no platforming. They will pit you against enemies you have faced in new and challenging ways. All trial doors will remain closed if there are enemies nearby. The difficulty of trials is higher than levels up to that point.
A bunch of pinkies in a corridor with no room to jump?
Most trials don’t have any checkpoints and have little to no health refills or ammo pick-ups. Combat trials demand precision to dodge and dispose of enemies efficiently. Without checkpoints you need to do it in one go, and unlike regular levels if you die after unlocking a killing room, you will have to clear it again.
Or a plain old pinkie swarm
There will be a small reward at the end of each trial in the form of a regular upgrade. However a greater price awaits those who can complete all 4 trials!
As we mentioned before half the game takes place in hell. We wanted to make a nice transition from mars to hell. So we made a portal loosely based on the one from Doom2016!
I’m quite happy with how it turned out, the artist went ham on the concept and came up with a room that was way bigger than the camera so you have to walk around the room to get the full view of it.
The full room, it’s the end of level6 and the first half of the game.
It has some nice lightning effects in-game but I removed them for the capture because of the camera-shaking too much.
During playtesting respawning enemies seemed to cause confusion. People usually play rushing through the stages and killing any enemies in sight, but when required to navigate a stage or backtrack a bit they would start killing enemies that respawn without realizing that they had already cleared that area.
Some of the new decorations and graphics.
This made me rethink the whole respawning enemies deal. Was it really necessary? What’s the point of enemies respawning anyway? I couldn’t find a reason to leave it in game. So now enemies behave much like items. They won’t respawn if you leave the room, but they will respawn if you die of course. The only exception to this is killing rooms. Once you clear a fight you won’t have to do it again even if you die before reaching another checkpoint.
About game progress
More new objects to interact with
I realize there has been a lack of updates recently, sorry about that. We have been advancing steadily but we can’t share many of the things we are working on right now because many of them would spoil the game.
We are currently polishing level design and completing missing graphics. And damn it takes a long time! We also have someone helping out with music and sound (hope I can share more on this soon).
What is this?? I just cant tell you 🙁
That said I will find something or other to update every week, don’t want to stay silent. More stuff coming soon, see you next week.
Hello! We aren’t dead, we just went on a small trip to a comics and videogames convention here in the third world. We prepared the first 2 levels for people to play and test.
From all the gifs you might have noticed that I don’t usually apply textures or tile sets to levels while I test the game. But for this I had to decorate the levels and they are looking very nice.
The artist has been slowly producing new graphics for every level, so that each one looks and plays uniquely.
Here is the last room of level 1: The Hangar just before the exit. Here you face off with the first pinkies. Everything still subject to changes.
Bare essentials for testing
Dressed the place a bit more interestingly
Does it look cluttered? In game looks rather fine. Camera is much smaller
We’ll be back with more news soon!
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?
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.