We got a comment on our Kickstarter that's very worth discussing :)
Hey Guys, I have been playing the web alpha and it's very very fun! However, I'm not quite sure what the checkpoints are there for at the moment. What is their functionality at this time?
Personally, I think the ability to choose whether to go to the start of the track or to my last checkpoint (Much like how the checkpoint system in Trials works) would be a little better.
I would love to know whether or not something like this will be implemented! If it wont, why not?
Sorry if this seemed moany, I am just genuinely interested in whether or not this was a conscious design choice!
Thank you, James Decker
Checkpoints are primarily used as objectives to pass before going into the finishline, especially in non-linear levels such as Detour
, to allow more open levels.
Allowing respawning would be great for exploring a level for the first time, as well as great for new players who want to learn to play different parts of the level.
I imagine respawning at a checkpoint would put your rocket at the center of a checkpoint, facing in the direction you previously passed the checkpoint in, so that they work sensibly in open levels.
As with most changes, it comes with design challenges:
Respawning when playing for fuel is free, since time stands still while not accelerating. It might even be advantageous, since you will more likely than not spawn at a higher position than what you passed it in, essentially giving you more space to exploit gravity for gaining momentum
Respawning means instantly removing all your momentum, which might be an advantage where you want to pass a checkpoint, and then break or turn back. This means that the responsibility that you had to mind your velocity is pretty much gone, so you can charge down into checkpoints extremely quickly, instantly respawn, and carry on. This might be something level designers should mind when creating levels though, and might even be interesting in itself, even though it's a bit counter-intuitive.
A possible, though a bit ugly solution to #1 would be to simply disable the fuel timer on respawn.
What do you think? :)