Interesting tumblr post on how both Shovel Knight and They Bleed Pixels add elements of risk and reward to checkpoints. I wasn’t aware of Shovel Knights’ checkpoint destruction for cash system till reading this. Great to see other game devs experimenting with systems that integrate checkpoints and saving into the gameplay in a meaningful way. There’s a lot of unexplored territory there.
By the way, our friend Mathew Kumar who originally suggested the They Bleed Pixels checkpoint system has an upcoming game called Knight & Damsel in the works folks may want to check out. He also designed a particularly devious They Bleed Pixels guest level coming in the next update.
Shovel Knight does a fun thing with checkpoints, it lets you destroy them for money.
The game pays you for increasing the stakes, you get a bunch of money but if you die you have a lot more ground to recover. This is one of many ways Shovel Knight lets the player take on greater risks for greater rewards. One of it’s other favorite ways of doing this is making some of the hardest parts of the game optional, but each has the promise of riches should you succeed. It is constantly introducing meaningful trade offs for the player to consider.
It clearly isn’t the only game that plays around with checkpoints, another game that does this in an even more brilliant way is They Bleed Pixels.