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Danlex

Lullaby - Single level for GZDoom

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Oh yes, goodness this looks incredible.

 

I guess I know what I'm playing next.

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Played this on HNTR. Found four keys, took 45 minutes.

 

In Yoshi's Island there's a secret area that has the following message:

"We, the Mario team poured our hearts and souls into creating this game for your entertainment. It is full of secrets. Enjoy."

Spoiler

yoshisisland.png.6efe69848e7b22ec9237dfcc52af3a32.png

 

This WAD has that message written all over it.

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Seems good so far, but I'm at the red skull key with no rocket launcher and no plasma gun, and I'm completely out of ammo for the SSG and chaingun, meaning I'm pretty much screwed. Also the cave area is a little too dark in my opinion. I pretty much can't see anything past ten or so feet.

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First Time Tripper and now this.  It is already a banner year for ethereal, experiential WADs.  (Plus anything else I'm missing in which case show it to me pls)

 

This is incredible.  Every detail of this contributes to this dreamlike atmosphere that feels immediately nostalgic, at once whimsical and mysterious.  I almost hate that I have to fight shit because all these damn demons are just distracting me from being able to stop and take in the world you've created.

 

I love the nonlinearity of this.  The progression complements the feel of the map, the feeling that every switch and every corner will unveil something unexpected, pulling me in in every direction and making me eager to see what's next (and kill it).

 

I haven't finished it yet but yeah wow.  Definitely an instantly memorable and utterly unique experience.  Well done.

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HNTR, 44 minutes.  No secrets.  Left a couple PEs alive to make a mess behind a portal...totally didn't enter the blue key fight without a plasma gun or rocket launcher...and no ammo.  Nope not me.

 

Absolutely amazing map.  The atmosphere of the whole thing was just... chef's kiss.  

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21 minutes ago, wolfmcbeard said:

I played a little bit and got the first key and I must say, this is an absolute blast thus far.

Same, got the blue key (blue key area is monumental in every sense) 22 minutes or so played, cant believe how good it is!

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Can it be submitted in decino's page, so he plays it in his viewer submition's section?

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2 hours ago, Arbys550 said:

Seems good so far, but I'm at the red skull key with no rocket launcher and no plasma gun, and I'm completely out of ammo for the SSG and chaingun, meaning I'm pretty much screwed. Also the cave area is a little too dark in my opinion. I pretty much can't see anything past ten or so feet.

I'm pretty sure you missed the RL and plasma in the first room of the fortress, and I don't know what can be causing your problem with the lighting, maybe you should check your gzdoom options settings.

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Played through it on stream, very cool looking and quite fun.  Great work!  I found the three secrets, one with the help of a viewer who saw the way to get it.  Twitch vod in the spoiler below.

 

 

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Fun map. The visuals were the highlight. I felt the difficulty was fairly low for a map of this scale, the only notably intense encounter is the last one, and I neglected to get the secret bfg so it was a tad more difficult than it would have been otherwise. The encounter with the 4 cyberdemon snipers was probably the most unique, but otherwise the combat didn't feel like the focus for me. The locales were absolutely beautiful. I am especially fond of the initial reveal of the castle as well as the twisting bookcases in the library. The surreal visuals throughout more than make up for the lax combat.

 

EDIT: Forgot to mention I played in Ultra Violence.

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Just finished on UV, what an incredible map. The final fight took me a few tries but was quite fun. 

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What a treat. I’ve only gone through it once so far, so my experience has all the trappings of a blind run, but I had a great time and just wanted to put some of that excitement into words. I played through it on Ultra-Violence, got 100% kills, found 1 of the secrets (I didn’t spend very long looking for them, and rarely do in maps), and completed it in 49 minutes.

 

The aesthetic, and “sense of place” are surreal and outstanding. For me, there were hints of projects like The Slaughter Spectrum and Technicolor Antichrist Box, but these recent parallels are easy to make on a superficial level, and you always seemed to pull everything back into your own orbit – the layout, progression signaling, color scheme, texture use, architecture, and overall design were consistent from start to finish, which really drove home the core feeling. What that “core feeling” was exactly, I’m not entirely sure... but that may have been the point. Where the lucid dreamscape ends and the reality-warping demonic influence begins, I’ll never know, and I love it. If this is “Danlex mapping”, I’ll be chomping at the bit for every future release (I was certainly getting that impression from your Mapwich and Micro Slaughter contributions).

 

There were tons of cool visuals that kept stopping me dead in my tracks to admire, and several that I’m sure I’ll unconsciously attempt to steal at some point. The animated sky was breathtaking; I loved your use of shapes when it came to stairs, doors, platforms, and corridors; the black and white checkered floor that had foolishly attempted to divide by zero, the eerie star-pods encapsulating suspended Cyberdemons, and the curved bookshelves that looked as though they were being pulled into a separate dimension – so many fantastic little details. Of course, the spinning, twirling, and waggling geometry were always neat to come across, and those little floating lights in the cavern had absolutely no right being as awesome to look at as they were. The map as a whole was more than just “very pretty to look at”, it seemed to be constantly telling a very spooky, ethereal story.

 

In the gameplay department, I thought the combat served the map well. It reminded me of conversations I’ve had lately, about the lack of “big, beautiful, technical mapping achievements” that don’t invariably succumb to brutal combat challenges, or outright slaughter. As a doom patron who thoroughly enjoyed his UV romp through gauntlets like Bastion of Chaos and Ar Luminae, I found Lullaby to be comparatively easy – but, I really appreciated that. There was no combat fatigue, just a fun excursion through a jaw-dropping fortress, somewhere in the starry void.

 

I didn’t run into the weapon/resource issue that some of the feedback have cited, so far. I found health, armor, and ammo to be quite generous throughout the level, based on how I approached things. By and large, the arenas were fun, if not as particularly memorable as their backdrops seemed to be.

 

If I could levy any criticism towards the map, it would have to do with the unfortunate “circle-strafing = win” fate that nearly every arena concedes to. The amount of space provided in most encounters, combined with the choice of enemies, meant I could simply run around the outskirts and let the majority of fights wear themselves down through infighting – especially the finale. I’m sort of framing this as “bad design”, which I don’t mean to (because I don’t believe that it is), I just found myself wishing that the arenas had leaned into (and relied upon) their respective gimmicks a little bit more, rather than being so open to a strategy as simple as “run in a circle until everything kills itself”. Exceptions to this, in my experience at least, were the Mastermind/Caco arena (made a bit more interesting due to the platforming), and the cavern fight, which I absolutely loved. That cave arena had a very “antares031” quality to it, dropping the player into an abstract layout and forcing them to carve a “successful path” through the sheer madness (those pockets of Shotgunners and Chaingunners really made you pay attention and focus – good stuff)!

 

On the topic of the RL and Plasma Rifle, I didn’t have an issue with this personally, but I can certainly see how someone might miss these – given how important they are to the way you’ve designed combat across the map, I can’t really justify a reason why you wouldn’t just hand the player these weapons in a very straightforward, obvious, “forceful” way. The presentation of lowering them down from their pedestals is nice, but doesn’t serve much in the end, when the alternative is having players miss them entirely.

 

All in all, I’ll definitely be playing through this again (multiple times, I’m sure!) Congrats on the killer release, and thanks for the amazing experience!

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7 hours ago, Danlex said:

Jumping/crouching and freelook are optional, but highly recommended

Since this was stated, I was able to make a Quake-style rocket jump to get the BFG for the final fight, despite only finding one secret key. Map looks cool, nice visuals and effects.

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Just wanted to say thanks for making this wad and taking me on a magical journey. Map looked absolutely terrific, gameplay and atmosphere was very, very solid. Excellent music choice also for the map, it's one of my favourite Darkwave0000 tunes on Speed of Doom. Nothing else needs to be said except that this is indeed Cacoward-worthy.

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Finally finished it UV max, impressive work, just for the visuals worth the play.

It was a pleasant adventure, thanks for the hard work!

 

Probably my favourite room:

Spoiler

Screenshot_Doom_20210216_125153.png.beb1516ef1dd660f4dee9ec7232d5ce0.png

 

Edited by Soulless

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Just played about 15 minutes before work, and all I can say is WOW. Playing on UV without saves, made the mistake of letting my guard down a bit when the first few fights were pretty tame -- then ran through the red key gate and died in about thirty seconds. I'm gonna revisit it tonight when it's not so bright outside -- I think it'll help the atmosphere, plus the level is a tad dark so it'll help me see more details. But just wanted to drop in and congratulate/thank you on this awesome map!

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wow, the map with the black hole everyone wondered about

 

want to play it and can't right now

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This was pretty impressive! Played through on UV. I found the yellow card pretty easily, but I IDDT'd the other 2. I had the right idea for the red card but somehow missed the exact thing I needed to do. The blue card I don't know if I would have noticed the right way to get. The blue skull arena killed my framerate, but I was able to get through after a few attempts. These big levels can do a number on my laptop, but that was the only time the framerate was an issue.

 

I thought the visuals were astounding. I think I may need to turn my brightness up for the next time, as I didn't even notice the twisted bookcases until seeing the screenshot in this thread! But the colors and detailing I could see were awesome. Difficulty-wise, I didn't really have a problem with it. Like I said, the only area I had difficulty with was the blue skull arena, but that was more because of the framerate. I'm glad this wasn't really a slaughter-fest, as I'm not the biggest fan of them, but this map had the right kind of difficulty when it came to the arenas. I liked the non-linearity of it, and each skull path had some unique visuals and fights to them. The floating Cyberdemon fight was really unique, and the cavern fight was really cool looking. 

 

I did have some textures load in incorrectly on the epilogue map. The clock and the textures that were text based had the top of them cut off and placed underneath them. I also spotted some HOMs in one of the hallways in the main map, but I forget where exactly it was. I think it was in the blue skull path. Sorry for not being super exact, but if I have time, I'll go back and find them. 

 

All-in-all, I really enjoyed this! Super fun, not super challenging, and very, VERY nice to look at.

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Played this earlier today - when I had power living in Texas during winter storms yeesh - and it was very nice looking. The standout areas to me were the library, the cave (reminded me of a bit in Skyrim where you go deep underground and find a massive dark cavern in the dwemer ruins), and the final area with those crazy looking things on the outside wall of the arena.

 

I do have a few comments on some of the gameplay - as I was moving through the map it became very clear when there was going to be an ambush and even more so when after a key fight there was yet another ambush in the room I just ran through to enter the key area. Maybe have a weird puzzle or something in between to break up the action - the library section especially (I was 100% wishing there was some kind of puzzle to expose more of the mysterious looking library).

 

Many of the arenas are very symmetrical, large, and flat. This lead to a lot of circle strafing for me.

 

The bsk fight - I simply killed the mastermind immediately with plasma from the bsk platform. Because none of the cacos can get to you there quickly it is easy to use the pillars at the platform to los the caco projectiles and simply snipe the mastermind without taking any damage. I would definitely suggest spawning cacos behind that platform to force the player to move.

 

I am still not a huge fan of the thing where you fall and get instantly tp'd to another area without a penalty of some kind. This was very apparent to me in the bsk area where I abused that to remove all pressure from the cacos after killing the dudes guarding the door out.

 

Looking at it from an easier map perspective the ammo is cool.

 

One thing I really wished was in the map were elaborate secret areas for the keys. This abstract visual style really lends its self well to this sort of stuff imo. Getting the bfg/invuln as a reward is cool and all but I was really hoping for a crazy secret area.

 

Those were my thoughts anyways. Cool map overall and shorter too which I appreciated. Thanks for making it!

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A great level, fun fights, interesting setups, gorgeous theme and rooms. A bit on the easy side except the final fight, but that's ok, I also like something fun that don't stomp my balls from time to time...

 

Just one thing. I love how you created your own visual concept and theme for the map, and how different it is from the usual techbase / industrial / hellish themes. But this mystical-fantasy theme makes a few enemies like the chaingunner to feel a bit out of place. Maybe some custom enemies from realm667 or borrowed from Heretic/Hexen would be a good replacement.

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The map so hot it made me actually open gzdoom again. Probably "the" map that people will reference in regards to advanced port features for the foreseeable future, or at least until Age of Hell is out.

 

I had a good time overall, if there's one gripe I would have with the balance it's just that there's really not enough armour. Getting free blue armour at the start was cool, but then from that point on whenever I ran out it would always take a slightly annoyingly long time to find more. I think it would really benefit from what Antares does in a lot of his longer maps which is just to just drop a bunch of random green armours around the central areas and let the player decide when to take them. The fight in the cave with viles and pain elementals was by far my favourite, but a lot of the other ones did have a pretty bad circle strafe problem. There's also some parts near the beginning with the transparent doors where a bunch of enemies are placed right in front of them that leads to annoying door camping where you have to keep going back and pressing the switch until you can finally get through.

 

The idea behind the secrets to get BFG+invuln for the final fight I didn't like, it's pretty much the most overly obvious way you could make a player overpowered through secret hunting considering it's the only hard fight in the map. I did it without the secrets and it wasn't that bad, but I hated killing the viles in the central trench, it felt very slow and grindy with just rockets because there's rarely any good places to shoot them from and if they all start to bunch up around where the cybers are, it's even worse.

 

You might want to add a note in the thread to tell people to definitely play with dynamic lights on, for the first half of the map I couldn't see shit no matter what I did with my light settings and then I finally realised it's because 90% of the light comes from the dynamic lights and not sector lighting.

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