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Big Ol Billy

DoomGuy Gets a Puppy [/idgames]

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Instant Cacoward

No WAD will ever come close to this level of sheer incredibility.

Especially not with a story including the line "Sacre bleu! Ze Doom homme! He must not get ze puppy!"

 

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I think that might be the best custom weapon I've ever seen.

 

With all the custom textures and the willingness to use more unconventional (by modern standards) iwad-ish angles, this feels a lot like a Russian wad, minus the lack of .ogg music of course. Combat isn't truly the focus, but much of it is satisfying anyway, and I really liked the mastermind fight, setting all the skeletons loose and getting them to infight, and after that the mastermind should be low on health anyway, so dancing around the pillars while fighting it with the SSG is not bad either, particularly if monsters like cacos join in the party. The reveals of monsters are also quite creative (falling bookshelves, hollowed-out cylinders, pass-through energy curtains, etc.). And that 'chainsaw' is pretty amazing. It look me a moment to realize what the hell it was. Bonus points for the pinkies and spectres that appear for basically no other reason than to give you sensible enemies to use them on before the end. 

 

One thing I wasn't a fan of is the pain elementals. There aren't many, but the two that were deployed more freely stuck out as the low points in the gameplay. The areas are so spacious (or in the case of the building with the RL, campable) that souls themselves aren't a threat to do much damage, and ammo is very abundant, so even if a PE spits out a bunch of lost souls, that won't really hurt you in that department. Put those things together and you get a non-threatening and somewhat annoying time sink. It's also worth watching out for obligatory green armor pickups. There's one right before the jump to the YK. If you pick up the blue armor very early, it's possible to get to that green armor with not too much less than 100% blue armor, at which point I don't want the green armor at all. Not a huge concern where true balance is concerned, since you get a blue armor for the final fight, but it momentarily leaves a bad impression. 

 

Cool map, though. Very memorable. 

 

Edited by rdwpa

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Thank so so much rdwpa, that's very helpful. I'm particularly happy to hear that you enjoyed the mastermind fight, as that's one of the encounters I was most worried about. Also glad that the "punch-line" of the wad landed. Very flattered by the Russian comparison, I've actually spent the last few months playing Lainos' complete works in chronological order, so that may have seeped in (though not a conscious effort in this case).

 

Interesting point about the PEs that I'll have to mull over. I'm fond of two of the encounters (outside the tower library and the one that baits you to enter the hedge area), though the third is perhaps a little more filler-y. I think I may find PEs more inherently fun than some players, which is a good thing to be aware of. Good catch on the green armor, too.

 

Hoping to make some tweaks and implement difficulty settings this week! :D

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Wow, despite being a small release, this is like as close to a perfect 10 as you can get, in terms of my tastes anyway. Perfect amount of detail - not too little, not too much, just right. In conjunction with the new textures, this gives off a very professional and clean vibe which is of course a huge plus right away. Monster ambushes are done with care and provide just the right amount of challenge for the casual Doomer. Music choice is on point, matches the environment itself quite well.

 

The gimmick of this wad, being the adorable little chain-dog, lands perfectly. Many wads attempt a little quirk or joke like this and fail, but here it doesn't get in the way at all and just gives you a good laugh, which goes a long way for me personally in overall enjoyment and memorability.

 

The only drawbacks of note: Health was too abundant for my liking. UV felt like HMP or even HNTR should feel. I'd rather have too much health than too little generally speaking so it's not a huge gripe, but there wasn't a single moment where I was actually worried about dying or even coming close. I'd also like to see you slap a DEHACKED lump right into the wad so that instead of "A chainsaw, find some meat!" we can get a more suitable message like "You got an adorable puppy!" or something. Once again a very minor detail, but since the dog is the 'seller' for this map, it makes sense to complete the package, so to speak.

 

I'll echo rdwpa about the Elementals, they could just be replaced with 4 Cacodemons or something and it would actually provide a bit more challenge and a bit less shooting helpless Lost Souls from a trench. However, the asshole devil's advocate in me (so basically my entire being) says fuck it, keep the forced Green Armor, stuff like that rewards those who plan ahead and leave the Blue Armor on the table until it's absolutely needed. I dig such design choices.

 

Overall this is really great for a single map release. I really hope you turn this into a series of periodic maps, I can't wait to play the next little installment of "DoomGuy Gets a Puppy". If you end up making 5 or more you could even compile a nice mini-episode down the track.

 

Enough of my rambling - Well done!

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Wow, very kind and useful words (ace avatar too). Sounds like the core elements of the level are working for people.

 

I'm rethinking the PE encounters, I think I will change some of these up a bit. Also interesting to hear another perspective on the green armor. I confess I didn't properly understand how the green vs blue armor actually worked until following up rdwpa's comments (not that you made it super intuitive, id!). Also good to hear feedback on the difficulty. Although I've been playing since the 1990s, I'm not a particularly skilled player, so it's been a challenge to think about designing gameplay for a general Doom audience. Since I haven't implemented difficulty settings yet, I could potentially use this version as the base for HMP. And there are definitely a few health pickups I'm going to cut/downgrade. It's a delicate balancing act, though--as I see it, the map needs a certain breeziness to click.

 

Very good suggestion on the pickup text replacement, that's an important bit of polish.

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2 hours ago, Big Ol Billy said:

Since I haven't implemented difficulty settings yet, I could potentially use this version as the base for HMP. And there are definitely a few health pickups I'm going to cut/downgrade. It's a delicate balancing act, though--as I see it, the map needs a certain breeziness to click.

On the subject of difficulty settings, one learning as a new mapper I've had is just how good many people on Doomworld are at playing Doom. There is a really big variety of abilities out there, so difficulty settings are a must.

 

I created maps I seriously struggled with on UV that others said were too easy, so if you know you're not the best player, then definitely don't feel afraid to make UV a bit harder than you're comfortable with. HMP should kind of be the "normal" experience anyway.

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Very helpful, thanks. I'm getting excited about polishing this (so to speak) puppy!

 

1 hour ago, Pavera said:

If the dog dies at the end, you are banned from Doomworld.

 

What kind of monster do you think I am :p

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Played with ZDoom. Minor things.

 

First big area. There are some helmets on the other side of a fence with a Manc. You can score the helmets through the fence.

 

Area with the secret Computer Map. There are some helmets on top of the bookcases which you access by running off the platform. You can run through the short bars on the platform. Don't think that was intentional.

 

SpiderMastermind area. You can squeeze through the 'wall' of blocking trees by the Backpack.

 

Really fun. Solid level. I like the device of using an old door to indicate a teleport. An interesting touch. However, if you do more maps in this style, certain doors should be the same type, but obviously different; the starting door (maybe grey instead of brown or blocked by bars) and the exit level door, like in Heretic (maybe red?). Also, the final teleport into the exit area surprised me. It wasn't a brown door, just a normal door. Perhaps a unique door texture? Also surprised by the normal door which was actually a lift under my feet. Nice.

 

One design issue I noticed. The Blue Key area is secret and therefore optional. You don't need it to finish the level. If you get to the exit area without using the Blue Key, and use the teleport to go back and search, you'll find the crying puppy. Which you've already rescued. Maybe the Blue Key area shouldn't be optional? Or, after reaching the exit area, replace the crying puppy with a sign saying "I found my forever home"?

 

One last thing. In the hedge area there's a teleport back to the beginning of the level, where you can now open a teleport back to the hedge area. Is that for DM? There's no reason to use it in single player. You don't get anything, nothing opens.

 

Very nice work. So future levels would be.... saving puppy's mother? Finding his squeaky toy? Getting him to the groomer? Trip to the vet? Looking forward to more.
 

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Good comments, some definite food for thought.

 

I've been particularly wondering about the blue key 'quest' landing. It's pretty obscure conceptually, and maybe just too convoluted. The idea is that as you explore you find a secret potion which sends DoomGuy into a sudden delirium where he faces his repressed fears about pet ownership--namely, that one day he'll actually get killed by demons and his beloved dog will be left all alone. This is why there's a dead player corpse in front of the crying puppy. Since I've been thinking of it as a "dream sequence" it hasn't particularly mattered whether you see it before or after you rescue Imelda. (In fact, to address another point, this is why I added the teleport back very late in the design--so people who had rescued the dog but missed the blue key section could go back and find it before exiting.) Typing this explanation out and re-reading your comments actually does give me an idea, along the lines of one of your suggestions, that I want to play with in the revision. 

 

Some good catches in other areas, too. Especially good point about the doors. And I love the thought of designing a level around finding the puppy's squeaky toy!

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Ah! I wondered what the green potion was for! I didn't get that it was a dream sequence at all. It felt more like Donkey Kong. You're about to rescue your 'Princess', then 'Kong' (the Cyber), takes her away from you (and locks her on top of a tower).

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Gave this a spin.  Also recorded a FDA.  GLBoom-plus 2.5.1.4 -complevel 9  1 death early due to clumsiness.  Did not finish because... I got stuck.  Really; it's at the end of the demo.  Normally the sort of thing to IDCLIP out of but that's not available when recording.

 

Did load up again in GZDoom (no recording) and played through.  Fun map.  I wonder if I downloaded a revised version since I found a purpose for the warp to the start from the hedge maze.  Hope that secret stays in future revisions; it's great in a casual map.  It's neat how the showpiece fight in the hedge maze can play out differently if the player doesn't lower all the hedge walls in the outer ring before going in.  That last archvile really spooked me too.  It didn't succeed in damaging me but there was a lot of panicked rocket fire to bring it down.

 

Had some minor agitation with wasted pickups but I'll toss that aside in favor of encouragement.  i find this a quality debut map.  The creative spirit really shows here.

 

My one ask is to compress the wad file into a .zip before uploading.  Makes for a more compact download and anyone who plays Doom custom content has access to an application to extract files from a .zip file.

puppyfda_cnr.zip

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Thanks for the FDA! I'll be interested to see where you got stuck--clearly I must have missed something. But glad you got some enjoyment out of it too.

 

 I'm revising the level now based on the great feedback I've gotten here, so it'll be zipped up with a text file soon. :D

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Oh, better get this permastuck report out quick then before the next revision:

 

- If one skips entering the graveyard from the regular entrances and instead slips in from the vegetation by the backpack, it's possible to splatter a lurking zombie with rocket splash and then fall into the unrisen grave with no way out.  This is quite out of the way and takes conscious effort to do.  Within the context of the map, maybe could get away with leaving as is; intentionally jumping into grave pits is a rather stupid thing to do in just about any circumstance.

- multiplayer only: If someone is clumsy enough to die to the baron before making the jump for the yellow key, the yellow key appears to be permanently unreachable.  Or is it possible to jump to the key from the higher tower?  I forgot to test this.

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For a wad that is pretty much a small release, this is among the best wads I have played all year. I would even say this is worthy of a Cacoward, I am impressed by the level design and it is really a treat to my eye. I appreciate that the joke about a dog isn't shoved in for the sake of humor and fits well with what you're doing throughout the level, and that is just trying to get your dog back and use it as a Chainsaw against the demons, never thought I would see a dog be the best Chainsaw ever made. Overall I enjoyed it and I appreciate the challenge and enemy encounters involved.

 

I don't really have many gripes, but one I do have are the health pickups, they are abundant sometimes and I managed to keep 100% health most of the time until the end where you are thrown many enemies such as Barons at once. I do appreciate the resource management blue armor pick ups, reminds me to not waste what could be really helpful later on. I kind of have to conserve on ammo but that's not a bad thing, my fault for managing my ammo poorly.

 

Overall, I love the level and all the detail put to it, one of my favorites this year and I love how hard the puppy bites, the puppy is truly a demon killer.

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happypuppyCROP.gif.66d4131cf8aff6d521df28de77729076.gif

 

Now I really don't understand how people manage 32-map megawads! Nonetheless, after much fiddling I've finally updated the map based on the fantastic feedback I've received here. Thought I'd give people one last chance to go hunting for bugs or other issues while I figure out the idgames submission process. Updated version should be at the top. Major changes include:

 

  • Implemented difficulty settings, using the first version as the basis for HMP. UV will throw some new challenges your way!
  • Rethought some of the PE encounters
  • Health overall has been reduced and the forced pickups that bothered people have been reworked
  • Blue skull key secrets have been expanded and further stylized
  • Lots of minor visual and monster placement tweaks
  • Now zipped up with a text file, with much smaller download size to boot

Can't thank you guys enough for the encouragement and positive feedback. As someone who's followed the Cacowards like the Oscars in the past, seeing people even mentioning the big C-word is a great honor!

Edited by Big Ol Billy

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I have yet to finish this because I'm finding UV to be pretty tough but the premise is awesome, especially as a big fan of dogs. It's a very nice looking map with an interesting layout and I like the details from the custom graphics to the music. The beginning is quite rough with the number of enemies and tools provided at that stage but it's doable. I have to commend you on a job very well done because this is a high quality map for a debut with a lot of nice quirks. I'm looking forward to getting all the way through and attaining the full experience.

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Thanks @Poorchop, appreciate hearing from another pet-themed Wad author XD

 

Also don't be afraid to play it on HMP. That was my original vision for the map. I toughened it up for UV at the suggestion of people here. I'm pretty happy with how UV plays, but you aren't missing the "full experience" if you do HMP.

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I already beat you to it and decided to revisit it on HMP shortly after making my post and I'm having a blast so far. It's a lot easier now to take my time and fully appreciate all of the details that you put into this map. Some of the enemy encounters also make a bit more sense outside of the urgency of UV. Just gonna reiterate that you did a fantastic job with this and I'm loving it. I'm really looking forward to your future work.

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Yup, this definitely deserves a Cacoward consideration. A terrific map from start to finish. Fun secrets, good placement of Archviles, and a great atmosphere. I really love this.

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