October 30th marked Mekworx’s 4th year of virtual existence. Wow, that year flew by…again!
I actually didn’t forget the birthday this year, even though this post is a few days late like last years. Instead I waited a few days after the previous post to make this post…so uh, there wouldn’t be a bunch of posts sandwiched together. Because it is likely there will be another new post shortly after this one . Well, there might not be if I don’t get my tail in gear.
Also you may notice a new theme! Yes, another one! Will it ever stop?!
So, like last year’s birthday, I guess it’s time again to reflect on my projects and do a bit of lamenting. My Doom modding pace seems to have slowed down from past years, although it does feel like it has also leveled out as well. As time goes on, I’m planning on reducing my Doom modding activity by a large margin so that I can move forward and put the majority of my focus on Retrograde. It is kind of a sad thought to me when I think about becoming inactive in the Doom modding scene, just because of all the awesome people I’ve met and worked with. Before it is all said and done with though, hopefully there will be some pretty big releases from me. And I’m hoping Retrograde will be a big hit with the Doom community as well, since there are quite a few parallels between that concept and Doom. Of course, Doom will always be an interest of mine, probably until the day I die, and Retrograde certainly won’t be the end-all of my Doom modding.
Speaking of Retrograde, progress has been pretty steady on it. We’re still in the infancy of the project, working out concepts and themes as well as the technology and editing abilities and whatnot. We somewhat recently announced the beginnings of a mini-project codenamed “Build-a-Bot“. And then, as far as the devblog goes, we’ve been pretty quiet. Suffice to say that we are still working, we just haven’t been as diligent as we’d like with blog posts and updates (we do make updates on our Google+ page and Twitter account too). We’ve got another devblog update in the pipeline though, so keep your eyes peeled if that interests you.
My main focus this year seems to have been on Back to Saturn X. Well it has been for over a year really. As I posted previously, my 5th map, which was a collaborative effort between Vader and myself, marks the final map I’ll be making for the project. Of course I’ve said this before, probably after my 3rd map, but this time I mean it, really . The project is well on its way to being polished and released, so I really wouldn’t have the time to make another map (as fun as it would be) and there probably wouldn’t be any room for it either. I’ll be updating the BtsX project page sometime in the near future with up-to-date screenshots of all my contributions. I’ve said it many times already, but if you like Doom, you must check out Back to Saturn X once it is released. It is going to be fantastic!
A few days ago I, perhaps foolishly, agreed to make a map for the TNT 2: Devilution project. The leaders had to drop a few of the contributors from the project because of lack of updates and missed deadlines. So fellow Doom modder Kyka dropped me a message asking if I’d be interested in contributing something. TNT 2: Devilution is a fan-made sequel to the original TNT: Evilution, which was a part of Final Doom. It follows a similar concept to Plutonia 2, which was a fan-made sequel to Plutonia (also a part of Final Doom). I’ve always been a big fan of TNT; personally I preferred it to Plutonia when I played Final Doom originally. TNT always seemed to have a bit more personality over Plutonia for me. It feels more like the original Doom games in terms of visuals and gameplay but it varies a bit across the whole mapset. Plutonia is definitely more cohesive and feels more polished, but the themes don’t vary a whole lot from map-to-map. TNT does have some pretty abysmal maps, but they can be overlooked in light of some great maps in the pack like Mill, Steel Works, Wormhole, and others. TNT also has this industrial vibe to it which I really dig and is probably the biggest reason why I like it all at. Anyways, I was interested in TNT 2 from the start of the project, but was too busy with other things to really volunteer my time. I thought the project was on the precipice of release, but set backs and delays gave rise to an opportunity for me to contribute to the project once again. This time with my BtsX maps out of the way, I thought why not, I’ll give it a shot. I’ve got a few ideas for a map which, hopefully, will be short-to-medium in length and pretty difficult (I’ve got the MAP26 slot). We’ll see what happens, but I’m pretty excited to be making something for this project.
And then there are the two big ones – Vela Pax and Supplice. Supplice has had a good spit of activity this year and I’m very proud of how far it has come. Granted it has been in progress for over three years now and no official mapping has started yet. But this past year has seen the project getting back on track and it is finally developing it’s own unique look and feel. We’re working to show off some of the new art assets very soon (basically a “re-announcement” post), from which point we’ll continue working on content until the mapping phase is ready to start. There will be more for me to talk about in regards to Supplice very soon, I hope. Vela Pax, on the other hand, depresses me when I think about it. I have probably put more effort into mentioning Vela Pax on this blog than actually working on it. Earlier in the year I was hoping to finish the project before the end of 2012. Of course that’s no longer going to happen now with the end of the year only 2 months away. I did get a chance to do a little bit of work on MAP04 as well as make some significant visual changes to the large, outdoor areas of MAP05. I’m also working on plans for an interesting end-game scenario (with some help from VortexCortex and hopefully someone who can do good sprite work). The good news is that I have set myself up to put almost the entirely of my mapping focus back on Vela Pax very soon. I’m looking to finish up some things for Supplice and my TNT 2 contribution first. After that, it’s going to be Vela Pax all of the time…or at least until I get so sick of working on it that I’ll have to do something else . I want to finish Vela Pax before mapping starts with Supplice. If all goes well, I will finish it up before the second half of 2013. I’ll also try to remember and update the project page with some up-to-date screenshots since some maps look a bit different now.
Anyways, it has been an interesting year in Doom modding for me. It won’t be too much longer before more news about Supplice and Vela Pax will hit, so I hope you guys watch out for that. And I gotta give many thanks to my friend Wartorn again for yet another year of hosting . So far so good, now let’s hope it can last for another year!