The path to Pax approacheth…

Hello everyone! It’s been a while since I made a proper post here, far too long actually. No, the stupid ebay posts don’t count :P.

Some post-worthy things have happened lately that I’ve been too busy to blog about. For instance, the new Boards of Canada album Tomorrow’s Harvest was released recently. If you know anything about my musical tastes, BoC is by far my one of my favorites bands of all time. I’ve been waiting for a new album for years now, and Tomorrow’s Harvest does not disappoint. I highly recommend it to everyone!

I finally updated my WordPress installation and a bunch of my plugins yesterday. So yea, Mekworx is all up-to-date again!

Oh right, and today was ‘Murica Day too! The folks and I went and got some delicious frozen yogurt and watched some purdy exploding lights in the nearby town, so that was fun.

This post, however, is going to focus on…Vela Pax! Things have slowed down with my other projects, so I’ve been trying to finish up Vela Pax. Just a few days ago I finished up making some extensive updates to MAP02 “Substruct” after nearly 2 months of work. Which is ridiculous since I probably could have finished MAP04 with all of that effort, but instead I decided to make MAP02 even bigger than it was :P . But even so, I’m very happy with the results! So first thing is first, here are a crapload of screenshots.








I’ve already plastered these screenshots on all of the Doom forums I frequent, as well as the social media outlets I bother to partake in. So chances are by now that if your interested in the project at all, you’ve seen these once or twice. If you want to know a bit more about the updates, check out my Doomworld post about it.

My goal right now is to finish the entire project, more or less, before the year ends. For those proficient with calenders, you’ll notice that we’re already half-way through 2013…which leaves me with roughly 5 months as of this post to finish up 3+ more maps. Now 5 months probably sounds like a lot of time…and, relatively speaking, it is. But since I set my goal to finish this before 2013 ends, I’m starting to have serious doubts as to whether that is still a feasible goal.

Vela Pax started in the first few months of 2010. I haven’t been working on the project that long; I took many breaks, some of which were very long. But I’d say, on average, a single map takes me close to 3 months to complete (working on and off, of course). That includes the planning, mapping, gameplay and lighting passes, and then the extensive amount of testing I do. The reason why it takes so long is because the maps are just so huge and complex. My original intentions were to have the latter maps in a thematic episode to be larger, while the first maps (eg. MAP01) would be a bit smaller and shorter. I ended up just having too much fun making these large maps though, and I ended up making all of the maps (the completed ones, anyways) very large. So I feel like I need to keep up that basic element of large, long, and complex maps for the remainder of the project. On the other hand, as someone pointed out, having some smaller maps to break up the larger ones might not be such a bad idea. It would offer a bit of a reprieve from the larger maps. Although anyone who tries to complete all 6 maps in a row, if they end up being all very big, has a will much stronger than mine :P

So I’m sort of at an impasse right now. I’m taking a short breather before I got back to MAP05 and makes some bug fixes and optimizations. In the meantime though, I’ve got to try and decide how I want to go about making the remaining maps. The current w.i.p. map, MAP04, is already turning out to be a very big map. I also had plans I made in the past for MAP03 and MAP06 that are pretty lofty in terms of scale and size. The problem is that the maps that I should have made smaller are already done and they are huge. So I will probably end up keeping the same scale and complexity with the remaining maps, even though it might mean pushing my deadline past 2013. I can’t make any actual predictions yet though; just like this project, I’m just flying by the seat of my pants with no concrete idea of what will happen once everything is said and done. All that really matters right now is that I’m having fun and learning quite a bit about myself in terms of my mapping styles. So long as I like what I end up making in the end, it won’t matter to me :)

To end this post, I’d like to let everyone interested know that I’m planning on doing another public test release after I finish MAP04. So if your interested in that, and your willing to take the time to break down my maps and give me some meaningful feedback and bug reports, then keep an eye open! I’ll definitely make a post about the release here. And if you follow me on Twitter or Google+, then you’ll definitely get a heads-up via those feeds ;)

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