Well, it looks like the missing pieces are finally coming together. We might actually make this deadline!
All jokes aside, I just want to say that I am truly grateful to everyone who made this project a reality; everyone who put so much effort into making this the best megawad it could possibly be. It really has been a pleasure working for and with you all. While the last two years of work has been tiring and probably even frustrating, I am so proud that it has paid off and that I got to be a part of it.
Kildeth started this project off with a simple concept. And now, two years and a quarter later, I feel we have achieved something more than just a simple realization of that concept. I feel we have created a symbol of perseverance. Our hard work has paid off more than we should've believed possible. I never realized before how much work it must take to put together such a large-scale project such as this. I made my maps for this project a long time ago, it feels like, and though I did work on them almost up to the end, the fact that it took so long for people to finally have a chance to play the final product has not gone unnoticed by me.
Looking at my maps, it already feels like looking at old photos of myself. I feel a little disconnected, and question some of my choices. I've learned a lot in the process of making these maps, and I feel I've learned a bit since then, as well. I look at my maps and wonder: If I had the chance to make these maps again, how different would they be? Would the layout be any different? Would I have been able to detail it better? Would the fights be more challenging? Would I have been able to create that epic climax that I envisioned for Castle Bloodletting, but was too inexperienced to actually create at the time?
I'll never get the chance to answer those questions, and it's probably better that way in most cases anyway. A completed WAD in the /idgames archive is like a monument of history in the Doom community. What we have created will hopefully last a long time, which will allow us and others to scrutinize our work, possibly a bit too harshly sometimes. It's easy to look back and say, "What were they thinking when they came up with THAT?" In the moment, we make a lot of choices; some good, some bad. I hope we can look back on this project and remember when we were mapping newbies with fondness and nostalgia.
I feel like I've just graduated from my first year of Doom Mapping University. Soon, I'll be ready to start my sophomore year. Until then, thank you all once again. I'm looking forward to the release of NOVA, after so long. I hope NOVA 2, if the time ever comes, is just as fun to work on, if possibly a little more efficient. See you then.