Single Status Update
I think I'd truly regret calling this an announcement of my official retirement from Doom mapping, but I think I may be coming to the conclusion that it's time to quit kidding myself.
With certain circumstances in my life sucking up my time and negating my ability to pursue Doom mapping as a legitimate hobby, I've been balancing a weight on my shoulders with rather small unfinished projects that I'm struggling to bring to completion. Things are moving at a glacial pace and my future only looks to incorporate more extra-curricular activities in my daily routine, making my absolute favorite pastime look more and more like something that's only fit to be put in the attic and left alone as a distant memory.
A few years ago, mapping seemed to flow naturally out of me, which is where the majority of my body of work came from. I began to concentrate on more complex design strategies in order to construct more unique looking and replayable doom levels. Unfortunately this started shortly before I bought a house and got married and such. If the kind of levels I really want to make were a piece of jewelry at the bottom of the swimming pool, my responsibilities are the air-inflated floaties pulling me up to the surface. My wife would be offended if she saw me describing things that way but it's about time to admit that Doom mapping wasn't much more than a timesink to get myself to the point in life that I am at now. Now that I'm living it, there isn't much room to squeeze it back in. There really hasn't been much room this whole time and anything I've released since shows it.
While reverting to my older mapping style would probably be much more productive, I'd still have the reminder that "I can do better than this" lingering over me as I play through them. I think there are enough mappers here who can create similar enough maps. I'm not really interested in being a part of that category of mappers.
But anyway, it hurts my ego every time I come back to mapping after a long unavoidable hiatus with an intention to create a design that I feel has finally manifested in my mind after many weeks. The lack of regular practice with Doombuilder 2 is clear in my attempt to rectify it when the design comes out sloppy and inconsistent. I begrudgingly close the laptop lid and go do something else. If I find myself a career path that pays much better and has an unusual amount of downtime and low-stress, I may be able to get back into the groove and nullify everything this blog stands to declare. Until then, I feel as though the only other appropriate time to get back into mapping is when I retire and wait to pass away.
What does this mean for UAC Ultra 2? Not sure. For a long time I've been epitomizing UU2 as a way to "go out with a bang" and encapsulate as many of my ideas as humanly possible into a single megawad and live the rest of my life comfortably with the satisfaction that I've exhausted as much of my potential as I could into a final product. Then I'd leave everyone in the community with a sick megawad to play in many different styles with hundreds of hours of gameplay depending on how one chooses to play it. I'd also hope it would stand as a model for what I'd like to see more mappers do with their maps. I can't say I'm pulling the plug on it, but the rate of its progress is mirrored by my motivation to complete it without an optimistic partner or small team to share it with. I hope I can garner enough strength to make my ideas come to fruition, but until then, I've put a pin in it until things change.
In the meantime, I have no trouble checking on Doomworld and posting every now and again. I still have an insatiable urge to kill monsters and fortunately, playing the game and all the new wads that come out for it is significantly less taxing than editing it is. At best, I think tabling my mapping career may be excusable in exchange for offering myself as a mentor for any interested mappers (PM me!) or volunteering myself for a rather minor role in a major project. It breaks my heart to tell myself that it's time to call it quits, and I'll fight with every fiber in my body to keep the candle lit, but I just wanted you guys to know where I'm at.