If I were to give you a pseudo-artistic response, it would be the idea that AMP represents a pseudo-artistic ideal. Another Medal Please. A young man's cry for a simple medal, turned from a simple goal to an endless obsession. An obsession not to acquire a 20 by 20 image underneath my avatar, but to attract the respect and recognition that comes with acquiring that image. It's not a simple medal, but a status symbol, given only to the most intricate and creative of mappers, to the people who have both the skill and innovative ideas to make their work known across a simple game. To see your pack played on the servers isn't enough of a symbol that you've done a good job. No, you want a medal to go with that to confirm your belief that the hosts don't consider you a fluke who's pack they host out of pity.
In a sense, that grey medal has returned in the form of Concrete Man, and his green image only brings about an endless desire to work and think, for one day I could be considered one of the best. Alas, I'm not an official developer. Alas, I didn't win the two mapping competitions I entered. Instead, I have this little map pack. My last chance at respect among this community, because god knows I can be a prick to just about anyone. God knows that people look to other packs nowadays, because they see my work as nothing but doing small things right but doing the big things wrong. And god knows that somewhere in some obscure chat, there are other mappers who discuss behind my back, mocking what I made 12 months ago when I barely knew what ACS was or how 90% of the gimmicks worked. At least, I'd like to think that. But, then I look at the votes from that CTF topic. Then I look at all the comments afterwards. Then I just look up at the ceiling when I go to sleep, just wondering "where did I go wrong with my work" as I dream with a disgruntled look on my face.
And every night since then, I've been sleepless about what I must do for this map pack. To know that people expect quality out of this map pack, when I arguably haven't created one good map by myself. It's a bit of a daunting task, that I've ignored each day for the past few months. "Oh, I've got a map I have to make for a fan-made expansion. I should work on that instead." But at that point, the same thoughts I tried to run away from just jump right in front of me again. It's something close to an imaginary gas, with a vague face staring at me each time I look at the computer screen and try to start up RNCDW3.wad. And then I remember what those damn critics say. The smart critics will point out the flaws that no regular player would care about. And then the players point out flaws that the critics didn't mind at first. And then I just stand in between these two voices, shuddering at the thought of having failed yet again to appease everyone with my work.
I really don't know why I write this, or why I take this map pack so seriously. Maybe it's the thought that I want to convince myself that I can be a damn good mapper, but each time I open Doombuilder I just draw blank images in my head. And then I think about the people who work in the official expansions. I frown and wonder what I need to do to become remotely considered as capable of making a worthwhile map. I can't just make random sectors and call it a day, I have to spend hours just giving each sector some sort of context. What it does for the flow, the look, and the whole feel of the map. No, the critics won't be happy if you just make it a big pretty sector and throw in some energy and items. The players will, but then the players will point out a single un-aligned texture or a small graphical glitch and become greatly displeased with you.
Now I begin to wonder why I even need to appease to everyone. Why can't I go back to July 2011, when I just made maps that I felt were good? Someone will blurt out that I have no damn self-esteem, but I can't say that's the main reason for my timid nature.
Come to think of it, WHY AM I TAKING THIS SO SERIOUSLY? It's just a game. A simple mod. Why do I need to bother making maps anymore? Who do I feel obligated to impress? Absolutely no one. No one but myself. But I can only tell myself that my work will never justify the hours I put into it. And for that, I just waste my time. This whole post is a waste of time.
I just realized I contradicted myself over who I'm trying to impress.
And now I'm starting to think that posting this might not be a good idea.
Screw it, I'm taking a break.