When you’ve made it 90% down the path, you’re halfway to your destination – old Chinese saying
If you’d asked me a month ago I’d have told you that I was fairly confident that I’d have the map wrapped up by the end of April, first week in May by the latest. To be honest I might not have actually told you that but that’s what I was telling myself. Now I’m not so sure. I’m certainly in the home stretch, the map is functionally complete, and the to do list is down to four or five items, but I’m struggling to find the same drive to push though these last few steps that I had up though the last test release earlier in the month.
It’s not that uncommon for big projects to start derailing somewhat in the final stretch, we get distracted from the task at hand, we start second guessing work that’s already been completed, and we begin inventing reasons for not moving forward. I’ve seen it happen with work projects and it shouldn’t come as a surprise that that my for fun project of the last few months is suffering the same fate. In part there’s the ‘I’ve been at this for nearly 6 months now and I’m getting burnt out’ aspect of it all, but it’s not quite that simple. The nature of the work yet to be done is a factor. Planting virtual grass, weeds, and bushes is not the most exciting part of map making and if I didn’t feel that doing it well completes the immersiveness of the map it would be easy to shrug off what I already have as good enough. Oddly enough I don’t find other forms of detailing, adding trash cans, boxes, old equipment, etc. to be as monotonous. I think the reason is that this latter form of detailing is more localized. I’m detailing an equipment shed or I’m detailing a sell point while the grass and weeds tend to feel more like I’m detailing the entire map.
Another barrier to driving the map to completion, one which is likely tied to the fact that I’m not always engaged in the detailing mentioned above, is the temptation to rip up work previously done. In the last week I’ve completely redone the vehicle sales point as well as some major changes to the cow / sheep yard. While I do feel that these changes make for a better map they are yet another reason why my end date seems to be slipping away
Big Bud DLC
I’m not particularly excited about the tractors themselves; however I think the equipment that’s been promised with the DLC will be very well suited to this map. I’d hoped to have Nagce Valley released by the time that the Big Bud DLC drops on May 9th, but that’s probably not feasible given the work and testing yet to be done. My release woes aside there is an interesting thread that’s been started on the PC-SG forum that gives me some additional perspective of where Nagce Valley might rank comparison to other maps when it comes to supporting the upcoming DLC. Farmer Klein is planning a project for his YouTube channel in which he will be reviewing a number of maps that are Big Bud ready. To narrow the selection of maps down to a manageable number he’s created a spreadsheet that ranks the maps according to average field size, size of the largest field, size of the smallest field, and number of fields over 15ha, which is about the minimum size for running the largest equipment in the DLC. As Nagce Valley has yet to be released I did not submit it to Farmer Klein for consideration as part of his project but I did download his spreadsheet and informally added Nagce Valley to the mix. I was pleasantly surprised to see that Nagce Valley would fall mid pack in the ten maps Farmer Klein will be looking at particularly when you consider that most of these other maps are 4X while Nagce Valley is a standard sized map.