In the area I'm currently working on in my map, I've found that some limitations of the movement paths of the CAI will make my original idea for the space impossible. I was going to have a simple setup wherein the player gets onto a large lift and as it rises there is an endurance fight wherein a number of flying drones attack the player and he must fend them off until the lift reaches the top of its path. Unfortunately, it seems like the drones are unable to interact properly with the lift. They tend to clip through the lift when they get near it, and since they can't fire downward at the player, forcing them to stay high above the lift isn't an option. They only really work on level ground.

So now my plan is to have an access stairwell that runs parallel to the lift, from which enemies can follow the player and attack him as the lift rises, maintaining the endurance fight but in a different form. Once the lift reaches the top, the stairs are accessible to the player, and he must backtrack down them, discover a small space that had been hidden beneath the lift platform, engage the manual override to open the doors at the top of the lift, and then proceed out of the space.

I think this development is good, as it will make navigating the space much more interesting, but it also means I have to build in two new sub-areas: the stairwell and the hidden space beneath the platform. This has happened in one other location as well, where I decided that adding an alternate secondary route through part of the map would be more interesting to the player, meaning I needed to build a small tunnel system that wasn't in the original design. This is a form of Feature Creep, a phenomenon that often crops up in game development cycles.

In my case, this isn't frivolous feature creep. These are solutions to problems I've come across in designing the map, which happen to entail building more areas than had originally been intended. But it becomes easy to see how this kind of thing could snowball and lead into entire new mission objectives, setpieces, and so forth. This isn't going to happen for my map, since I've already got a big job ahead of me, and I'm intent on keeping it from getting any bigger than it has to. I'm worried about how much longer I'm going to be working on this thing, not because I don't like working on it, but just because I'd like to have something to show for my work sooner than later. Also there doesn't seem to be much of a "FEAR community," even among those who are mapping and modding for it (the numbers of which seem small.) Every day FEAR becomes more of an outdated game as far as the fanbase is concerned. Even though this map is being made largely as a portfolio sample, I'd also like for actual gamers to get to play it and give me feedback on it and soforth. I feel like I've spent my whole life making things that only a handful of people ever see and I'm starting to get tired of it. I'd like to make something that a lot of people can enjoy. Maybe someday.

On the other hand, my map can't really be finished until Monolith releases the prefab objects for use with the SDK, so until I have all the resources at hand, I can't really complain about how long the work is taking. If I get everything else finished, and prefabs still aren't released, then I guess I'll have something to complain about.

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