I didn't really expect to make a "Part Two" just yet for this, but... I've come to some interesting revelations regarding the series that I feel are important to share. That... and, I suppose this post will serve as a worthwhile update to the progress I'm on. So, with that said, I think I'm going to just jump into it.
I grew up with Call of Duty being a large part of my life. It seems like a "typical" thing to say, and it really is, but... these games have affected me on a certain, deeper level. I have vivid memories of me and my brother loading up Big Red One, or Call of Duty 3, on our PS2, and I recall being absolutely enamored with the games to the point of near obsession. It was... that level of enjoyment, for me. Of course, this was around the time I was in First Grade, and... admittedly, I didn't really know anything about taste in games or whatever. I still sat around playing stuff like Crash Bandicoot (specifically Wrath of Cortex, and I like that game to this day), and both Battle for Bikini Bottom and the Spongebob Movie Game (both are pure fun to this day as well). But it was something else, y'know? Just... that different type of feeling.
I grew up with the changes as they came, and... y'know, by the time World at War came around and I had heard of a Zombies mode, you could not imagine my level of jealousy. I had a Wii, so we were very much barred from the oh-so-precious Nacht der Untoten. I didn't end up playing a single bit of Zombies until Black Ops 1 came to the Wii two years later. (I should probably mention for the sake of the story: Our PS2 overheated and the Wii was a Christmas gift.)
Playing Zombies for the first time kind of lit a spark in me, in a way not a lot of games would do. I feel like I forget how much the mode has impacted my life at times, and I should be humbled by what it's done, and where I came to with it, but... that first game that I played, and my first noob-level death at round 3 was... almost surreal enough for me. I didn't really care for much else than the experience of the game. I grew to be good at it within the span of a year's time. Hell, I think my first Round 30 was on the Wii.
Then, y'know, times change and shift, I find myself on an Xbox and Black Ops II came out... and, just... I dunno.
I like the barebones difficulty of Black Ops 1 Zombies. I cannot possibly keep a secret like that dug down in this brain of mine forever. Black Ops 1 is perhaps the best iteration of Zombies. Black Ops II is indeed an incredible evolution of the mode, and adds perhaps some of the best mechanics to come out of the mode in quite some time, but... the base game was changing. By Origins, it was more about power to the player. Which, yes, is a perfectly fine thing, and can be incredibly entertaining. But... too much power makes a poor man ill-spirited. By Black Ops III, it was all a bit too much.
I think, at the core of it, the point I'm trying to get across is something like this:
I want to, in creating a series of maps like this, be able to create it in a way that, while giving the player power, is still rooted in a barebones system. Like a mesh of the past three games in the series, perhaps, but a large chunk of Black Ops 1. I want to design something I would like to play. I want to actualize these maps in a way that, in my head, I can see myself sitting down and enjoying every second of it.
I guess that's what this whole series is, most of the time, though. A self-actualization trip. With a lot of mechanics scattered and questioned, meshed like putty until I find a way to make it feel like art.
...good lord, that sounds conceited now that I say it. Though, that's essentially the essence of the matter.
Probably the reason I feel ever so passionately about this series, actually. Because it's my canvas. I'm the "Monty" of my own world. A cosmic painter, creating a portrait in a vast canvas, scrutinizing the little details I find... and fixing the ones that aren't working.
But, that's just my thoughts on it. I kind of needed to find a way to get that off my chest, so... apologies if this all sounds conceited. Or... something like that. I'm working on getting towards an acceptable pace/percentage of completion on this series, believe me. All the elements are coming together! Just... need to let all that paint dry, so to speak.
With that said, though.
Per aspera ad astra.