In my efforts to bring ever new groundbreaking material from the behemoth that is my crazy mind, I present to you, The Happiness Cycle:
This charts how happy I am with a map throughout its lifetime, and generally applies to all my maps. The start is the placing of the first brush, and the end is commital/completion/release. Think of the cycle as lasting about a month.
Generally, things start out well, and get a little better still as my mind rushes towards something terrific. Then comes a big dip as I suddenly doubt the whole idea and question whether the map is fundamentally flawed. I spend a good amount of time in that stage, up until the map is completely playable.
Then, as testing begins, happiness tends to grow as it’s never quite as bad as imagined. It’ll never beat the happiness at the very start of the project, but it’ll come close as people are seen to enjoy it and find small bugs. Then a slight dip at the end due to nerves.
That is all. All Hail The Happiness Cycle! (even if it isn’t really a cycle as such, really just a line with a kink in its neck)