20130422, 12:02 – The page has been good to go for a few hours. It was Fine when I got back from laundry and was still Fine when I got back from groceries. There’s a slim chance it might be Double Fine.
I ran a variant of these numbers when the chapter cover went up a couple days ago – this is the first story page in almost exactly five months, and the first the story has moved chronologically forward since July of 2008. That was a rocky period in my life, and Transitional Voices chapter two is lurching into production during another, even rockier point in my life. Fortunately this time around the rockiness is going to literally manifest in the comic. As, yanno. Rocks. And/or big honkin’ chunks of ice. Life instability was chronicled directly and indirectly in the TV.1 metadata – the TV.2 build logs to date document a completely different form of instability and they do it long form.
Nothing like the first few pages of Leitmotif, fortunately. I think I used a double-digit percentage of ATC’s metadata word count on the downslope of Dead City Radio and while that certainly validates a few decisions I made regarding the current (version 10) site design, I’d like to think we’re all here for the jpeg above the frothing jets of unicode.
Five months is way too long for a single page of anything to be in production – I whine about that extensively in the build log below. The short form is I bit off way more than anyone without unlimited funds, unlimited interns and a rendering farm can reasonably hope to bite off – AGAIN – realized it way too late, collapsed under the workload a few times, and finally managed to get the damned thing done, emotionally motivated by desperation instead of the usual determination.
Was the hellslog worth it? I’m gonna go with hell yes. ATC is back in color, and I’ll know within the next week or two if I’ll be able to handle the first big chunk of the book on a regular schedule or not. I’ve been told – and my own research has lead me to conclude – that clockwork updates are best updates. This thing is in a position to maybe give that a shot – the next five pages use assets developed for the cover (or rather the cover uses assets developed for the next five pages) and that environment should be good to go with another work session or two. Render times for the exterior are Serious, though I won’t know how serious until I bust a few more rocks and generate another texture or two. That’s gonna be later this week. Due to massive fail on my part I’m currently something like six weeks behind on contract work, so I need to finish a few things up and get a few other things rolling before I can get rolling on ATC again. If it takes a month to get things sorted out, I’m fine with that – we’re currently a month and change away from the official calendar date of the tenth anniversary, which is when I’d like to start running ads.
Long-time readers know that one-offs – or the page before a new environment or scene – can often remain “on top” for a few weeks. Considering the sum total effort put into this page I think it’s earned a bit of limelight.
This page alludes to events hinted at in panel two of earth -34-. More details to follow. The layout is also deliberately patterned after earth -1- and was originally a rear shot, changed to reflect the fact that the Banshee is sexier from the front and a page like this needs to look as awesome as possible.
SWACS in this case would be interchangeable with AWACS – a Loki with a set of modules to kit it out into something equivalent to a Hawkeye. Early versions of the script featured a brief appearance of additional Banshees escorting a SWACS-equipped Loki. I’m assuming one will launch at some point, likely after the camera wanders away from the Sabrosa.
While AWACS got swapped for SWACS, ASMs (Air to Surface Missiles) are still referred to as ASMs. Likely because Space To Surface could easily be confused for Surface to Surface, though it’s also likely that AWACS is AWACS to the deck crew and Alias is the only one making distinctions.
Oh, and if you’re new here (and even if you’re not, as it’s only mentioned a handful of times previously) – BTS is short for Biomagnetic Transfer System, which is what the Sabrosa uses to get from A to B in reasonable amounts of time. I tried that line out with “fold” and “spacefold” and “transfer” in place of BTS and while they all read cleaner for fresh eyes, hewing technical just feels right.
New page that took forever and looks like it? Check. Metadata that covers the page, the current production situation, and vague guesses as to when the next page will arrive? Check. Friggin’ huge four month build log? Check. Used “hewing” in a syntactically correct sentence? Check!