Atlantis DSV Episode VI: Crossfire
It is no exaggeration for me to say that this update has been one of the most challenging to bring about, but almost three years since the release of Shattered Sword, I am delighted to finally be able to bring you the next chapter in the story of Atlantis DSV.
Shattered Sword left us all in a hole that I will admit may have been a little bit too deep for us to escape, and it is that which has made Crossfire such a difficult story to write. Crossfire, just like Rising Thunder did all those years ago, concludes an over-arc that began with The Silence Within. But it's a beginning, too; a 'clean slate' which will in many ways define the next stories in this ongoing series. It would have been all too easy to latch on to the usual and predictable tropes that one might expect would come from the ending of Sword, but ultimately those options were not enough to satisfy my own desire to make Crossfire a special story in its own right, filled with its own twists and turns and a resolution that, I hope, will surprise you.
My relationship with this story has been turbulent, challenging and at times troubling. There were several bouts of writer's block, new professional commitments at the end of my University life and constant revisions as I sought to navigate minefields of cliche and predictability. Ultimately, I can say this: There are few creative joys that are as rewarding as solving a plot riddle that eludes you for three years, and writing this story has been one of the most enjoyable tasks in this series to date.
There is more to come in the wake of this release, as I am equally happy to be able to tell you that several CGI projects have been steadily progressing in the background of this episode's writing, one of which I am quite honestly treating as a 'feather in the cap.' I look forward to bringing you those updates in the near future, but in the mean time... I hope you enjoy the sixth chapter in the Atlantis DSV series, and find the wait has been worth it.
Sabbatical. March 2, 2010
Long time no see.
Crap! We are in March already!? As you can probably gather by this update, I've returned from my self-imposed exile from this site with something of a clear head - and an explanation.
I have officially finished my university studies, graduating next month with a double degree in Multimedia (3D Animation & Visual Effects specialization) and Television Production. By extension, I've spent the better part of the last three months looking for a job. I suppose along the path of those last few months at university, it meant that my energies needed to be focused elsewhere... in particular, out of a desire not to fail anything, thereby delaying my graduation until 2011! So, the good news there is that the studies are over, the bad news is that I'm now going to have to actually do something with the rest of my life.
...But let's not jump to conclusions.
First up, an apology. The splash page of this website by all rights proclaimed that Episode 6 should have been out by now. It clearly has not been released, so sorry to those who have been checking this site every day hoping in bated breath that there would be a new story for them to read. The new splash page, as you will notice, does not have a date on it. In fact it's a safe bet that from this point on I won't be putting dates on anything unless I am absolutely, dead-set certain that it is going to happen.
Secondly, just because I stepped back from the site and updating it doesn't mean I was oblivious to what was going on. Yes, I was aware of the downtime on ocassions and have been working with D.G. Williams of NCQ to remedy that in a more permanent manner. The maintenance schedule of the server provider has not been as smooth as we like it, and there are a few options on the table - including a possible change in server, with a considerably higher bandwidth and traffic allowance... this will mean a possible expansion in to more video content on both New Cape Quest and Atlantis DSV. The site's downtime last month was another matter entirely (thank you for the emails) and basically involved a hacking incident.
Where does that leave us?
Atlantis DSV is continuing. More slowly than we'd all like, yes, but it is alive. I've been contemplating this last few months the difficulties in writing Episode 6 - now titled "Crossfire" - and have a few thoughts on it. A side effect of writing a lengthy series such as this is that my writing still inevitably improves. (At least, I hope it does!) Part of this is that there is a slowly dawning realization of the need to keep things fresh and new. Repetition is the death of a series if it gets out of hand, and people only want to read the same story so many times before they give up on it... More to the point, I only want to write the same story so many times before I no longer see any point in continuing the investment of time! This makes Episode 6 a difficult story to write, because it really is a whole new start for Atlantis DSV. After the events of Episode 5, and the inevitable conundrums that has caused for me in solving the problem, Episode 6 is a new page. Everything has the opportunity to be new once again, and there are no rules that I need to obey in order to establish a new setting. Because of this, I really want to get it right. What happens in Episode 6 will define the course of the remainder of the series, and right now I am happy to say that the question of how to solve the problem of Episode 5 has been dealt with. All that remains for me to do now is get the job done, and bring the episode to its natural conclusion.
While I can't promise an abundance of new material in the very near future, there are projects happening right now that I think will prove to be well worth the wait. I've already said that I am not putting a timestamp on Episode 6, but the general feeling I have about it right now is a positive one, and I suspect progress will be rapid if I can find the time to sit down and do the work.
As a final thought... Does anyone have any earthly clue how long Atlantis has been around for now? I've honestly lost track of time...
-JW, 1538, March 2, 2010
NSC vs Macronesia Scores Tied at 1-1. August 12, 2009
So, the Atlantis Ashes coverage continues with the Alliance thumping the homeside with a crushing Innings-and-80-runs defeat. I do hope Keith isn't feeling too terrible about it...
Regardless, to mark the continuing Ashes campaign, here is the next update!
Now available in the Library is the specs page for the well-known Macronesian Lysander class subfighter, and head on over to the Atlantis blog for a new video tutorial that walks through the texturing of the NSC's seafire class fighter.
-JW, 0100, August 13, 2009
NSC: 1, Macronesia: Zero. July 23, 2009
It has been barely two days since the North Sea Confederation defeated the Macronesian Alliance in the second Ashes test at Lord's.
Because of this, I reluctantly have to give Keith the first honours in our own domestic competition to get the rest of the NSC and Macronesian fleets up on this site.
So it is fitting that today we bring you the two premiere subfighters of these arch-rivals - the SA-33 Broadsword, and the Mk 1 Seafire.
Yes Keith, your countrymen may have won this round... But we still have three to go, so enjoy your victory while you can!
-JW, 22:26, July 23, 2009
Europe Goes to War, part II. July 10, 2009
The NSC just received their first reinforcement... the R-Class Battlecruiser. Now available to view and read in the site library.
The Renown-class Battlecruiser made her Atlantis debut in Episode IV: The Silence Within, and had the unfortunate distinction of being the only NSC vessel mentioned to date to be crippled by an enemy attack.
This vessel was assisted by the VF-107 Rapiers on her return home after temporary repairs, and she - along with her sistership, Repulse - now ably serve the Allied UEO/NSC fleet in its conflict against the Macronesian Alliance.
The Renown-class also has the distinction of being the most heavily armed non-DSV class of warship in Atlantis DSV, armed with an imposing, and monstrously powerful twenty 24-inch auto-loading torpedo tubes and ten heavy laser cannons. Unlike the slightly larger Reverence class however, she does not feature extensive EVA systems.
As some of you may have picked up, the Renown class was not a design made by the usual suspects. I had little part in its design or even construction, and my only input was a final sign-off on whether or not she could pass as one of the NSC's flagship submarines.
The Renown, or perhaps more accurately, "R-Class" battlecruiser was a concept originally devised by former Atlantis part-time staffer John Miles of the UK, and much of his work still exists in Atlantis to this day, with the recently revealed NSC Polaris class ESVs being another of his notable contributions. For some time however, neither of these ships have ever been visualized by myself, or any other Atlantis staffer.
This changed last year, when we brought onboard another part-time 'creator' of submarine literature and material. This man's name is Keith Carpenter, also of the UK, and for the last six months, Keith has dived deep in to the scary and often overwhelming world of 3D modelling. In less than six months (Quite an achievement) Keith has distinguished himself by bringing you some of the very latest material on this site, including the Renown, Polaris, and soon... the Seafire class subfighter. This only scratches the surface, with his backlog of projects being significantly longer. (Also coming in the immediate future are the Taranto and Jutland class SSNs.)
In fact, Keith's contributions go well beyond the visual, and he has written no less than 4 Atlantis short stories which are not yet available. These will, too, be released online in the coming weeks and months to bridge the gap and wait for Episode VI.
To be perfectly honest, the flow of work out of Keith's emails has been overwhelming, and he has literally drowned me in many megabytes of excellent material like you can see here, all of which I'm still struggling to keep on top of! If updates are slow, you may fairly and squarely blame yours-truly. I have been in posession of the Renown for nearly a week, and it has taken me that long to find the time to get it here on the site.
So, last week I wondered if Keith wanted a job. An informal position at best given that this site is little more than a hobby for both of us, and as a result, you will now find his name on the contact page and in the credits of this site. From this point on, Keith's input in to Atlantis is probably only going to grow... and indeed, I already have several tasks in mind.
So, if you feel like dropping Keith a note to offer him comments, praise, or condemnation for his recent work, head over to the contact page.
-JW. 17:18, July 10, 2009.
Europe Goes to War. July 2, 2009
So, this is it, the first update for the North Sea Confederation.
Now in the library are the specs for the NSC's Polaris class ESV, Vengeance.
More to come over the next few days
-JW, 16:21, July 2, 2009
Site Updates & Maintenance. June 4, 2009
Today is the Fourth of June. In 1942, this date coincided with the turning point of the Pacific war - the Battle of Midway - where the United States Navy decimated Japanese carrier supremacy in World War 2.
In truth, this has absolutely nothing to do with today's update, but for lack of other reasons, it's the best I could do on short notice.
Firstly, for those who are unaware, I thought I might explain the nature of updates at Atlantis DSV. This site remains the 'hub' of everything to do with Atlantis - you can access the library, download the episodes, and learn about the background of the series. For general updates however, this site is secondary to the Atlantis Blog (link above: "PRODUCTION NEWS")
So, while you may have missed updates on this site for nearly a whole year, the updates have been continuing over at Cape Cortez and New Cape Quest!
Now for the good stuff.
Over the last week, this site has been shaken, turned upside down, stripped, rebuilt, editted and updated. There's still a few things I need to do, but maintenance-wise, it's good to go. Every single page has been updated in some way or another, and new art work adorns various pages. Definitely check out the updated Atlantis and Reverence pages to see what's changed.
Something to come - I've had a new Raptor squadron submitted by one of the regulars over at New Cape Quest. Keep an eye out for the VF-199 "Coyotes". I'll be working up their crest and specifics later in the week.
Here's a look at some of the new things on the site...
-JW, 10:40, June 4th, 2009