Saturday, March 22, 2008

HMAS Sydney wreck found after 67 years

HMAS Sydney Found.

Not much more to say. It looks like one of Australia's greatest maritime mysteries might finally be solved.

The sinking of the HMAS Sydney with all 645 hands represents the single greatest loss of life in the nation's maritime history. Both the Sydney and the German commerce raider Kormoran were lost in the battle, and only the survivors of the Kormoran lived to tell of the Australian cruiser's fate.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Sir Arthur C. Clarke passes away at 90

From the Sydney Morning Herald

It's a sad day in the history of Science Fiction writing today, with the passing of Sir Arthur C. Clarke at the age of 90.

It would be remiss of me not to acknowledge his great contributions to Science and the Arts. Like Jules Verne, Clarke was a visionary in science fiction, often grasping scientific concepts well before they were even known to be possible by his peers in the scientific community.

Throughout his life he wrote more than 80 books, among them the seminal 2001: A Space Odyssey. His final book, written in 2007 with Stephen Baxter, was entitled 'Firstborn'; the third in a trilogy called 'A Time's Odyssey.'

He was knighted in 2000 by the High Commissioner of Sri Lanka due to his inability to meet the Queen personally,

In 2001, NASA named their "Odyssey" Mars rover after his most famous work.

In 2007, upon his 90th birthday, he proclaimed that he had completed "90 orbits around the sun".

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Let's make it official...

Just to eliminate any doubt in the matter - Atlantis DSV is continuing with Episode VI - Captain's Honour.

With primary plot work work now complete, we begin the long, laborious task of writing the next chapter in the Atlantis saga. Again, we're not committing to any particular release date yet as it's still far too early to tell how long it will take to write the story, but as of 8:25 this evening, the job has started.

More as it comes...

Thursday, March 13, 2008

"Marty! We must hit 88 Miles Per Hour!"

Those folks over at Williams-Leong Industries(tm) have presented me with a solution on how to fix the bind we've got ourselves in to with Atlantis...

A solution emerges.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Episode 6?

Afternoon, all.

Firstly, I'd like to point that yes - I am aware of the intermitent outages on the NCQ server. It's probably maintance, and as such there isn't much I can do about it.

In other news, if it weren't obvious by now (it's been mentioned several times), Episode VI of Atlantis DSV is being written. Work isn't as fast as I've been used to because of the nature of the story and the problems that have to be worked out after the events of Episode V. I am therefore not prepared to divluge many details on what the story is going to contain, and until recently I wasn't entirely sure myself.

I had a lengthy conversation with DG Williams from NCQ the other day (he's frequently been a 'sounding board' for Atlantis-related work) on the intended direction of Episode VI.

jjward: "Hey, DG. I'd like to present you with a question..."

So I gave him the abridged summary of Episode VI's plot...

Charlie Brown: "Ok, that's just a bad idea..."

Oh yes, it was a long conversation, but one that did end constructively, and eliminated much doubt over how the next episode will play out. I'm going to assume that anyone reading this has finished Episode V, so to put it bluntly - if you have not, then stop reading now.


Atlantis's apparent destruction in Shattered Sword might have been a shock to those who read it, but the problems it presents for the writer(s) are understandably greater still. It isn't like the ship was captured or just severely damaged, or "misplaced", as the original seaQuest season 2 might have shown... No, it was completely blown out of the water, with very few chances of recovery.

One doesn't just "build a new one" either, further compounding the problem.

Indeed, we've started asking ourselves if we should bring the Atlantis herself back from the grave. It might be that the ship should simply never be seen again given the circumstances.

Whatever we decide, Episode VI is going ahead just as soon as we've finished the plot draft. The story will pick up a full two years after the events of Shattered Sword, and the war, which has dragged on under the new (and ineffective) leadership of Secretary General James Cathgate has driven the UEO military to a point of complete disarray.

With this said, it should be pretty clear that the mood and tone of Atlantis is about to change drastically. It's my goal with Episode VI to bring the series in to a darker, more desperate arc, exploring primarily the changed (and changing) attitudes of the characters themselves, rather than the nature of the war, per se.

Much of this was hinted at or suggested within Episode V; especially within the last few chapters. The theme of the last two chapters in particular - "The End of Innocence" and "Shattered Sword" - looked at the simple concept that a major change was happening for the characters. The loss of Atlantis herself was nothing but a catalyst to that realization, and something that needed to happen in order for that point to be made.

By extension, the foremost question for Episode VI will be "How will these people have changed in two years time?" It's virtually assured that while they will be the same characters, they won't have the same attitudes. This is a basic idea done a million times before, but the scale of it in this case is going to be significant, and many of the characters might be barely recognisable from where they left off in Episode V.

Because of this, the presence of the Atlantis herself is clearly entirely secondary: it's not needed, and if Episode VI can be done without the titular submarine, then I'm of the belief that it should be.

(The above is the official "DSX Development Team" badge for the Atlantis class DSVs. inspired by Star Trek's USS Defiant "Assimilate THIS!" badge...)

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

First Post and the New Raptor-II

It's been a while since we tried a blog for Atlantis DSV, and indeed, it's been a while since I've personally used one to log my work. Why the need for a blog? Simple - the regularity of website updates it sparse, and a blog is easy to maintain, simple to update and doesn't require a formal organization. In essence, this is a place where I can post works in progress, glimpses at work which isn't ready for the main site, and thoughts on where Atlantis is going at any one point in time.

It's worth mentioning that not all of what goes in this blog will be copied to the forums of New Cape Quest. Indeed, not all of what goes on the main site will be copied in this blog either. Still, I encourage you to leave comments and email me your thoughts. This blog is not just my sounding board, it's a place you can ask questions, request information or glimpses at work that might have slipped under the radar. I'll do my best to answer such requests, but time will tell just how popular this system will actually be.

To kick us off, I thought I'd share a couple of things which have been done in the last week or so, including the full size image of the Atlantis site's splash page, and a new model of the SF-38 Raptor-II Subfighter. By now, most people (I'd think all) have seen the new Raptor-III, so if anything, this new model should serve as reassurance that the old bird is not being 'replaced' any time soon. This new mesh is built from one 3D primitive, rather than half a dozen like the old one, and is significantly more efficient in polygon counts and mesh structure. In time, I hope to redo the entire UEO fleet in such a fashion...

Many will be pleased to note that the basic design hasn't changed much from what you already know. My goal here isn't to rebuild, it's to refine.

Raptor 2

Raptor 2

Carrier Commonwealth