Chapter 8, A Voice in the Dark - November 14, 2018
Commentary for November 14, 2018:
This page establishes that, yes, Chapter 8 takes place almost sixteen months after Chapter 7. I would never have done such a dramatic time skip in Eonís World 1.0, and I tried to keep the date relatively in line with the real-world date (plus five hundred years, of course). This only failed in the last days of 1.0, when I became so sick of doing a sprite comic that I took a hiatus for a couple of months. When I came back to it, to finish off the Earth-Mars War story arc (and ultimately 1.0 itself, though I didn't know that at the time), I picked up the date from where the story left off. But there were no major time jumps. Certainly nothing like this. Donít worry, though. Apart from the election of the President of the Terran Union and the trials of Kari-Ya and Pavel Kochanski, it was a largely uneventful year in Sol.
A lot of the work on this chapter has consisted of spending several weeks working on large scale 3D models that ultimately just get used for one shot. Hereís the first of them.
I radically overhauled the Castle Gemini model, which I first created in 2012 (a year before Eonís World 2.0 began) and created the full castle grounds to go with it, with a number of points of interest throughout. An aircraft hangar. Roads through the grounds to and from the various gates. The central hill upon which the castle itself stands, with its gentle western slope and sheer cliff faces around the north, south, and east (all of which I first conceived of fourteen years ago, but was never able to depict in a sprite comic). A river. A tower standing on an island in the middle of a lake. And, oh gods, the trees. Thousands upon thousands of trees.
Yeah, you wonít see most of that in this chapter. But as I keep telling myself, creating these assets is an investment in the future, because theyíll be there when I do need them. And having them already makes it quicker and easier to work on future pages.
The first panel really highlights what a difference a simpler approach to backgrounds makes, though. Similar night-time shots in previous chapters use pre-rendered starfields and images of the actual moon (edited, of course, per the events of Sonic Adventure 2 -- thank you very much, Ivo), which I originally made for 1.0, with lots of blur and glowing effects. Here, I used much simpler methods and got what I feel is a much better result. I think the stars look lovely and the broken moon looks pretty good, too. (I know Segaís long since stopped caring about what happened in Sonic Adventure 2, but I havenít, dammit! And since Eonís World originally picked up from not long after SA2ís events, I have always made a point of depicting the moon half destroyed.)
Iím not so sure about the inside the castle ball room, though. Itís technically one of the entry halls, but theyíre big enough to be used for balls. (In fact, itís the same entry hall that was featured in Chapter 4. However, I changed out the indoor tree (which was barely visible) for a statue of Alexander Gemini, first king of the Federated Republic of Britannia.) I think I ought to have put a few buffet tables around the edge of the room, but after how long it took to spruce up the castle model (outside and inside), I think I was just eager to get on with the comic. That said, I am quite pleased with these crowd shots. Iím never a fan of doing crowd shots because they can be very time consuming and I always worry about taking shortcuts (like depicting anyone a certain distance away purely in silhouette). But I think they worked out here.
Finally, the 1.0 story arc referenced in panel 2 is, sadly, not currently online at the time of this writing. But donít worry; itís not essential reading. Thus far, I have tried to make it possible to read and enjoy Eonís World 2.0 without having read 1.0, so as to avoid subjecting people to what a friend of mine recently called ďMarvel syndromeĒ (e.g. to understand whatís happening currently in The Avengers, you must read fifty years of Spider-Man). I believe that is definitely still true of this chapter. But I am a little concerned about getting into Chapter 9, which will absolutely be drawing on a lot of story content from 1.0. Iíll be trying to get more of that online as and when I can. But any work I do remastering 1.0 is time Iím not spending on 2.0.
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