The Daedalus is in microgravity right now and will spend most of the rest of the chapter in relative weightlessness. Ornix and Thad are using magnetic shoes; Raven’s ignoring hers and is going for a swim instead. Weightlessness is also somewhat reflected in Thad’s hair. We already know the approximate size of the Daedalus – hopefully that knowledge helps drive home the true scale of the Castores.
I figure Ornix is a bit pissed off that he’s traveled umpty light years and it turns out he’s about to get his brain diddled by The Girl Next Hemisphere. He could have done that without leaving the solar system!
Aleksis Murnau was first seen in Chapter Four of The Dualist, in a scene that was first produced in 2004. A little over a week ago in story time, nine or ten installments back if you’re reading from the beginning. Panel four functions as a “hey, remember that?” while also serving as a reminder (FORESHADOWING!?!?) that telepathy can and does tend to end badly. Panel four gives a fairly blunt indication of how the hand-holds briefly implied in Reentry were implemented in the 3d design – not in hanging straps, but in ceiling and upper wall grappling points that don’t knock around.
I still have an absolute assload of work to do between this page and the next. While there’s still an asset production hump to get over for the end of the chapter, this is the last big one that’s directly in the way of page production. Given the volume of work left to do (shaders/texturing; prop assets) and the fact that I decided to not fuck around even a little and am really showing all of it off with the next page… there’s a chance it could be up late next Sunday or possibly Monday.
It’s a small chance, mind you – but it’s still very much a chance, so I may as well mention it here.
This is the first page to be completely rendered on new hardware since 2009. As I may have mentioned previously I got incredibly lucky earlier this year and instead of stretching out a project bonus to cover three or four months of living expenses I decided to invest in some new equipment and some badly needed across-the-board upgrades. The last time I checked the average MBTF for commodity kit is 1-3 years, and prior to upgrades the newest piece of equipment on the LAN was purchased in 2009. The machine I use for 3d work is now reasonably current, the machine I use for web development and 2d graphics is presently seven years old and in the process of transitioning over to the old 3d box, and the oldest machine on the network rolled off the assembly line in 2001. If everything shakes out I’ll be retiring that box and my current workstation within the next week or two, consolidating my LAN from three old single-purpose machines to two multi-purpose machines. Just in time to start scrounging for rent again!
And on that note I should probably set up a Patreon page for ATC. I thought about it last year when rjbs brought it to my attention – at that point the webcomic listings were basically “hey, X amount of money makes a new page happen!” and there were only a few of them. Since then it seems more webcomics have Patreon pages than don’t, and the essential character of their Patreon pitches reads like repurposed Kickstarter ad copy. I find it a bit off-putting, but I’m admittedly biased by chronic financial stress – my entire 2013 media budget was about $40. I’m not excited by stretch goals and crowdfunding and bonus bling for the same reason I’m not excited by McFarlane Toys and plasma TVs and the X-Box One – I just don’t have much disposable income, and what “extra” money I do earn goes straight into replacing obsolete equipment and worn out clothes. When you’re weighing the long-term benefits of an SSD against the immediate need of a week of groceries against the medium-term need for socks and sneakers without holes in them, “Reward Tiers” just aren’t a consideration – especially when you’re shoveling the lions share of your time into a webcomic that’s currently averaging 50 uniques a day after a decade in production (and admittedly about a year of advertising). If and when I do set up a Patreon account for ATC it won’t be with visions of sugar plums and starry eyes and promises of undeliverable bling I don’t have the cognition to consider or the infrastructure to deliver – it will probably be a dry, fairly straightforward “here’s where your money goes” with an eye towards essentially “buying” ATC production time beyond what’s already been budgeted.
Media Developer, know thyself.
Next week: More fun with microgravity!