Clear Skies 2
CS2 was an expansion on everything achieved in CS1. I can’t just sit still, I have to push myself, so everything had to improve. Technically, the widescreen format improved the visuals, and proper voice recording improved the sound. We also put in more locations, better exterior shots, and a plotline with a much larger scale.
Thanks to the success of Clear Skies 1, I could call on the Eve community to help me film the exterior space sequences for CS2 – we had eighty players flying ships for the fleet battle sequences! It was a truly humbling experience and it hit home how much of an effect CS1 had on the Eve community, and how many fans of Clear Skies were out there.
I just hoped that I wasn’t going to let them down with a disappointing sequel. We were really pushing some things in the story, so I had more than a few moments of “what am I doing, how can I get away with this?!”. We went through the script again and again, making sure everything was plausible and kept the feel of the original, while still moving the characters forward and being enjoyable to watch.
As it turns out, all the trouble we took was worth it. Clear Skies 2 was the step up I wanted from CS1, and the fans approved. When there are about 100,000 of them out there, it’s probably a good job.
There were calls for a third episode, but I needed a break – I’d been working on these films for over three years straight now. I also had pushed the technologies I had as far as I could – sure, there was polishing that could be done everywhere, but I’m not one for that, I want big leaps.
Then my friend Ricky Grove, whom I met through Clear Skies and the world of machinima, spoke to some chaps who were producing an affordable home motion capture system... They were already fans of Clear Skies (the underground spread of it continues to amaze me) and they offered me a licence for free on the back of that. Well, how could I refuse...?