Updates: chapter 3 and new characters

This blog has been awfully quiet in the past months, especially since the announcement of Chapter 2. Actually, the reason for the lack of official news has been that we’ve been working pretty hard on Chapter 3 itself. Currently we’re about at one-third of it, with some important plot points going forward. It’s definitely shaping to be even better than Chapter 2!

This chapter also introduces a couple of new characters:

  • Kokonoe Sakahashi, Yumiko’s classmate who appeared briefly in Chapter 1. A very talented member of the art club, she disappeared for a while during the first year of high school, with the official reason being “personal issues”. She came back just in time to pass on the following year, as if nothing had changed. Somewhat shy and not very talkative, she is far more strong-willed than she looks.
  • Kazuo Shibata, a front-line agent for the Guardians of the Dawn. With a past as a police detective, Kazuo is an expert in field investigations and is one of the best intelligence gatherers of the Japanese branch of the organization. Perhaps overly serious when on duty, he has a very good relationship with Jim and Satsuki, whom he considers as good friends.

Here are some snippets from the text itself to give an idea of what’s going on:

“Another world…” Kokonoe closed her eyes, pondering over what the girl had just said. “That reminds me… Recently, did you ever feel you were in another world? You know… Like being in your house, and realizing that while it looks like it, it is not really your house.”

A fiery red sky where bony and deformed creatures flew freely over the tattered ruins of man-made buildings. Mutilated corpses of countless people, their faces contorted in masks of terror and their bodies bent in impossible positions, were scattered on the ground along with debris. Groans of pain and fear mixed with the screams of these terrifying *things in the air. Further ahead, groups of naked men and women moved like robots, their hands stretched forward to grasp something that was forever beyond their reach. One man tripped, and the earth beneath his feet mutated into a giant mouth that swallowed him up. The sounds of broken bones and lacerated flesh echoed all around. The others paid no attention to him and continued their pointless search.

A sudden noise drew him away from his thoughts. For an instant, he was again aware of a presence near him, very similar to what he had felt earlier. Exactly like before, it disappeared in an instant before he could identify its source.

A loud, atonic voice echoed across the graveyard. “Because you must!

In addition to writing, we have been overhauling the looks of all the versions of the story (web, E-book, and PDF): in particular the PDF version will be much better, with proper table of contents and improved typography, as shown in the image below.

The web version will be now a single page, but with much smaller loading times (or so we hope). Obligatory screenshot:

  • Snapshot of the new web view </a>

Lastly, Collateral Damage Studios have been hard at work with more art. Although not all of it is related to Chapter 3, here are a couple of teasers of what to come:

That’s all for now. See you with at the next update!