PART 1 - 2
(see part 1-1 here)
After the initial success of the game, I sat back and watched the downloads keep coming. Though I can't say why the game received so many hits after such a short time, I believe it was due largely to the fact that it was released during a slight stagnant period when many other mods were under development. Still, the game did fairly well and managed to creep into the top 20 user rated missions, despite a few glitches.
I spent the rest of the summer working on ideas and laying the foundation for the rest of the story. Originally planned to be a trilogy, ending in a battle between Fox himself, and the leader of the NMA.
In July I drew a picture of a lonely landing rig, floating in a vast ocean with two points sticking above the water. I called it Twin Spires. I came up with the concept for The Unknown, OCS, and the story of General Falcon. All of which served as the basis for what the universe is today.
* * *
Around August 2000, for the first time in a LONG time, I started to take a real interest in drawing again. Don't get me wrong, I've always drawn and always been fairly good at it, but I was never good at drawing people. I was just discovering anime and really wanted to draw in that style. After a few weeks of slogging through online tutorials and drawing various characters, I began to apply what I had learned to drawing my own characters.
This is Fox, Revision 1. The first drawing of the character I ever did. Completed on some saturday evening in September 2000.
Later that month, I developed the character design for Fox's daughter, and planned out the story for Allied Forces V. Of which about 5 pages of manga were drawn (with John Simpson on board as a background artist).
* * *
Around that same time, I began working on the video game sequel to The Jake War. It fleshed out the universe a bit more, showing a few more planetary systems and explaining how they related to the Allied Forces Universe as a whole. (including Vega, Arcana, Triverde/Triumvirate, and Tartarus.) The missions were vastly improved with fewer errors and a bit more complicated objectives. Though the basic flow was similar. It was considerably shorter than it's predecessor, only lasting 18 missions. It was released in October. Although it was not initially as successful as the original, it did have a steady stream of downloads over the course of its availability - as well as positive reviews.
By the end of the year. The Jake War had become a recognizable series within the Freespace Community, as it was the first published user-made campaign to use the engine for an alternate universe story, rather than one based on the Freespace continuity. Drawings and character designs were drawn almost daily, though not all of them were kept, and the Allied Forces Universe had a strong foundation.
But the best was yet to come...