Monday, March 31, 2014

Current State of Missing Stars Pt. 2

So you may remember our previous blog post having a call for new artists.

The bad news is, we didn't get any artists.

The good news is, we're doing what every indie game without artists does. 

We're going retro! Missing Stars is now being done in the classic style of video games' past, and the early results are looking great! For instance, here's our menu, now updated with the new style:



Also, we have already started rewriting our soundtrack to match the new look. We present you two songs off of the Missing Stars soundtrack in monophonic, hi-fidelity 8-bit glory.

We also started on converting our already existing sprites, but our conversion algorithm isn't quite working as planned:
We'll have something better by tomorrow hopefully.

We know this a bold, new direction for Missing Stars that you probably weren't expecting, but we assure you it is for the best. We hope you will come to see this the same way we do: the way Missing Stars was always supposed be.

You can discuss our new direction on our forums.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Current State of Missing Stars

I personally have received quite a few private messages from strangers wondering what our project is doing, and I think it's time we laid out exactly what is going on.

1. Development is still happening
The relative scarcity of posts may imply otherwise, but we are working on this project as hard as ever. Admittedly, we have waves of productivity where we're sometimes more productive than at other times (which conveniently lines up with midterms and finals), but we're always working. We originally decided not to post much until the demo released, but we realized this was a mistake due to our aforementioned waves of productivity, which leads to:

2. We're going to stop being secretive about game assets
We originally thought that keeping everything close to our chests would somehow make the project more prestigious, but in reality it just means people stop caring as little to no news is released. Even the recent reintroductions of the main characters was a back-and-forth of "how much is too much?" over a period of weeks. From now on, you can look forward to more frequent updates about stuff that will be in the game, as well as some things that are already on the cutting floor that we find interesting. Speaking of the cutting floor:

3. We need artists
VN Development is some seriously tricky business, especially when you can't make a living off of it. We have had a lot of artists come and go throughout Missing Stars' development, and each of them has contributed to shaping the final look we would have. All of the art we have shown on our new yearbook has been instrumental towards making Missing Stars what it is today, but none of it is actually representative of the final product. Since we haven't revealed that final look yet, I guess it's about time we gave you a taste. This is what the lovely Natasha looks like now, under the direction of our sprite artist, AngryEvil:



So we're on our way, but the fact of the matter is our art team is not big enough to get this project done. Without some more help, we probably won't be able to finish this project. If you think you can match the above art style, we would love for you to join Somnova Studios. If you fancy yourself as more of a Bob Ross background painter, we need those too! All styles are acceptable, so show us what you can do! You can apply on our forums.

4. We really can't estimate when the demo will release
We know exactly what needs to be finished in order for a demo release to happen, but we can't make any real guesses as to when things will be finished due to the volunteer nature of the project. A large part of this is dependent on whether we can get artists or not, but even with new artists, there are programming problems to tangle with, and maybe some problems we aren't even aware could exist in the first place. Massive companies dedicated to making video games constantly misjudge release dates, and we aren't any better.

So that's the current progress of Missing Stars. If you have any questions, you can ask in our forums, and hopefully we will be able to answer them.