Saturday, December 31, 2016

Welcome, 2017! (Be Good to Us, Please!)

Hey there! Happy New Year! And guess what, we've got a blog post for you!

2016, suffice it to say, was a roller-coaster of a year. Crazy stuff happening all around the world, new highs, new lows, and a gigantic deluge of Harambe memes in between for flavor. For better or for worse, it was a very eventful year for most people, and we at Somnova Studios are no exception. 

In our previous blog posts throughout the year we've written about quite a few new faces, writers and artists alike, on board to help the team as it chugs along the formidable path of delivering the game to you: one of them being me, Kuroe, working on a shiny new Twins route I'm doing my best not to butcher too badly.

So my story goes like this: basically, the staff has decided to remake the Holm twins' route outline from the ground up to address some issues it had raised in the past, and thus gave me this new framework for me to build on and develop into a full-fledged tale. We had to rework many aspects which I'm not allowed to spoil yet, but one of the most problematic points about the two were their names themselves--some fans have been complaining that Natalya and Natasha are merely variants of the same official name. We have since decided to change it, and since New Year's is also a day to celebrate new beginnings, we're going to have to say goodbye to Natalya and Natasha Holm, and hello to their sparkly new incarnations: Natalya and Sofiya Petrovna Volkova. Not exactly the most exotic of name choices, we admit, but we think that they're by leagues a better, more genuinely "Russian" alternative.

Speaking of new beginnings, then, we're also very proud to announce that yet another member has entered the fold: the awesome Eora, recently joining the team to beef up our art department, who are still working hard to produce assets for the game that's slowly but steadily taking concrete form. (As much as we'd like to let you in on all the amazing things going on behind the scenes, the best we can do for now is assure you that the wheels are turning, and we're doing much, much better now than ever before.)

Right now, the bulk of our work is more on the aforementioned art production process than anything else, and thus, once again, we call on artists out there to get in touch with us either through the forums or our very lively Discord server if you're interested in working with us as we slowly realise the dream of bringing our cute European waifus to life. 

And speaking of art, for this New Year's feature, we have not one, not two, but three fantastic art pieces for you, courtesy of Eora herself, AngryEvil, and Gniratnam! Enjoy!

Katja by Eora

Natalya by Angry Evil

Volkova Twins by Gniratnam

As the year ends and a new one begins, we'd like to thank you again for the undying support and unwavering patience you've given us, despite the rather sharp twists and turns the project has experienced throughout its nearly five-year lifetime. It gives us strength and inspiration to continue, and the only way we can ever repay that faith is by seeing the project through with all our enthusiasm and energy to the very end, no matter how long it may take.

With that said, we wish you a very happy New Year's Day, and a really awesome 2017 ahead!

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Happy Holidays!

Well, it's that time of year again; time for a few updates and some talking points for 2017.

Game progress has been moving forward at a steady pace – we now have a finalized version of our UI (thanks, Morthiasik!) and a better, smoother method of pushing out proper Ren'Py scripts to production. Kuroe (whom some of you have seen posting adorable artwork on our Discord server) swiftly moved in to replace one of our writers and has done a complete overhaul of the Twins route in only a few weeks time. Programming-wise, we're taking those Ren'Py scripts I mentioned earlier and actually making them work with new assets. Merlyn LeRoy has been our backbone on this aspect of the project, and he has been invaluable in getting the skeleton of the game up and running. Ultra_HR and Blank Mage have also been checking things out in an effort to help.

On the art side of things, we're still on the hunt for talented sprite artists to help make our characters come to life. While this may sound like a common request from us, we always try to reach out and find new talent as much as we can. If you're interested in a project such as ours, message us!

As always, you guys – our fans – have been amazingly patient as we do our darnedest to make Missing Stars a reality. It's neat to see our Discord abuzz with interested fans, and I really want to make sure everyone will enjoy our visual novel. We've managed to hit over 500,000 pageviews, which has been an incredible number to take in. Thanks a bunch, fans!

If you're an early follower or a brand-new one, thanks for taking the time to watch us grow as a team. 2017 is looking bright!

Happy Holidays!

Jeanne loves hot cocoa.