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Somnova Studios: November 2021 Update

It's time for another Missing Stars Update!  While working on our changes for Act One's upcoming Steam release, our writer for Lena has had to make his departure from the studio. It's unfortunate, but it happens with volunteer projects such as these. We took the time to find a suitable replacement for Lena - her unique characterization meant we had to find someone who could really excel with her character. Sadly, we felt that there was no one who could capture the original writing style. What's more, the act of finding a new writer might also introduce additional risks such as potential ghosting and/or incompatibilities with other team members. All of this internal discussion was also taking up valuable time that would be better suited for other Missing Stars content.  As a result of this, we feel that it is best to remove Lena as a route character, and make her a side character instead.  What does this mean for Act One?   Lena's character will still be featured i
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Somnova Studios: September 2021 Update

Hello again, it's another Missing Stars update! This month's update will once again be rather short, but we do have a great update for this month: all of Act One's scenes have been converted over to our new code base that Adam W, our lead writer, talks about here .  At the same time, we are continuing to update and add any missing CGs, sprites, as well as revamp our UI so that Missing Stars looks even prettier for the Steam release. Here's a recent work in progress, featuring Erik and Annaliese! The full image is way too cute for this blog post, so you'll have to wait. We also decided to make a "sprite" of Erik proper, as we realized that we actually didn't have a reference that wasn't in a CG or early concept art. This piece probably won't show up in-game, but in the case that you all need a reference for fanart, storytelling, or something else entirely, here's an official image of our protagonist! Special thanks to Likhos for making this

How We Write Missing Stars

Hey folks. I'm Adam, Annaliese route writer on Missing Stars. I was formerly known as "Ultra_HR", but since my first (and last) blog post , I decided I didn't like that name any more. For the record, the "HR" stood for "horseradish", not "human resources". No, I'm not sure why that was my username for so long. I just use my real name now. Since then, I've also become the writing lead for Somnova Studios. I thought I'd share some of the things we've done since I took on that role to make working on Missing Stars as easy as possible for everybody (or, at least, not a total pain) and to make it a way better experience for readers. Managing a massive story as a large volunteer team Missing Stars is a pretty big visual novel, especially for a volunteer team. Act One alone has a word count of over 250,000 (251,848 at the time of writing, if you're interested). We don't have a projection yet for how long the full rele

Somnova Studios: July/August Update

This month's update is going to be rather short, as we don't have a lot to talk about that we haven't already. Fortunately, this doesn't mean that we haven't made good progress: approximately 84% of Act One's scenes have been converted over to our new code base, and we continue to power through the remaining scenes, CGs, and any other small tasks that need to be completed for the Steam release. We still don't have a release date yet, but we will keep you update to date as we get closer to completion. One thing we want to mention however is Adam W, our lead writer and sometimes programmer, wants to write a dedicated blog post explaining the script format we used for our new code-base, as well as the whole reformatting project in general to show what steps we took to convert Act One over to Steam. If you've ever been curious about what our methods look like, make sure to stay tuned for that! Finally: make sure to keep an eye out for an upcoming podcast ep

Somnova Studios: May 2021 Update

As you may have guessed from our last post, we've been hard at work polishing Missing Stars: Act One for Steam. But what does that entail? Well, for starters, we have a few extra sprites we'd like to add: Renee Eva Renee and Eva got a few lines in some scenes, but didn't actually get any sprites associated with them, which caused some confusion. Because of time constraints we couldn't include everyone initially, so for the Steam version, we decided to give everyone a face. Internally, we keep track of side characters so that we can re-use them in other scenes, as opposed to making another one-off character that's never seen again. Eva will definitely get some more screentime, so get ready to see more of her! We have also taken the time to upgrade some of our preexisting sprites to add better shading and more accurate lineart. Likhos and the rest of the art team are working hard, and it shows! Sprites are one thing, but CGs are another thing entirely. CGs are