The return of love in space

After Miao Diary finished, there were three parties who wanted to recruit me for their own long-term projects, all visual novels. The friend (who still wishes not to be named) who had asked me to do the Ravnica: City of Guilds project wanted to expand it into a full visual novel. Samukun, of Sunrider’s Landing, had openly invited me to illustrate his visual novel that was a dating sim in a space opera setting. And let’s not forget Rocket’s standing offer from way back to join his team, which was also a visual novel about love in space.

After Hinano’s New York City Weeaboo Chronicles showed the blogsphere the proper pace at which to produce a visual novel at the amateur, low-budget level, and after I had learned to strike a balance between speed and quality with Miao Diary, I figured I had learned what I needed to be a useful contributor to someone’s visual novel. I did consider producing another comic of the same scale as Miao Diary, but decided against it because I felt that my coloring techniques needed more work.

The thing is, each of these projects would 1) require a commitment of at least 10 hours a week for over a year, and 2) pay me nothing. While I do have enough time on my hands, and I’m no closer to getting a job as an artist than I was when I lost my first and only art job, I would prefer to work on a project where I like the subject matter. And while I am a loyal Magic the Gathering player, I can’t imagine myself drawing characters like these for a whole year without getting paid for it. When I work for free I demand moeblobs, and that means no Magic.

No Magic for you.

With the choices narrowed down to the two Love in Space projects, it was the situation the two authors were in that made the difference. If you compare Samukun’s project demo to Rocket’s, clearly Rocket’s project, Starlight, is funnier and has better writing. But the problem is that Rocket is very busy with real life, having to take care of his wife and child, and that clearly takes priority over any amateur game projects. So by elimination, I ended up choosing to help out with Samukun’s project, Sunrider: Love in Space (informally known as The Adventures of Skygirl Tsukasa and Friends.) Samukun is a better writer than I give him credit for, and because he shares my “preferences” when it comes to “character aesthetics” (translation: he’s a lolicon too) it should be easy to adjust to, or enjoy working on, his project.

As you can tell from the unofficial title The Adventures of Skygirl Tsukasa and Friends, the project Sunrider: Love in Space combines the visual style of Lucky Star with the save-the-world flying action of Skygirls (and the shameless moe-pandering of both).

So what on earth is this logo?

This project requires a logo with an aesthetic more similar to its inspirations.

Something like this:

(Samukun whomps Sixten with a wooden starfish)

Okay, then like this:

With that, I started my first assignment: to create a picture of the cast for the opening screen of the game.

Original character design

Composition thumbnails

Spaceship design

Space scene in progress

(Click for larger image)

Most of the spaceships in the game will be 3D renders, but for this picture and a few key scenes, I will draw the spaceships by hand.

I will be drawing the characters and backgrounds, while Samukun is in charge of the script, spaceships, programming, and overall direction. Together we hope to bring you the outer space adventure with the most moeblobs ever.

Expect regular updates on this project from now on.

12 Responses to “The return of love in space”

  1. Vatina says:

    That is so awesome šŸ˜€ I was already looking forward to this project, but with you on the team, I’ll be looking forward to it even more.

    It’ll be fun to see what you two can come up with.

  2. Author says:

    I’m awe yet again.
    Too bad for Rocket though.

  3. Author says:

    On second thought, have you forgotten the lessons from remote collaboration? I’m somewhat concerned about the shadow of Shane and Shamus here. What is different this time around? Do you do anything specifically to structure your relationship so that whatever ruins 95% of such efforts is mitigated?

  4. Author says:

    Wait a moment.. 7 routes?! That’s pretty ambitious. I think Rocket only had 3.

  5. Sixten says:

    There are seven characters, but only two of them (the red-haired one and Skygirl Tsukasa) are end girls. We’re not that ambitious.

  6. Samu-kun says:

    Not to mention one of the seven characters is the main character.

  7. So which one is Tsukasa? (I’m guessing the purple hair.)

  8. Author says:

    Second from the right, I guess. The top sketch has Kagami too, but apparently she was bumped off.

  9. Rocket says:

    Wow, awesome! Congratulations you two!

    I’m a little sad, but overall I think it’s a good thing. Violet already threatened to overtake my entire project with moĆ©liciousness, so it’s only by forceful application of Akio Watanabe and Yoshiyuki Sadamoto design-fu that I can keep everything from degenerating into undifferentiated moeblobs… orz

    Ah… love… space… two great tastes!

    Go for it you guys!! Good luck!! (^_^)/”

  10. Anonymous says:

    Space opera moe romance? Awwwwwesome! (I just finished reading Dozois’s “The New Space Opera” and it rekindled my love for SF)

  11. Silver says:

    where can I go to get this game, I really want to play it?

  12. Sixten says:

    @Silver: I stopped working on the game, but Sam found a new team to make it a reality. Search for “Sunrider” on Steam and you should be able to buy it.

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