Weekly Update #5

We are five weeks into our journey into the unknown.

We’ve had a week of non-flashy work.  In case you missed it, here’s a round up of what’s been done this week.

CONCEPT ART – not actual game play———————————-

Full image
 CONCEPT ART – not actual game play——————————-

The battle UI has now been designed!  With the concept now made, Paul is now programming the countless planned improvements to the battle engine, including more attacks, a sleeker user interface, and improved graphics.

Ashton has also finished drawing all the custom dakimakuras.  We will now begin designing the regular dakimakura.  We expect them to become available for people to see in the next weekly update.

Aside from that, this week has been filled with just implementation.  No grand announcements this time around, I’m afraid.  Instead, we’ve been doing the much less flashy work of actually implementing everything we’ve announced up to this point.

SPECIAL FEATURE – Sunrider, An Retrospective

Ah, but before you all walk away in disappointment at the lack of flashy updates, I’ve got something special for you this week.

*wheels in an ancient film projector and starts a video*

This is the story of determination in the face of countless failures, false starts, foiled ambitions.

It is the story of SUNRIDER.

The current form of Sunrider could be said to have originated over seven years ago in 2007.  I had seen animes of the likes of Sky Girls, Gundam, and Shana, and was determined to make an anime creation of my own.  The only problem: I didn’t know a damned thing I was doing.

Either fortunately or unfortunately, I naively believed I had everything it took to make my own visual novel master piece.  However proud I was of what I made, it pales in comparison to what we have now.

SUNRIDER, GENERATION ONE (2007)

The Sunrider, in all of its untextured glory.

…is still nowhere as embarrassingly bad as the character art. Poor Asaga…

Bonus points if you spot Chigara’s coat…

The CAST

ASAGA

ICARI

CHIGARA (Don’t even ask me why there’s an ugly green background in these, I don’t even know.  Maybe I saw too many Star Wars: The Making Of videos and thought everything needed to be in front of a green screen back then.)

Following the release of the very first pilot episode of Sunrider, I realized that the art was still not as good as I hoped. (Really now?)  And so, in late 2007, early 2008, I attempted to revamp the art.  I was not successful.

SUNRIDER – GENERATION TWO (2007-2008)

Asaga (At least it’s anti-aliased now… And look, the green background is gone!)

Ava

Icari

Cosette (Durr… why’s she a carbon copy of Fate Testarossa? Oh wait, it must be because I was addicted to Nanoha A’s back in 2008!)

OH LOOK GUYS, I tried making a mecha! Ugh… It looks like something for a horrible 70’s Sunday morning cartoon…

Sometime in 2009….

…Then I figured out how to cellshade! Oh yeah, this totally fixed the fact that I didn’t know how to texture any of the ships!

THE SUNRIDER… in the year 2009

 2010 was a big year for Sunrider!  Somehow, I got half decent at 3D modeling ships, leading to the creation of some interesting space ship designs.  I decided to abandon my dream of making a mecha anime and instead decided that I should make a shmup/visual novel hybrid.

The Sunrider, in the year 2010! A huge departure from the old designs.

The Black Jack, 2010.  The lead starfighter for the Sunrider’s fighter wing, and piloted by the ace pilot Asaga.

The Liberty, 2010.

The Phoenix, 2010… Wait a minute, I haven’t even unveiled what the Phoenix looks like in mecha form yet! (Note: Icari pilots the Phoenix)

The cast of Sunrider, around 2010: (left to right) Cosette, the Sunrider AI (back then, the Sunrider had a loli AI), Chigara, Asaga, Icari, Ava.

Later in 2010, my starfighter designs were able to attract a character artist to the game.  Sixten came onboard as Sunrider’s character artist.  This was a huge boon to Sunrider, as Sixten was a real artist and actually knew how to draw characters.

The only problem: Sixten only drew lolicon.

SO… PRESENTING SUNRIDER! THE LOLI EDITION!

The cast of Sunrider, loli version. (Left to right:) Kayto, Sola, Asaga, Chigara, Ava, Icari, Cosette.

Despite the fact that the characters looked 10 years too young to be piloting starfighters, the addition of Sixten as character artist was an enormous boon to Sunrider.  The quality of the character art shot up to an unprecedented high.

It was obviously too good to be true.  Mere months after Sixten joined, he resigned because of real life issues.  All we could manage together was the first 15 seconds of the game.

This was how the game began.  No really.  Back then, Kayto was just an average pilot of a cargo freighter who was making a shipment to Cera when PACT attacked.  While lacking any sort of a military education, Kayto then becomes the whirlwind captain of the Sunrider and is thrust into the galactic stage.  The only issue was that Kayto was a coward and he just wanted to be a cargo freighter and retire with his younger sister, Sola. (Cough – Sixten was also a religious siscon at this time and insisted that Kayto have a younger sister. Well folks, now you know why Sola still looks so similar to Kayto!)

Unfortunately, that 15 second long opening scene was the only thing which we could accomplish together.

Well, except for that one light novel which never caught on…

But for all intents and purposes, after Sixten quit, it became clear that Sunrider was doomed.

I moved on to other, smaller projects, culminating in the release of Homeward.

O-oh! Hi guys!

After the successful release of Homeward, I knew it was time to restore Sunrider to its rightful place in the galaxy.

And then, everything else is history!  Ashton joined on board as the character artist, we released a pretty kick ass demo, and our Kickstarter was a huge success!  Oh, and somewhere in between I figured out how to make mechas too!

And so, I leave you with a final quote.

“Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.”

– Winston Churchill

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