Project Update: Dawnstar Chronicles

As autumn starts filling the skies with shorter sunsets, the ground with yellowed grass and leaves from trees, I realize just how long I’ve been putting off posting. I had composed a few things as a backlog for continuing with my blog on a full-time basis, but have not due to a pressing family issue currently going on in my life. When it clears I’ll hopefully be back to my good old self.

Dawnstar has progressed greatly over the 15 months that I had hired an illustrator to help me with the art. This was the biggest burden on me for completing the game, and after all that time coming to a point that I have a complete set of art assets for the project. Hannah has been nothing short of helpful and a great person to work with.

This was at least half the project; coming up with art assets for the “backdrops” (or backgrounds if you prefer) for the VN to take place with. You can see some examples of the landscapes that you’ll see in the game.

bar_background hallway_resized landing_site_resized lounge_resized

The other half was character design and art. At first I was just going to go with static characters with one expression. Then we upgraded to making approximately 10 expressions per character. Lastly we took a step to give most of the characters a small handful of alternate outfits (which we will be expanding on a lot more in future installments)

nova_expressions_resized shinako_expressions_resized sophia_faces_resized haley_outfits_resized shinako_outfits_compilation_resized

*NOTE: Character art is not completed game-ready assets, just color flats.

Thirdly, I decided to change the story up a bit. This is mainly in adding more content and filling in a more solid plot line worthy of a commercial release. This sadly means the main version will not have a voice cast, as I cannot re-assemble and/or compensate the original cast to redo the voices. However their work isn’t in vain; I will be releasing a special “classic” version of the game with everyone’s voicework.

However this means a longer story, at least be 50% longer when I’m done, if not more. This also gives me the chance to expand the game into future episodes, which I want to do more than anything. I see Dawnstar’s cast as actors and the universe as a stage; it’d be easier and I’ll have a framework to make new adventures.

Lastly, music hunting has begun. Due to budget constraints the entire soundtrack will not be uniquely composed. However some of the tracks will. And with that, I’m pleased to announce that I have placed no other than Kenny Chow with this task (otherwise known as CC Catch and Kenny Chou). This is the same composer that worked with Epic Games back in the 90’s, pumping out the music for One Must Fall 2097 and Zone 66, games I both adored and listened to the soundtrack over and over in my younger days.


Zone 66 & One Must Fall 2097, the two games Kenny Chow had done music for.

He took a liking to Dawnstar’s storyline and will be doing the title music, with the addition of a few more tracks as we see fit. This itself is a huge accomplishment for me. It’s an honor to work with him and even collaborate on something together!

At this point the game is approximately 75% complete. The art is mostly done (as in only one piece of art left to complete), the story is 50% being re-written and the music is still being worked on. Not sure if it’ll get done for the holidays but will definitely have something for next year!
So work continues on, thanks for the support and admiration. Corresponding updates will follow as necessary.

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