— Please tell us about this title, starting with the story behind its creation.
This smartphone game is based on the musical and anime broadcast on TBS television in July 2018 that introduced Revue Starlight, a two-level all-girl theater group.
Players gave the game the nickname “StarReLi.”
The characters who appear in StarReLi are known as “stage girls,” and this game provides completely original stories that feature not only the nine stage girls from the musical and anime but also 15 original stage girls who appear only in the game.
It is a full-scale RPG that allows players to fully immerse themselves in the Revue Starlight world.
— With the musical and the broadcasted anime, the wide variety of content has helped StarReLi to become quite popular. Can you explain your choice of using Live2D?
We began considering Live2D because we wanted to base the game on our impressions of the earlier anime. We recognized that Live2D was the industry standard, and we were encouraged by how wonderfully expressive the tool is. As a result, this project became the first at our company to use Live2D.
To ensure players who have seen the anime can go straight into the game world without any sense of disharmony, we worked to preserve the impressions of the anime as much as possible while also giving each stage girl movements that capture their individual characteristics.
We chose Live2D to do that and were able to create standing poses that preserve and utilize the appeal of 2D. Rather than relying on static screens, we increased the number of moving screens, which I feel greatly expanded our range of expressions.
— So Live2D was ideal for creating characteristic StarReLi expressions that incorporated elements of other content to avoid influencing the view fans already had of this world. What particular techniques did you use to create these expressions?
To support the various stage girl costume designs, we created multiple variations of arm parts and coordinated them for more natural motion and swinging.
For example, with a costume that has long sleeves like a kimono, we utilized up to nine different patterns for the arm parts.
Because Live2D allows us to finely configure the layers, making incremental differences in the costumes is easy. With StarReLi, we prepared special costumes just for Live2D that enabled us to add another level to the stage girls’ appeal.
We also took care to create different textures for each costume, and different swaying movements when the characters move, giving the characters an appeal that does not feel out of place when compared to the card illustrations.
— Your careful attention to detail really speaks to the passion you have for this game! Were there any particular points you focused on during production?
The theme of this game is “The Stage,” so we prioritized expressions as “acting” according to each “role.”
For example, when a stage girl who ordinarily has a bright facial expression is required to show a serious expression for her role in the program, we added unique motions and expressions for each event. This provides glimpses of a side to the stage girl that was not visible before.
— Can you describe how you are using Live2D for these points in more detail?
We used Live2D for video productions of the characters celebrating birthdays, and we use combinations of emotion effects such as the sweat marks or surprise marks together with sound effects. This creates a real sense of the player being with the characters and allows players to enjoy the world created by the stage girls rather than simply watching a story.
At real-world events, we also show life-size Live2D images on monitor panels. Being able to achieve real communication is another approach that Live2D is particularly well suited for.
— In closing, do you have any messages for the readers?
Recently, the use of Live2D has been expanding among VTubers and in other areas outside of games, and the number of creators using Live2D has grown a lot. We are very happy to see the Live2D environment growing ever larger.
I hope creators in a wide range of different fields will share their best features and continue to build a community that will bring happiness to everyone!
— Thank you for your time today!
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