Designer Insight:"Ocean Meets Sky" Canvas Bag

Designer Insight

"Ocean Meets Sky" Canvas Bag

In light of the second anniversary of Sky, the first Sky canvas bag has arrived. "Ocean Meets Sky" Canvas Bag is specially curated by our beloved artist, Yui Tanabe. This original sketch was one of the spiritual aquatic creatures drafted during the initial design phase of Sky.




YUI TANABE is the Lead Artist and has been with thatgamecompany since 2012. His creativity and dedication are appreciated by many. In light of the second anniversary of Sky, Yui shared one of his original spiritual aquatic creature designs and some stories behind the designs along with his experience with Sky.


"Ocean is where life begins; it inspires me to incorporate its grace into my drawings."


What is the story behind this specific sketch? What is it trying to convey?

This is a sketch created during the design phase of Sky. I was greatly inspired by how calm and elegant aquatic creatures are as they swim. Although Sky is more about flying rather than swimming, I wish to combine this grace and elegance with Sky's scenery to reflect the connection between underwater and the sea of clouds.



How is the final creature design selected? What is the process like?

We start with many prototypes and ideas and focus on the emotion that comes through from the initial sketches by immersing ourselves in the world of Sky when creating them. We modeled all sketches with the potential of presenting the emotional effects we desire to compare results.


We believe that realizing emotions in the game through all these efforts is the best way for our audience to experience the game. Furthermore, game development is a combined effort with technology - concepts change to balance technical constraints and the game's emotional impact. This cloud creature eventually evolved into mantas we see today.


 *Sketch as shown on the "Ocean Meets Sky" Canvas Bag. This cloud creature eventually evolved into mantas we see today.



What does the ocean mean to you?

The ocean makes earth special, as it is where life begins. It is an aspect of the grandness and vastness of nature. I admire marine creatures' graceful motions, dreamy movements, as well as their slow vibe and wish to share them with Sky friends.



What do you enjoy the most about sketching?

I carry a pen and a sketchbook all the time. Sketching to me is not solely an expression of art but rather a method to track my thought process. I enjoy the limitations of paper and pen and utilize them to translate and simplify my observations into lines.


 *Yui carries a pen and a sketchbook with him all the time.

"It is the community that makes Sky precious and wonderful."



What is one suggestion you would give to those Sky friends that love to draw?

For sketching specifically, one thing I found helpful was to draw without erasing the lines. This helps me think deeper when expressing my ideas on paper and becoming more determined when drawing. Regarding contents, in Sky, the visuals are great, but the community is what makes it beautiful. Focus on what people are doing, tell a story, and convey a sense of emotion in your work; they are what matters the most and certainly the prettiest elements in my eyes.


 *More sketches shared by Yui.



What does Sky mean to you?

Sky has evolved. It has been my pleasure to watch the community grow. All Sky friends are essential to Sky, and their positivity is what makes Sky unique. We are very fortunate to have them.



What would you like to say to Sky friends?

Thank you! We wouldn't have been here without you. Every single player makes up the wonderful world. You are a big part of what the game is. You inspire us, and you are awesome!