Community Spotlight - Sayuta
With an artistic talent that’s being put to good use and a penchant for events, photography and competition, Sayuta embodies the community aspects of Sea of Thieves like few other pirates. As a keen member of SoT France who’s created Discord emotes and notched up a massive 10 #SoTShot wins, qualified for the Hat of Unfeasibly Glorious fame many times and earned a set of NAL sails… well, we had to finally sit her down and talk about her pirate life.
[Q]: Can you tell us a little about what got you into gaming?
[A]: I got into gaming when I was very young. My dad let me play lots of games on his Xbox and I was able to play the first Halo games, which were the first FPS games I ever played. I eventually got my own console which was a GameCube, and there were many amazing games on that console.
We didn’t really have a way to see game reviews, so I remember going to the game store and just choosing some game I thought had cool box art and looking at the cover over and over on the way home, having no idea what it was actually like, and it was really exciting when I got to play a game I knew nothing about. I see games like exploring brand new worlds and it’s fun to get immersed in.
[Q]: Were you a Rare fan before Sea of Thieves? Do you have any favourite Rare games?
[A]: Many games such as Kameo and Conker were ones I really remember and I loved them, but it wasn’t until I got into Sea of Thieves that I realised all those awesome games were made by Rare when I went to learn more about the studio. Kameo inspired me to start drawing creatures like dragons and sea monsters. I think I had a whole sketchbook of made-up creatures where I gave them names and descriptions. (Sadly I can’t find the book!)
Kameo may have inspired her fantastical beasts, but nowadays Sayuta is into pirate portraits.
[Q]: What other games are you currently playing? Any favourites?
[A]: My favorite games are the Ori games (with me using an Ori profile picture it really is a shocker right?) and other Metroidvania games like Hollow Knight. In terms of online games Sea of Thieves remains my main game, but I used to be a high-level Overwatch player; I occasionally get back to playing it whenever an in-game event happens. But as long as I have people to play with, I pretty much play any new game that seems fun.
[Q]: What brought you over to Sea of Thieves and its community?
[A]: I was asked to come try out the game, and I was uncertain at first as my PC couldn’t handle Windows 10 so I couldn’t actually get the game. I eventually got convinced and I got a new PC to allow me to play it.
Best decision I ever made! I met many pirates on the seas and one of them made me join the Sea of Thieves France Discord to meet other people. From that point I got way more involved with this community filled with wonderful people.
[Q]: What was the first piece of SoT art you created and what inspired you to start?
[A]: I remember the Sea of Thieves France admin Gatas mentioning that he wanted the Discord server to have unique emotes but he couldn’t find anyone that could help. And I thought to myself “why don’t I make a fun little emote just for fun”, and the very first emote I ever made was a little smiling Gunpowder Barrel. When it got added to the server, it warmed my heart.
The feedback was so positive that I decided to make more emotes. When I saw how much people loved them, it just motivated me to keep going and make more (and I still want to make more)! It just feels so nice to have people appreciate something you do so much and it keeps me going and happy. I’ve been told I have a recognisable art style and I’ve had commissions for pirate drawings too, which are also fun to make even though I don’t color them the same way I color emotes or logos.
Sayuta has made a unique, fun set of emotes for both SoT France and the main SoT Discord.
[Q]: You’re an active member of several Sea of Thieves communities, including SoT FR and the NAL. What are your favourite moments from being in these communities?
[A]: As I was making more and more emotes for SoT FR, I was asked to join their staff team, and ever since I’ve been helping with all sorts of projects and events. But the biggest project I’ve ever been involved in was the production of ‘Gatas: The Untold Tale’, which is a prequel to ‘The Legend of Port Nowhere’, that currently has two episodes. It might be in French but English subtitles are available so that it can be enjoyed by everyone. I play the role of a character called Jade, which is one of the main characters. Jade uses my in-game pirate model and my voice. I’ve never voice acted before, so this was quite a new experience for me.
The Notorious Arena League (NAL) was a really great experience too! It all started with a friend asking me if I wanted to join some cool competition he heard about and I said “Why not?”. I’ve always loved challenging myself and I loved The Arena. At the time there was no cosmetic reward for winning, and then they suddenly announced brand new sails for winning teams and the hype was real. I never really knew the people who were part of my team before joining the competition, but I’m glad I did. I’ve made many friends and I ended up winning the competition during the NAL Season 4 NA tournament with a team called ‘Goats on Boats’ (I made our logo too!). And yes, sending our helmsman to the brig was a very important part of the process.
[Q]: Do you have any new projects coming up that we should know about, or any favourite projects that you’ve previously worked on?
[A]: As I approach the 250 emotes limit on SoT FR, I realised that I have another 250 slots for animated emotes. So I’m trying to make more and more animated emotes! I’ve done a few but some of them take a really long time to make. I’m slowly learning to make animations though, so you can expect more animated emotes from me!
[Q]: Thinking back, are there any standout moments for you in Sea of Thieves since you started playing?
[A]: I’ve made so many friends since I started playing, and I’m so happy I’ve met so many nice people I wouldn’t have met otherwise! I also feel like this game really started my career as an artist. I’ve never had commissions before, but making emotes caught people’s interest and I started getting more and more of them. I believe my very first commission was for a team logo too. Fun fact, a lot of my commissions now are NAL logos!
As well as pirate portraits, Sayuta gets plenty of opportunities to create NAL team logos.
[Q]: What are your favourite additions to Sea of Thieves over the past year?
[A]: Every new addition makes me happy, in all honesty. I currently have all the Commendations (Shrouded Ghost doesn’t exist) and achievements, so any time something new gets added I’m happy because it gives me new things to do! But I still enjoy playing even when everything is completed.
If I had to choose favourites, the underwater Shrines and Sea Forts have been some of my favourite additions over the past year. I love having new unique environments to explore since I quite enjoy taking screenshots, and these two additions allow me to get more creative. The Sea of Thieves: A Pirate’s Life content also added very nice environments to explore.
[Q]: What are your greatest achievements in a game, Sea of Thieves or otherwise?
[A]: Getting all the Ori and Hollow Knight achievements as well as reaching the Grand Master rank in Overwatch are some achievements I’m proud of, but I still consider winning the Notorious Arena League as something to be really proud of too. I’ve also earned the Visionary Artist of the Seas Title by winning the #SoTShot screenshot competitions 10 times, and qualified four times for the Hat of Unfeasibly Glorious Fame!
My very first Hat was earned by making over 200 Sea of Thieves-themed emotes for the Sea of Thieves France Discord server, as well as sharing them with the official Sea of Thieves Discord. Like the Crab Dab and the puking monkey, referencing that one monkey that puked on Jon McFarlane back when the pets were announced.
‘Gatas: The Untold Tale’ as well as the ‘Port Nowhere’ episodes and the E3 2015 Trailer Remake by Spammals also earned me Hat eligibility. Hats were also given to the Plunder Games competition winners on SoT TV with Affiliate Alliance members and Partners and I was part of the winning team, yayyy! Qualifying for multiple Hats doesn’t actually do anything, but I still think it’s funny. If I could own more than one in the game, maybe I’d wear them as gloves and shoes? Yeah, that seems like a good idea.
[Q]: If you had to choose a pirate and ship name, what would they be?
[A]: I never really thought about having a pirate name, but if I had to choose one, I would probably be called Scarlet Seadog Sayuta! I wear the Order of Souls bandana that has little silver coins on it and I like to think that they reference the silver coins of The Arena. I also really like red!
My ship’s name is the Notorious Spirit. Notorious refers to the Notorious Arena League (NAL), and Spirit refers to Ori because the Ori figurehead never gets taken off (I will Blunderbomb anyone that does)!
Scarlet Seadog Sayuta can be found sailing the seas at the helm of the Notorious Spirit.
[Q]: What kind of other hobbies do you enjoy outside of gaming?
[A]: I really like drawing, I mostly do digital work but I also have a sketchbook that I like to fill at random times, filling all the empty spaces with as many random drawings I can think of. When I’m not home I start sketching ideas for commissions in it too, or sometimes decide to remake them digitally.
[Q]: Share a fun fact about yourself. Anything is fair game!
[A]: When I was younger, I used to like crafting things. But I only had access to paper, cardboard and tape, so I ended up building myself characters. I crafted my own toys to play with like dragons and swords, and even made myself really big wings that I attached to an old backpack I had!
So ends another Community Spotlight. A huge thank you to Sayuta for taking the time to talk us through her Sea of Thieves journey. We have no doubt there’s still much more to come, with many more emotes, logos and photos along the way to catalogue it.