I really appreciate fault's more SoL sequences, but I know that it's not really the story you want to tell in the games. Would it be possible for side material that's more light-hearted?

I guess it depends on what you would consider to be lighthearted but yes. I'm planning on a spinoff with completely new set of characters and a new tone that focuses more on the mechanics of how the world's culture works and how people live day to day.
I tired to do lighthearted with the Selphine gang but it's just not... very compelling or worse, convincing. They are in a situation where they desperately need to survive and get home. Because of this, every decision they make requires a certain level of tension and needs to be thoroughly thought out. Whats the neighboring countries political state right now? Are they in a war? Why are they fighting? Can they risk going through this country to take a shortcut? How much longer does it take if they took the long route? Wait, it's gonna take 4 more months?? What the danger if we do go through this warring country? Should they figure out a method of communication with Rughzenahide first to tell them that they are alive? Should contact be a priority, even more so than getting home? Whats this, there's a manaline that reaches the other side of the planet where communication maybe possible? Can they trust the info on the map they bought? Can they trust the people who tells them that the info on the map is wrong? How much food should they carry? Can the girls eat this cultures food? What, terrorists are poisoning wells to kill innocent civilians?? How will they get water? How will they carry all that food and water? Do their general attire attract hostile attention? Where will they get new clothes? How far can they get without aid of transportation? What happens when they run into a group of anit-kravte people where Aeroratum doesn't work? What happens if they are hostile just because Selphine tries to communicate with Aeroratum because of some strong religious beliefs?
When you consider all of these very real and not-far-fetched-at-all concerns there just isn't much space left for levity. They're just not the right group of people to have fun with at the moment...

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