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[Devlog] Void Talk

A topic by Voidling Studios created Jan 05, 2016 Views: 794 Replies: 34
Viewing posts 1 to 25
(Edited 4 times) (+4)


The game is done and uploaded! Check it out here.


My sister Rose and I are using this game jam to motivate ourselves to finish a short prequel / demo / proof-of-concept thing for a larger game idea we have. I'm the writer/programmer and she's the artist. Neither of us have much experience making games so this should hopefully be a good learning opportunity for us.


You are an AI designed to provide talk-therapy for astronauts on extended deep-space missions. However, the astronauts working for the Void Commission are a strange and private bunch, distrustful of this new technology that for all they know is nothing more than a spy for their superiors. Can you get the crew to trust you and open up to you? Just how much can you trust them in return?


The game takes place entirely in a single room where different crew members come in for a series of therapy sessions. For the purpose of this demo the player will only be talking to one person. The player will choose dialogue options in order to attempt to build trust with the crew and get them to open up about themselves and various mysteries on board the ship. The player will also have access to character profiles, ship logs, etc. that provide extra information that can be used in conversations.


I've decided to use Ren'py for the game, because I have a little bit of experience with it and it seems like the simplest option for the kind of visual-novel feel we want to go for. I want to do some kind of complex things with it that I'm not sure it's really built for, but we'll see what I manage to figure out.

* Update *

The patient for this demo will be Gema, an alien engineer working aboard the spaceship (or so she says???). Here's some concept art Rose has done of her:

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Since the player character is a disembodied AI inside a wall, Gema will be the only character you see in this demo.


wow this is a very interesting concept and i'd love to see how the larger project pans out! looking forward to see this demo! what kind of complex things are you looking for specifically?

Thank you! I'm glad you're interested.

Probably the most complex thing I want to do is set up a kind of contradiction system like in the Ace Attorney series. Some way to point out discrepancies between a character's statement and information on record. Either in previous statements or in file. I'm thinking I might be able to do something with imagemaps to get there.

Along with that I'm gonna have to do a lot of custom menus. Ideally I'd like these menus to be easily accessed and constantly visible from the main screen, while the main game takes place in kind of a smaller viewing screen.

Something kind of like this:

I love this idea a lot. The idea of just talking to astronauts who are isolated in space via an AI is neat. It makes me think of space movies, like Gravity. There's a lot of stuff that could be done thematically with this idea and I'm 100% hyped for all of them!

Gravity is a great movie! I'm glad you like the idea, and I hope we can live up to the hype!

space attorney

ok but this looks really cool i cant wait to play it

lol yes, exactly! It's basically just Psyche Locks in Space

And thank you!

Looking forward to see how this turns out. An Interesting idea.



hmm i haven't done anything to complex with ren'py before but think the menus are something that could be do-able especially if you're familiar with python! tho i'm not too sure if it's still ideal. i think the contradictions could also be done as well--maybe storing an array of decisions made and comparing these further along the line if x decision is made check y index to see if it's a contradiction--just a possibility. looking forward to see your solutions!


I think I'm going to do something along those lines. I'm going to make a system to alert a player when a character's statement is suspicious (the AI has a sort of built-in polygraph) and then give the option later on to choose which suspicious statements to question. I haven't decided yet if I'll then require a player to present proof that a statement was a lie, or if just questioning the right statements will be enough. I want to see how complicated it turns out to be to implement.

OH MY GOODNESS I LOVE THIS ITS LIKE!!! It's a combo of space and robots and psychology. It's one of those simple concepts that really lends itself well to a greater story? Like you have to help these astronauts in day to day life but also find out SPACE CONSPIRACIES!

Do you have a twitter or something? I'd really like to follow the main game closely once you guys get working on it!

Thanks so much for your interest! There's definitely gonna be some pretty major space conspiracies going on. :)

I just made a twitter for the game @void_talk where we'll post updates. You can also follow my personal twitter @brenna_asplund.
Jam Host

i love things with AIs and stuff because of my strong love of cyberpunk... this looks SUPER cool!! i can't wait to see some screenshots !! ✨

Thanks! I love cyberpunk as well so that's definitely an influence here. I'm glad you're already picking up on that vibe!


Tuesday Update

Today I'm working on menus and on integrating a messaging system so the therapist AI can keep in contact with its supervisor. I've also started a twitter for the game, @void_talk

Rose has been working on some concept art:

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These are some concepts for Gema, who's going to be the client in this demo. Rose is going for a kind of 90's anime-alien feel for her design. We want it all to feel very sort of classic sci-fi.

Jam Host

ooh, this looks so good!! 90s anime? i'm feeling some major evangelion vibes ehehe... i love eva so this is excellent!!!


Thanks! I still haven't seen eva myself, but Rose is a big fan!

Wednesday Update

Today I've mostly just been messing around with the engine, figuring out counters and graphics and the like. I work full time so I don't really have a lot of time to work on the game on weekdays, so I've mostly been devoting my time to learning and brainstorming. I plan on doing the bulk of actually building the game this weekend.

Rose has been doing more work on Gema's character design. I feel like it's really coming together.

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WHOA. The art is looking amazing!


ohh yea same i'm getting some really 90s/eva vibes i'm really digging the art style!

Thanks guys!

Thursday Update

Today I spent a lot of time messing around with the styling and I made this amazing vaporwave inspired main menu

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We'll see whether or not it survives into the finished product lol

Rose has been practicing manga-style background drama lines in order to perfect the aesthetic of the game.


Sunday Update

I've been much busier the past few days then I expected to be so progress has been slow. I've gotten much closer to the look I want, although there are still a few things I haven't worked out as far as that goes.

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I'm going for a kind of "you're looking out from the inside of a computer screen" kind of a thing, which is why I've got the frame and the green-on-black text. Ideally I'd like a few menu buttons (to personnel files and such) onscreen that look like computer files.

I'm also trying to figure out how to get the player-choice menus to display on the bottom left with the rest of the text but that's proven to be a struggle.

Rose's old tablet isn't working so she's had to buy a new one which should hopefully be here in a few days. When she gets down to really cranking out the game sprites we've decided to go for a kind-of-pixelated Ace Attorney-esque look.

In the meantime, here's some more concept art:

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Hopefully we'll be able to get something playable and decent looking by the end of the week.

Pssssst I think you can move the menu by going into screens.rpy, and looking for "# Choice". Below that is the code that styles user choice menus. If you change the xalign and yalign values under style "menu_window", you can move it. Here's what mine looked like at xalign 0.01 and yalign 0.99 (using zero or one broke it). You can probably play around with that until you get something you like.

I'm really looking forward to seeing this finished, and I dig all the concept art and the "looking out a computer screen" idea you're going for!

NNChan you continue to be a life saver! Thank you so much! For the help and for the interest. :)

It's no problem! (^ u ^)b


aa these draws are so lovely and it's cool to see a preview screen already--it looks so fitting for your game!!


Monday Update

I've been sitting here in a cafe for the past couple hours. The hope was that I'd get less distracted than at home, and it seems to have worked out fairly well.

I'm finally getting the text and menus to look at least kind of how I want them to. It's close enough that I'm going to stop letting myself get distracted by them and start really concentrating on substance.

I'm gonna be using a lot of variables, menus, flags, and jumping around, so there's a lot of complexity left to go. I'm trying not to let it intimidate me.

Now I'm gonna go get dinner and go home and come back to this either later tonight or tomorrow.

Tuesday Update

Today I had a big revelation that's gonna make it a lot more likely that this actually gets done. (Basically, I'm just gonna make it a whole lot more linear. More rails, but a stronger story and I can concentrate more on the lie mechanics)

I didn't make that much actual progress because I spent most of my time figuring out basic code things / making this icon to appear in the corner when a statement is suspicious

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Look at that little exclamation mark there.

Not much different to look at still because I'm still using default art. Still, we're getting there, if slowly.

My goal is to have 3 therapy sessions in total to tell something of a complete story. If I have to, though, I'll submit it with only one of the sessions done. I'm definitely going to turn SOMETHING in after all this work.

this is a really interesting concept!! it looks wonderful so far!

Thanks, deer!

It's time for the final night push! Rose and I are going to be up all night getting this done. I've solidified the story and I'm really starting to get into the heart of the coding. I've figured out how to implement a really basic ace-attorney-style evidence presenting system that's going to make the gameplay a lot more interesting. And Rose is finishing the art! Here's a look at our progress:

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Gif of the burgeoning evidence-presenting system! I'm really proud of it.

We've finally done away with the placeholder sketch!

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I'm still plugging away at the tedious writing/programming.

(Edited 1 time)

We're mostly finished, I really just have to go through and add in all the official sprites now and I'm already halfway through that. Then just some bug fixes and some soundtrack/sound effect things.

I really love the angry sprites Rose drew.

And it's finished!!

I hope all of you who were interested in aren't disappointed! We had to scale it back a bit from what we first had planned but I'm ultimately really proud of what we accomplished. Rose's art is really nice and elevates the whole game along with it. I'm also proud of some of the things I was able to accomplish with the programming.

I'll leave you guys with the new, updated cover image and I hope I hear back from some of you after you've played it!