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Thank you for reporting this error, we'll do our best to investigate the cause as soon as we can. Would you be able to tell us which version of Ren'Py you're using and what OS you're running on?

In the meantime, you can still open the source files in your code editor and use the code in there to assist you with your projects.

Unfortunately due to the lack of indents in the code you posted, we can't determine the issue. Can you post it again using the proper code block in the post formatting or send us your project files to If all else fails, you may want to transfer your game code to a fresh copy of the template.

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Thank you for the shout-out! Let's keep making great games together 💪

Thanks for your patience. You might have accidentally duplicated your game menu screen's use navigation line. Can you share the code for the game_menu and extras_menu?

Seems like both the navigation and extras_navigation were separated properly. Can you show me the game_menu screen and a screenshot of the issue?

Thanks for your patience. It looks like you may have accidentally combined your regular and Extras menu navigation. Would you be able to share the code you have for both of those screens? You can also press Shift+I while playtesting your game to see what screens are being shown there.

This was such a ridiculously fun little game, just loved the entire experience all the way through.

Josef succeeded. He lives in my head rent-free now.

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An assortment of resources that can be handy to other developers using the Ren'Py engine. Please note that I do not maintain pages created by other developers, so links may break in the future.

Last Updated: 08/23/2022


.ico and .icns converters for your .exe:

Fonts that are designed for dyslexic or low vision readers:

Other handy templates/codes for Ren'Py users (on

Other handy templates/codes for Ren'Py users (not

Vimislikart also creates a variety of video tutorials that focus on design and Ren'Py effects, which are incredibly useful (and entertaining to watch). Visit his Youtube channel here and be sure to support his work!


If you have any other resources to share, please feel free to drop them in this thread.

Really beautiful writing, almost like a guided meditation tailored to your favorite season! I picked Autumn first but all the other seasons were just as lovely. I'll have to come back to this game whenever I need to lay down and emulate the joys of the forest.

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Note: As of 08/08/2022, Ren'Py 8 does not have the ability to create versions of your game that can function in a player's web browser. You must use Ren'Py 7.5.1 to create Web distributions.

The following is a quick tutorial on how to make a HTML/Web version of your game that will work on both desktop and mobile browsers.

01a. Open your Launcher, then select Web (Beta) below iOS and above Generate Translations

01b. If this is your first time creating a Web Build, Ren'Py will download the necessary packages for it, then restart

02. On the left side of the menu, you will have 4 options and a checkbox for "Force Recompile" (it is recommended to turn this on)

03. To immediately create a web build to test, select the 2nd option titled "Build and Open in Browser"

04. A new tab in your web browser will open, and your game should load up. Use this to do some initial beta-testing

05. Go back to the base of your Ren'Py Launcher and select "base" from under the Open Directory header, then locate the "progressive_download.txt" file to edit it as so:

# RenPyWeb progressive download rules - first match applies
# '+' = progressive download, '-' = keep in (default)
# See for matching
# +/- type path
- image game/gui/**
- image game/**
- music game/audio/**
- voice game/voice/**

This will disable progressive download, which may cause your game initial pixelation for half-loaded assets or your game not to function on certain Mac browsers.

06. Go back to the Web Build menu of the Launcher and select "Build and Open in Browser" for another round of beta-testing

07. When you are satisfied with your Web Build, select "Open build directory" and locate the folder called "[YOUR_GAME]-[VERSION_NUMBER]-web"

08. Zip up the entire folder, then upload it your project page on itch

09.  Go to "Kind of project" and select "HTML - You have a ZIP or HTML file that will be played in the browser"

10a.  On the web zip, select the checkbox that says "This file will be played in the browser." If you offer downloadable versions of your game on the same page, no option needs to be selected for those files

11. Find Embed Options under your game files and adjust your settings. We recommend setting it to "Embed in page" and "Manually set size," with Viewport dimensions of 976px wide and 549px height for games that are 1080p/16:9 resolution (adjust if your project is a different resolution)

12. In Frame Options, select Mobile Friendly and leave Orientation to Default. You may optionally also select the "Fullscreen button" for desktop browser players

13. Save the page and test the game! Assuming no bugs, you should be done!


  • Make a backup copy of your project files first before adjusting them for web builds.
  • Video files are not currently supported.
  • You can replace the default Web presplash screen by placing a file named "web-presplash" in either .png, .jpg, or .webp at the base of your project folder (this is where icon files go as well for desktop versions)
  • Create a private test page for your web builds and set it restricted with password access, and hand that to people you know who use different browsers than you. While your itch feed will only show the latest time you've updated a page, it can be quite embarrassing for you to constantly update while troubleshooting...
  • If you know you have unused files (such as gui/nvl.png or such), you can delete those to reduce filesize.
  • If you have a highly customized GUI, be sure to CTRL+F for the "Mobile Variants" sections in gui.rpy and screens.rpy to comment out or adjust any styles that are under "touch", "small", or "medium" as these will refer to files in "gui/mobile/**". The files in there are based on the default Ren'Py GUI, so unless you create variants of the graphics there, it's often easier to not use them. When you confirm that your game functions without the files in the "gui/mobile/**" directory, you can delete them.
  • The only mobile style you may need to adjust is the quickmenu, in order to space them out more to accommodate for the size of human fingers.
  • To further reduce filesize, you can convert your image files to the .webp format, which Ren'Py should support natively. While there may be slight loss in quality depending on the style of your art assets, mobile devices at a smaller resolution should not be affected too much.
  • Always do a final beta-test on itch itself, as you may encounter an error that says you have too many files (over 1000). You should be able to avoid this error by zipping up the entire folder that comes out in your distribution folder.
  • Persistent variables do not save on web versions until the game has saved so if you have any persistent variables that are supposed to work even if the player doesn't save, you have to force the game to save or it won't function properly. To do this, disable quicksaves and add in the following code:
## When the true ending is read
$ persistent.true_ending = True
## Every time a persistent variable is changed
  • You may want to note on your page that web builds are still technically in beta and may not provide the most accurate play experience for your game, especially if it features a high amount of animation.

Ebbasuke's note: "If itch complains about the "over 1000 files", it would be wise to try and make a new zip of the web game files. During O2A2 I had that error, and without removing any files I made a new zip, tried uploading it again, and it worked. Itch claimed I had something like 1100-1200 files, so I'm not sure if it would work with a game that has way more than that."

If you encounter any issues, please feel free to leave a reply in this topic and I'll see if I can help troubleshoot it with you.

Special thanks to littlerat for the tips on viewport dimensions and persistent saves used in eggs for you, and Ebbasuke for general reminders from the Vampire†Hunter Devlog.

See also:

Ebbasuke's Devlog for Vampire†Hunter
The official GitHub page for renpyweb

Lovely game as always~

Hello Jammers! It's your main host, BáiYù of tofurocks, here with this year's Exit Survey!

I've sent a jam email this time around so it should be in your inboxes, but just in case it didn't make it through, I'm posting it here as well. Many of the questions are largely the same from last year's survey with some answer choices clarified for less ambiguous data. There are 14 questions in total, and if you were a participant, either solo or part of a team, or had intended to submit an entry but could not for various reasons, we'd appreciate it if you could take some time out of your day to respond.

Answer The O2A2 VN Jam 2022 Exit Survey here!

This survey will close on August 11, 2022, or the Thursday after next. Thank you in advance, and we hope to see you around the scene!

Clarification in GENERAL

  • You may have unlimited solid color backgrounds in menus and in-game generated by the engine, alongside your illustrated BG


  • It is within the rules to alter the pitch or speed of audio via code


  • You may have multiple typefaces


New section added:

If you offer both a web and downloadable version of your game, you may optimize effects (e.g. video backgrounds) for the web build as long as the downloadable version follows the rules. You may want to note differences between versions if applicable. Please follow this rule in good faith.

If you made a commercial or longer game using the template, go ahead and share a link and some screenshots here! Many players appreciate accessibility features becoming more and more normalized in games, so this thread might be a good place for them to start browsing for visual novels that are accessible.

I'm looking forward to seeing your visual novels!

(Did you make a jam game or something that's under 50K words? Here's the thread for those.)

If you made a jam game using the template, go ahead and share a link and some screenshots here! Many players appreciate accessibility features becoming more and more normalized in games, so this thread might be a good place for them to start browsing for visual novels that are accessible.

Smaller releases (noncommercial/under 50K words) can also go here! I'm excited to see all of your games.

Hi there Sunetraalex, forgive us for changing our minds on this ruling but we've determined that we'll allow slight asset variances between web and downloadable versions of games as long as the downloadable version follows the rules for the sake of optimization. We recognize that not all potential players may have the bandwidth or storage to download many games at a time, so offering a web version that is accessible to more players is beneficial.

If applicable, we recommend that you note if there are any differences between web and standalone versions of your game in your page.

We will update the FAQ soon with this new ruling.

Q: Can I use this template when I make commercial games?

A: Yes!

Q: Can I make custom GUI packs based off this template and sell them?

A: Yes!

This is placeholder text for the time being. Please check back soon for more answers and probably more explanations.

Hi Ian! The reason we listed RPGMaker as an example of an engine that most likely isn't suitable for this jam is because in order to make a functional map for players to explore in, you'd need multiple tiles (something for the floor, the walls, objects in the room, etc.). That would not be in the spirit of the jam, so engines similar to RPGMaker (such as RPG Paper Maker) wouldn't work well.

Panda3D looks like it'll be fine though. Good luck with the jam!

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The following images used for O2A2 promotion, available under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International license, can be optionally included in your game as a splash screen, ending screen, etc. as you see fit. This will not be counted against any asset limits as it will be considered GUI.

The terms of the CC BY-ND 4.0 license state that you may:

  • Share — copy and redistribute the material in any medium or format for any purpose, even commercially.

(This includes allowing a PWYW/dontation option on your game's page, assuming you have used assets in your game that also allow commercial use.)

So long as the following conditions are met:

When using these images in your game, you must include the following credits somewhere in your game:

O2A2 2022 Art by Agui-Chart -
O2A2 2022 Logo by MysteryCorgi -
Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International -

You may additionally include these credits on your entry's itch page as well.
Please do not alter the images (through an image program or otherwise).



- have unlimited solid color backgrounds in menus and in-game generated by the engine
- generate images from AI prompts to adapt into assets if others can reasonably achieve the same output as you using the same settings
- prepare code for basic VN functions (e.g, skip, auto-forward, text history, save/load, etc.) in your engine of choice
- update your game after the jam is complete (we highly recommend making it available as a separate download for posterity's sake, but this is not necessary)

Section changed and added to ONE SPRITE:

- have a character sprite that includes a separate auxiliary character that does not feature in interactions (e.g, a woman holding a baby, a pirate with a parrot, blind person with dog)
-have multiple "speakers" associated with one character, as long as those are all a part of that singular entity (e.g, a medusa with talking snake hairs, a person playing with sock puppets on their hands, etc.)
- have a "suggestion" of another character represented by a shadow or a reflection with very vague detail (see Illustration/CG rules)

Section changed and added to ONE BACKGROUND:

- use the engine's built-in functions, code, or scripting to alter the background (e.g. blur, night filter, mirroring) 
- use custom particle effects, so long as there is only one type of particle being used (e.g, cherry blossom petals, fire, etc.)
- use masks (via multiple separate files) to create secondary versions of the background image on screen


- create or use a track by combining composed music and ambient sounds
- have additional menu music that loops (if the VN also has in-game music/ambient noise)

Section added to ONE SOUND EFFECT:

This limit does not apply to interface sounds, which are considered part of the GUI. Having different sounds assigned to button hover, activation, etc. could be an accessibility feature for low-vision players, as that's audio feedback for different actions.

Section added to ONE VOICE ACTOR:

Regarding usage of voice beeps in lieu of voice acting: you may create different beeps per character as long as it remains consistent to that character.


The main menu / title screen background is now considered part of the GUI and thus is not beholden to many of the previous year's restrictions.

It is within the rules to:

- display multiple splashscreens before the start (e.g, for the jam, engine used, studio logo)
- have multiple variations of the title screen / game menu background
- show as many characters / objects as you'd like
- show a different location from the one in the game
-use a combination of the sprite and background or the one CG as the main menu
You may not do the following:

- show any part of the main menu in the flow of your script if it is different from the assets in the game

Regarding image buttons that appear to be objects: these buttons should only appear as a choice, and the images should not appear again in other parts of the game due to the fact that this can be abused to bypass the item/arm/head change limit.

Thank you all for your patience as we respond to your inquiries!

Right, thank you for reminding us about updating projects after the initial deadline.

In short: yes, that's allowed.

Any future updates we'd recommend making it available as a separate download, but this is not necessary. Generally we'd like to encourage everyone to keep their "Version 1.0" builds up for posterity's sake, as a way to show "this is what we accomplished in a week."

New resources added!

  • VIDEOTOME (Free, Dedicated Textbased Engine) [HTML5]
  • Videotome:ADV (Free, Dedicated VN Engine) [HTML5]
  • Twine 2 (Free, Dedicated Text-based  Engine) [HTML5, Narrative Design Tool]
Miscellaneous Tools and Guides

Like using Twine 2 for your narrative design outline and want to make your game in Ren'Py? Consider checking out ludowood's Twine to Ren'Py Tool.

Alternatively, if you like using Twine 2 for your final games, take a look at Grim Baccaris' Twine Grimoire! Here is Voiume One and Volume Two.

If you're relatively new to VNDev, why not check out the new VNDev Wiki? It's a Work In Progress, but we hope it'll become a great resource soon!



- use any engine to create a game that is considered a VN first and foremost (e.g. due to the required assets needed, an engine such as any version of RPGMaker would not be allowed)


If an ambient audio file you create or find has multiple sources of different audio (e.g. a storm may have wind, rain, and thunder) and you do not control the timing of the other recorded audio, this all counts as one ambient track. If you do control the timing of other sounds, this counts as your sound effect.

New section:

The restrictions for the itch thumbnail for your game's preview have now been relaxed, as we recognize that it is an important aspect of marketing your game to potential players. It is within the rules to:
- show as many characters as you'd like
- show a different location from the one in the game
- create any animation for it, even one with multiple frames of animation

Added minor clarifications to other sections.

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Hi there, this is BáiYù of tofurocks here, and today I'm rounding up a few articles and resources for jam participants who plan to depict trans people in their entries. Lots of people have periods and it'd be great to see more media show how wide the range of experiences can be.

Disclaimer: I am simply one (1) trans masculine nonbinary person, so I cannot speak for all trans people and their experiences. I hope this thread can be a place to start having those conversations, however.

TransHub's article on Menstruation is a great place to start reading as a primer. Do note that they will refer to genitalia using common terms on that page, but acknowledge that there's a lot of other words that people are more comfortable using.

HelloClue also has a few articles such as "What it’s like to get your period when you’re trans" and "How to support trans people during their periods" that can help cis allies get a better idea of what to do for menstruating people. Clue itself is a menstruating calendar app that tracks user's periods and uses gender-inclusive language, though some of their site materials still depicts itself as a femtech company. Read their reasoning here.

Moxie's article on "How to talk about periods in an inclusive way" is another great read as well. There is a brief mention of the TERF Wizard author to dunk on her, but please keep that in mind when you click through.

Patient's article on "How to alter your language around menstruation to be more inclusive" has a few statistics too.

Who Has Periods?

Generally, it's people who are Assigned/Presumed Female At Birth, which may include some trans men, nonbinary people, and/or cis women. People who are Assigned/Presumed Male at Birth who are taking hormones to introduce more estrogen into their bodies may also experience a regular mood cycle that follows similar patterns. Unfortunately, there are few formal research papers done on this matter.

(I would love it if any trans feminine people who experience periods could provide personal anecdotes, as it's been observed by a non-insignificant amount of people to show that it definitely is a phenomenon.)

Gender Neutral Language To Use

  • You can switch to phrases like "people who menstruate/have periods/have cycles" or even "menstruating people"
  • Call it "reproductive health" when talking about subjects including pregnancy, fertility, menopause, etc.
  • Pads, tampons, menstrual cups, etc. can be referred to as "menstrual products." Avoid terms like "sanitary products" as that implies that menstruation is a dirty process that contributes to stigma.
  • In general, avoid tying periods strictly to "womanhood"

What Is Gender Dysphoria From A Menstrual Cycle Like?

Personal anecdote time! As previously mentioned, I am a trans masculine nonbinary person myself, and I can't really speak for everyone else! Please be sure to consult with plenty of other trans people and their experiences if these feelings are unfamiliar to you.

For me, my dysphoria spikes the few days before my menstrual cycle begins and definitely heightens when it starts. It's an incredibly uncomfortable, out-of-body experience characterized by a lot of brain fog, and cramps drain both my physical and emotional energy to the point of apathy (Cooking myself comfort food? Nah. Watching a TV show, playing games, reading a book? I can't concentrate. Doomscrolling? ... Damn it). Pain is amped up to 11. I can drag myself to take a shower and hot water helps, but it's difficult to remind myself that maybe a bit of chocolate or a warm mug of something to hold near my abdomen would do wonders. A lot of the time is spent with me wishing I could just crawl out of my flesh or fantasizing about starting HRT/getting bottom surgery, more so than when I'm not menstruating.


Do you have other resources and experiences to add to this thread? Go for it! If there's a topic I missed that you'd like me to gather resources on, let me know and I'll add it too.

Hi, thanks for checking out this old thing! I'll hopefully be updating it in the near future, but the CC BY 3.0 refers to the visual assets used to make the GUI (textboxes, CTC, game menus, etc.). The code itself is still under MIT.

I'll definitely try to keep the license info inside the download in mind the next time I overhaul all my codes.

Thanks for reporting that, I'm gonna need to rewrite the point-based achievements and I'll be sure to test this better next time.

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Hi there, I'm BáiYù of tofurocks, and I'm teaming up with Vextera of Tidehead Studios and Kija of Faefield Productions to create a short noncommercial Yuri Drama VN (no longer than ~10k words?) planned for release before January 1, 2022. Please note that we have all agreed not to involve payment in order to avoid issues with potential revenue splits. Details are subject to change as we are still in pre-production.

Logline: Saoirse's ready to kick ass on New Year's Day 2022, but her friend Orlaith? Not so much. What could have gone wrong since the NYE party last night?

Summary: Saoirse wakes up on New Year's Day 2022 feeling refreshed and ready to kick ass, so she texts her friend Orlaith to see what's on today's itinerary. It's quickly apparent that Orla isn't feeling well though. Did she wake up on the wrong side of the bed? Or is this something deeper than what's on the surface?

Genre: Yuri,  Modern Day, Drama

Content Warnings: Mental and emotional health, LGBTQ+ themes, suicidal ideation (not acted upon), heavy discussions of mentioned transphobia, etc.

I want to make clear that what we have planned for the game has potential to be very emotionally intense, so please make sure that you're in a good state of mind to handle such themes. We will do our best to ensure we handle these themes in a respectful manner.


  • Saorise - A black asexual and aromantic goth girl majoring in Psychology. Though she's typically cynical, she's surprisingly the optimist in this situation.
  • Orlaith - A black trans girl majoring in Anthropology. She's usually bubbly and cheerful, though today she seems really off. Sings often to practice controlling her voice, and has been on HRT for ~2 years.

Roles to fill:

  • Sensitivity readers for the topics of: aroace identities, aroace lesbians, trans feminine lesbians, queer black women.
  • VA for Orlaith: Must be black and nonbinary or trans feminine. Stage of transition is not relevant to the casting.
  • GUI & Logo Designer: Familiarity with Ren'Py and/or implementation not required.

For potential VA applicants: expected workload is under ~5k words or less, as the majority of the game involves unvoiced dialogue that occurs in text messages. The voiced section occurs in a bit of a heated situation so it may involve some shouting and otherwise loud noises.

For potential GUI Artist applicants: expected workload is the standard Logo and basic GUI for a VN, with an additional phone texting interface based on the Ren'Py Simple Messaging framework by Nighten.

To apply, please reply here or send an email to: [at]

If sending an email, please title your Subject Line with Winter Jam 2021 - [Position]. Please attach your portfolio and social media to your message so that we can determine if you are a good fit for the project.

Thank you for your time and interest!

Current Team:

BáiYù - Project Lead, Writer, Programmer

Vextera - General Artist

Kija - Story Editor, Composer

Eliana - AroAce Consultant, VO Editor & Mixer

Coda - VA for Saoirse, Black Queer Sensitivity Reader

Maya Ann - VA for Orlaith, Black Queer Sensitivity Reader

Sorry for the late reply! This is local to your machine and won't carry over to your players. Try the Delete Persistent button on your Ren'Py Launcher!

On behalf of VisuStella, one of the sponsors of the jam:

Making a fantasy game with witches or monsters? Check out the VisuStella Emporium for high quality item art of bottles, potions, elements, and herbs! We also have a wide variety of weapons for your adventurers to wield.

Our selection is also 50% off now! Stock up today!

Technically only the project lead (who I assume would be you) needs an itch account to be able to enter and submit to any game jam. Should your friend make an account themselves, you should be able to add them as a Contributor on the game following these steps:

  1. Locate the game on your dashboard and click Edit
  2. In the More tab to the right, click the dropdown and select Admins
  3. Enter in their Username or Profile URL at the bottom and hit the Add Admin button
  4. Send the URL you receive to your teammate so they can confirm

O2A2 Exit Survey - Results

A Write-Up by BáiYù 

Only One of Any Asset (Again!) VN Jam, a jam to create a small visual novel under 1k words with limited assets, was held from July 12th to July 18th, 2021. I, BáiYù, had the pleasure of co-hosting the jam for its second year with the original host, Mikey, and for my first time doing a concentrated awareness campaign for any event, I would say that it was a massive success, with a total of 97 entries submitted to the jam.

With such a high amount of entries to a relatively small game jam, I was interested in gathering feedback from as many participants as possible about how they felt about the rules, the general zeitgeist, how we could improve the jam in the future, and other data relating to the DevTalk community, where the heart of the jam activity took place.

At the time I didn't know about's Jam Emails function, unfortunately reducing the spread of the survey. We received a total of 83 responses at the time of writing.

Question 1: Did you participate in a team and/or submit an entry to the jam?

Forms response chart. Question title: 1. Did you participate in a team and/or submit an entry to the jam?. Number of responses: 83 responses.

While the questionnaire was intended for those who submitted a game, Mikey and I were aware that some participants had complications that prevented completion of their entry. Less than 5% of respondents fell into this category, which is rather unfortunate for those teams.

Question 2. Where did you initially hear about the jam?

Forms response chart. Question title: 2. Where did you initially hear about the jam?. Number of responses: 83 responses.

This question was especially important for me to gather data on, as I took it upon myself as co-host to spread awareness of the game jam. Unfortunately we cannot guarantee that a representative from each entry responded to the survey as there were 83 responses and 97 entries, and team members who contributed to a single entry were encouraged to provide input as well. Nonetheless, the data here is indicative of general outreach results.

For context, there was talk among existing members of the DevTalk Discord server about wanting a second O2A2 Jam to run for a while, which after repeated conversations about it, prompted me to approach Mikey to host it again for those who didn't know about the jam the first year. It would only make sense that nearly half of our participants (47%) heard about the jam through the official Server Announcements channel, as that was one of our first avenues of promotion for the jam.

Naturally, the next place for us to promote the jam was Twitter, using the official VNDevTalk bot account to announce the jam. A tweet would then be shareable across other Discord server communities, and for others to send to potential teammates or friends.

The tweet performed extremely well, gathering 99 RT/QRTs and 124 Likes total. There is a large concentration of VNDevs on Twitter so it spiked quite a lot of excitement with the prospect of unique limitations. In total, the tweet itself attracted 13.3% of respondents.

From there, I dropped the tweet into various servers I was an active participant of that expressed some interest in developing narrative-focused games. Other people may have also linked to the jam in their servers as well, and in the end that accounted for 8.4% of respondents. Admittedly, I could have reworded "Word of mouth via friends, family, etc." to be more clear whether this was in a DM/direct conversation IRL or elsewhere, but a significant portion of respondents (15.7%, 16.9% if we count one of the custom answers) selected that as their response.

The last two places I attempted to perform outreach at were reddit and Facebook respectively. Those two sites are my weakest in terms of social media experience and knowledge, simply because I don't spend much time on those platforms. As I don't really know the etiquette of following up on older posts that are somewhat buried beneath new posts, it was difficult to inform any possible participants of the Exit Survey, thus resulting in no answers for either field. On the other hand, 13.3% of respondents say that they stumbled upon the jam through's own Upcoming Game Jams page, which involved no effort on my part.

Question 3. How did you feel about the asset restrictions, rules, and time limit?

Forms response chart. Question title: 3a. How did you feel about the asset restrictions, rules, and time limit?. Number of responses: 83 responses.

The responses for this question were based on a scale from 1 to 5, with 1 being Negative and 5 being Positive. The optional part B of the question then asked for an explanation for their choice.

Responses to part B showed two major categories of responses:

  • Those who responded with 5 generally saw the rules as "freeing," "relaxing," "low-stress," and allowing participants to exercise creativity within reasonable limits for the timeframe. 
  • Those who responded with 2-4 had mixed feelings about some of the more complex rules of the jam, citing instances where rewording rules for brevity would cause more confusion or a case where images rendered through programming were deemed okay, only for it to be reversed some days later into the jam. Constant updates to the rules also served to further confuse participants whose entries pushed the limits of the restraints.

Both Mikey and I agree that the rules needed to be worked more on prior to the jam, but we could not anticipate every instance of an edge case.

Question 4. What is your level of experience in terms of game development?

Forms response chart. Question title: 4. What is your level of experience in terms of game development?. Number of responses: 83 responses.

I placed this question on the survey to see how many new developers we ended up attracting with the jam, as my outreach efforts placed emphasis on the jam being a chance for people to create their first game. Over a quarter of respondents (26.5%) classified themselves as new to game development, with 60.2% saying they have some experience and 13.3% considering themselves to be very experienced with game development.

In hindsight, it is unclear how respondents who had prior experience classified themselves, so in future surveys, it would be best to quantify the experience in terms of months to years.

Question 5. What is your level of familiarity/knowledge in relation to Visual Novels?

Forms response chart. Question title: 5. What is your level of familiarity/knowledge in relation to Visual Novels?. Number of responses: 83 responses.

Admittedly, this question was not worded very well whatsoever. I had wanted to know if participants were avid consumers of visual novels prior to developing one, and the response "I know what a Visual Novel is" is murky at best. 3.6% of respondents do report that they had minimal or no knowledge of the genre beforehand however, which indicates that this jam was the first introduction to the genre to some participants.

Question 6. Was this the first Visual Novel you've created or worked on?

Forms response chart. Question title: 6. Was this the first Visual Novel you've created or worked on?. Number of responses: 83 responses.

I wish I had worded this question to be "Was this the first Visual Novel you've created or worked on that saw a public release (complete or demo)?" The difference is that several developers can work on a large project for months or even years, but never experience the full production pipeline of developing assets, playtesting/QA, bug fixing and polish based on QA, and preparing store pages. Those last few steps can give perspective on everything else in the development cycle.

Still, the responses to this are fairly positive when we look at it from the angle of attracting newcomers to VN development. 20.5% of respondents say this was their first release of any sort of game, with 10.8% saying that this was their first visual novel type game.

Question 7. How do you feel about game development immediately following the jam?

Forms response chart. Question title: 7a. How do you feel about game development immediately following the jam? Choose all that apply.. Number of responses: 83 responses.

Like question 3, this was a two part question, with part B asking for more details on responses. 

I think the answers to this question are rather surprising for a multitude of reasons, such as the overwhelming desire to immediately return to game development (73.5% of responses fell into this category, with 74.7% specifically stating that they want to go back to their larger projects that may have existed prior to the jam). Only 21.7% of respondents stated that they wanted to take a break before doing more development, which personally concerns me as a veteran developer who is experiencing burnout amid a global pandemic (this however, is a topic that deserves its own write-up, so I won't go further into that here).

54.2% of respondents selected that they would like to practice their skills, which seems to line up with the 26.5% of respondents who said they were new to game development, along with about half of those who said they had some previous experience. A good 60.2% of responses also indicated that those who participated in the jam were interested in their peers' work, which I hope leads to fostering a healthy sense of community.

The last choice of "I no longer wish to make games" was placed in the selection to see how many people would choose it, but it's unclear whether the sentiment is genuine or in jest. At least one respondent admitted in Part B that they wanted to choose it as a joke but elected to say they would take a break instead.

Question 8. Would you be interested in participating in another O2A2 Jam sometime next year?

Forms response chart. Question title: 8. Would you be interested in participating in another O2A2 Jam sometime next year?. Number of responses: 83 responses.

As you can see from the chart, the majority of respondents are eager to do the jam again next year, confirming that there is plenty of interest for this sort of jam again. As to what month we do decide to host the jam is still up in the air, and will most likely depend on Mikey's availability.

Question 9 asked for games we could use as examples of what is allowed within the rules for next year, and those answers will be kept private until it is necessary to cite those entries.

Question 10. Do you have any extra comments or feedback on the jam?

Most responses were positive or, again, wanted more clear rules and interpretations. Many respondents also used this space to express gratitude to the hosts for running the jam.

Question 11. Are you in the DevTalk Discord Server?

Forms response chart. Question title: 11. Are you in the DevTalk Discord Server?. Number of responses: 83 responses.

The DevTalk Discord server was the first place I posted the survey to, followed by Twitter and As the majority of participants had gathered in the server to touch base with other participants, the overwhelming majority (81.9%) who responded "Yes" makes sense. I know that a few of my own teammates were not members of the server, and a few teams on had not made an appearance on Discord either. 

Question 12. Which of the Twitter Bot accounts do you follow?

Forms response chart. Question title: 12. Which of the Twitter Bot accounts do you follow? Check all that apply. Number of responses: 83 responses.

I placed this question on the survey to see if participants utilized the bot accounts maintained by Nai, though the numbers may be skewed as I forgot to place an option for "I do not use Twitter." Lemon (now @VNDevTalk) is a bot that will automatically RT tweets that meet certain hashtag criteria, so it's a good tool for keeping a pulse on the general indie VNDev scene. Cherry (@VNShuffle) on the other hand is more consumer-oriented, and posts random VNs from VNDB. The latest update to Cherry's code now makes it so she will post new VNs from

13a. Are you interested in participating in the upcoming Spooktober 2021 Game Jam?

Forms response chart. Question title: 13a. Are you interested in participating in the upcoming Spooktober 2021 Game Jam?. Number of responses: 83 responses.

Spooktober VN Jam is DevTalk's "official" jam, as this is the event that receives the most prep and attention from the server moderation team. It is a month-long game jam with looser rules and a theme (horror or Halloween-esque), that includes judging and prizes. As Spooktober requires a higher time commitment, not all respondents may be able to participate in this jam, indicated by a larger portion of responses labeled "Maybe" (47%). Only 14.5% of respondents were adamantly sure they would not join, with 36.6% certain to try and participate.

13b. If you answered "Yes" or "Maybe," what specifically draws your interest to participating?

Forms response chart. Question title: 13b. If you answered "Yes" or "Maybe," what specifically draws your interest to participating? Select all that apply.. Number of responses: 70 responses.

With a higher level of preparation this year, I was interested in knowing what aspects of the jam attracted potential participants.

90% of respondents said they wanted to join "For fun" which is a healthy outlook for the game jam experience, with 62.9% of responses for the "theme(s) of jam." 55.7% of responses wanted to capitalize on the potential attention a larger organized jam would have.

Only 30% expressed interest in the prizes, which surprised me the most. Admittedly, at the time I published the survey, the final prize pool had not been set, though recent observation of the channel dedicated to game jam discussion has shown that some potential participants do not believe they can qualify for the prizes to begin with. However, this is not the space to speculate on the reasons why those developers feel this way about their skills or ability.

The lowest two factors contributing to interest in Spooktober were the Timing (28.6%) and opportunity to expand on an existing project (25.7%) with a Halloween-esque side story. The development portion of Spooktober is set to take place in September such that consumers (reviewers, streamers, players) could enjoy the entries throughout the month of October to capitalize on the excitement of the month.

There were a variety of reasons that respondents manually entered in themselves, notable ones being:

  • "I'm a jam addict"
  • "Getting to feel like I'm part of a community that cares about me, and vice versa"
  • "Working with other devs I like"

In the end, it seems that the majority of respondents who intend to participate in Spooktober want to have an enjoyable game jam experience.

Overall, the data gathered here confirms many of my own feelings about O2A2 itself, and I'd like to thank everyone who helped make the jam a success, and to those who took the time to respond to the survey.

Truly beautiful, pensive piece that handles difficult subject matter in a tasteful way. Luke feels very real, and I appreciate that he upholds his boundaries in the face of everything that happened. As always, spectacular work!

Hello all! I've created an exit survey of sorts to gauge how this experience was for our participants. The survey is 13 questions long and will help us run a better jam next year if there's enough demand for it. Please share this with other members of your team as well!

I had trouble breathing while playing this game, thank you for making this experience possible.

Thank you for this wonderful font! The "imperfections" were just what my team and I were looking for in our game jam entry. Lent a lot to the atmosphere, so we hope you'll take the time to check it out.

Oh my goodness, when I played this on my stream I was tripping out so hard and had to take a moment to contemplate my life afterwards. So much packed into that one scene... just absolutely incredible coordination of Rhodes' sprite, all the effects, and the script. Really truly one of the most polished entries in the jam.

Y'all'd'nt've put in y'all'd'nt've if I ain't said a word now huh?