A downloadable game for Windows and macOS

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About

Phone Space is an atmospheric visual-novel-esque experiment I decided to create for the Safe Spaces Now 2021 game jam. I've never created such a narrative-heavy project in my life, let alone a visual novel that deals with themes as heavy and delicate as abuse, harassment, and misogyny, but I figured this jam would be the right time to create something like this. 

In this game you have a conversation with your friend, Lauren, who has been facing harassment from a coworker, and you must decide which responses can be the most helpful for her in her current situation. The environment around you may change depending on how supportive or ignorant your responses are, in a way to reflect the impact that your responses have on Lauren. 

Interestingly, as I developed the game I discovered that there is interesting side effect caused by the vague previews for each dialogue option, where one may say decide to something based on the preview, but the way in which it is perceived might be different in ways one may not expect or intend. This is something that people might not always consider when dealing with these situation in real life and I’m happy with the way this mechanic somewhat reflects this.

How to Play

To play Phone Space, simply start the game, and once you can see a landscape, click on the phone screen to lock onto it any time you want to send/receive a message or view any new messages. Listen out for the notification sound to know once you've received a new message. Once locked onto the screen, you can use the number row at the top of your keyboard to select a response. 

It's normal for there to be a delay between messages, though I'm currently investigating some reports of there being no response after the first message. The bug where no dialogue was available after the first message should be fixed (in the "Updated Post-Jam" versions only). As part of this new update, I've also added a button to the top of the chat box that you can click on to disable the pixelation effect when locked onto the phone. I highly recommend you try this new option if you're playing on lower resolutions, as disabling the effect can greatly help legibility in those circumstances.

Once the draft field says "The End" instead of "Message..." that indicates that you've reached the end of that conversation branch. Feel free to re-launch the game to investigate other possible dialogue branches!

Credits

Concept, Art, Programming.....................<a href="https://juancallejas.com" target="_blank">Juan Callejas</a>
Writing...................................Noa Padawer-Blatt
Audio.........................................<a href="https://freesound.org" target="_blank">freesound.org</a>
Music..............................<a href="http://twitter.com/everydaylouie/" target="_blank">Louie Zong</a> (<a href="https://louiezong.bandcamp.com/album/jazz" target="_blank">Album: Jazz</a>)
Updated 22 days ago
Published 24 days ago
StatusReleased
PlatformsWindows, macOS
Rating
(1)
AuthorTheShadyColombian
GenreVisual Novel
TagsAtmospheric, First-Person, phone, Pixel Art, Retro

Download

Download NowName your own price

Click download now to get access to the following files:

Windows Build (Original Jam Submission) 852 MB
MacOS Build (Original Jam Submission) 861 MB
Windows Build (Updated Post-Jam) 1,009 MB
MacOS Build (Updated Post-Jam) 1,018 MB

Comments

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(+1)

Hey I dont get a reply after the first text but I also found a bug with the zoom feature.

If you look as far as you can go downwards and zoom in your screen shakes and if you let go you can look behind you but its upside down aswell you can fix it by pulling your mouse down as far as you can go and zooming in and when the screen shakes you let go and your back to normal, its a repeated process and it occurs occasionally when your least expecting it. Which is what I have found out from this.

Have a great day!

Hi! Thanks for letting me know, should've caught that myself 😅 I'll fix the bug but I won't upload the update unless there's another critical bug that needs fixing, as for some reason making a build of the game seems to break the dialogue half the time and I don't want to risk breaking the game yet again. As for the dialogue not being available after the first message, that bug should be fixed in the updated builds so give that a look if you're interested :)

(+1)

why do i not get a reply after the first text?

Hi! Sorry about that, I had some trouble tracking down the bug but it should finally be fixed. Please try the new "Updated Post-Jam" versions if you'd like to give it another shot :)

(+1)

oh ok awesome!

(+1)

What am I supposed to do after the first message? I got no reply and I'm not sure what I'm doing wrong

Hi! Sorry about that, you're not doing anything wrong, just some weirdness caused by Unity. Please try the new "Updated Post-Jam" versions if you'd like to give it another shot :)

(+1)

Is there a way to lessen the screen effect a bit?  I couldn't read any of the text on my screen!  Love the vibes and would love to try it again.

Oh, I'm glad you enjoyed it enough to give it another shot! I was actually considering having a button to disable the effect outright for this exact reason, but unfortunately I was very tight on time (I left the upload running overnight on the 26th and it finished uploading around 15 minutes before the deadline). Anyways, just to confirm, is the effect is still too strong even once you click on the phone and the zoom locks onto the phone? If you can't use the number row to select any responses, then that means you haven't locked onto the phone. The effect is greatly diminished once you enter the phone mode so if you could maybe send me a screenshot of what that looks like for you that would help me greatly :) I'll also try to upload a version with a dithering effect toggle in the future but I'm not sure when that'll happen. Hopefully soon, though!

(+1)

Yeah!  I think I'm locked onto the phone.  Here's a screenshot.

Also as an unrelated lil' tip, I was checking out your other games, A Crimp in Time in particular, and I noticed the little section about running the game on macOS. If you can get someone to run the chmod command for you (or if just make a mac build from within a mac it will do this step for you), you can upload that version of the program directly to Itch, and players will just have to right click > open to bypass Apple's "security precautions" without having to meddle with the terminal at all :)   (If be willing to do this for you, if you'd like, though because you'd be taking responsibility for something someone else modified you might want to have it done by someone you trust well) Keep making great stuff!

(1 edit) (+1)

Oh, thanks!!  Unfortunately, A Crimp in Time wasn't built on my computer but another dev on the jam team that I was on.  I just did audio programming and music/sfx for that.  I have built games via Unity on my macOS and still get those weird security precautions.  Actually, your game here does too.  I can still "Open Anyway" from the security menu, but it doesn't let me open it the traditional way.  I've noticed that if you download the Itch.io app and start games from there, almost all of those issues go away.  

Ah I see. Yeah building from a mac, or running that command and then uploading the build will only solve users having to run the command themselves, but yeah, the security thing I believe can only be resolved by signing the app through Apple which... no thanks. Good to know that running it through Itch.io desktop app fixes the problem, though! Good tip :D

Hello! I've pushed a new update that adds a button to the top of the message screen which will allow you to disable the pixelation effect. Do give it a shot if you're still interested :)

(+1)

how long is gameplay

I'm not 100% sure if I'm being honest, but it does vary depending on which path you take. It shouldn't be more than five minutes or so  :)