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!
Concept, Art, Programming.....................<a href="https://juancallejas.com" target="_blank">Juan Callejas</a>
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>)