A plot-driven romantic visual novel with an LGBTQ+ cast that explores themes of mental health, loss, and identity. [BxG/B]
About this project
Talk to Me is a romantic Western Visual Novel. [BxG, BxB]
There are no typical “bad”, “good” or “true” endings. Just endings.
Originally, Talk to Me (then named You Can Talk to Me) was written and programmed as a Twine game. I really enjoy playing dating sims, but I found that the tropes really got to me and not in “wow, this is so interesting” kind of way.
So I thought I would write my own.
The first thing I wanted to do was to write a flawed but interesting protagonist. A lot of times, the protagonists in Dating Sims have these tragic pasts that have a hold over them. I thought I could find a way to write that in a way that made sense and made for a good story.
I thought I could find a way to write that in a way that made sense and made for a good story. The story line is utterly mundane. No apocalyptic event has happened, the world remains basically the same and the main character isn’t chosen to do anything.
It takes place in a contemporary setting in a Northern town. Every character within the story has been created with their own personal narratives and motivations.Just like in real life, there’s very little that’s straightforward and making particular choices will sometimes take you to unexpected places.
The game is designed to be hard, in the sense that the outcomes of your choices may not be clear until much later down the road. There’s also no stereotypical way to win any of the characters over.
As you go further into the game, you’ll start to learn everyone’s personality, what each character responds or doesn’t respond to, and what you can do about it. The relationship you have with each character also affects the way they will respond to certain choices that you make.
When writing the project, one of my main goals was creating a varied and diverse cast.
Once we decided to move the project forward and make it into a visual novel, it was important that the appearance of the characters also reflected their diversity.
The entire game is from the perspective of a clinically depressed character and as such, it’s often difficult for him to make clear-headed choices.
At the same time, the main character is looking for a connection with someone — whether that connection is romantic or not is up to the player to decide.
The game also deals with themes such as grief, sexuality and identity.
Regardless of the character you choose to pursue, the game includes an LGBTQ+ storyline that is integral to the game. This project also deals with heavy topics.
The game addresses issues such as mental health, sexuality and domestic violence, among other things.
• Over 85k words of story. One story line can be completed in one sitting, but can also be saved for your convenience. One full story line can take anything from 1 to 3 hours, but playing every story to completion can take up to 20 hours •
• Nearly 600 unique encounters. Different encounters will be available to you depending on the choices that you make •
• Difficult choices that could turn the tide of your relationships with characters•
• Interesting, three dimensional characters that you will love, and maybe grow to fall in love with •
• Explore up to 20 different outcomes of the game. See how your choices have affected Ordell’s lifestyle. •
• Extensive cast of characters •
• Full HD resolution •
• 30+ CG’s •
• Available on Windows and Android •
Talk to Me is a Visual Novel experience in the style of a dating simulator. Not actually a dating Sim. [BxG, BxB]
Due to a recent tragedy in Ordell’s life, he’s recently hit rock bottom and he needs help, your help!
Minimum demo specs:
- OS: Windows 7
- Processor: 1 Ghz
- Memory: 1 Gb
- Graphics: Integrated Graphics
Now for why we need you. Talk to Me is an incredibly ambitious project and we have a whole host of talented artists and creators to help build the world and give the characters a true voice.
It will take a lot of hours to make Talk to Me the best experience for you and to make something we would be proud to put our names to.
You can already see what we have managed to put together on a shoestring budget.
A team of skilled people has already dedicated a huge amount of time in order to make this happen, and we will continue to do so until the entire game comes to fruition.
Funding will allow us to hire the extra help we need, get the assets in shorter time and hopefully deliver the game more quickly — in fact, we are aiming to release it this year!
While the team really believes in the project and we’re all working together to make it happen, we also believe in the value of paying for creative work.
That does, in fact, include paying ourselves — though the fee we each intend to take is nominal compared to the amount of work that needs to go into making the game happen.
We’re hoping to make the difference through royalties, which can only happen if we’re funded. Funding the project will allow us to make it happen quickly and with more ease. While we’re all passionate about it, we still have things we need to pay for.
There’s a little wiggle room in our expenses, because we wanted to make sure that we could get the game done in the event of an unexpected delay.
That was the most important part. So these values are our best approximations for what we think everything will cost.
Art: The most expensive of the assets, this will cost us a whooping 56 % of our budget. There are a lot of artists we have to pay if we want to make this thing happen, and while their rates are reasonable, there is a lot of work that needs to be done. We have over forty backgrounds, a huge amount of sprites, outfits and poses, not to mention all the CGs that need to be done. That’s on top of a complete rehaul of the demo’s GUI.
Fees: This rather wide demographic covers things like kickstarter fees and administrative fees, including things like Steam Greenlight and Google Play. This also includes a little emergency money, in case something were to happen.
Writing: The writing has mostly already happened, except that it was originally written as a Twine game. We need to transcribe the text into script form, change some descriptions to assets and generally rewrite a few things that are not feasible to do. Additionally, we need to hire editors and copywriters to make sure that the story shines.
Programming: You know that we need a programmer to put this entire thing together. We’ve luckily managed to snag a really good one that will work — mostly — on royalties. This is still going to take a lot of work, so there’s also a small contingency in this area.
Music: We have an amazing in house composer whom we are paying a fee to — just like everyone else — and we’re also bringing on some other, amazing musicians, while we still try to keep the work congruent. This is a challenge and could take a bit of time and money, but we believe we have budgeted for that.
Rewards: As you can see, the majority of our rewards are digital, which keeps our costs low when it comes to delivering. We do have a crochet kitty and we’ve accounted for shipping costs in that particular reward tier.
Due to the fact that most of our Kickstarter rewards are virtually delivered, our costs are very low.
There is one very limited physical reward: a commemorative crochet kitty of Calvin, Evan’s cat.
Each one is handmade to order, so you’re going to get a totally unique commemorative kitty, along with several other surprise goodies.
If you have any questions about the rest of our rewards, don’t hesitate to ask!
Music is a hugely important part of our project, especially because getting the mood right is so important when it comes to a game that deals with such sensitive issues.
The bulk of the music will be done by Fluffyrobotdog, a professional, and totally wonderful, music composer.
We are going to be keeping some of the music done for the Twine version, composed by Jimmy Changa.
And we’re also going to be bringing in a couple tracks by folk singer-songwriter Meghann Clancy. You can listen to a little sneak peek of the music below.
We’re a little team full of very ambitious people. This is who we are. Some of our duties overlap but we’ve done the best to divide them and make it easier to read.
L. M. Langley has a postgraduate degree from Newcastle University in Creative Writing and a B.A (Hons) in English Literature and Creative Writing from Northumbria University. She grew up in Colombia and currently lives in Gainesville, FL with her husband. Her novel The Whole Trying Thing was recently released by Ninestar Press. You can contact her through Twitter or her site.
Dubisek is an editor, he spends most of his free time reading visual novels and his current list contains more than 150 pieces. You can contact him via firstname.lastname@example.org
Matt is a writer/ filmmaker in Cardiff. He has just come out of Uni studying Documentary filmmaking and has been working on a web series for the past year which he hopes to be finishing mid 2017. He doesn’t have a professional website but he does have a Twitter and a Tumblr.
SigmaPiBond is a self-taught digital artist in Massachusetts. She loves working on line art and makes it a point to emphasize the importance of clean and detailed line art. Her deviantart is: sigmapibond.deviantart.com
Jaye is currently a third year graphic design student at the Alberta College of Art and Design in Calgary and probably hasn’t been replaced with a robotic look-alike. This is Jaye’s site.
Oktolio is a visual artist and visual novelist whose work has been featured in Nanoreno’16 “Heartbaked”. You can reach them at twitter.com/oktolio
Bái Yù is a Chinese-American freelance writer and budding graphic design artist. She enjoys drinking tea and getting overly excited about things. You can find her at twitter.com/baiyu
Matthew K Mahoney Grew up in Central Massachusetts and pursued a B.M in Sound Recording Technology at the University Of Massachusetts Lowell. He has composed music personally for 8 years, and has since begun composing for independent video games. He currently lives in CA, working as an intern at Bangzoom Studios in Burbank.
Meghann Clancy is a singer, songwriter, instrumentalist and tutor. She has been described as “a striking singer/songwriter, whose open approach to lyrics often leaves a listener breathless” (Yorkshire Times). Her brand new EP “Lay it on the Line” is available now for purchase and streaming, along with her debut release, “Take Flight” (2012).
Additional music provided by Jimmy Changa.
Isaac Garcia is an aspiring IT Technician and Programmer. He has been programming for approximately 4 years, since he found a passion for computers. He is a first generation American who grew up in Illinois with hopes and dreams to become the very best, like no one ever was. He currently resides in the state of Arizona and has experienced his fair share of heat strokes. He has a long life ahead of him full of stress, choices, knowledge, and Lamborghinis
Risks and challenges
This is a huge undertaking. The visual novel has so many different scenarios and choices that we’re probably cutting close on time. We have calculated it — like everything, with some wiggle room — but there are still things that could happen.
The biggest risk isn’t that the game won’t happen. It’s that the game won’t happen on time due to unexpected things which may happen during development, like someone dropping out of the project.
This is accounted for in our funding goal.