Saturday, February 14, 2015

Our Personal Space is live!

I'm happy to announce that Our Personal Space is now live! Download it here for Windows, Mac, Linux, or Android. We're giving it away for free!

My sister Andrea and I started on this game when we realized we wanted to see more games that explored a married relationship, and my sister-in-law Clarissa did all the character art. I had been playing around with Ren'Py a little, and it was a great way to get something working right away. 

I'm always hesitant to experiment with coding. It's one difference I've noticed between me and experienced coders like my sister and my husband--I'm always worried I'll mess stuff up, but they're quick to experiment and see how everything works. My "coding" was limited to things like changing variables and "if-then"-type clauses. But I did feel pretty cool when something I wrote worked!

Our Personal Space is like a dating sim in that you have a romantic relationship with a fictional character. But you're married, so it's more about the little choices you make from day-to-day than the excitement of "will we kiss?" at the end of a date. Like in real long-term-relationship, you have other things you're worried about too, like how stressed you are and, in this case, if your colony on another planet will survive. When I look back on the games with dating elements I've enjoyed, many of them have other elements to worry about. Since Persona 4 is part time-management game, when you choose to spend time with someone, it feels more like you're indicating you like them somehow (although if you're playing strategically, wanting to level up a relationship has other motivations). Each month in Our Personal Space you can choose to spend time alone, which decreases your stress more, or spend time with your husband, which increases your relationship (but doesn't decrease stress as much). 

One part of Our Personal Space that we might have gone a little overboard on is on choices. The above screenshot is from a New Game+, and the options in italics are only available if you have a certain skill at a certain level. So, on a first playthrough, you might only see one of these options in italics. We wanted to make the game fun to replay, not just to get different endings, but also to see what other options are available (like if you choose to have a baby or not). It's kind of a slow build-up, but I think it's pretty fun! Please try it out, and if you do, I'd love to hear what you thought of the experience--good and bad! There's some discussion going on over on the Lemmasoft forum. Here's the trailer:

Note: Content-wise, I think this game would have a T rating. There are some parts where it's heavily implied that you and your husband are having sex, but it's not explicit. If you were reading it I'd call it a "clean" romance. So feel free to let your teenager play!