‘Coffee Talk’ turned into a low-key hit in a turbulent year


Andrew Jeremy “AJ” Sitompul, Cafe TalkThe latter’s music producer and composer says the score is best described as “relaxed hip hop.” He composed the soundtrack using the Ableton Live digital audio workstation, which allowed him to adapt everything to the jazzy lo-fi tunes found in most coffee shops.

The game’s lead artist, Dio Mahesa, took a similar approach and wanted to maintain the casual cafe vibe by using warm reds and browns in the bricks and dim lamps in the cafe.

“The other big challenge is Japanese style anime and manga,” Mahesa says. “Our artistic direction is PC-98 genre of games, which is a retro Japanese visual novel. We wanted to create a nostalgia for the style. “

Mahesa turned to ’90s anime hits like Cowboy Bebop, Perfect blue, Neon Genesis Evangelion, and Ghost in the shell for inspiration when animating individual characters.

Available on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PC and Mac, Cafe Talk had the potential to become mainstream, but the international reach of the game took Toge by surprise. According to the breakdown of Cafe Talk Unit sales on Steam provided by Toge Productions, the majority of purchases went to users in the United States (29%), Republic of Korea (15%) and Japan (8%). The game was also popular in China, the UK, Russia, Germany, and Canada.

The game made a lot of ‘best of’ lists last year, both India and main stream, but it has also permeated some type of global business media, with Red Bull naming it one of the “Indie Games 2020 You Must Play“and Nintendo UK is sharing it on Twitter. Thousands of reviews on Steam are generally “very positive” and the Metacritic PC the score is 75.

“It has been amazing,” says Hadiputra. “We didn’t expect it to be like that, to get so much attention.”

But perhaps the most important, Cafe Talk achieves the kind of fandom developers can only hope for. The players were writing fan fiction on the original characters, and a wealth of fan art popped up on the Internet. The team attributes part of the game’s success to the fact that many people were unable to spend time in real cafes due to global pandemic restrictions.

“Some of the in-game events actually became like a real event in 2020. We never predicted that. It just happened by chance, so a lot of people felt like the game came out at the right time with the right topics and topics, ”says Hadiputra. “A lot of people have told us they feel like the game has helped them in some way during the lockdown and the pandemic. When they felt lonely and missed by their friends, and didn’t have much interaction, the game kind of helped them get over that.

Toge continued to foster the sense of community created around Cafe Talk within a year of the game’s January 29 release. The official soundtrack is now available in a limited edition vinyl record, and the company started to debut character soft toys. In addition to the updates, the developers are also planning to release modding support for the game’s first anniversary so fans can create their own character voiceovers and upload them to Steam for others to use. use.

With the end of the pandemic nowhere in sight, critics of Cafe Talk players continued to flow online. Like reviews from the first few months after the game’s release, users often refer to the cathartic experience of returning to cafes, at least virtually.

Above all, according to the game’s artist, Mahesa, the team is just “really relieved that Cafe Talk can be such a healing game for anyone who is stuck at home because of the pandemic.


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