Missed Encounters is a small Kinetic Novel built for the Zero-Hour Game jam. While brainstorming what kind of game could be done with reasonable quality in an hour, it was decided that a kintic/visual novel would be the easiest, simply because libraries like RenPy remove all the background programming, as most of the time commitment comes down to the creation of art assets. The problem was broken into writing (Jeff/Griffin), Art Assets (Max) and writing the actual RenPy script (Jeff).
The development process was basically full-sprint for the entire hour. At one point, Max accidentally cropped out the female sprite from the draft image, and proceeded to save over the draft image. This put us back by 10-15 minutes of work, which normally would be nothing, but seeing as we only have one hour to work on the game, it put us back by a large amount of time. We ended up running over time by around 5-10 minutes because we needed to make the game executable and host it.
The story centers around the meeting of two nameless people — a man and a woman — in a small café for coffee. It is meant to explore the meetings of strangers in a crowded city. Brushed shoulders on the sidewalk, eye contact made across subway cars, lonely half-overheard conversations in a crowd — these are the themes that Missed Encounters is meant to explore.
We settled on this theme mainly it was deemed more or less universally accessible to the kind of people who follow the Zero Hour Game Jam, and it was something that we had all experienced at one point or another.
In the future, we intend to expand upon the story and create a series of short scenes to explore the same themes, all told in a similar fashion.