The Toge Productions team serves up a big cup of their inspiration for their latest game, Coffee Talk. So, grab a warm drink and cozy up to learn about the alternate-Seattle café!
Hello, everyone! My name is Lasheli Dwitri, the person in charge of public relations at Toge Productions. Seeing how much the game has developed since joining the studio in 2018 makes me eager to share a bit about the inspirations behind it. To better tell our story, the core team has helped to write this piece.
Our goal was to create a medium where people can just be comfortable and feel warm, like sitting in a cozy café while sipping a cup of coffee.
We wanted players to feel relaxed and able to connect with the characters in the game. That is why, in creating the atmosphere of the game, there are many aspects that we took into consideration — from the ambience of the environment to the characters’ backgrounds and development.
Inspiration behind the game
Our biggest influence for the game was a Japanese TV show titled Midnight Diner. Midnight Diner tells a story of a restaurant that only opens at midnight, where the chef makes food only with ingredients that he has on hand. The story revolves around the chef and his involvement in customers’ lives.
Our game adapts a similar setting, only with the location being a midnight café called Coffee Talk. In the game, you play as the café owner, who is also the barista. You will have to serve different kinds of warm drinks to the café patrons and listen to their stories.
Cozy café ambience
We associate midnight as a time where people can relax. We chose a coffee shop as the game’s setting because it is where people can chill while listening to relaxing music, drink their favorite warm drink, and maybe talk with the barista.
It then came down to mimicking that kind of environment and feeling. Several details such as rain drops, light reflections, etc., were added to further create an immersive midnight café setting. We also added our in-house lo-fi chillhop music to better present an immersive, relaxing atmosphere.
To create a ‘sense of belonging’ with players from all over the world, the game features various real-life drinks, such as Masala Chai from India, Teh Tarik from Malaysia, and Shai Adeni from Yemen. We also included an Indonesian signature drink called STMJ (Susu Telur Madu Jahe), or milk with egg, honey, and ginger. We wanted to make sure we introduced a dash of culture from our home country to the world.
Just like in Midnight Diner, the ingredients provided to make the in-game drinks are limited. When choosing which drinks we wanted to include in the game, we first listed all the drinks we could find from around the world. Then, we filtered out the ones which might be crafted using similar ingredients.
In Coffee Talk, not only do humans exist, but you can also find elves, succubi, orcs, vampires, werewolves, and many more races! Even though they’re fantasy characters, we tried to make the conflicts in the game as realistic as possible.
There are some reasons why we chose fantasy races to represent real life experiences. We wanted players to be able to reflect on their lives through the game and also to see different perspectives on actual issues that are in our lives. Therefore, players can take in all the discussions without any judgement and they can feel safe when they talk about it.
In developing the characters’ stories, we also held roleplay sessions to give a ‘soul’ to the characters, because no individuals are the same. Every person has their own personality and different life experiences. That is why there are many players who told us that the characters in Coffee Talk feel real to them.
We feel that it is important to add those kinds of conflicts to make Coffee Talk relatable to our lives, while also remaining a chill game.Learn more about Coffee Talk