Is the game's story purely invented, or close to home for some of the team members? How much research was involved in setting the stage?
That's a great question! The overall story is invented in a lot of ways-- none of us moved into our deceased uncle's mansion when we were teenagers, or played in a girl punk band in high school, or even grew up in western Oregon. But I definitely drew a lot from my own personal experience writing the game-- stuff like becoming friends with someone who seems WAY too cool for it to make any sense why they'd hang out with you, and them introducing you to new music via tapes they hand your way. And what I think are universal experiences like feeling really strongly toward someone and wanting to tell them but not having any idea if they feel the same way. All that stuff is from my own memory. But there are aspects of Sam's experience-- being a girl, being gay-- that were yeah, down to research. I interviewed a lot of people that I know in real life, and I read personal accounts, and novels and non-fiction, to get a feel for what that experience is really like. And Kate Craig on our team is gay, and she and her wife Emily (who did our awesome title screen art and our UI art) were an awesome resource to have, to keep my work in check and ensure I wasn't going too far off the rails. So it was a lot of dedication to get it right, but it was definitely a mix of personal experience and careful research that brought the game to where it ended up.