1 - The theme
The part of “Connecting Worlds” that interested me the most was not necessarily “Worlds”, but “Connecting”. It suggests liminality, something that exists between worlds but is not a part of either.* So my game, then, would be about being between, about being in a constant state of connecting - connecting being a present tense verb, so the title in a way suggests that sustained liminality. From there it wasn’t a difficult leap to “airport”; travel is one of the most obvious and popular forms of the liminal that we can all recognise.
“Connected” also suggests a relationship, not just the actual connection itself but what that connection represents to each part. Naturally I went for a very literal definition of “relationship” and decided to make the game about communication between partners. Texting was the best way of displaying information about the relationship to the player in an interactive way, and continuing with the idea of liminalities, the phone can be seen as something facilitating the relationship between the player and Sam without being in the relationship. I mean, obviously. That would be weird otherwise.
2 - Sam and Robin
One of the most interesting comments on the Ludum Dare page for Connecting came from vctr_seleucos** who wrote:
“One last thing, it took me a long to realize the player is a boy, at first i think i was the gf xD Well, Sam is a weird name. Other avatars (more realistic) or names should fix it.”
The thing is, the player isn’t necessarily a boy, and Sam isn’t necessarily a girl. The same goes with Robin - both*** the named characters in the game are so called because Sam and Robin are gender-neutral names. As a result, the player is supposedly able to fill in these gaps if they choose to. It plays into the concept of not tying the player to any particular canon - something I brought up in my last journal entry.
I’m not saying vctr_seleucos is wrong for thinking Sam is a girl and the player is a boy. That’s their decision to make and forms one aspect of their personal relationship with the game, with the scenario that they helped form as much as they participated in it.