Connectory is a small, weird, wordless game about blobs diverting calls across various sectors of a robot company.
I originally started the project for the 2021 GMTK Game Jam, with the theme "Joined Together". It took a few minutes after the beginning of the jam to come up with the idea of connecting people together over the phone, and a handful more to come up with the game's core concepts. After deciding upon the departments that the player would have to direct callers between, I briefly sketched-out the game's UI and got to work programming it in C# with Unity.
The game definitely draws some influence from my time working in the call centre of a market research company. During that time, there were cases of trying to reach particular members of companies' staff, and being directed to multiple operators and secretaries (often only to find that the executives whom I was looking for were on holiday...). I then found it potentially mildly entertaining that the operators whom the player controls would be working for a robot company, since their jobs would so clearly be made redundant by the automated phone operators that are so commonplace these days. If only I could convey the tedium and repetition of listening to on-hold music every day...
As with some prior projects, I not only wanted the game to be wordless, but also overtly strange. I felt that it'd be more challenging to come up with a unique core gameplay loop than a twist on a genre that I'm familiar with, such as a 2D platformer. Even after skimping on sleep and working on the game for basically all waking hours of those two days, I didn't manage to finish the core loop in time to submit the game to the jam. Both on reflection and at the time, I knew that the reliance on logic-based programming made the game quite unfeasible as a jam project, let alone the fact that I was entering the jam solo. Many of the game's flaws derive from the intention of developing it within such a short timeframe, such as the lack of iteration on the game's speech icons (which were all created with Aseprite over that initial weekend) and the unfair nature of the game's randomisation.
Driven by a desire to finish a game I'd worked on for the first time since university, I spent the following handful of weeks finishing and polishing the game, and eventually released it on on 23rd July 2021. The extra time also allowed me to give the game audio, which I made using FamiStudio. While flawed and a bit buggy, I was proud to release a game again, and particularly pleased with the game's motions and dithering (I really like dithering...). I was also happy to have adhered to my target resolution of 640x360, since that resolution can be integer-scaled to popular monitor resolutions.
Below are some screenshots of the release build of Connectory.
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