Details have been announced for the third annual TOJam, wherein a gaggle (a peck? a herd? a murder?) of sweaty developers descends upon a predetermined location and hole themselves up in a room to create games. What sorts of games? Complete and fully wild and woolly indie games, of the sort that could only have resulted from a weekend of zero sunshine or regular human contact.
Every TOJam is required to use this Goat on a Pole pic. (Here’s hoping that neither the photographer nor the goat decide to sue.)
A Semi-Cultural Institution
i’m a big supporter of TOJam, having put in my own compacted 40 hours last year to produce Two by Two, a simple Noah’s Ark-themed matching game mapped to a cube. Other titles that resulted from last year’s jam included an anime-style giant robot fighting game, a few music rhythm games, an abstract geometric shooter, a Robotron-style actioner starring televangelist Benny Hinn, and far more besides.
i can’t list them all, because unfortunately the climax of the event is its weakest element; rather than showcasing each game in a spotlight session with a captive audience, attendees wander the room, tripping over empty Cheetos bags and passed-out developers, trying any games they happen upon. i missed about half of the games last year because some computers weren’t properly labelled, some machines were facing the wall, and some workstations smelled a little too strongly of three-day-old pepperoni sticks for me to approach.
TOJam2’s follow-up event last year was very well attended but very poorly organized. The good news is that this year’s event looks to be well-loved by its organizers, who are trying to arrange an arcade day where the public can try out all the titles. The TOJam site has been turned up to 11 this year, with an excellent section on what to do with your game when you’re finished. My kudos and thanks go to the organizers for a great list of links and resources.
Make a Game, Fatty
If you’ve got a game idea you’ve been back-burning and have any game-making skillz whatsoever, sign up now! Space is limited, especially if you’re morbidly obese, which you most likely are. TOJam organizers can provide you with two chairs if that’s the case.
So grab your cane, and slowly hoist yourself off your enormous rump. Go forth and game!