TOJam 3 Rocks your Socks Off

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.

Goat on a Pole

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!

2 thoughts on “TOJam 3 Rocks your Socks Off

  1. Jimmy McMonkey

    As one of the organizers, I can promise you that TOJam #3 is going to absolutely feature MORE pepperoni sticks! The goal is to ensure anyone left standing at the end… is no longer standing. We’ll organize the Sunday climax better, but I have a feeling it’s still going to be a bit of a mess. We rely on the game makers to show off their game, which is our tragic mistake.

    We will have an organized, public 1-day TOJam arcade day, or no event at all. Last year, we did not take the follow-up seriously, which resulted in… embarrassment. i.e. Finding out the day of the event, that the Imperial Pub’s ancient projector didn’t support VGA, is not something I want to repeat. People looked at me different after last year’s follow-up. I felt… dirty.

    Unlike Ryan, I’ve installed and played every single game from TOJam #1 and TOJam #2. Hence, I can tell you “Two By Two” is easily one of the best games ever created at TOJam. If you have anywhere near Ryan’s game making prowress, we need you. Don’t make me beg. ‘Cuz I will, and it’s not pretty.

  2. Ryan

    i don’t know about it being one of the “best” games … i think it was one of the more “complete” games (read: title screen, win screen, lose screen, difficulty modes). It was lacking that indie flair that only piloting a noodle through digital spaghetti sauce can bring to bear.

    Don’t let Jim fool you with his threats of begging – this event draws some of the city’s premiere talent from a number of high-profile teams, including Capybara Games and Ganz (Webkinz). It’s a great chance to network and hobnob and get an insider view into the industry, especially if you can corner someone who’s too delirious with sleep depravation (or malt whiskey) to watch his tongue.


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