TOJam #1 May 5-7, 2006
35 People. 10 Completed Games. 7 Valiant Attempts.
No Theme. No Arcade.
Our first TOJam. 35 people showed up at the International Academy of Design & Technology(IADT)
, located in downtown Toronto. They came smelling good with their fresh faces and their ideas. Some teams were formed on the spot while others came with a detailed plans. Each had 48 hours to complete a game using any technology at their disposal. The only rule was there were no rules - except a tiny requirement to include 1 Toronto-area graphic and 1 Toronto-area audio clip.
We called the event - Toronto Indie Game Jam
- which was modeled after the original Indie Game Jam
that occured yearly around GDC
. We even invited floating artists and freelance sound designers for teams without. There was no excuse for failure.
On Sunday evening, after new friendships were made, lost, and re-made in the tireless effort to make a game - 16 out of the 18 teams finished. Each game was demo-ed live to their sleep-deprived peers on a wall sized screen. Games like:
"Super Hamster Air Combat" by Zi-Xiao Liang - where you control a gun-toting flying hamster against an army of tanks and helicopters. Button-mashing at its greatness.
"Bubble Thing" by Jonathan Mak - yet another one of Mak's brilliant music-based shooters. The player pumps blood cell-like bubbles until they explode, causing a chain reaction of visually stunning proportions.
Organizer Andrew Traviss managed to remain awake the entire time, and will never try that again.
Participant Jon Mak also managed the feat... but it took another month before his sleep schedule recovered.