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TOJam #4  -  May 1-3, 2009
87 People. 5 Virtuals. 37 Completed Games. 1 Missing.

The Theme

From Friday @ 10:00am until Sunday @ 8:00pm, Jammers worked non stop and all night on their games. Young and old, rookies and veterans, coders and artists, all of them worked toward a common goal of creating a great game.

90 registrations (in 8 days)
29 Teams, and 8 individuals produced 37 games.
5 Game makers from Montreal, 1 From Ottawa, 1 from Vancouver(!)
1 13-year-old Blender master
0.5 Internet bandwidth
0 hours of sleep

" There were ups...
      there were downs...
   there were toilets...
     there were... sounds. "

TOJam 4 Certified

Were you unable to attend?
Read the entries to see what you missed.

Ryan Couldrey's Coverage

If you had Adobe's Flash Player, there'd be a cool movie here.

If it's Canadian, and it's gaming, Ryan covers it at www.AbootPlay.ca. Ryan braved the programming infested waters of TOJam to bring you this delightful video. If I seem dismissive in the video ("oh yeah"), I do apologize, it's not on purpose. I think I was organizing the fridge before Em discovered the mess I made. Plus, I probably thought I was asleep.

Miguel Sternberg's Video Diary

If you had the Adobe Flash Player, there'd be a cool movie here.

Veteran Jammer and pixel artist extrodinaire Miguel Sternberg documents the efforts of his team "Invisible Ninja Squid" creating 2 games "Steam Ponk" and "Flip the Beach". An authentic taste of TOJam, and huge thanks to Miguel for taking the time to shoot and edit this. Be sure to visit Miguel's Guerrilla Gardening Development Blog, to get the inside scoop on his upcoming commercial game. Watch Development Video #5 and #6, they kick ass.

Floater Greg Beaton's Sketch While Idling

Michael Todd's Insanity

Jammer Memories

Thoughts from the people that attended.
The good, the bad, the sticky, it's all here.

May 27, 2009 9:28:36 PM

Innovation Toronto was where we distilled pure creative energy, drank its juices, ate its fruit and played in its excrement.

 Surreal surroundings and surrounded by fellow beings of all sorts... who share that same spark.

 Making it go.

 Stripping it down to basics and making electricity and silicon dance to our whims.

 The strange hours.

 The crescendo of the final hours and the climactic finish.

 The exhausted road home.


 The Blue Moon is where we gathered again, to share with anyone who dared watch.

 Come one, come all! See the geeks, freaks, meeks and sheiks!

 Come and play what we made!



May 23, 2009 7:45:26 AM

With a completely virtual team (orther than me), the stress of having Internet that may or may not have worked involved many contingent plans, which thankfully never needed to be used.

Every day of the Jam, I somehow had other commitments, but Gencarlo and I coded for about 12 hours per day.  So That 36 hours reflected a more typcial two or three weeks of homebrew development each.  You can make a pretty fun game in that time,   The most awesome part for me (other than the free pizza and cookies) was that I got to watch about 20 people play the game at the end of the Jam, so that I could take notes, and fix all of the problems that they pointed out.  That alone normally takes me days and days.

Next Jam, I want a 3D modeller teammate, and I will make my menus work ahead of time, so I don't have to waste the first day on text and fonts.

The arcade blew me away -- playing the games at the jam, then seeing the cleaned up version was great!  So many interesting games, and different approaches to scale.  There's some there that I'll be keen to see posted on the website for sure.

All in all, I'm quite glad that I finally got to make Penguin Cow Tipping, as proposed to me way back in 1993 (which was the last time I worked on the idea).

May 23, 2009 12:49:59 AM

I still wake up realizing I am not longer at the jam. The days that happens i spend crying. The other days I pretend I`m at the jam to the dismay of all around.

Kristal Stittle
May 22, 2009 9:49:58 AM

This was my first time attending TOJam, although last year I learned all about it when I helped my brother fix up the game he made there.  It was even more epic then I imagined.

The night before Stinker had planned out 8 levels for our game, Scale Mountain.  We thought we were over shooting like hell.  Thanks to our amazing programer Alex Stittle, and Samantha's and mine's quick skills in the art department we actually got all of them done!  I was so amazed and impressed by ourselves.  Me and Sammy even managed to take some time off and play an old PC game she had brought.  I've never been happier.

TOJam started on my final day of class.  A class I didn't attend cause I handed in my project early (just so I could attend every moment of TOJam).  The semester was a big stress-fest and I was extremly unsatisfied with my work.  After TOJam though, my confedence got a major boost and I'm totally wanting more.  Nothing beats the feeling of watching people play, and enjoy, the game you created.  I'm going to do everything I can to attend next year's.

Notes for next year:  1) bring a pillow, desks/chairs are not good for sleeping.  2) Bring more caffine to delay said sleeping.  3)  Take more pictures.  I got like 3 when we first got there, and they weren't even that good.  I would have loved more pictures of the space.

Hope to see a bunch of you next year!  Cheers!

p.s. Dispite being at TOJam almost 24/3 I didn't use the bathrooms there once.  I have learned my bladder can be totally ignored for the sake of game making.

May 22, 2009 12:32:50 AM

Never tried TOJam before. Our team used it to make TEXMEX. It was kinda tangy, but good in a blue cheese way. Goes well with beer, so worth putting cooler and ice packs on your packing list after laptop and extension cord. TOJam could be the most concentrated flavour of motivation aspiring game makers can get. Three days is just the right serving size to take you from pie in the sky to something you can serve your friends.

Looking forward to the next one!

May 19, 2009 7:04:56 PM

Productive, friendly, comfortable - this year's event was awesome in every way. Mad props to the organizers. Also: Really sorry to the people who's electricity I interrupted with my coffee-making activities on Saturday night. To anyone interested in DIY videogame creation who hasn't attended yet: do it, it'll alter your perceptions of what's possible.

May 6, 2009 3:34:03 PM

Well. for this Jam I decided to be sane & instead of try to learn a programming language & a prerelease beta engine from scratch (like for Global Game Jam), then give up Sunday 3pm & use flash...I brought a programmer (the indomitable Neil Gower) & he made some of the engine from scratch.

I think it went pretty well, since Google only released 03D (Javascript 3D API for browsers) about a week before the jam. It is actually pretty stable & I look forward to more developments with this engine. We are probably the first team ever to impliment a game in it with

a) High poly models

b) A score

c) Dynamic Audio which reacts to gameplay

d) Pathing & Traffic Simulation

e) Monster Noises

f) Smiles

g) Isn't pong, checkers, or a platformer (Googles samples). 

I know it wasn't really playable, because of the no collision, but just wait for the arcade...


Things I learned from this jam

i) monster modelling and Character Studio from scratch in 12 hours (mostly thanks to Team Awesomo's Master Matt)

ii) 03D doesn't really support Bones.

iii) To sleep.  I made myself go home & sleep at 2am all three nights, except for the night when I didn't go to sleep at home or the 2 nights I went to all night Disco parties.

iv) Every year my favourite game is some form of pinball

tojam 3 - Titanic Pinball

tojam 4 - Tank Pinball  (assault the beach?)

v) Tojam is better when you don't miss Mothers day

vi) Tojam is not better when you miss your Girlfriends birthday.

v) I can't really fucntion in a non-orthographic viewport.

v) To love airbrushed unicorns.

vi) Working Friday, jamming, then working Monday makes you not so functional Monday. & gives you that off in the distance zen master look when people try & explain simple things to you as you nod cogently while gazing into the distance through their soul, at the same time as drawing a perfect & artful circle in coffee on your desk. Then respond with a rhetorical question which makes them slowly back away from you having seen their reflection in the pool of the infinite.

vii) I still feel a sense of loss once the big push is over, just like when you ship a professional development title .

viii) runing SVN over a crossover cable for two people is pretty sweet.

ix) There are many machiens on ix

x) nettops are useless.


Thanks everyone.

I'm ready for my CLUT Mr. Miyamoto

May 6, 2009 2:15:47 PM

i forsook my own family to attend the jam.  Now i'm likely getting a divorce and my children are estranged, but the game i made is pretty cool.

Chris Murphy
May 5, 2009 3:34:32 PM

This was the best Jam ever. Better than blueberry Jam even!

I love the ad hoc indie community we managed to gather. I love the abstract look of the space we got. I definitly enjoyed too much Dangerous Dans for the number of defibrillators on hand.

And the games man, they were beautiful.

How the organizers do it, I'll never know.

I suspect they are really time-travelling cyborg-zombies who eat indie video games in the way normal zombies eat brains. Any other explanation of the effort they put in would just be too wierd.

May 5, 2009 11:17:52 AM

It wasn't as hot as it was last year.  WIN!


May 5, 2009 9:07:35 AM

Total-mindbending-bloody-amazing! I'm so fucking psyched for my next project.

I'm there next year. I may have moved away, be living on the moon, or be dead. But ain't nothin' stopping me coming back!

- Michael

May 5, 2009 12:50:31 AM

It was interesting. Coming off 2 weeks of final exams and projects, I was sort of numb to the sleepless effort of it all, but after sleeping 16h today, I apprechiate the effort it takes. However, that is hardly a reason not to go back!

Also, I can testify to the fact that there were toilets and sounds, haha! Fortunately, there were only smells once or twice. It wasn't a big deal for me though. When you're so engrossed in your game, you don't really notice it that much.

Anyways, I just hope you guys enjoy my contribution "SimArson" when it's posted. Be sure to check out the motion blur too... considering the headaches it gave me! lol