2020 - TOJam 2020
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2018 - TOJam 13
2017 - TOJam 12
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2016 - TOJam 11
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2015 - TOJam 10
2014 - TOJam 9
2013 - TOJam 8
2012 - TOJam 7
game jam documentary
2011 - TOJam 6
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2010 - TOJam 5
live blog
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Electric Playground
2009 - TOJam 4
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2008 - TOJam 3
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2007 - TOJam 2
2006 - TOJam 1
News 2009
Started going crazy on home page updates...

Dec 1
IGF - Toronto Game Jam 2009

Toronto dominates the 2010 IGF submissions.
12 of 304 submissions... almost 4%.

About a Blob by Drinkbox Studios
Ryan has been a great supporter of TOJam over the years.

Band of Bears by Cellar Door Games
1-4 co-op featuring cute beears in dangerous situations.

Battle Beat by Stegersaurus Games
In his student days, Daniel attended the jam.

Broken Brothers by spyeart
Michael Todd built TOJam's criminally overlooked Spirit Guide, not to mention the horrific Scourge and interactive collage Garden.

Cephalopods Co-Op Cottage Defence
by Spooky Squid Games
Watch an amazing artist flex his programming muscle.

Don't Shit Your Pants by Decade Studios
Admit it. This makes you proud to live in North York.

The Empire Game by FunForged
As UofT students, these boys were all stars.
This ambitious game is released, free and waiting for you.

Fading Hearts by Sakura River Interactive
A "visual novel ren'ai" game. "We aim to create a compelling interactive story that gets a Japanese animation adaptation."

Heartbeat by Capybara Games
While waiting for details, why not buy Critter Crunch?
It's one of the best PSNOnline games available
(gameplay, production values, price, 1080p).
I'd buy two if Sony would let me.

Hegemony: Philip of Macedon by Longbow Digital Arts
Everytime I see this game it looks better and better.
And it looked damn good when I first saw it in 2005.
Keep your eye on this.

How to be Indie: Day In The Life
by Heroic Interactive
"How to be Indie" ironically risks indie cred due to
YTV TV series affiliation.

Restraining Order by Bigpants Games
An action black comedy by yours truly. I was hoping it would be the funniest game at IGF 2010. However, nothing is guaranteed when you're competing with someone trying not to shit their pants.

How does it feel, Montreal?

Sep 16 For those of you that watch Discovery Channel be sure to check out Junk Raiders airing now. Anything look familiar about the space in that show? The main large room in which the jam took place was where Junk Raiders took place and was the reason that room looked the way it did for the jam. This show will answer such questions as "Why is there a chair made out of books in here?" or "Why is the front bumper of a car in the kitchen?". If you weren't at the jam check out these photos from Derek Van Vliet to get a feel for what the space looked like.

Aug 18 Game Jam 2009 - Greg Beaton - The Art of Game

Good God HE DID IT!!!!
His first review appeared June 3, his final review today. That's what I call commitment.

TOJam #4 floater, blogger extrodinaire, and "Official TOJam Reviewer" Greg Beaton just completed reviewing the last 4 games of TOJam (technically 3 but who's counting). That means he reviewed all 36 games - a monumental feat! Read the reviews now, they're fantastic.

Aug 6 Some of you may be familiar with the work of Team Awesomo. They have participated in every TO Jam since the dawn of time and have been responsible for such hits as Benny Hinn's Bible Blast for Cash, Kalishnikitty in OMFG Missiles, Seas Of Cheese and Flock U. Recently they have banded together to form Toronto's newest game development studio Get Set Games. Currently they are working on a undisclosed iPhone game. Head on over to their website for the full details.

Aug 5 2009 Game Jam

It took me 6 weeks to finish TOJam #4's Sunday Blog (from an organizer's point of view). Posting about May 3 on August 5 might seem pointless... well maybe it is pointless. You know what bugs me? Your lack of respect for history. Where else will you learn about my struggles to build da Boat, and all the little things that prevent us from keeping the Lord's day holy.

July 27 It's OVER - Indie Game Jam 2009

Well break out the cheeseballs and spank my mom, I just posted the final 9 games! It only took 2 months of painstaking work. You know what that means... all 36 TOJam #4 games have finally been released!!!

You can decide whether we saved the best for last. We've got a world that scales while you stay the same size, a boat that attempts the same trick with icebergs, a 3D platformer that has style to spare, not to mention tank pinball. There's even a playable game that features no graphics or sound.


July 17 Game Jam

No More Sweden is an all star game jam happening right now. Based on the photos, they are doing way more than programming. Wide open spaces, fantastic scenery, beaches, concerts, girls... sacrilege.

Toronto vunderkind Michael Todd, creator of TOJam #3's The Scourge and TOJam #4's soon-to-be-posted Spirit Guide, is THERE!!!! Any attempts to keep Michael shall be met with unnecessary violence. We are already at war with the Nordic Game Jam, and will not hesitate to extend those borders. Consider yourselves warned.

Once again a thousand apologies for the delay in posting the final 9 games. Rest assured you will be amazed (admit it, you love the suspense).

July 6 Ubisoft Toronto

I finally post the TOJam #4 People's Choice Gold Winner and BAM, Ubisoft opens an office in Toronto the very next day. Who knows what will happen when we release "Best Use of Theme"? (Unless Dalton McGuinty comes up with another 263 million dollars, likely nothing.)

I wonder... did anyone tell Yannis Mallat that there's currently a civic worker's strike on? Otherwise, he might think it's normal for Torontoians to fill their parks with garbage.

July 5 Round 3 - Indie Game Jam 2009

The next 9 games finally released!
Including the "People's Choice Gold" winner. This is the third batch of games, and retain the innocence of the Michael Jackson not dead era.

Do whatever it takes to play amazing Category 5! It takes nothing to play stellar Scale Mountain, so why aren't you playing it!!! We even have a Light Cycle game, that has nothing to do with TRON light cycles, yet credits the film for the graphic style.

June 29
The Games of July
Please accept my humble apologies for the delay in releasing the new game pages. Unfortunately, a massive amount of work is preventing me from completing my part (Rob & Jerry's pages are ready to roll). Next year, we'll hopefully have this process automated and more delegated. I've changed the release dates for the last 2 batches, and things are bleeding slighty into July. Your patience is appreciated.

In the meantime, wait.

June 17 2009 Game Jam

Finally had time to blog about TOJam #4's Saturday (from an organizer's point of view). Features clogged laughter, drunk Circuits and a doomed boat.

If that doesn't interest you, why not visit www.stegersaurus.com. Recent graduate and TOJammer Daniel Steger blogs about his experiences creating and selling indie games. He recently released Tank Strike on XBox Community Games (renamed XBox Indie Games) and has a lot to share about the experience. First - XBox Indie Games is NOT XBox Live Arcade. Second - Tank Strike doesn't do remote massages.

Want more technical talk? The DudeMiester Speaks!. TOJammer Darryl Barnhart just created this blog and posted a ton of stuff. Hopefully he can keep it going (although I'd recommend a more measured pace :)

June 11 Round 2 - Indie Game Jam 2009

The 9 Games of June 8th Have Been Released!
Including the "People's Choice Silver" winner. This is the second batch of games. Some are good, some are great... some stink!

Among other masterpieces, we've got swarms of bees, a basketball that cannot be contained, a boomerang that controls time, and cannibal bimples.

Wish Greg luck!

June 10 Technical difficulties are preventing me from displaying the second round of games. My machine is no longer the man it once was, and is transforming trivial tasks into trials worthy of Hercules. Rob & Jerry have completed their pages, and I'll have my stuff completed tonight. Hence, the games of June 8 will be posted June 11, which means we might need to delay the next batch of games. June is truly a spiteful month.

June 5 Game Jam 2009 - Greg Beaton - The Art of Game

Over at The Art of Game, TOJam #4 Floater and ace blogger Greg Beaton is attempting to review all 37 games created at TOJam #4! He's already reviewed the first 9 games, and I agree with almost every word. We disagree slightly about Steam Ponk, where I think players can use rebounds to avoid trouble. Greg took on this herculean task without prompting, for that we are designating him "Official TOJam#4 Reviewer", and will eventually incorporate his text onto the game pages themselves. Godspeed Greg, only 28 more games to go!

June 3 Round 1 - Indie Game Jam 2009

The 9 Games of June 1st Have Been Released!
Including both "People's Choice Puce" winners (there was a tie). This is the first of 4 installments, I hope you love them. There's a shmorgasbord of craziness on display, including a Wii drinking game, a boss monster fest, and the best use of a Nintendo DS ever. They're all worth looking at, and most are worth playing. Enjoy Internet! You deserve it!

June 1
All... we... neeeeeeeed...
is just a little more time...
Does it seems so hard to believe...
that the pages take so much time.
(if you don't know this song, you're too young)

Is it June 1st already!? Where did the time go? While we gave it our best, and reliable Rob completed his game pages, I'm a little behind on mine. If you can >just< wait until tomorrow I promise we'll post those 9 loverly games in some shape or form. In the meantime, console yourself with that wonderful Torontoist article.

June 1

Catherine Hayday delivers a picturesque breakdown of the TOJam arcade. The first sentence succintly states the challenge both game developers and game players face. Perhaps it will serve as a rallying cry for the underappreciated, unloved and unshowered.

Note: We were bumped by a "Home hardware" that sells computer bits. Rally troops, rally.

May 27
Rollin' like a River

Catherine Hayday is a triple threat. When not doing art for Team Ferraro and working a day job, she's writing articles for blogTO. She sent these photos to tie us over while we await her Arcade coverage.

Look under "TOJam Games" at DrunkenMonkeyStyle. Not only do they feature rare "round table room" photos, but also an uber detailed development log that records the grind - including those final, frentic hours.

Are you reading Innovation Toronto's amazing blog? They cover all the great new ideas that may one day save us all. While TOJam might not save the planet, it's surely a great idea, which is probably why they host our event.

Ryan Couldry of Aboot Play fame weighs in on our arcade. Based on the writeup, the man knows quality.

Merry Christmas Andrew Traviss!

I'm a fan fan of FanFan.
Am I wrong, or is he a cutey?

Michael Todd is insane.
Greg Beaton is not.

May 27 I continue to blog about helping organize TOJam #4.
This entry is all about Friday. Get the inside scoop on why you don't want to be an organizer.

May 13 2009 Game Jam

I blog about my experience helping organize TOJam #4.
Everything went as planned, and there were no unexpected developments.

May 13 2009 Game Jam

I blog about my experience helping organize TOJam #4.
Everything went as planned, and there were no unexpected developments.

May 12 Game Jam 2009

Dancing Rob
now playing at the bottom of the Photos 2009 page.
It's worth the scroll down.

But wait there's more...
I just posted 17 TOJam Sunday 3:45am pictures. See the passion! See the people! See the people passionately sleeping!

Hey, did you attend TOJam? 3 Things
1. Send me your game!
2. Check the names I added to The Portraits for accuracy.
3. Consider adding an entry to the TOJam Testament.

May 11
More Blogs

Steven J. Hill (aka bignobody) shares his experiences as a first time Jammer. Great writeup interspersed with some great photos. Thank goodness I kept that Welcome speech brief.

FanFan blogs about his experiences leading up to the jam, as well as the jam itself. He was less than impressed with the possibilty of no internet, and pulls no punches about it. Putting money into mouth, alongside the formidable Team AnyKey, he was able to MacGyver a chain of wireless routers together to distribute what little Internet we had to all. Thanks ya young whippersnapper :)

Ryan responds to the amazing writeup by the Torontoist. He makes a valid point, and throws in a nice, naked old man to boot.

More Photos

Congratulations to Derek van Vliet who got married May 9! Did she realize that she was marrying a photographer, Team Awesomo, and man who will willingly make games all weekend? She's a lucky woman!

Dooble Threat Ryan Couldry not only videotaped TOJam 4, he also took some sweet photos. Sweet!

May 10 Game Jam 2009

In case you missed it, Ryan Couldrey created this great TOJam 4 Video for Aboot Play. If it's Canadian, and it's gaming, Aboot Play will make the saving throw. Ryan was entranced by TOJam Organizer's Robert Segal casual style, even managing to coin a catch phrase "oh yeah"

May 10 Indie Game Jam

Not only did Miguel Sternberg craft detailed pixel art for 2 games during TOJam 4, he also found time to record and edit a wonderful video diary. Watch "Steam Ponk" and "Flip the Beach" evolve from lofty dreams into grounded reality. See the toll it takes on the team. Watch Miguel devolve from a sharp, fast talking IPOD into a Walkman on pause. When not jamming, Miguel can be found building what might well become the greatest looking pixel art game ever created.

May 6

The Torontoist has a fantastic writeup about TOJam! Writer Steve Kupferman visited TOJam throughout the weekend and received a full dose of TOJam radiation. Photographer Nick Kozak joined him during the home stretch, and the result is an unbiased, detailed account of 3-day game making madness. Extra thanks to Steve for going above and beyond.

May 5 Game Jam 2009

Untold Entertainment has honoured us once again with a pithy and witty TOJam #4 summary. But wait, there's more! Ryan has also seen fit to detail The Making of Bloat, the amazing game he single handedly created in 22 hours at the jam. Together these blog entries paint a perfect picture of the TOJam experience. They'll also make you laugh. Thanks Ryan!

May 5
The TOJam #4 Testament

Did you attend TOJam #4? Did you experience thoughts, feelings and personal growth? Now you can record them for all prosterity in the brand spanking new TOJam Testament. Hopefully, everyone that attended will submit one entry. We need to preserve these memories so that future generations never forget how to jam.

May 4 Your TOJam organizers would truly appreciate it if Jammers would restrain from publicly posting their games until after we post them here. We will be posting all the games within the month, and releasing them "new" generates interest and hopefully coverage. I forgot to mention this at the event (I blame the event). By all means share your game with everyone you know, just hold back from a wide public release. Thanks in advance, we will be quick. More information about game pages coming soon.

May 4 Despite sickness, the multi-talented Benjamin Rivers managed to blog about his TOJam experience, and post 45 photos. Looking at the photos, and reading their detailed descriptions, leaves me to wonder if our event is strange. i.e. Are other events forced to secure tarps with toilet tank lids?

May 4

Better-than-professional photo guru Brendan Lynch has posted his latest TOJam portraits. They capture all the heart, courage and laughter of the people attending TOJam. Amazing job once again Mr. Lynch, and thanks for posting them so quickly. Note: You can't keep up with Lynch, you can only hope not to fall too far behind.

May 3

TOJam #4 Has Ended

It was a lot of fun, and a lot of setup & cleanup, and I'm exhausted. 90 people made ~29 games in 3 days. I will be post full day-by-day blog entries on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. In the meantime a big thankyou to everyone that attended, all of our sponsors, my fellow TOJam organizers, and all the people that helped us along the way. May your bread always have jam.

May 1

TOJam #4 Has Started

89 registrations (in 8 days)
29 Teams
2 Game makers from Montreal
1 13-year old programmer
1 Funhouse of strange and wonderful things

It's going to be good.

April 30
TOJam #4 Final & Important Updates

Bring 3 Pronged extension cords with you!
We needz them! Powerbars are also good, but we need LENGTH.

We still don't have Internet
but we haven't given up. Bring USB keys, and perhaps a hub and cables to make your own network. If we get Internet working, we'll need a "repeater" to extend our wireless hub range. If you know how to do this, and can bring equipment, it would be appreciated.

Bring speakers for Sunday
Our 9 - 11pm celebration would be so much better with sound (headphones rest of time).

The TOJam Ten
We have decided to ask for donations this year. If possible, we are asking everyone to contribute 10 dollars. This is NOT mandatory, and we don't expect everyone to contribute. We realize that situations vary from person to person, please do not feel obliged. We will have a donation bowl, thanks in advance.

You can no longer park on the Eastern Avenue.
They're filming a movie outside of Innovation Toronto. If the gate is open, try beside Innovation Toronto in the lot. After 6pm, the gate should be open for sure. Also try parking on St. Lawrence (paid).

April 29 Ryan at Untold Entertainment outlines the endless possibilities of this year's SCALE theme. Check them out and be inspired. I had only considered half of them. Ryan, we are once again in your debt.

In other news, we are cleaning up and setting up the Innovation Toronto Funhouse tonight.

Chances of Internet? Sunny with a few clouds. Stay tuned for a complete forecast.

April 27
TOJam #4 Mega Updates

Due to technical problems, Em was delayed in sending out confirmations. If you registered, there is a 99% chance you will be confirmed. All confirmations will be sent out tomorrow (Tuesday). Apologies if we caused you stress.

We will definitely not have wired Internet.
We will probably not have wireless Internet.

You know what that means?
We will probably not have any Internet.
Plan accordingly. It will put hair on your manly chest, or remove hair from your womanly chest.

There will be a Candy Stand!
TOJam Organizer Jerry is taking care of it. Bring change!!! It will be open all day, but not all night (hingent on Jerry presence).

There is no need for CHEESE.
The site and registration form originally mentioned a cheese theme. That was last year. This year, the theme is SCALE. Sorry about the confusion. I missed some renegade cheese text.

Registration deadline is midnight tomorrow!
Register Now! Home page originally said tonight. It lied.

The countdown now supports FireFox. In your face NaN.

April 23 3 Important Notes

I. This year, we are encouraging everyone to create the basic game frameworks (including some graphics) ahead of time. We want people to create the best game they can at the jam, and not spend as much time messing around with menu systems / controller support / basic crap. As always, feel free to use external libraries (including user created), just state they were used. We're trying to ensure people are creating great games, rather than focussing on "a game in 3 days". i.e. Last year after the Jam, many teams spent time honing their game for the Arcade. So why not spend time earlier? i.e. If your artist wants to create some sprites ahead of time, that's not going to kill anyone.

II. We want everyone to use the theme "Scale" in some way. As always, we are not going to enforce this. If you want to build a game that does not use the theme (40% of attendees avoided last year's theme), we will not stop you. Having said that, unlike last year we will be rewarding the best uses of the theme in some way.

III. The People's Choice awards will be moving to the ToJam #4 Arcade, and will be decided by the audience. We're still working out exact details, and we will ensure this doesn't turn ToJam into a competition. i.e. The awards will for the most part be light-hearted.

April 22
Registrations Live!
Let's do this!!!

April 17
Easter with the family, followed by a bad cold, followed by a family emergency have conspired to delay the registration form going live. Registration form will be live Monday April 20. Extremely sorry for the delay, but please plan on attending! TOJam #4 is going strong and Rob is finalizing table rentals as we speak. We need 100 people to fill those tables, and we'll have 10 days to get them.
TOJam #4 - Blitzkrieg Edition

April 17
TOJam #4 Theme - Scale
Phil Fish, are you with us!?

Mar 29
TOJam #4 will be held May 1 - 3!
Tattoo your bicep. We realize this date conflicts with exam week for universities, but we had no choice (all other May dates posed serious problems). Contact us if you're interested in virtual participation - it's something we're considering if there's demand. i.e. Create a game outside of the jam, then submit for the site and the arcade.

We're a little behind on getting registrations up this year. Specifically, I'm a little behind. I like to say 'we' since it makes Rob look bad. I will have the registrations form live soon (no thanks to Rob).

TOJam #4 will once again be held at Innovation Toronto. The space is even funkier than last year. Unfortunately, the extra funkiness means we are limited to 100 jammers this year (down from 125 at TOJam #3). Vanquishing the Nords will have to wait until TOJam #5.

The TOJam Arcade will be held Friday May 22!
(May 22 is NOT the long weekend). Due to overwhelming demand, the Arcade is BACK. Held at the Blue Moon once again, hopefully with more projectors. If you are able to bring a projector, contact us immediately.

Feb 24

Ladies and gentlemen, may I present the Guerrilla Gardening Development Blog. The game is about growing plants illegally, the company is located in Toronto, and their development blog starts you on the ground floor. It's already chock full of quality, detailed content, and is a great opportunity to watch the game evolve (they've committed to updating their blog regularily). Did I mention the game is about growing plants illegally! That's fantastic! It's worth clarifying you're growing nice plants (flowers, water lilies) - you drug loving addict.

The game is being created by pixel artist and graphics mega star Miguel Sternberg who has teamed up with the intriguing and mysterious programmer Andrew Pilkiw. You may know Miguel from floating at TOJam #1, his stellar work on TOJam games Urban Tactics and Der Baron Von Cheese or his darkly hilarious Night of the Cephalopods. Miguel also does a lot of freelance work as a commercial game artist - the man doesn't sleep! Less is known about Andrew, but his current isometric engine, integrated editor and AI path finding for Guerrilla is looking pretty damn impressive.

If they match their target render (the back cover Miguel created for Scott Pilgrim), it will be the greatest looking pixel art game ever made. You read it here first.

Feb 19

Controversy 1
The 2008 Triangle Game Jam claims to have created the "worlds first video game designed specifically to be a drinking game." How could they overlook TOJam #3's Triple Threat Floaty: Cheese-ohol, a "beer drinking game"! Since both jams were held the same weekend, we'll skip the blood feud declaration. Worth noting that the 2009 Triangle Game Jam merged with the Global Game Jam aka. the Nordic subterfuge

Controversy 2
Spectaculous site Jay is Games digs The Space Game. Check out those screenshots. Is it just me, or do they remind you of TOJam #3's infinitely better named The Signal? Instead of playing the game, I prefer instead to think they stole the entire thing!.

Hot Tip
Hover your mouse over me for a few seconds and I'll give you more room to read. Oh HTML, is there nothing you can't do?

Jan 29 The First IGDA Global Game Jam is happening this weekend. Robertson Holt, of TOJam Office Smash fame, is spearheading the Toronto edition. Centennial College has agreed to host which I can assure you is no small thing.

Robert Segal & I are attending, rather than organizing, which is a nice change of pace. By attending, I mean we'll be working undercover to prevent the spread of the Nordic Game Jam. Historical Note: Due to a Nordic slur, TOJam has been at war with the NGJ since 2008.

So far, we've learned this:
Gorm Lai, co-founder of the NGJ, is a GGJ leader
The NGJ was used as a template for the GGJ
The NGJ is part of the GGJ (happening at the same time)

I'm planning to wear a bombardier jacket and bob crane's hat. Rob's bringing a jar of pickled herring. I think the bases are covered.

Can Toronto support 2 game jams?
Let's hope so.
Especially if it means more pages like this.

Jan 23

The University of Toronto Game Design & Development Club aka. UTGDDC is holding their annual Game Making Deathmatch.

The goal is to create a game in ~3 weeks. The results from last year were extremely impressive. Take it from me, I was a judge. Some games were even on par with the best of TOJam. WHO SAID THAT?!

Any team of 1-2 people is allowed, as long as one of them is a UofT student (St. George, Scarborough, or Mississauga campus). Registration deadline is Jan. 29 6pm for a mere 10 shamolees. Warm up at the Deathmatch, then join us for some Jam.

Jan 18
May your 2009 be carpal free.
Now back to business...

Springbay Studio recently launched "Mark and Mandi's Love Story". Not only is Springbay Studio located in Toronto, but several key employees (Jane Ji and Alex Stittle) are TOJam veterans. "Mark and Mandi" is an extremely cute casual game with amazing production values, relaxing gameplay, and a story featuring Cupid. Casual gameplay combined with a love story might seem like an obvious pairing, but I've never seen it done before. Truly the perfect Valentine's day game. Tell your girlfriends, and friends who are girls, and... girls. Tell your Mom! They'll love it!