Game Jam 2009 Toronto Indie Independent
The TOJam Arcade #4 Has Ended

On Friday May 22, over 150 people gathered at the The Blue Moon Pub to play the 37 games created at TOJam #4 (held May 1 -3). Over the course of 3 hours, 6 projectors rotated through 36 games, while a midi enabled machine powered #37. The night was full of watching, playing, socializing and drinking. No dancing or even Dance Dance, which is why a grand time was had by all... even bignobody. The TOJam organizers need to thank the following people:

Polly Lee and Nick Coombe
- Settin' thangs up
- Tearin' thangs down

Dale Wick, Darryl Barnhart and aforementioned Nick Coombe
- Bringing and exposing their machines
- Installing and testing the games beforehand

superbrothers, Barry Rowe, Bao & Duy-Khang Nguyen-Huu
and aforementioned Dale Wick
- Bringing and projecting their projectors

Without these heroes, there would be no TOJam Arcade.
Q: Can you pay them back?   A: No.

Thanks to Everyone that Attended the TOJam Arcade!
Hearing you shout, laugh and groan made it all worthwhile. One day, gaming will be an "acceptable" social activity (like going to movies or a concert). Until that day, your bravery is appreciated. Thanks also to Benjamin Rivers who doodled that awesome foot while waiting for the arcade to start. I want his hands, and time management skills.

Enter TOJam

Bonus TOJam Arcade Summary
- including snapshot of all 37 games

A little song. A little dance. A little welcome speech. We were supposed to start at 7:45, extra embarrassing since I insisted everyone be prompt. Oh hypocrisy, why aren't you a virtue? We have 37(!) games to show. The audience will be voting on "People's Choice Gold, Silver, Puce" and "Best Use of Theme"

At least 3 people punched themselves all the way to the moon in Monster Puncher. Cheesohol 2 featured 4 Wii-motes strapped to 4 physical beers, resulting in a drinking game controlled by... drinking. Flock U drew the crowd with a combination of sharp graphics and bee swarming. Flip the Beach was an idea everyone wished they had thought of - pinball using a tank. SimArson demonstrated the technical prowess required to make liquid happen. Many were able to topple cows, so Penguin Cow Tipping should be considered a success. Meanwhile in the midi corner, people attempt double Dave's MIDI-Evil, a Guitar Hero variation that uses a real guitar. The oversight? You need to be a guitarist to play the game.

Roshamblaster crossed rock paper scissors with a side scrolling shooter, followed by the strangest boss monsters ever seen. Pond Scum was gross, green and impressive. Carot, which placed geometry wars in a maze, held the audiences interest. People prevented the Gnomes from going home in No Home for Gnomes, so the instructions worked. Team Graphite was glad to see that players made it past the first level in Bob the Blob. Yummy Yummy Shapes looked strange, and people were trying to understand, hopefully they did.

Domesticity was the first piece of interactive fiction (aka. text adventure game) at a TOJam. Obeying Hunt the Wumpus tradition, players tended to die quickly. I've never seen a game that looked like Bloom, the characters looked like an animated collage of magazine clippings. Watching people hold XBOX controllers to their head to unlock Lockpick exclusively via rumblings never got old. Alpinist had 1 short level, but it was drenched in atmosphere and pixel art (capital ART). Imagine 2 players holding on to each side of a Nintendo DS playing Pong, and you have a taste of SteamPonk. I freaking missed Scale Source, which sucks because you scale the world while staying the same size. I hear it's genius!

Scale Mountain featured rope physics, tons of enemies, and 8 detailed levels. Someone made it to Level 4 where I saw fog and zombies. Where did they find the time? We had to stop old school graphic adventure game Prison Quest after 30 minutes which sucked because we made it to prison (after a botched robbery), and just found the library. I think they're INSECTS!!! was like Robotron with more firepower. Individual bullet sounds transformed into an unbroken machine gun stream that echoed throughout Blue Moon. The beauty of The Ascent masked a hardcore jumping challenge. Punishment for imperfect jumps was swift and just. Call of Foody Five featured 3rd person Nintendo DS action. Dodging and throwing cans of soda is instant fun. Category 5 rocked you like a hurricane... because you were a hurricane.

Spirit Guide impressed with both style and substance. People jet packed between 3D floating platforms with ease. A dense cluster of icebergs greeted da Boat, resulting in a ship that constantly bumped bumped bumped. Swine Flu Apocalypse reminded me of Tutankham, with 360 degrees of fire. Killing regular enemies was easy. Shooting the little buggers they split into was not. Bloat! charmed the audience with hand drawn animation and whimsy. TOJam Basketball tried to shoot hoops while overcoming the limitations of HTML, resulting in unpredictable shots. I believe I saw muchos excrement bouncing around Pipes in Space, good thing Mario went galaxy.

The Light Cycle rings intrigued everyone that saw them, but the game itself took awhile to "get". The controls were bizarre, but quickly became part of the game's allure. Despite being relatively unfinished Attention Shoppers, a unique take on tower defence, was played the entire 30 minutes. Enthrapagatia started with a time travelling boomerang, and finished with an unexpected sense of humour. Dodging the cat paw in Happy Happy Mouseland was a treat, and made you feel tiny. In Traffic Experience XENO Monster EX, you played a monster destroying a city. Probably the first isometric Google O3D powered game ever. Despite needing 2 machines, Multiple Line Defense got by using one. Both players send monsters after each other, while building towers to defend against them. As always, peace is not an option. Did M.U.L.E. teach us nothing?

All 37 games have been shown. All votes have been submitted. Em & Polly tally the votes while we repeat some games to buy them time (the audience is growing restless and dangerous).

The lights are turned on and the winners are announced (all will be revealed shortly). The awards are hand crafted mini sculptures created by Em, and the applause showers down like rain. Thus ends the TOJam #4 arcade. Inspired and exhausted, everyone leaves for home.

Enter TOJam