The TAGjam10 event happened from May 2nd to May 12th lasting a total of 10 days. That's quite a bit longer than your typical game jam which will usually last about 48 hours. I relished it.

In 48 hours time you can create some interesting mechanics, or a cool plot twist, but it's always hurried, and always a mess of code. With 10 days time it allowed for more polish, more experimentation, and a more thourough understanding of the code.

The Start

The Arbitrary Game Jam (TAGjam) consists of 3 themes that the game can follow. Not all three have to be used, but it can benefit the final score from the judge. TAGjam10's themes were Broccoli, Flawed, and Sacrifice.

I had an initial idea in my head before the jam had started about using multiple panels as "windows" into the scene. During the process of creating it though, I realized how well it could be transformed into a comic book style feel. After some thought I came up with this initial sketch:

Over the duration of the jam it turned into this:

The Tech

I used the OPifex Engine to create the game. It was a solid test to see how well it would perform. Other than some release issues, it did quite well, especially with it being so untested.

In the game, all of the entities are loaded into a global list. Each of the items are then assigned (by pointers) to each of the panels. Each panel consists of a frame buffer, a camera, and a list of updateables and drawables.

Having a list of pointers to entities, per room, of update-ables, and draw-ables, reduces the load on the system. That's because I can tweak and manage which models get drawn and updated per room but still have an easy to manage global list of entities. When a room becomes active (The player is within the bounds of the room) then it will attempt to do collision detection. Otherwise it ignores upating the items completely.

The list of draw-ables makes it easy to specifiy which can be drawn per room. For example the cookie jar obviously needs to be update-able and draw-able in the pantry. The kitchen only needs to draw it though. So the pointer to the cookie jar is added to the pantry's update list, and added to both the kitchen's, and the pantry's draw-able list.


Credit where it's due


  • Garrett Hoofman - That's me!
    • I did pretty much everything, from the code, to the modeling, down to the texturing
  • Ryan Wilson
    • Idea man, helped with the gameplay story and lots of testing.


These guys rock. They helped get my game to actually work in release mode.

  • David Michael Smeenge
  • Benjamin Lippi
  • Gabrielle Meyers
  • Zachariah Pifer

Shout out

  • Andrew Wang
    • This was the host of the TAGjam10, and he did an awesome job with it.


There's a good chance that the game will not run. If you do try it out, and it fails to run, you can help me stabilize it by sending me the last line printed in the console.

comments powered by Disqus