Fernando Ramallo — developer of the recently-featured MIDI-controlled soundscape Panoramical — and Vlambeer’s Rami Ismail have just announced Fuck This Jam, a black-hearted week-long worldwide game jam that asks devs to “make a game in a genre you hate”.
The duo add their hope that “through utter ignorance for conventions and hate for the established rules of a genre, beautiful things will happen”, which may seem naive and slightly cynical, until you remember that the last time someone tried to tackle a genre they despised — namely Bit Pilot creator Zach Gage — the resulting Spelltower near instantly became an iPhone & iPad smash success.
The jam’s also notable for being the second application of the Beautiful Mess Organizer, the web platform Brett Chalupa originally developed for our Adventure Time Game Making Frenzy, hopefully eking its way toward worldwide game jam standard.
The jam will start November 9th and end November 17th — interested parties can sign up for more information at the official Fuck This Jam site.
Above, the amazing & ever so slightly Lynch-ian keynote video from Adventure Time creator Pendleton ‘buenothebear‘ Ward, also featuring writer Kent ‘kentisawesome‘ Osborne, and designer Andy ‘skronked‘ Ristaino, which officially signals the start of this weekend’s Fantastic Arcade Game Making Frenzy, where one lucky winner will be given a fruity surprise by Pen himself.
We’ve also just announced one last secret rule for all the games to come out of the jam: they must contain an overt or secret appearance of The Snail, a character that’s appeared in pretty much every episode of Adventure Time over the past four seasons, whether you knew it or not.
Several of us will be in and out of Austin’s local Frenzy HQ all weekend, where Vlambeer‘s JW Nijman and Kitty Calis have set up shop next to VVVVVV & Super Hexagon creator Terry Cavanagh, POP: Methodology Experiment 1 creator Rob Lach, and a handful more local developers in a now-disused yoga studio (which has the amazing/essential side benefit of providing a shower [for pit-hygiene]).
Our friends at BOOM! have also graciously supplied us with a fat pack of Adventure Time comics for inspiration, specifically issue #5’s Eleanor Davis variant cover, for awesome reasons that will become clear shortly.
We’ll have even more strange and amazing details about the jam coming in just a few short days, but until then, looking forward to seeing what everyone comes up with this weekend! Drop us a note if you’ve got something extra special you think we should see!
The story of the Adventure Time Game Jam goes back, well, really until the point when Adventure Time first aired, and more or less everyone on earth simultaneously thought, “this would make the most amazing videogame of all time, even if I have zero idea how it would actually work,” well before it was announced that WayForward would be tackling their own upcoming Nintendo 3DS adventure.
Fast forward a few years, and, innocently reading Michael Deforge‘s brilliant guest-work in an issue of the Adventure Time comic, I had a flash. The reason there can never be one perfect, definitive Adventure Time game is that there needs to be hundreds of Adventure Time games. Just like in Deforge’s version of the Land of Ooo, which includes a Breakfast Kingdom that’s never before been mentioned or otherwise existed, the magic of Adventure Time is that everything is permitted.
And so, wearing one of my other hats as a helper on Fantastic Arcade, the free indie-game celebrating offshoot of yearly genre film festival Fantastic Fest, hosted by the Alamo Drafthouse (aka unquestionably the best movie theater chain in the world), we set about to make it so.
Then, many, many months later, almost inconceivably, it really, actually happened: this weekend, September 13th-15th, Fantastic Arcade will be hosting the first ever official Adventure Time Game Jam, a 48 hour sprint open to any developer in the world, with the best of the playable entries getting their own cabinet at Fantastic Arcade itself the following weekend.
The amazing news: we’re rolling up on 500 people who’ve signed up to take part in the jam, which means that by this time next week, if everything goes as hoped, we could have several hundred new Breakfast Kingdom-esque playable realities that all make sense within the Adventure Time universe, even if they don’t follow what little shreds of canon actually exist within the TV show.
Even more exciting, the jam will be hosted on the Beautiful Mess Organizer, B.M.O. for short (heh!), a new game jam management platform we’ve teamed up with developer Brett Chalupa to help create, in the hopes of setting a new standard for organizing future game jams on the web. We’ll be taking a longer look at that in the future!
For now, you’ve got two more days to sign up for the jam yourself, and not too much longer before you can play all the new games for yourself both at home, and, for Austinites, at Fantastic Arcade, September 20th-23rd.