The Arbitrary Game Jam #4

Contest Rules:

The core rules of the arbitrary game jam +

  1. You have 48 hours to make a game
  2. You can work alone, with your friends, or with internet strangers
  3. Everything in the game, concept, design, art and programming must be done within the timeframe of the jam
  4. You may use existing engines or components
  5. If you win, you get to host the next one
  6. Entries will be judged by Isaac, Austin, Mike and Tim, the team that won the previous event



Send me a tweet with a link to your game!

Use hashtag #TAGJam4


Thanks to everyone who participated!

First place

Garnering 2/3 first place votes from the judges, the winner is: Zombie needs love! Created by: Ratalaika Games

This is a charming little platformer with excellent music and attractive art (especially given the time constraints). The game breaks down quite badly after you play for a while, since all the humans collect in the bowl-shaped portions of the map. After that, you can just rove from spot to spot, hoovering up humans whenever your love meter runs low. The adhesion to the themes is a bit weak, but the little shouts from the victims really sells that love hurts, even though it doesn't hurt you.

Great job guys! I hope everyone is excited for the first weekend in December!

Runner up

The dissenting vote went to Ethan Kennerly's Lava Maze!

I'm not sure if this is intended as a multiplayer game or just a really hard single player game. The judge who named this the winner had the best experience while playing with others, so try it with a friend!

Lava Maze is a mind bending timed maze game. It starts out very simply and ramps up quickly. The levels are well designed, but teh art and music are lacking. Quite an achievement for a one man team!

Other entries

Thanks to everyone for participating. I enjoied everyone's games!

The little volcano that could by Kristina Chodorow

I think I can, I think I can, oh! Nope! Villagers.

I had a lot of fun with this one. Each move you makeincreases your exposure to the evil villagers and their deadly water buckets. Managing that exposure while lashing out at nearby villagers (in self defense, of course) is at the core of the little volcano that could. Unfortunately, the villagers always come to outnumber you, and your temperature seems largely irrelevant in forestalling your petrification. Perhaps if there were some sort of powerup to fight back against the villagers, or a pressing goal other than survival.

The art was top notch! I'd love to see more of your work in the future!

Lava Escape by TGL & Miguli

Dat into/outro sequence

Lava Escape has a few mechanics worked out quite well: it's an infinite runner played in a maze with bombs as an escape route. The keys are rarely useful and the enemies (zombies?) are surprisingly toothless. The random generation doesn't work that well, with many areas being trivially traversable, and others completely impenetrable. On the whole, the game wore out its welcome before the (850+ turn) ending came, but it did have an epic outro sequence...

A game with lava by Kevin (@DerColorMan)

A game with lava is a short but sweet little puzzle platformer. There are some neat moments, but there is no relationship I can see between the objects depicted and their mechanical use in the game. Air-steering my way onto a specific lava platform, so that I could bounce back up onto the floor is strange enough. Add in the fact that the lava is suspended in mid-air by a wall of water, disappears when hit, and opens nearby doors, and you've got a hot mess of ludic components.

I was confused, but amused! Good job!

A game of Earth and fire by myself, Austin Quick, Marty Lowenthal, Kairo Phan, and Megan Sikkink

I made this, so it's kinda hard to judge.

I encourage you to try it out! It's not eligable to win, but it's a fairly significant little game. The music is great, and the mechanics are mostly solid.

There are some problems with levels that are too hard. The mechanics for the moving platforms (which I made myself, and I am my own harshest critic) are maliciously inconsistent. They are absurdly forgiving in some contexts (the frogger level) and require pixel perfect manuvering in others. The water droplets are frequently placed where you don't want them, and you are often left with the unpalatable choice of suiciding to restart a level.

That being said, I'm very proud of this game, and I learned a lot in making it. I hope you all enjoy it, and enjoied the jam!

If you'd like me to remove the link to your game, let me know. I don't want to publish anything you don't want published.