Getting the Most from a Game Jam

Gamedev Gamejam TOJam 2016
What’s in a game jam? Lightning Rod Games recently participated in the 11th #TOJam in Toronto, and it was our first real jam as a team. Truly, we had a blast; the people who run the jam are pros and we enjoyed hanging with the game dev community. But, we actually had an ulterior motive to joining the event.

We’re in the process of building our first official project A Fold Apart, a 3D puzzle game that explores the emotional struggles of a couple maintaining a long-distance relationship. Not exactly light jam material, but definitely a high priority for our team. So we found a way to incorporate all kinds of learnings into the game we did make, Henrik and the Angry Axe.

Besides letting us flex our production muscle behind a combat game, our team found all kinds of value in the TOJam weekend:
Game Dev Team at LRGThunder Lightning Rod Games

Unofficial team photo for @LRGthunder

I had just built a prototype replay system for testing A Fold Apart and wanted to test it in this game. Every time the main character dies, he is reborn and the ghost of his past (replay) fights by his side. This also enables us to build a twist into the game play that most users probably won’t see coming.
Steven, co-founder

Since there is a ton of original artwork being created for our new game, a functional pipeline is critical for asset development, delivery and deployment. The game jam was the perfect opportunity to test our pipeline and make improvements before things get critical.
Don, art director

This was the first opportunity we’d had to test Mixamo‘s auto rigger, and we got some mixed results. The jam is definitely an ideal atmosphere for testing new tools, since failure is a perfectly acceptable part of the process. Although the auto rigger didn’t work, we were able to apply some of the animations to our rig which saved a lot of time, so we ended up having some good success.
Mark, co-founder

Not being a technical gamedev, my role in the jam was to source music. I do have some experience in production, and it was awesome to see the whole project come together over just a few days with our team. As a first timer, I got a lot out of the experience and met some really talented people on site.
Corina, community developer

Slightly more official team photo for @LRGthunder 🙂

We’re all pretty happy with the results of our game jam: Henrik and the Angry Axe, an axe combat game that brings a fun twist. The team at Lightning Rod Games will definitely look for more game jam opportunities, both to flex our production skills and get out for some fun with the community. See you at TOJam #12 🙂

TOJam with Lightning Rod Games
Find all the games made at this year’s TOJam on
More photos from TOJam 2016 can be found on our Facebook page.




  • On May 25, 2016