It wasn’t supposed to happen like this.
When Paul Forest asked me to sign up for TOJam matchmaking so he could “test the registration form” I did my duty of being a good IGDA Toronto steering committee member to help him out.
On matchmaking day, I found my name on one of the “dance cards” that we were handing out to the participants, outlining their evening’s matches.
“Paul!” I cried out. “I only signed up because you asked me to test the form!”
He shrugged and smirked and said, “Well, guess you’re doing it now.”
I immediately felt bad for the people who had been matched with me. My TOJam team was already set and we didn’t need anyone else. Well, we hadn’t completely locked down our artist, but still. I hated the thought that a match with me potentially took someone away from a match-made in game jam heaven.
Little did I know.
Two of my matches were people I already knew and our meetings were mostly just playing catch up. I had one no-show, so I created an impromptu meeting with those sitting around me who were in the same situation. Two were great artists, eager to find a home with a fitting TOJam and one already had his team set.
Then I met Daniel Orellana and Jamie Tucker, my last match of the evening. These two artists were former students of indie dev friend and OCAD instructor, Benjamin Rivers, and as soon as they said they wanted to make a fun, multiplayer co-op game, my ears perked up. That’s exactly what my team wanted to do. And our artist hadn’t been totally confirmed yet… maybe, just maybe…
A follow-up e-mail from Daniel and Jamie arrived in my inbox the next day, expressing a keen interest in working together. It wasn’t long after that my team — consisting of my brother Andrew Afan (programmer), Jon Remedios (programmer) and Matthew Reid (composer) — soon discovered that our original artist couldn’t participate after all.
And so it came to be that Team There Is No I in Teim and our subsequent TOJam game Piñata Slaughta was born, along with our piñata mascot Jorge.
Not bad for a completely accidental matchmaking.
We had our team and some of them had never participated in a game jam before. What could they expect from something that should to be experienced first-hand to understand what it truly entails? (more…)