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Welcome Idle Thumbs community to your beautiful...






Dates: Saturday, November 19, 12:00PST/15:00EST/20:00GMT - Sunday, December 4, 21:00PST/24:00EST/28:00GMT


Theme: There is no theme!


Rules: We don't need no stinking rules!


Just make anything and submit on the jam page.


You are more than welcome to base your game around a podcast title (this will be a guaranteed diversifier) but that is not a requirement for this jam.


Traditionally, people make games in Unity/Unreal/Gamemaker/Twine/etc. but we are open to any and all contributions as long as they belong to the community and attempt at least one diversifier.


Video game, analog game, playground game. Hell, make a sweater! The Wizard Jam crowd is a good and accepting crowd.



Diversifiers: Small prompts to help shape your design, mix and match what you like instead of following a traditional theme. Check em out!



If you'd like to join a team or seek team members for your own idea, check out the Team Builder thread & survey form






Past Jams

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Looks great Elvaq!

I definitely think we should have the wizard jam joint universe diversifier, although it might be a bit complex the comunication that it promotes between jammers should be worth it.

What do you mean by more and better teams? I've always figured that to be a spontaneous thing between people who want to colaborate.

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I'll just quote myself from a previous jam:


Thanks for organising! Can I suggest you look at the feedback thread from the previous jam? The main points brought up were: end time and time zone for the Jam, a post-Jam structure for playing/feedback, and encouragement in the team-building thread for people to read all the posts and not be embarrassed to make a move.


Also, I guess it would be a good idea to archive all the Wizjam'16 threads and create new pinned ones (team building, asset sharing etc)..?


I'm hoping to learn a bit of either Unity or AGS and team up with at least one other person for this jam...

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zerofiftyone - Thanks, fixed!



Ben X - Good thinking. I'm planning on contacting thumbs to advertise the stream before and see about streaming after but there have been other good promo ideas the last couple years, I'll run through them here:

  • A lot of sound folks just want to make effects and/or music, we could have a central thread for them to post their stuff and people would chime in with what they're using
  • Same thing but with sprites / ui icons???
  • Dedicated playtesting time - everybody (that gets far enough) needs some playtesting in the last few days, perhaps there could be a set time or day where people play early builds and offer feedback/bug reports
  • Keynote Speaker - one of the thumbs or hey even someone from the community could livestream a 5-minute talk meant to inspire folks at the start of the jam (could also be pre-recorded and released then)
  • Dedicated "help!" thread - this usually shows up anyway so I'll probably get ahead of it once the subforum stuff has been archived
  • Post Jam Structure - could definitely be planned or set in stone better. will probably need to draft some help for this and will open up a thread for people to drop suggestions in while the jam is going on. preliminary thoughts: contact people that have streamed in the past (thumbs, jupiter hadley, spenny) with all the info on where and when games will be available - hell maybe i'll figure out streaming too??? seems fun
  • Start Time - current thinking is 8PM GMT - not ideal for our friends down under but this is my best guess at what works for the most people - don't even ask me what this means after daylight saving



I am very on board with diversifiers, especially the shared universe one. It's fun if it jogs peoples idea parts and can easily be dropped if scope gets out of control. We'll work on that list as we get closer to the date.


Regarding "more and better teams" - it's always been spontaneous chat & thread forming but a lot of people have given feedback that they'd like to have that be forced a little more. Timidity is rampant (myself included) so something like an automatic names-in-a-hat sort could be an idea as well as fleshing out the team thread with a google doc that has people's skills and work availability status. I'm spit-balling here so feel free to join in if you have some thoughts on encouraging teaminess

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Sounds good but I don't think teams should ever be out of a hat that sounds far too forced and that can just lead to disfunctional teams. I'd say the best idea is probably a formalised thread or something where people can post their ideas and what skills they need, that way people can know what they're getting into.

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Ya, but everyone is too shy to ever approach anyone mthalore.

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Mhm I get that but someone needs to approach someone else at some point otherwise nothing will happen.

The team lottery could work if it takes skills into account, as then people can just talk to their arranged team and we wont end up with a group of artists who've never used unity before. However I don't think this should be the only option as it still requires a fair bit of upfront engagement and trust.

The other thing is a spreadsheet of people's skills as Elvaq says, this is acually something sbm did when setting up roleplaying games on the forums a few weeks back and could work really well as it did then. But this still requires people to approach the people with the right skills to fit their dynamic.

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There's problems with this idea too, but what about team matchmaking? Like, forget it being a partial lottery, maybe the organisers could look through a list of people, their skills and preferences and try to patch together groups from that.


"Oh, this artist wants to work with someone on a 2D game. Let's pair them with the Gamemaker dev"


This obviously puts work on organisers, and you can't match everyone perfectly. But it would probably give the most suitable groupings compared to random/semi-random approaches.


I think no matter what, groups should be non mandatory. Just something people opt into if that's what they want.



EDIT: Also, is the group question asking about my specific preferences? It's not clear, but I'm guessing that's what it is.

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I'd say that gives the organiser too much power over who works with whom and then of course a lot of the blame if things don't work out.

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Swipe right if you like my art. (or left, i'm never sure).

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An opt-in team lottery would be useful imo, although I'm not sure I would use it personally.

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When this current/upcoming jam has its own subforum I'll make a thread for the "(Game) Ideas from the Episodes" list - where people can easily find ideas and share if they've found new ones.


Idle Thumbs game ideas from the podcast

SSX Kane

Idle Thumbs - GDC 09 - A Fish Called Xtreme

32:45 — SSX Kane - Upgrade Rosebud with some sweet bling

Building your time machine

Idle Thumbs 28 - Other People Get It

1:03:58 — Traveling Through Time - To find the parts to build your time machine

Waluigi game

Idle Thumbs 38 - Up On This Boss

53:56 — Waluigi - His hypothetical game that features strings or something

Idle Thumbs 78 - The Ruinationcast

23:08 — 16: Waluigi - Game pitches from Idle Thumbs

Idle Thumbs 158 - P is For Podcast

32:36 — Year of Luigi - For Steam and Xbox 360

Salacious Crumb PI

Idle Thumbs 44 - Salacious Thumb

13:14 — Halo 3: ODST - Solving mysteries as Salacious Crumb PI

Pumping the Stone

Idle Thumbs 45 - Episode Forty-Five

13:34 — Pumping the Stone - Probably a weird King's Quest game

The Legend of Zeldoo

Idle Thumbs 49 - Bargo Busters

1:29:43 — Outro - Ed Wynn's The Legend of Zeldoo

Match-3 Massager


02:57 — Match-3 Massager - Steve's new game

Multiplayer Bullet Time

Idle Thumbs 56 - Shoveling Your Hat and Crow

32:41 — Oops! All Bullet Time - The Thumbs lazyweb a sweet multiplayer game

Video Tutorial Navi

Idle Thumbs 58 - A Castro Situation

08:37 — The Legend of Zelda - Navi makes the baboo and an MPEG appears

Gritty Rayman

Idle Thumbs 60 - Nasty/Good/Badass

43:03 — Rayman: Origins - Lieutenant Rayman Canon's dark past

1:39:49 — Outro - Rayman: Rise of the Apollo Quadrant

Samuel L. Jackson's Arm

Idle Thumbs 60 - Nasty/Good/Badass

1:24:34 — Back Into Samuel L. Jackson's Arm - On XBLIG

Idle Thumbs 61 - Diplomatic Pouch

47:07 — Jurassic Park - With the in-game arcade game Back into Samuel L. Jackson's Arm

1:02:52 — Samuel L. Jackson's Cyborg Arm - Cutting up raptors left and right

Treasure Goblin DLC

Idle Thumbs 65 - Dance of the Treasure Goblin

47:43 — Max Payne 3 - Treasure Goblin DLC

That's the Stuff!

Idle Thumbs 68 - That's the Stuff

14:42 — That's The Stuff! - Collecting bananas in The Walking Dead

Idle Thumbs 71 - Nothing's as Good as Ya Eat 'Em

1:05:23 — That's the Stuff! - Jake collects bananas in Gone Home

Idle Thumbs 124 - Blockbuster Black Case

13:22 — The Walking Dead - "That's The Stuff!" Build


Idle Thumbs 78 - The Ruinationcast

1:55:42 — 80: The Idle Thumbs Board Game - Idlehandler, maybe

Return of Gordon

Idle Thumbs 92 - The Mind-Tech Contingency

1:40:19 — Return of Gordon/Ganon - Double Dribble

Journey 2: Burrito Supreme

Idle Thumbs 95 - H.D. Cool Spot

1:15:11 — Journey 2: Burrito Supreme - Starring Cool Spot


Idle Thumbs 98 - Happy Dishonored Return of Nick Breckon

1:19:52 — Zuma - Stay tuned for Z-Uma

Gone Home iPhone App

Idle Thumbs 102 - Standing on the Shoulders of Babies

1:03:28 — Gone Home - If you are an orc then Hans Zimmer music plays

Canada Rising

Idle Thumbs 113 - Shoot That Pizza

43:05 — Canada Rising - Culminating in New Canada (aka Space)

Mario - A tale of ruined picnics

Idle Thumbs 122 - Mario's Picnic

26:47 — Mario - A tale of ruined picnics, eternally retold

Satyr Luigi

Idle Thumbs 125 - Eyes of the G-Man

08:39 — Year of Luigi - Satyr Luigi will appear if you leave your door open on Seder

Slash Wizard

Idle Thumbs 133 - Johann's Baton

1:08:24 — Outro - Dash Rendar, Slash Wizard

Precocious Attorney

Idle Thumbs 148 - The Octopus in My Mind

39:03 — Precocious Attorney - A visual novel featuring Jake and his faces and his mustaches

I'm Horse / Wake up, Sheeple!

Idle Thumbs 159 - Wilson's Ghoulish Countenance

1:28:02 — I'm Horse - Wake up, Sheeple!

LAX tower defense

Idle Thumbs 180 - Wars & Pieces

35:13 — Danielle’s LAX Nightmare - A weird tower defense game

Super Briefly

Idle Thumbs 182 - I Am Suspicious of Myself

1:28:02 — Super Briefly - Coming soon from Idle Thumbs Games

1:42:21 — Games Discussed - Time-Honored Roo

Unity Asset Jam

Idle Thumbs 185 - Beppo's Hole

54:13 — Unity Asset Jam - The Iron Chef of game jams

Randomized Storytelling

Idle Thumbs 195 - Business Guys On Planes

1:09:47 — Randomized Storytelling - One player in 1,000 gets told “Fuck You”

Post-apocalypse with no humans

Idle Thumbs 207 - Bublé Bloodborne Bloodbeef

49:11 — Post-Apocalyptic Games - It’s possible to make one with no humans, like Tokyo Jungle

Random Multiplayer Modifiers

Idle Thumbs 211 - Spector's Oil

14:27 — Random Multiplayer Modifiers - Maybe you break your leg jumping too high

Yoshi game on Twine

Idle Thumbs 216 - Super Hypercast

44:25 — Nintendo - Coming out with that new Yoshi game on Twine

Terry Gilliam’s Evo

Idle Thumbs 220 - Life Finds a Way

11:49 — Terry Gilliam’s Evo - There’s fresnel lenses everywhere


Idle Thumbs 235 - Plaited Haircut of the Whale

39:22 — Cyberwarfare - Some games should model that

Mario in every game

Idle Thumbs 247 - The Clone Progenitors

10:41 — Mario Game Jam - Just take Mario and put him in every game

Surprise Jabba Game (feat. Salacious Crumb)

Idle Thumbs 250 - A Palpable Dream

35:18 — Surprise Games - Like when you play snake and then there’s a scary face

Mortar & Pestle

Idle Thumbs 259 - Breckon's Similar Sausage Face

11:58 — Dark Souls III - A 3D platformer that Chris just made up

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I actually really like the speed-dating idea and have seen things sort of like that in jams before but the feeling I get is that it needs to be more in-person for that to work well or be feasible at all.


At least a couple people left feedback in previous jams that they wished they could have been automatically placed into a team which is why I bring it up. But then, maybe people wouldn't quite love the group they were paired with and drop out? I dunno, lots of imperfect solutions.

I'm currently leaning toward the spreadsheet, maybe there could be a thing that would recommend two or three people for you to group with? I'm no google docs wizard but that seems doable.


I had an idea where people could submit a single game pitch and then the pitches would be collected and displayed together to help team-forming people say "hey, i like the sound of that. let's do a team." Maybe we could even have a live reading of the pitch ideas on a stream??

Having it be at a set time, ideally the weekend before, would help people focus and make sure they had their team situation sorted instead of just kicking the can down the road until the jam starts and whoops you forgot to do a team"


The other thing we're talking about on the Slack is themes. Do we want to do podcast titles for Winter Wizard? Last year we decided to do "holidays" instead of podcast titles in order to keep the spring jam different and special but I'm not totally sure that's necessary. "Holidays" is a lot less exciting for crazy ideas than the podcast titles and I don't think we'd really run out anytime soon...

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I'm definitely up for not making the theme a generic holiday thing. I get the idea of not wanting to keep with the titles all the time, but the winter one was less inspiring personally.


If we want alternative we could do something Thumbsy though not quite the actual titles? For instance, someone made a fake title generator from the last jam:

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Just to loop people in: there's some discussion about this going on right now in the #wizardjam channel of the Thumbs slack.

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I think the takeaway from all our chat was pretty well summed up by 051:


i think something i learned about the first wwj is that 1.) people really liked the diversifiers and 2.) people were confused that it wasn't episode titles again


The reason we didn't do episode titles the first winter jam was over concern it would take away what's special from wizard jam prime. If that's what the people want though, let's give it to them.

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Just to weight now that I'm awake, you may have already dicussed this but how about keeping the episodes theme but having special holiday themed diversifiers? Like use Christmasy or wintery colours or something?

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ya, i'm with mythalore, maybe make every wiz jam the episode titles, but then go wild with the diversifiers

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