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WJ4 Diversifiers

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Hey all, we've been mulling over some ideas for Diversifiers in the Slack so I thought I'd open it up here as well for people to pitch in.



Diversifiers are small creative prompts that will be presented as an optional task for jammers. In general, it’s best when these are smaller ideas rather than entire themes; as people can use a combination of several diversifiers for their games.


We'll whittle this list down to 5-10 and announce them at the start of the jam.


Thanks for your input!




  • Mainstream Thumbs - Use an episode title from the Idle Thumbs podcast.

  • When the Thumbs are not enough - Use an episode title from a non Idle Thumbs network podcast.
  • Game Ideas from the Cast - Realise a game idea/joke that has appeared in an episode

  • Idol Thumbs - A past or present thumbs presenter is your player character.

  • Could you repeat that? - Have a character in your game use famous Thumbs quotes in regular dialogue like a real slyboots.


  • One of These Things is Not Like the Other - Ask another jammer to draw a sprite/make a model for your game without showing them the art style of your game. Include this in your game without comment.

  • Wizard Jam Shared Cinematic Universe - Place a small in-game cameo or reference to another game participating in the jam. This could be something like placing a character from another game into your game somehow, or using some art from another game as a billboard sign in your game etc.

    • WJSCU Sub-versifier: Building A Legacy - use a recognizable asset from a previous wizard jam - this could be from one of your games or from someone elses if you ask nicely enough! (Bonus points for loving tributes to everyone's favorite yellow gourmand - Dot Gobbler.)

  • Wrong Thread - Base your game on an Idle Forums thread title

  • Dishonored Holidays - tis the season! make a game about winter holidays, Dishonored, or ideally both. Corvo’s Carve That Turkey Challenge, anyone?

  • Box art - Make a still image to be the ‘box art’ for your game. Do you remember physical retail? (Bonus points if it’s off-style for the actual game, and misrepresents the spirit of the game [see Mega Man 1 & 2 for reference])

  • Super Briefly  - Right when you think the game is over, a super-brief mini-game kicks in. Or it’s all mini-games. Just do it fast!

  • Learn by doing - Make a game with no explicit instructions or tutorial, but that the player can still learn by playing through it.

    • Learn By Doing Sub-Versifier: No Dialog - No written words at all, even tutorials must be pictographs

  • Ludo-Narrative Dissonance - Make the theme and presentation of your game completely at odds with the moment-to-moment gameplay. Bonus points for not just being “normal game protagonist is secretly mass murderer”

  • From the horse’s mouth - Include some kind of developer commentary in your game. This can be an optional secondary mode after the player completes it or something tied more closely to the narrative a la The Magic Circle.

  • Uncle Who Still Works at Nintendo - Your game has a bizarre cheat code or secret that no-one will believe is real, but it definitely is; my uncle who still works at Nintendo told me about it. Whatever you do, don’t post about this secret on your own thread. You may help spread rumors however...

  • Nice Segue - Don’t just cut from level to level. Wipe that sucker! Add transitions that are interesting, stylish, and ideally fit the mood and look of your game. Look at Blendo Games’ first-person work, where the hard cuts are strong narrative and stylistic choices that evoke a cinematic or dreamlike feeling in the player.

  • Game Development 100% Internalized - Stream your game-making adventures. This can be art asset creation, coding, or even your team design meetings!

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For reference, here're the old diversifiers:


Wiz Jam '16


Uniquely Systemic - Procedurally generate something in your game that’s not commonly procedural. A character’s personality, the game’s secret language, a control scheme, the procedurally generated sky's the limit.

Crowd-sourced - Make a game using input from other people. Let the community decide on creative decisions, or take on lots of mini-contributions which will be used in the game (e.g. sound recordings or photos).


Shallow Copy - Choose a genre/style to be inspired by, but specifically don’t use certain mechanics or other elements common to it.


Designer Notes - Include a director’s commentary in your game.


Tone Control - The audio in your game is reactive and directly manipulated by the player’s inputs and actions.


Uncle Who Works at Nintendo - Your game has a bizarre cheat code or secret that no-one will believe is real, but it definitely is; my uncle who works at Nintendo told me about it.


Ombudsman - During the jam, produce and distribute a newsletter tangentially related to your game.


Focused Palette - Make a game using as few colours as possible.


Dead to Language - Incorporate words or language as a core mechanic in your game.


Winter Wiz Jam '15

  • Super Briefly: Time is precious. The rounds in your game are completed as quickly as possible. Seconds in, a player is eliminated. You blink, and a victor emerges. Another minute, and the game has brought you to tears.
  • Focused Palette: Make a game using as few colours as possible.
  • Talk is cheap: Make a game which features no words whatsoever
  • Tone Control: The audio in your game is reactive and directly manipulated by the player’s inputs and actions.
  • Designer Notes: Include a director’s commentary in your game.
  • Crowd-sourced: Make a game which features tiny contributions from members of the forum/public. (Check out the team building thread to find willing contributors)
  • “It’s a Baby Game”: Think back to your youth and create a game inspired from a childhood toy or activity. Bonus points if your game can be played by a baby.
  • Hemispherist: Throw another shrimp on the barbie and make a game celebrating the Southern Hemisphere’s beautiful summers. Penguins in bikinis please!
  • The Great Gatling Gunsby: Unfortunately the practice of adapting classic literature to video game started and stopped with Visceral Games’ Dante’s Inferno (2010). Pick up the torch where Visceral dropped it and make a game that “adapts” classic literature. (Need some help? Check out
  • Dishonored Holidays: I don’t really know what this means but I think they generally happen a week before the regular holiday #HappyDishonoredHalloween ! 


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After much amazing input and voting, we have a final list up on that there top post.


Honestly it was hard whittling it down with so many good suggestions. I hope you all don't mind having plenty to choose from!

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