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Mar 10

thatgamecompany’s 24hr Game Jam

Kellee Santiago's Avatar Posted by on Mar 10, 2008 // President and co-founder of thatgamecompany

Hello, I’m Kellee Santiago from thatgamecompany, creators of flOw, and currently in development on Flower. The fine people at Playstation.Blog are good enough to allow me to use my first post here to let you all in on a little thing we have going on here at thatgamecompany call the 24hr Game Jam.

Championed by our lead engineer John Edwards, the 24hr Game Jam was created as a way for us to do something quick, dirty, and fun … and maybe let out a little steam in the process. The goal is always to make a game, from start to finish, on the PS3 in 24hrs. We go from 10am Saturday to 10am Sunday, and then whatever we have, we lock it up. Future Game Jams might have more specific goals, but for this first one, we just wanted to see how much fun we could make in a day. Oh, and our game designer Nick Clark wanted something that was multiplayer that we could enjoy in the office.

So welcome … to Game Jam 0: Gravediggers


  • To see how much fun we could generate in 24 hours.
  • To make something multiplayer we could play in the office.



You are a gravedigger. There can be up to 6 gravediggers competing against one another locally. You move with an analog stick, jump with the “X” button, and shoot with Right Bumper. Oh yeah, you are a gravedigger with a pistol.


You are killing zombies. There are lots of them. More specifically you are collecting zombie heads. When you kill a zombie, their head pops off and you can collect them.


In order to get a point for your head, you must deposit heads into a crypt. There are two crypts on the level, but they can move around in the middle of a game.


You can shoot other players, and collect their heads. Their heads are worth more. In addition, you will be able to collect all of the zombie heads they have gathered so far.


If you are shot by another player or a zombie chomps you to death, your head will pop off and you will become a zombie. (“Rise from your grave….”) You can still chomp other players, but you can’t deposit heads, and you will remain a zombie until you find your head. If another player deposits your head in a crypt, it will pop up somewhere else on the level.

The ground is very soft. If it’s in your way, I suggest shooting a path through it. It’s a lot more fun. Every level is randomly generated.

Along the way, you might pick up special weapons:

  • Uzi (fast pistol)
  • mines (explode on impact)
  • satchel charges (detonated on command)
  • the uber-weapon, the shotgun.

If you pick one up, it will automatically become your new default weapon.

The first player to deposit 50 heads wins. Below is a play-through with five players.

And there you have it! The product of 24hrs straight work on the PS3. I’m not sure if it plays well on video, but I gotta tell you the game is large amounts of ridiculous fun for us to play. Maybe you have to be there. At any rate, I’m looking forward to reporting back from our next Game Jam, and I hope you all got a kick out of this one!

//Add Your Own

113 Comments   7 Replies


+ spike021 on March 10th, 2008 at 2:19 pm said:

Would you ever just release it as a source code, but edited of course of all illegal files to have and whatnot for compiling on a Mac OS X/Windows system? Maybe as free/shareware?


+ Kedaro on March 10th, 2008 at 2:25 pm said:

I like seeing stuff like this, perhaps in the future, someone will design a low end dev studio to the consumers to make content that they can make real PSN $$$ by selling to other users? that would just totally take the cake for a creative individual such as myself.

Your Zombie game reminds me of the old days, me and my buddies tinkering around with Turbo Pascal, and modding the old D&D games to be co-operatively played over a network.

Keep up the great work, and if you hear of any creative positions for storyline/game planners, consider fans/consumers such as myself for the job. We (the consumers) are the pool in which the video game industry not only obtains it’s best customers, but also recruits some of it’s greatest game creators.


+ alballam on March 10th, 2008 at 2:38 pm said:

not bad at all =)


+ Choinkees on March 10th, 2008 at 2:44 pm said:

Heh, that’s fantastic :) I love those types of challenges, be it game making, artwork, short film in a day, etc… it’s cool seeing how creative you can be in such a short time.

The PS3 really needs something like AMOS (good old days of the Amiga) or some form of simple game creation software.. just to let the hobby developers create stuff and have a community site to share their work.

Shame we wont be able to play your zombie game, but thanks so much for sharing the vid with us :)


+ Gregory Block on March 10th, 2008 at 3:11 pm said:

+1 on the sinistar voice, and sure, release it cheap, support 4p multiplayer locally, and you’ve got a definite buy.

Definitely *don’t* improve the graphics.


+ Demon on March 10th, 2008 at 3:13 pm said:

It would be great if Sony let us gamers make our own games and sell them on the PlayStation store. Give us the tools to make our own games, teach us how to make games (haha, I know), charge us a fee for selling our games on the PlayStation store, and we’ll all be riche…err, I mean, happy.


+ willacuz on March 10th, 2008 at 3:14 pm said:

This one looks like it was inspired from SOLDAT!

Which was one of the most amazing simplistic online title ever!

Did you guys play it before making this?


+ unit138 on March 10th, 2008 at 3:20 pm said:

This game looks freakin fun! I wanna play!


+ crazypenguin on March 10th, 2008 at 3:25 pm said:

ha ha, add it as an extra in flower, you know, just a silly little option to play, like in , gosh, that racing game on the tip of my tounge, you know how they have that pixel racing/pacman game thing they have? do it something like that


+ Dan-I-Smith on March 10th, 2008 at 3:25 pm said:

SO….come out with it….this whole console needs to take itself outta this daydream mode.
Im getting really tired of all this look but OH NO dont touch GARBAGE talk. Just dont make more empty promises PLEASE.


+ BlackTooth93 on March 10th, 2008 at 3:31 pm said:

wow, this is amazing! if you make it only a dollar, everyone will buy it!


+ cronqvist on March 10th, 2008 at 3:32 pm said:

Just adding to the loads of petitions for making it available. Thanks in advance!


+ Gregero on March 10th, 2008 at 3:33 pm said:

What ever happened to that “tank” game using the Eye in which you can register your custom item and have it be displayed as your tank and then do battle with the object? It’d be really cool if Sony released software so the public can make their own games and put them up on the PS Store. I hope you guys plan on releasing these neat games you show off instead of just saying, “We can do this and that, but you’re not touching it.”


+ tirminyl on March 10th, 2008 at 4:40 pm said:

Sometimes it’s the simple games that are the most fun!


+ TheGraciousOne on March 10th, 2008 at 4:53 pm said:

Interesting! At least it isn’t an interactive screensaver and the title doesn’t have annoying capitalization.

But it looks like a simple homemade flash game that I can play for free on but with crappier graphics and annoying sound effects?

It’s cool though. It beats flow any day of the week.

    Kellee Santiago's Avatar


    + ksantiago on March 10th, 2008 at 6:57 pm said:

    Hah, thanks!


+ xplosneer on March 10th, 2008 at 4:58 pm said:



+ MrFenwick on March 10th, 2008 at 6:27 pm said:

Nicely done. It would be cool to just have games like this released on the PSN.

I’d pay $1 for some quick loving.


+ un-discovered on March 10th, 2008 at 6:45 pm said:

Good concept, sadly not my type of game, i wouldn’t buy.


+ dgknight500 on March 10th, 2008 at 7:15 pm said:

wow, sweet idea. With some decent graphics i would totally buy that… but i wouldn’t really pay more than 25 cents for it as it is now…


+ wiitendotriple on March 10th, 2008 at 8:23 pm said:

So if you can’t release it by itself, why not a pack of these 24 hour games? I’d pay $5 for a set of them. And if you don’t have enough to justify that much, it’ll only take a few days to make some more.


+ bobtheduck on March 10th, 2008 at 8:41 pm said:

Make sure Sega gives you permission for the soundbytes, then release it for a dollar. I’ll get it.


+ prayforjoejoe on March 10th, 2008 at 9:08 pm said:

I see a lot of people not knowing their classics around here. Awesome choice of Altered Beast. I loved that game on the Genesis. “WELCOME TO YOUR DOOM!” “Save my Daughter!” Just goes to show you how out of touch many gamers are today that they didn’t recognize that right away. Anyways, keep up the great work guys, these sort of game jams all prove that games are about concept and gameplay, graphics don’t mean crap if the game is boring as hell.


+ rojo7 on March 10th, 2008 at 9:49 pm said:

wanna make 48 hours game jam?


+ KatanaKing on March 11th, 2008 at 12:27 am said:

what a waste of 24h…


+ OtisFeelgood on March 11th, 2008 at 1:26 am said:

ROFLMAO!!!! @ 38


+ Reefer_Smoker97 on March 11th, 2008 at 1:30 am said:

i know this has nothing to do with the topic but could someone please give some info on when will see ps3 system update i find Sony lacks in keeping it up to date even if its a simple adjustment ill be happy i think their should be a system update once every two weeks or every month


+ wocyob on March 11th, 2008 at 1:33 am said:

me and my bud would love to play this game

come on sony let them give this out to the public

make and area called “24 hour game”
and put the games there for free
im sure other company’s will start doing this and you will get more downloads as well as more crazy fun games..

heck…if the game gets alot of DLs you can ask the person who made make a remake and polish it up and sell the new and polished ver

btw awesome job guys
i would love to do this for a living
keep up the awesome work!


+ OtisFeelgood on March 11th, 2008 at 1:38 am said:


You couldve kept that retarded comment to yourself you waste of life.


+ deadxbabiesxinc on March 11th, 2008 at 3:12 am said:

Thanks for the post and everything…but wtf? This isn’t going to be put on the PSN? We just get a video of how much of a blast it is to play? Thats pretty….f’ed up

    Kellee Santiago's Avatar


    + Kellee Santiago on March 11th, 2008 at 11:35 am said:

    Yeah, I\’m sorry! We didn\’t mean to tease. We just wanted to share with you guys some of the stuff that goes on around here not flOw- or Flower- or Cloud-related. Plus, I\’m kind of hoping this will get other devs interested in making their own game in 24hrs. Or even you guys (doesn\’t have to be PS3)!


+ mattnz on March 11th, 2008 at 3:27 am said:

I understand the whole point is to make a game in 24 hours, but if idea’s are produced that turn out to make good game play then why not polish it up and make it worth a couple of bucks, that way it can cover testing costs. It’s seems this is a great way of inventing simple game mechanics that are fun to play.


+ NewYork214 on March 11th, 2008 at 5:38 am said:

damn this site was down for like 2 hours.(for me anyway)


+ yxxxx on March 11th, 2008 at 5:49 am said:

That does look like a lot of fun. i would by it as is as long as it wasn’t expensive.

Free of course would be great.


+ west on March 11th, 2008 at 7:40 am said:

Wow, you guys are pretty talented. I wish we had more information on the flower game.


+ chubigans on March 11th, 2008 at 9:08 am said:

Maybe you can have four more 24-hour game jams, and then release all five games as an all-in-one bundle for $5. That’d make more sense than a standalone release.

And hiah Kellee! :)


+ masteratt on March 11th, 2008 at 9:16 am said:

I miss games like this.

Games like this was what made PS great.

Now I check out PS3 games and I feel like I bought an Xbox.
SOLDIER this, BLOW UP that, SHOOT this…..Yawn-fest.


+ erico316 on March 11th, 2008 at 9:17 am said:

i just noticed something what with the flo in your guys titles?


+ erico316 on March 11th, 2008 at 9:20 am said:

@85 i agredd with you on that the ps3 is heading the dircted of the shooter but at the same time this year there is a lil bit of everything


+ XcoM on March 11th, 2008 at 10:18 am said:

Have a few more Game Jams, then release them all on PSN for a few quid, as an Arcade pack. I’d buy it.


+ OrganicShadow on March 11th, 2008 at 10:36 am said:

Kellee, what I think a lot of us are actually saying when we say we want to play it, is not that we don’t understand it was a 24hr game, but that we think the PURPOSE of the 24hr game thing is to concentrate on concept/idea/gameplay.

You’ve achieved that, and it’s fun. Yay! Success! Now, why can’t this be turned into a product? THAT’S what we are asking. If you guys continued this, you’d work a full work week and end up with 5 amazing game concepts by the end of the week. Each of those could be refined, built upon, and fleshed out into inexpensive PSN games.

Yes, it costs money to make games, thus they wouldn’t be free, but I wasn’t asking for that or even expecting it. I just basically see what you guys are doing as very focused brain storm sessions that dangle the “right” carrot in front of your noses, instead of being pressured from different angles and gameplay/concept being overlooked.

Either way keep doing it! You guys and PixelJunk dudes are blowing my mind! :D


+ spynose on March 11th, 2008 at 11:26 am said:

Great game, I’d like to play it right away (=

The idea of a Game Jam is very nice. I hope we see more of this. Quick and dirty rocks!


+ superbone547 on March 11th, 2008 at 12:05 pm said:

why is the text in the replies from the author black at the beginning, then white after a certain length. Perhaps it is after a new line is started? Well, whatever it is it makes the post hard to read. I don’t know if everyone has this problem or if its just my web broweser or if this is done intentionally for some reason, but it certainly is a nuscance.


+ NewYork214 on March 11th, 2008 at 12:12 pm said:

nope i see it in half black to. im usin the internet explorer 8 beta


+ Ar-Pharazon on March 11th, 2008 at 12:49 pm said:


Well put!

Really though, in order to pass Sony’s QA process, you have to adhere to dozens and dozens of submission standards. The process generally takes weeks.

I think what TGC was trying to do was have fun, challenge themselves, shake up the routine, and bond as a company. I think, unfortunately, the grunt work necessary to get their experiment “out there” isn’t something TGC would want to, or should, spend their time on. They’re already working on an actual product that deserves their full attention.


+ DDBdestroyer on March 11th, 2008 at 1:31 pm said:

haha brilliant – not only does it look fun but it also goes to show that the games we play take HUGE amounts of effort – this was 24 hours and although it may seem like a long time – it is not when making a game

sweet game and cant wait to see more!


+ deadxbabiesxinc on March 11th, 2008 at 1:50 pm said:

@ Kellee Santiago: in reply to that…I think you guys should only get 12hrs to make a game cuz obviously you guys made a very tempting game! Not only that up the antee to where you had no sleep the night before :) Maybe that way you won’t be able to “tease” :-P


+ Cytota on March 11th, 2008 at 2:30 pm said:

Come onnnn! This being released on PSN would be wonderful. Slap it up there for like a dollar or two and people will tear into it. It’s not like Sony would be taking a big financial risk, you guys and gals made this for yourself, for fun. It’d be a good way to make a little bit of money. Hopefully if more people make 24 hour games, publishers might take a notice at this.

Again, pleaaaase, release this on PSN, I’ve really enjoyed all of the games from your development crew. Especially flOw, I downloaded it the day it came out and played it for hours, and got my friends caught up in it too, lol.


+ Simeon718 on March 11th, 2008 at 2:49 pm said:

Put this on PS Store for $0.99


+ Gregero on March 11th, 2008 at 3:32 pm said:

You guys should do a one week game where you spend a whole 5 days as a team and throw something nice together.


+ spike021 on March 11th, 2008 at 3:42 pm said:

@79’s reply

Would be able to do same, or near the same if we used C++? Or would we use a different language for that?

    Kellee Santiago's Avatar


    + Kellee Santiago on March 11th, 2008 at 4:45 pm said:

    On the PS3 or just in general? In general, you can use any language you like!

    Also, in regards to the one week game, check out Kloonigames at:

    He\’s got some great stuff there, if you\’re into quickly-made games!


+ OrganicShadow on March 11th, 2008 at 3:51 pm said:

@94: That makes sense.

I guess just a lot of us are “am cry” because it sounds like such an awesome idea and we don’t think it will ever see the light of day.

Perhaps tgc could toss a lot of these into their little folder for later on? For all we know, while they are making flOwer they think of ways to make Gravediggers EVEN BETTER, get all excited about it, and then talk about how that’s what they want to eventually do. Turning it into an official pitch etc.

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