The theme for the 2008 Annual OHR 48-Hour Contest was “nothing”, and Jimmy’s Vacation was “the absolute best interpretation of the theme possible“. For once you don’t even have to just take my word for it because despite all odds, Jimmy’s won the contest 10-7, whatever that means.We barely won, and thinking back on the entire thing prior to writing this, I wasn’t even sure if we had won or not. What I do remember about this project is how it felt like we were really getting one over on everyone. Everything we’d post felt like a jab, a secret we were trying to get everyone else to buy into. We got to be arrogant and full of bravado. Unfortunately no one else really entered. There was only one other entry, which is pretty weak for a 48-Hour Contest. In my mind I tell myself we just scared everyone off with our impressive screenshots and hype thread.
The game in reality isn’t bad, it’s just not really game as much as it is a tech demo advertised with lies. Playing it now with no grounding in what the engine we was capable of standard will make it seem even less impressive, but probably doesn’t hurt it’s charm any. The game takes place inside of Jimmy’s house while his parents are gone. You can walk around with a sprite that’s 2×1, pick up and move objects around, change clothes, some crazy multi-choice menu thing, there is a fake password on the computer and a ton of fake hints and red herrings all around the house.
The only reason to play this game is the lovely voice acting from the television by our very own Hachi-Roku. I remember he asked us what our favorite games were so he could add in ‘l33t cheatz’ for them for one segment, other than that I’m not sure if Hawk gave him a script or what, but it’s all great stuff. I could listen to him for hours. But that’s what the game was, it’s what the game wasn’t that made it special.
I made a few fake screen shots to post around the internet and drum up hype. The goal was that people would play the game and see all the crazy non-standard stuff they could do and think “wow, I wonder what kind of game this will turn out to be”, only to get stuck pretty quickly and give up. But when they’d check the forums they’d be greeted with screenshots of parts of the game that looked a lot more like an actual game, get confused, and head back in. We even lucked into some great cover for the game being cryptic because the night Hawk uploaded the game it was storming and he was almost missed the deadline.
“My deepest apologies for being so late, after the storm cleared I had to finish up a couple things to make the game playable from compo time lost by it. We had to cut a few things so it’s not completely clear what you’re supposed to be doing at all times, so we’ll try to post a guide later. “
At the end of the day I think Jimmy’s Vacation did it’s job well and represents the contest’s theme perfectly. It’s not quite a game, it’s mostly nothing.