Topic: Just JAM Impressions and Q&A

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Hello everyone, I'm the Lead Developer for Just JAM, the music game created by Big John Games and Zivix and released last week for WiiWare.

I thought I'd start this thread for players to post any game impressions as well as answer any questions people might have about the game, since it's a bit different than music games or apps that most gamers have played before. Feel free to ask about music selection, controls, downloadable content, you name it.



Good I want to know everything about it.
What is possible with that program?
What kind of music is in there?
How many tracks / minutes of music?
Is it comparable to other software?
What makes it exciting, fun or addicting?
What kind of gameplay is it?
How much dlc is there and, what kind of dlc is it, and how much does it cost?
Will the game be released in Europe and Japan?
What is your favourite music?
What were your influences in making this program?
Are Miis supported?
Multiplayer? Different game modes?
How many blocks for the game/savegame?
What other games have Big John Games and Zivix developed?


Whew, lots of questions. I'll do my best.

The main capabilities are the ability to make your own mix performances using the supplied Jams. It's all done in real time, unlike a sequencer, so you activate and deactivate looping tracks and fire off one-shot sounds in real time, hearing the music as you make the changes. Performances can be saved and edited later (again, all done in real time), and copied to Wii Remote memory to share with friends who also have Just JAM.

It will help to describe what exactly a Jam is. Each Jam consists of 25 audio clips. These are a combination of loops and one-shots. Looping tracks are automatically synchronized and will sound good in just about any combination within a Jam. One-shots only play once and will start exactly when you trigger them, so these take a little bit more skill to perform successfully, but also offer the most freedom to create unique sounding performances. Loop lengths vary between Jams, but typical lengths are 15-25 seconds. So each Jam has about 3-4 minutes of unique recorded audio available.

There are all sorts of music available in the 16 Jams included in the game. Genres covered include rock, hip hop, dance, techno. Currently all of the Jams are produced by local, indie artists, who are not necessarily household names but still produce high quality music. I'm in the middle of trying to pull together some video and audio clips available on the internet to demonstrate some of the original songs that the Jams were created from.

As far as being comparable to other software, I'd say that Just JAM lies somewhere in between rhythm-based games like Guitar Hero and Rock Band and full fledged audio sequencer creation tools. Jams are created using samples that all work well together and are mostly pulled from complete songs (similar to GH or RB), but you are able to remix all of the pieces (like a sequencer).

What makes it fun are the endless possibilities for remixing Jams, as well as the cool Venues we've created that respond to the music in real time (watch the trailer to see a few of these in action).

There are currently three Jams available as DLC, with four more coming in a few weeks. There will likely be lots more to come, our partners at Zivix have loads of Jams to work with that we simply couldn't fit into a WiiWare download. All DLC currently planned will be just 100 Wii Points each, so it's a great opportunity to use up some of you odd numbers of Wii Points (like after buying a 500 point game with 600 points in your account).

Europe is a possibility, our studio's approach is to evaluate initial sales in North America first and make decisions about Europe based on projections from these sales. Japan is very unlikely, as we current;y don't have relationships with any Japanese publishers needed to release titles in Japan.

My own favorite music tends to Alt Rock, but I like a pretty broad range. In Just JAM I really like the techno and dance tracks because beat-heavy Jams tend to work really well with the game's mechanics.

Miis are not supported, and there is no multiplayer. As you've gathered by now, Just JAM isn't strictly a traditional game as much as a music making an performing experience. There is scoring (based on timing variety in the Jams you perform), but this is mainly aimed at unlocking new Jams and Venues rather than any sort of competitive play.

Just 3 blocks for the save game. This hold three profiles each able to store 50 recorded performances (by the way, the Wii Remote can support one performance at a time).

Big John Games has create several titles, in recent years focusing on Nintendo download platforms. We've done Thorium Wars, Big Bass Arcade, and Spot It! Challenge on DSiWare, helped port Mouse House from the iPhone to WiiWare, and developed the Fantasy Slots games available on both platforms. Previously we developed Spitfire Heroes: Tales of the RAF and Plushees for the DS.

Zivix is devoted solely to music games. Just JAM is actually an offshoot of their Jam Party title for PC. Jam Party is based on the same idea as Just JAM, but supports GH and RB guitar controllers, and of course includes more music because it isn't held to WiiWare size restrictions.

Hopes this helps. Feel free to ask more!



Is there any update on this game heading on over to us Europeans? I'm really eager to pla this game! I love music =)

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No plans to come to Europe currently. We're busy here at Big John Games with some other projects right now, but will look at future possibilities for Just Jam before the end of the year, when we have some time and have more complete sales figures.

For now, everyone in the US should check out our website or the Nintendo Channel for the latest DLC trailers, which include some better known songs including Funkytown (by Lipps, Inc., #1 hit in 1980) and Chelsea by The Summer Set.



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