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Get Your Original Atari Jaguar Game Published - JagJam 2024!


Ever fancied trying your hand at retro homebrew game development? JagJam 2024 is an Atari Jaguar game jam organised by industry veteran Boris Kretzinger (Datassette_User) in conjunction with Songbird Productions - and I’m a judge! You have until the end of October to submit your original game - here’s all you need to know to get started.

🕹️ JagJam Official Page: 🕹️


Question: Are you a homebrew game developer for retro game systems such as the Atari Jaguar here, or indeed is that a world that you’ve been looking to dip your toe into for a while and you’ve been looking for an excuse to get started?

Well, I have just the event for you!

Introducing JagJam - an Atari Jaguar game jam organized in conjunction with Songbird Productions and Boris Kretzinger, and it’s running until October 30th this year over on

And there are some fantastic prizes up for grabs: including €200 in cash, and perhaps more importantly, the opportunity to get your game published by legendary game publisher Songbird Productions.

So, who are the names behind the competition?

Well, first up is Boris Kretzinger - who you may know better as Datassette_User - you’ve probably seen him commenting down in the comment section of my videos. He’s an absolute veteran of the retro gaming scene, responsible for the publication of the Return magazine and Kilobyte magazines, and also more recently “Clipped Claws - The Atari Jaguar Story” which is an incredibly comprehensive and detailed history of the console, I highly recommend it and you can download that and read it for free from

Songbird Productions is a legendary game publisher that should hopefully need no introduction. They’ve been around since 1999 and they’re a really big name in the Atari world - helping to bring all sorts of unreleased and prototype games back onto the market for the Atari Jaguar and the Lynx - and of course they’ve also published games on the Evercade, and more recently, worked with homebrew developers to get their games to market in a physical form with proper boxed releases.

They’re also responsible for organising JagFest, which is a physical Atari Jaguar convention which is an annual event that’s been running in Minnesota since 1999.

And finally, there’s me - Rees - an Atari collector and YouTuber. I’ve been a huge fan of Atari my entire life, I’ve contributed to magazine articles and books on the subject - of course, I’ve covered it extensively on my channel, I’ve got a really big collection of Atari stuff going all the way back to the original Pong consoles.

And the Jaguar in particular is a console that I have a huge soft spot for - I’ve been a huge fan of this ever since it was new.

I was also involved with the testing of the GameDrive flashcart for the Jag, which of course I covered on my channel at the time so when I was asked to be involved in the judging of this competition, I was of course very pleased to help out.

So the requirements for submitting a game to JagJam are listed over on the page but I’ll just go over the bullet points here just to clarify on a few things:

Every game genre is welcome, so whether that be a platformer, or a racing game, or a sports game, or what have you, let your imagination run wild, there’s no limitation on genre whatsoever.

All that we ask is that your game hasn’t already been released anywhere else.

And you can enter as a team, or as an individual, that’s perfectly fine.

But of course we do ask - and this is probably the most important point - that you respect intellectual property. We can’t accept any submissions which are using copyrighted assets that don’t belong to you, or 1:1 ports of existing games that you don’t have the rights to.

Your entry must run on a real Atari Jaguar with a GameDrive flashcart, and that has to support PAL and NTSC - so 50 and 60 hertz.

And you also have to include some instructions so we actually know how to play the game - just a text file with a few lines is perfectly fine.

We can’t accept any late entries, so the deadline for entries is October 31st 2024, and we also ask that there is at least some playable form of the game that can be released for people to enjoy - so whether that be a demo or indeed the full game, that’s entirely up to you.

If you have any questions at all about any of the requirements, feel free to contact the organisers, but please do that via the page and not down in the comments section here, because I can’t guarantee that I’ll see everything and be able to reply.

So if all of this has piqued your interest in the world of homebrew Atari Jaguar game development, how do you get started?

Well, believe it or not, it’s actually easier to develop games for the Jaguar than it has ever been - we’ve got the excellent BigPEmu emulator, which of course you can run on PC and use to test your game while it’s under development.

And there’s JagStudio, which is a complete development environment for the Atari Jaguar, which is a modular thing and is very well supported - it supports development in BASIC, C, and assembler.

There’s the AtariAge forums and the people over there will be more than happy to help you out with all of the questions that you might have on Atari Jaguar programming.

There’s the Jaguar SDK and the U235 sound engine project, and they have a GitHub and website that you can go to to find some more information - there’s no limitations on any framework or tools that you might want to use to develop your game, all that we ask is that it runs on the Jag!

And of course, as with any game jam, there are various judging criteria, and each game will receive a score in each of the following categories:

There’s Originality: How original is your game’s concept?

Graphics: Does it look good? Is the art style consistent?

Sound & Music: How nice is the soundscape of your game?

Playability: Is it fun to play - which I think is a very important one!

Replay Value: How motivating is it to come back to the game?

Presentation: How well does everything fit together?

And Technical Finesse: How impressive is your title technically?

It’s an online event, you’ll find a link down in the description to the page again with all of the details, and if you have any questions about the competition please do direct them through that page.

I just wanted to thank Boris and Songbird Productions again for asking me to be involved, I’m very proud to be a part of this - and it’s all just a bit of fun, we’re all here to support each other and do some cool stuff with the Jag!

So big thanks to my supporters on Patreon, on the YouTube Channel Member page, and on Ko-Fi for making all of this possible, and a big thanks to you for watching - and if you do take part in the competition, I wish you the best of luck.

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Relevant Links:
Read Clipped Claws - The Atari Jaguar Story:
Songbird Productions:
JagFest 1999 Footage:

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