- So, one of the best-kept secrets in the game biz is the original Indie Game Jam - and it's mainly a secret to the web, actually, because the creators (including Chris Hecker and friends) haven't managed to update the website with info on the 2005 and 2006 iterations.

I did ping Chris briefly, and he said it would be updated soon, but I found out about some of the results of the 2006 Indie Game Jam via Casey Muratori's MollyRocket.com site, where there's a brief messageboard thread linking to three of the music-based games done there.

Firstly, stealth code ninja for hire Atman Binstock has posted his title 'Beat Butter' on his site, explaining: "This game was inspired by previews I read for REZ. Ie, I imagined it was something like this... I wanted a game where the music, level, and gameplay all encourage (but not force) the player to use the controller in a visceral way that *feels* good."

In addition, former Game Developer magazine code columnist Sean Barrett has posted 'Beat It!', another game with some intriguing influences: "The primary motivation for the gameplay was my sense that Harmonix-style beat-matching gameplay created the feeling of playing a musical instrument, but only by forcing you to synchronize to a previously constructed audio track which you must mimic; the experiential effect is only binary: either you're playing it correctly or not. The hope with Beat It! was to provide you with an arcade game which you can play while totally ignoring the music, and yet in the process of playing it you would create music."

Thirdly, programming veteran Muratori (who MC-ed the GDC Programmer's Challenge this year) has linked to his game 'Ears Of War' [.ZIP], explaining: "You may need to play with the Windows microphone gain setting in order to get mission mode to work, as the audio recognition is not very good (it was made in about two hours, and I know nothing about audio recognition."

No idea who else has music games out there from Indie Game Jam 4, but hopefully they will be posted online in due course. It's wacky, actually - these folks, who may be relatively unknown to you, are some of the hidden geniuses behind the nuts and bolts of game creation, alongside Jon Blow, Mark Cerny, and other similar svengalis. You'd be very surprised to learn what they all worked on, I'm guessing.