|How Much Gameplay Can You Pack In Just 13K?|
|Written by Nikos Vaggalis|
|Monday, 16 October 2017|
Given our expectations of Xbox games, you might consider writing a game within a 13K limit, which is the challenge for the annual js13K competition far too restrictive. Its results are now out and prove that it is possible to produce a game that is fun to play.
Back in the tape loading days and on platforms the likes of Commodore64 games came in sizes of 4K or less. As proof of concept, here's a list of a few such 4K titles, copied over from Lemon64 's archive:
js13kGames then is a competition trying to answer two related questions :
This year the competition lasted from August 13 to September 13,
I wanted something original over popular 1k/4k/10k back in the days, and thought that 13 could be a nice hit, also given "bad luck" theme.
In that one month period, competitors had to create a game that followed this year's set theme, 'lost', and adhere to a set of rules. Here are the most important:
2. No external libraries or services
3. Two sources - readable and compressed
5. New content only
6. Errors and browser support
7. There are multiple categories that you can take part in. These are :
This year's entries amounted to the staggering count of 253 in all combined categories, and while there were many noteworthy entries the ones that actually won it were also the ones really worth it.
Taking a different approach, 'Lost in CYBERSPACE', a cyber thriller and winner of the A-Frame category, involved an elaborate plot as well as game play:
Lost in CYBERSPACE is a cooperative game designed for 2 players, each playing on a separate device. The only connection you need between each other is your voice. You can be in the same room or on the other part of the world, as long as you can hear each other.
One player takes a role of a HACKER lost in the CYBERSPACE maze of a corporate network. They need to move around CYBERSPACE, read the access codes to NAVIGATOR and find the TARGET node to hack it. But beware! Hacking wrong nodes will make you easier to locate and you will be lost in CYBERSPACE when the time runs out!
The other player takes a role of a NAVIGATOR who uses a terminal to decode the access codes they got from HACKER, read the map of CYBERSPACE and help HACKER find the way to the TARGET node.
Examples of those, are libraries the likes of Kontra (used for game loop and assets preloading) and TinyMusic, frameworks the likes of Brevis.js, toolkits such as the homegrown js13k-toolkit , transpilers such as babel for compiling ES6 code to Chrome and Firefox, Webpack for modular JS code, minifiers for CSS and HTML, and graphics techniques the likes of Signed Distance Functions raymarching.
The winners indulged themselves in prizes ranging from game on Steam, to paid GitHub plans and personal accounts with unlimited private repositories, to Amazon gift vouchers.
In the end, through employing open standards and publicly available code, js13k inspired and forced game devs to think hard about both gameplay and code optimization techniques in order to collectively up their....game!
As for the rest of us, it offers plenty of excuse for spending time online, playing, experimenting and having fun with all those games!
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|Last Updated ( Sunday, 15 October 2017 )|