Submissions open from 2019-09-13 17:00:00 to 2019-09-20 17:00:00
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8 Bits to Infinity presents GAME TOOLS HACKATHON, a week-long challenge to create a tool which speeds up the asset creation process or creates higher-quality assets, under the restriction of a given theme.


Thanks to benjames171 for the awesome logo!

The three themes are: (1) Automate Routine Manual Work (2) Mapmaking (3) Animation (pick one)

What is 8 Bits to Infinity?  A game development community working to improve creative and technical skills through rapid iteration and honest critical feedback.  We host a new game jam every month!

Join us on Discord to discuss the jam, join the logo challenge (in #challenges), form teams (in #team-up), and generally have a good time. :)

Want to form a team? Head over to the Crowdforge page to do so.

These awesome people are streaming games from the jam. Follow them on Twitch to get notified when they go live, and be sure to check out the VODs (recordings) if you miss the streams!

Rules

Entries  which break rules or have no clear relation to the Requirement will be removed.

  1. 1-4 members per team, one entry per team.
  2. Include a "readme" file (readme.txt or readme.md) in your entry with credits for your team and any assets used, including open-source code and Creative Commons 0 assets.
  3. Include a "tutorial" file (text, HTML, or PDF) walking through how to use the tool for a beginner.
  4. Include a "documentation" file (text, HTML, or PDF) exploring all features of the tool in greater detail.
  5. The tool must utilize at least one of the provided themes.
  6. Answer all of the questions on submission completely and honestly.
  7. Must work in Windows 10. Web builds are fine.
  8. Cannot require unusual peripherals (have keyboard and mouse as a backup).
  9. Make everything during the jam or use freely available assets (including open source code). Exception: You may use general-purpose assets (general-purpose code, logos, or fonts) made before the jam.
  10. No NSFW content. This includes sexual content (including language), nudity, or excessive realistic gore/violence.

Requirement

Create a tool which assists in game development, whether making a process easier, simpler, faster, or more effective.

Use any engines, frameworks, or libraries you like. If an engine, framework, or library is required to use your tool, the software must be free (as in beer).

Your tool may be:

  • An extension of a library or framework, such as an editor for MonoGame or tools for Godot
  • A plugin for an engine or other tool, such as a Unity Editor package
  • A stand-alone tool, like Aseprite or BeepBox

Some ideas for tools:

  • Pixel or 2D animation editor
  • Music editor (make sure you generate tones or have the rights to samples!)
  • Game data handling (serialization, packing, exploring, reusing, optimizing, files)
  • Level or tile editor
  • Scripting language (typed or visual)
  • Input system improvement
  • Lighting / 3D visuals
  • Object pooling
  • Refactoring / reformatting code
  • Profiling and optimization
  • Localization and text handling
  • Procedural generation (levels, textures, sprites, music, sound)
  • Playtesting tools
  • Project management (file organization, to-do lists, project methodology)

Challenges

In addition to the theme, we will include optional challenges which have no effect on rating, but can make the jam more fun.

The challenges will be announced when the jam begins.

Be sure to mention which challenges you accepted in your jam page, so players know to look for them!

FAQ

About the Requirement

What does "general-purpose code" mean in the context of a hackathon?
Any code created before the jam must be general enough that it does not apply directly to the goal of the tool. This is a bit of a gray area, but generally speaking you should be producing a majority of your code during the time period, as this is a hackathon.

Do I need to make a game?
A sample game is a great way to demonstrate the features of your tool and to show that it can be used in production. However, you are not required to make a sample game.

Can I make a full engine?
In a week? Good luck! But seriously, you're better off focusing on one particular aspect of the development process.

Other Questions

Should I build a Windows/Mac/Linux/web/[insert system here] version?
The more systems you support, the more people will be able to access your game. Some people prefer web versions because running downloaded software can be spoopy, while others prefer a download to keep the games locally and avoid the extra problems associated with web builds.

If you're using something like Unity, export versions for all systems! Most of the time, they'll work fine without any testing.

I didn't finish. Should I still submit? 
Yes! A solid prototype could still win the hackathon, and it's worth showcasing your work to get feedback.

How can I get more people to use my tool?
Use tools from other entries and leave quality feedback. Be sure to politely ask the dev to try yours, so they know you want feedback. There's a new feature on itch.io that shows your entry when you comment on the game's jam page so be sure to do so there.

Where can I ask more questions? 
Ask away in the community or on Discord.

Judging

Tools will be rated by a panel of judges with differing views but a shared interpretation of star values and voting categories. Judge entries and disqualified submissions will not be rated.

  • Usefulness: Does the tool accelerate game development or create high-quality results? Is it simple and easy to use, but powerful enough to be worth using?
  • Innovation: Does the tool provide a new feature or a new angle on an established idea? Does it push the underlying framework/engine to maximize the utility of available resources?
  • Completeness: How ready is the tool for production use? Does it have all of the expected features?
  • Panache: Does the tool look cool? Is it fun to use? Does it fit the aesthetics of its target environment?

Judging criteria will be explained in detail here in the near future.

Prizes & Top Feedback

Every jam entrant is eligible for Top Feedback, a prize for the person who submits the highest quantity of high-quality feedback during the jam. In addition to posting the feedback on itch.io, it must also be submitted for consideration to 8 Bits to Infinity. Keep an eye on Discord and your email for information about how to submit your feedback near the end of the jam.

Both the highest-ranking overall entry and the winner of Top Feedback will receive the following:

  • (Optional) Showcase of a commercially released game you choose on Joshua's stream after the voting period. The game must be in his collection, available for free, or gifted.
  • On-stream feedback for an updated version of your tool with at least two weeks notice.

In addition, the winning entry will be added to the list of 8 Bits to Infinity Jam Winners and the top feedback winner added to the Feedback Hall of Fame on the 8 Bits to Infinity website (forthcoming).

Tweeter of the Month

Any tweet with the #8bitstoinfinity hashtag in September counts toward winning Tweeter of the Month, given to the person with the highest quantity of relevant tweets. The winner's Twitter handle will be displayed on Joshua's stream for the month of October, with a link to their Twitter placed among the chatbot's random messages.

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Speeds up Python development.
Infinite map of pixels
Convert videos and to pixel art animations.
Batch photo editor with green screen functionality
A pixel art tool for the harried game artist