Submissions open from 2019-08-09 17:00:00 to 2019-08-16 17:00:00
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Thanks to CptBlackPixel for this nifty birthday scene logo!

8 Bits to Infinity presents GB 30 JAM, a week-long game jamming challenge (August 9 - 16, 2019) to celebrate the 30th anniversary of Nintendo's Game Boy system.

Check out the keynote video and slides

The theme is: "It's dangerous to go alone..."

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. :)

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. Credit everything in your entry, including Creative Commons 0 assets and your own work. This must be accessible from the start of the game (in the title or a credits menu).
  3. Answer all of the questions on submission completely and honestly.
  4. Must work in Windows 10 (or the BGB emulator). Web builds are fine.
  5. Cannot require unusual peripherals (have keyboard and mouse as a backup).
  6. 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.
  7. No NSFW content. This includes sexual content (including language), nudity, or excessive realistic gore/violence.

Requirement

Create a Game Boy style game.

You must at the very least meet the following requirements:

  • Maximum four colors on-screen for the entire game (here are some palettes)
  • Three colors per sprite (fourth color is "transparent")
  • 160x144 resolution or an exact multiple of that (no approximations - use 160x144, 320x288, 640x576, etc.)
  • Four directional inputs, two "action" buttons (A, B), and two "menu" buttons (Start, Select)

If you want to be even more GB-like:

  • Game Boy chiptunes - most accurate approach is to use something like Game Boy Tracker
  • For added audio points, use three channels for music and one for sound effect
  • Learn about the Sprite, Background, and Window layers, and stick to their limitations
  • Emulate the technical specifications on this page
  • Disallow Left+Right or Up+Down inputs
  • Run at a stable ~59.73 FPS (good luck)

Of course, if you want to be 100% GB you can use GB Studio (super limited) or make an actual Game Boy ROM (hard mode).

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 three challenges for GB 30 jam are:

  • Include a rubber duck or rubber chicken
  • Include a self-portrait
  • Use the number 30 in some prominent manner in the game

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

FAQ

About the Requirement

Can I make a board/card game? 
Sure! But it has to be a digital one because, y'know, Game Boy.

Can I make a text game?
Sure, but remember the Game Boy limitations. You won't get much text on the screen, and your input is limited.

Can I add a static color or image as a border to fill extra space around the game, like Super Game Boy borders?
Yes! But the border cannot be affected by the game - it must be static and cannot change after the game starts.

Other Questions

I'm awful at music. How can I still have cool background audio in my game?  
Get free royalty-free tunes from Joshua here or from various other websites such as OpenGameArt (where you can also find Joshua's stuff). Simply google "free to use music" or "free royalty-free music" and you're sure to find something.

What about other assets, tools, and engines? 
See this list of game dev / audio / art tools for things you can use.

Should I build a Windows/Mac/Linux/web/[insert system here] version?
The more builds you have, the more people will be able to access your game. Some people also prefer web versions (because running software can be spoopy) while others prefer a download (such as Joshua, who likes to keep the games archived and often struggles with web versions).

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 jam, and it's worth showcasing your work to get feedback.

How can I get more people to play my entry?
Play other entries and leave quality feedback. Be sure to politely ask the dev to play your game, so they know you want feedback.

Can I make a multiplayer game? 
Yes, but remember that the Game Boy only had link cable multiplayer. Create a unique screen for each player (or do networked multiplayer) and limit to a maximum four players to meet the requirements.

Can I make a 2D/2.5D/3D game?
Sure, but anything other than 2D is stretching the requirements since the GB was a pretty low-powered machine.

What tools / engines can I use?
Anything. Literally anything. We've seen games made in PowerPoint and Excel - if you want to use those, all power to you! Although, we suggest using something more geared toward games like Unity, Godot, Unreal, etc.

Can I enter other jams with the same game?
Absolutely, as long as you follow all of the rules and time limitations for each jam. Note that we lock submissions, so you won't be able to upload new files after you submit to this jam.

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

Judging

Games 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. Judging will be on the following criteria:

  • Fun: Enjoyment of the game. Are the mechanics interesting? Do I want to play more?
  • Innovation: How cleverly are the game concepts mashed together? Are there interesting original concepts?
  • Technical: Complexity of implementation. Does the game push technical boundaries? Does it scream "wow, this was done under jam constraints?" Does it have special tech that makes it stand out?
  •  Audio: Auditory presentation. How well does the music/sound fit the game? Maximum 4 stars if external assets are used.
  • Graphics: Visual presentation. How clean/consistent does it look? How fluid are the animations? Is there a clever use of color, contrast, and other visual skills? Maximum 4 stars if external assets are used.
  • Theme: Implementation of the jam theme. How much does the game utilize the theme? How unusual is the interpretation? Thinking out of the box on the theme (not taking it literally) will score you more points.

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 game in the jam and the winner of Top Feedback will receive the following:

  • (Optional) Four-hour 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.
  • Feedback on an updated version of your game with at least two weeks notice. The game will be streamed to completion (defined at Joshua's discretion).

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 August 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 September, with a link to their Twitter placed among the chatbot's random messages.

All submissions
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Browser playable (14)
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Windows (11)
macOS (4)
Linux (4)

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Take your flock as far as you can.
Play in browser
A side scroller bullet hell with an under crewed gunship and way too many enemies.
Shooter
Play in browser
Platformer
Play in browser
Made for GB30 Jam - 8 bits to Infinity!
Play in browser
Platformer wher you play two Characters.
Platformer
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Navigate through a maze-like dungeon avoiding enemies and collecting items
Play in browser
A short Gameboy sobokan game for the GBJAM7
Puzzle
Shooter
Play in browser
A GB-style first-person platformer
Adventure
puzzle game with AI wingman
Puzzle
Play in browser
GIF
In the style of old RPGs, as strange little run around a self evaluative fever dream
Adventure
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Get both players across the gap in the room. You can't progress alone.
Puzzle
Play in browser
A little game to save the gameboy from the aliens
Fighting
Play in browser
GB themed Maze game with ennemies
Action
Play in browser
Game Boy themed run and gun platformer
Platformer
Play in browser
Your village is in trouble. A menacing dragon is destroying everything. Gather the villagers to have a chance!
Action