Submissions open from 2020-04-17 07:00:00 to 2020-05-18 06:59:59
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Presenting the

v0.9 Jam Gam!


Mini Micro is a new, free development environment for desktop computers (with a mobile version planned for this summer).  It is best described as a neo-retro virtual home computer from an alternate, cooler universe.  It features a modern yet simple language (MiniScript) and a sophisticated API that supports sprites, tiles, pixel graphics, text, game controllers, digitized and synthesized audio, and more.

This month-long game jam is to celebrate the release of version 0.9 of Mini Micro.  And to honor the bold coders brave enough to try out this new system, we're giving away US$90 in prizes!

  1. First Place: $50
  2. Second Place: $25
  3. Third Place: $15

The Rules in Brief

  • All submissions must be made in Mini Micro.
  • Submissions should be hosted here on itch.io, as web builds.  Downloadable builds are fine as extras, but a web build is required.
  • Theme will be announced once the jam officially begins.  How you interpret the theme is up to you.
  • All assets (art, sound, music, etc.) used in your game must be your own work, or legally licensed.  Any assets included with Mini Micro itself are also fine for you to use.
  • Voting will be done by a panel of judges.  Prizes are awarded (in the form of Amazon or Steam gift cards) for the top three submissions in overall score.
  • Team submissions are fine, but the prize goes to the submitter — splitting it up with your team is up to you.
  • You may submit more than one entry, but there are no bonus points for quantity; you'll probably be better off focusing on one game and making it as polished as you can.
  • No NSFW content.  This includes sexual content (including language), nudity, or excessive realistic gore/violence.
  • Multiplayer games are fine, but may make it difficult for judges to evaluate your entry.  You should probably include a single-player mode.
  • All participants must be at least 13 years of age to submit a game.  In addition, to receive your prize if you win, you must have either an Amazon.com account or a Steam account.
  • The judges and their immediate families may submit exhibition entries, but are not eligible for prizes.

Judging Criteria

Entries will be evaluated by a panel of judges on the following criteria:

  • Aesthetics: how pretty is it?  Includes graphics, sound, and in the case of a text-based game, quality of the prose.
  • Gameplay: how much fun is it to play?  How well balanced is it?  Does it provide a sense of accomplishment?
  • Originality: how novel is it?  Higher scores are awarded here for trying something innovative and new.
  • Nostalgia: have you made a tribute to some classic game or genre?  We'll award points for capturing the essence of what made the original great.  (And yes, you probably can't score well in both Originality and Nostalgia — this is intentional.)
  • Theme Interpretation: how well does your entry embody the theme of the jam (announced when the jam officially begins)?
  • Community Favorite: we'll have a thread on the MiniScript forums where you can post about your game, and collect "Likes" from other forum members.  In this category we'll rank submissions based solely on these community likes.

The judging panel includes:

  • Joe Strout, creator of MiniScript and Mini Micro
  • Joshua McLean, composer, developer, and leader of the 8 Bits to Infinity game dev community
  • Dean Pumpa, designer of Roopit n' Boopit
  • Derrick Moore, senior artist on Halo, MechWarrior 4, and many others

Frequently Asked Questions

What do you mean, Mini Micro is "free"?  What's the catch?

No catch.  I have a good job and don't need to make money from this.  I'm doing it because I love coding, and I want to share this love with others.  Mini Micro is the "dream machine" I have been thinking about for many years, and I hope that you will enjoy it as much as I do.

Does Mini Micro work on my computer?

If you have a Windows, Mac, or Linux computer with a keyboard and mouse, you should be all set.  And you could get by without the mouse in a pinch.

What sort of game can I make with Mini Micro? 

Mini Micro provides easy, high-performance support for:

  • Display layers: sprites, tiles (both rectangular and hex), pixel graphics, and text.
  • Sound & music: both digitized and synthesized.
  • Input devices: keyboard, mouse, and up to 8 game controllers
  • Networking: HTTP (including all REST verbs)

So, you can make pretty much any sort of 2D game.  Get creative! 

I don't know if I can learn a new language in a month. 

That's not a question, but yes you can!  MiniScript is a very simple language; so simple that it can be documented in a single page (though a much more detailed manual is available if you want it).  Mini Micro adds APIs for doing graphics, sounds, etc., but even that can be documented in a few pages.  If you need more detail, there is an ever-growing wiki with handy "How to" pages.

Where can I get help? 

We have active forums, as well as a Discord server.  You will find all the help you need there.  We're a small but very friendly community!