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With the exception for audio and questions about similar things with vibration and such, I think there's a better way to rule it that allows all this. The main limitation I feel you are going for in the jam is "One bit of output", and the rules about how to display the screen are just to enforce that. I think it would be reasonable to have as many different outputs as you like as long as these outputs perfectly match which colour is on screen. In fact I don't even think having a screen at all should be mandatory. As long as there is only 1 bit of output since that's what the jam is really about, "the minimum (non-zero) feedback that a game could possibly have."

Some examples of 1-bit output that I feel should be allowed (as long as they all match if you use more than 1):

  • Visual: switch between 2 colours
  • Audio: on/off or two sounds
  • Vibration: on/off or two intensities.
  • CD drive: in/out (the time it takes to move would make this awkward though. If you rapidly switch you could make it stay at certain lengths; although this is still 1-bit, the drive itself converts the 1-bit into different info.)
  • Fullscreen: on/off (this is getting silly but you get the point)
Also, if you follow the interpretation of 1-bit of output this brings up some other points: Do the two states you switch between have to be represented by "blank" outputs? Like instead of switching between solid black and solid white could you switch between a picture of a cat and a map of Spain? Could you start playing music when the screen turns black, and pause it while the screen is white? There's no way these choices of states could give any more information than a manual or included file could.

I completely agree with your interpretation. I wanted to keep the list of rules short and simple, while trying to convey this idea as clearly as possible, but I know what I've written isn't necessarily the clearest. do you think I should change or add to the rules, to make them better convey what I'm going for? mentioning that using vibration or images (e.g. cat / spain) is okay seemed like a good way to confuse people.

Maybe make it clearer that the bit is the important part, and not the pixel form? I've thought of it as the bit unconsciously, but in the rules the pixel definitely felt more important.