I had a wonderful time participating in the js13kgames 2015 competition this year. If you are not familiar with the competition it is a month long competition where to goal is to create a html 5 game where all code, assets, etc fit snugly inside a 13kb zipped file (no external sources/links)! For more information visit: http://js13kgames.com/
After a mad dash to the finish line to get our game Nomis (https://github.com/NickBranstein/nomis) submitted, I now have time to reflect on the js13kgames 2015 competition.
The most rewarding part of the entire competition was working with the my fellow co-workers Justin Tindle (https://twitter.com/justintindle) and David Bjarnson (https://twitter.com/OuterField). The js13k2015 competition was great for all three of use to get away from the everyday and spend some time outside of work together working on something we are all very passionate about – games! The thing I learned the most here is that it is important to spend some time with things that you are passionate about.
13kb is Hard!
13kb sneaks up on you a lot faster than you think. When we started dreaming up ideas for Nomis we dreamt up the world. While we did not immediately worry about the 13kb size limit it did cause us to change some of the directions that we went while implementing the game. The 13kb size limit quickly caused us to focus on a handful of items that we wanted to do well and then a list of “extras” that we could implement if we had room and time.
We quickly learned that we needed to compress our PNG and remove a lot of the colors from them. David had originally drawn up some amazing elaborate sprites but they were just too large to use. Ultimately we settled upon a sprite map that consisted of 6 different images. With the help of a couple of online compression tools (https://tinypng.com/ and http://compresspng.com/) we were able to overcome our sprite issues for the js13kgames 2015 competition.
Just Get it Done
One of the most important lessons that I learned was just to get something completed and get it entered into js13kgames 2015. The end goal to me is not to win the competition because I found it much more rewarding to get something completed with my friends that I am able to showcase to the world.
- VS Code is quickly becoming my goto development tool on my Mac
- That being said…as a C# developer I realize how good the tooling is in Visual Studio for merge changes and conflicts (VS and git have a ways to go)
In Conclusion – Time Zones are hard (CEST != CST)
The submission deadline for js13kgames 2015 was 13:00 CEST. When I originally read this deadline I thought I had until an hour after Football starts on the 9/13/2015…so…I missed the deadline for submission of Nomis. However, as I said earlier it doesn’t matter. Js13kgames 2015 is not about winning, it’s about bringing game development to the larger community. It’s about completing my first ever game, 13 kilobytes, and working with my friends to achieve a common goal.
If you are interested in playing Nomis you can play it here: http://js13kgames.com/entries/nomis