iPad only, gamedev - #11 - enough to compete?

2 min readOct 12, 2017

This time I’ll talk about how I was able to compete in the JS13k game jam this year (2017) using my iPad-only approach for mobile web game development.

Every year since 2010 a fun and challenging game jam occurs: the JS13k competition. The goal here is to make a full HTML5 game in 13kb (zipped) including all assets, no external calls allowed. Pretty neatly!

There was 4 categories this year, including the mobile one which were my focus. By the way, I stayed in 16th and you can check my game in this link.

As it was my first time building a game so small I had to focus on some kind of easy mechanic that (at least for me) seems fun to play and could fit in the size. And why not also try a minimal JavaScript framework that I was planing for some time? Challenge accepted!

The game mechanics chose was a very simple chess-like board which the player, a mage lost in a weird jungle, moves in turns to avoid the monsters but also killing them when moving over their places. The goal of the game is to score a maximum days alive. Believe me when I say that this maximum is harder to reach 5 or 6 days.

For the art, I went into my loved pixel art! Mixing some sprites from the web and using the maximum of 4 colors I was able to get a good looking game. To edit/draw, I used the Pixaki app.

The most problematic thing to use and fit in the size was the sounds. Sure, there is a lot of recommendations in the official competition website, but as I left the sounds for the last, a month of coding later I had to put just some sounds. By the way, the tips and tricks mentioned in the site are worth for any kind of game.

Last but not least I had to optimize as much as possible all the game code and assets to fit and ended up with 12kb! Very good for a first timer IMHO! If you are following my articles, you understand how I put all together here.

After all the work I’ve learned great coding skills, art skills, programming techniques and felt a lot happier because now I have a new game being created based in the one made for the jam.

I would like to use this article to thank all the people involved in the competition and the contenders for sharing knowledge in such a great and fun way! Will do my best to compete in the next year again!

See you in the next article!




Minimalist, Game Developer, Writer, Tai Chi Chuan practitioner