js13kGames 2020 has started!

Andrzej Mazur
Aug 13 · 3 min read

Is it August 13th? Time to start the js13kGames competition then! The ninth edition of the online challenge for HTML5 game developers with a 13 kilobyte twist has just begun, at 13:00 CEST, and will run for an entire month.

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Interested in knowing what’s the theme this year? Well, go watch the announcement video (13 seconds long!) presented by Christer Kaitila!

Back? Cool. As you know, 404 is a HTTP response code, and error message meaning Not Found. As with all the themes from previous years, you are free to interpret this however you want: maybe something was lost and you have to find it, you have to hide from something, or return something else to the orignal owner. It’s a tough one, but you have a whole month, so make sure to spend enough time on brainstorming!

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Tools and inspiration

Need to pick your tools? Check the Resources page, we have plenty. The most popular micro library, Kontra.js, just got updated to version 7 - many cool new functionalities right in time for the competition. Remember that you can view previous year’s entries, look at their source code on GitHub, read dev’s lessons learned of what went good and what were their biggest struggles. Join our Slack to team up, discuss ideas, ask questions, collaborate, and make sure you have something playable to submit.

Categories and voting

Five categories this year are the same as last time: Desktop, Mobile, Server (upgraded with WebRTC), WebXR, and Web Monetization. The difference compared to previous year is the fact that finally, your entry will be judged separately for every category you submit it to. Instead of “overall” ranking and then all the categories being a filter, a game can for example score totally different on Desktop, Mobile, and on Web Monetization. Finally, good Desktop games submitted to Mobile where they barely work won’t be higher than the games optimized for Mobile entirely.


The list of prizes is quite long: 20+ types or various licenses, plans, accounts, memberships, and much more. Another year in a row we’ll be giving away t-shirts (with free shipping) worldwide to top100 entries overall, and top15 WebXR (since they are judged separately). And don’t forget about the main prize in the WebXR category which is a Magic Leap 1 device.

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I’m extremely thankful for the help from the companies and initiatives that support the competition. Those are, in no particular order: Grant for the Web, Mozilla, GitHub, Coil, eBay Tech, GameSnacks, Spartez, Quantum Game, Facebook Gaming, Game Distribution, Poki, Crazy Games, and AdinPlay.


Remember to share your progress using #js13k hashtag on Twitter, and discuss ideas or ask for help on Slack, since our community is really happy to help. Good luck and have fun!

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