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Top entries from the Decentralized category in js13kGames 2021

Tenth edition of the js13kGames competition ended with the announcement of the winners some time ago already. The Web Monetization category entries were reviewed in the previous blog post, and now is the time to look at the ones submitted to the Decentralized category which was introduced this year.

We have six different categories in the competition - three “classic” ones: Desktop, Mobile, and Server, plus three “tech-specific”: WebXR (introduced in 2017), Web Monetization (from 2019), and now brand new Decentralized. It’s not entirely new as earlier this year the Gamedev.js Jam 2021 had the same category added to the mix. The outcome was good enough to try the same with js13kGames, and I think it was a great success!

It was organized with the support from Protocol Labs (IPFS, Filecoin) and NEAR Protocol, along with Flux, and joined late by 4Everland. During the month-long competition in 2021 developers were able to pick and chose from three different Challenges: implementing IPFS/NEAR/Flux-specific technologies in the entries to win their respective coins.

We had a wonderful team of experts: Paul Gadi, Dietrich Ayala, Johnny Matthews, Aliaksandr ‘Sasha’ Hudzilin, Vlad Grichina, Daniel Keller, Tim Sulmone, and Darren Wheatley. They were also actively helping devs with any technical difficulties they had during the development of their games, mainly on our Slack and via email when needed.

Given js13kGames is a size-constrained competition, you couldn’t fit everything in the zip package, but similarly to WebXR, some libraries (like NEAR JavaScript API) were allowed. It was actually even less restrictive, as the 13 kb zip package could’ve been considered a “client”, where “backend”, the sources of the contract (if you needed it for your game), could’ve been stored in the GitHub repository alone.

Let’s look at the places the games ended up with, which Challenges they picked, and how they implemented given technologies:

1. Need Find Tribbles by Benjamin Fox
2. Spaceship Wars 13k by agar3s
3. Go Away by Martin Tale
4. Billionaire Space Golf by Niklas Berg
5. Blanks Detective by Daniel Cohen
6. Space Jump by Thiago Barcala
7. LOSSST - a Snake in Space by xem
8. _INVADERS by Andy W
9. Kurve Space by Johnonym
10. Jeff’s Nightmare by vertfromage

Need Find Tribbles

The Tribbles are randomly created, one-of-a-kind NFTs - if you find one before anyone else it’s yours forever. Click around the star map to hunt for tribbles. Look out for tribble gear to create your own unique tribbles, export the image, and create you own NFTs on any NFT platform.

Vlad Grichina: Very well done, nice tiny details like dressing up your Tribble. Implementation of NFT mint makes sense as a NEAR integration, same goes for IPFS for image storage.

Fun clicker game, with intelligent use of NFT economics. Game lacked some play, but the implementation was great and used a bunch of the decentralization superpowers - that’s why it won the whole Decentralized category.

Spaceship Wars 13k

Spaceships Wars is a kind of battle royale game where every player use a unique spacehip to destroy their opponents using a rock-paper-scissors mechanic. There are a limit number of spaceships available in the game (13312 to be precise) every one of this is a NFT that can’t be purchased but it should be earned by being the winner of the tournament.

Johnny Matthews: This is an incredibly smooth game with quite a simple concept. The graphics are great, and the animations are really slick, both of which give this game a really nice feel to it. In terms of decentralization, I’m a big fan of this one! The game itself is hosted using IPFS, which is great to see. And the implementation of the NEAR blockchain is also very impressive.

It overall was praised by experts for cool generative spaceship art and great NEAR implementation by having on-chain fights.

Go Away

Go Away is a space world card game where you defend worlds from asteroids, planets and various other enemies: 4 worlds to defend, 3 power ups to collect, and 5 unique enemies to destroy.

Dietrich Ayala: Really nice UI, and login with NEAR worked fine, as did loading from IPFS. UI and animations were great and responsive. Looks like a great implementation with pumping planet-saving music and alllll the decentralization features!

The game is using Drand to get initial seed that’s used by PRNG algorithm to get random numbers used in card and other game element generation, and unlock 4x speed in game as well as special 4th world (Death Star) when you’re logged in using NEAR Protocol and beaten 3rd world (Mars).

Billionaire Space Golf

Ordinary leisure trips beyond Kármán line just isn’t enough for the buckazoid billionaires of 20xx. In the pursuit of new endeavors, Space Golf was invented.

Ryan Baumann: Well made and fun! I played something similar to this in highschool. I like the use of Near to view other player’s highscores. I wish there was also a random element to earn points (perhaps something to collect?), which could utilise drand to help verify the points results. Very fun though, I played to the end.

Sharing and accessing other players’ best shots via NEAR login is a cool decentralization feature implemented in the game.

Blanks Detective

Blanks Detective is a mystery themed, point-and-click, logic puzzle game with randomly generated puzzles. Fill in the empty spaces on the board as new clues are revealed. If you solve correctly on the first try before the ‘possible thumbs up’ message, you get a ‘gold medal’. Watch out, your evidence may get stolen along the way.

Sasha Hudzilin: I love the use of Decentralized tech (people can post to community boards and create their own cases). Also enjoying the increasing difficulty :) Great stuff!

The race against the clock can provide a thrill - it’s a fun game with smooth and fluid gameplay, polished look and feel.

Summary

The new Decentralized category rules were quite the challenge to the devs, but it seems they really liked the concept, and overall were happy with the outcome. We had prizes for top10 entries in both NEAR and IPFS/Filecoin Challenges (and best Flux implementation), which we were able to cover 100% - all prizes were given out and every single creator got something for the effort implementing decentralized features in their entries.

The category itself within js13kGames was an interesting experiment, and as such I totally consider it a success. Some of the games created during the competition are still being worked on - I can’t wait to see the full post-compo versions being released to the public in the coming weeks. I hope the second edition of the Decentralized category during js13kGames 2022 will bring even more awesome Web 3 games!

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Js13kGames is a JavaScript coding competition for HTML5 Game Developers. The fun part of the compo is the file size limit set to 13 kilobytes. It runs between August 13th and September 13th, online since 2012.

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Andrzej Mazur

Andrzej Mazur

HTML5 Game Developer, Enclave Games indie studio founder, js13kGames competition creator and Gamedev.js Weekly newsletter publisher.

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