Glitchicken and js13kGames 2016!


Soooo, even this year, tightened my schedules, I’ve found some time to participate to the js13kGames competition!

js13kGames is just awesome! 😀
It is a Javascript coding competition with the main rule of keeping the final game package under 13.321 bytes!
Also, all the entries have also to release their full commented source code on GitHub together with their zipped build!
So, as you can imagine, it’s totally great for learning a lot, strengthening Javascript, coding and game developments skills and sharing cool ideas  together!
Both the community and the competition are very good, growing a lot every year, I suggest you to visit the official website to know more information about js13kGames yourself!

This year’s competition’s theme was “Glitch”.
Wow! Pretty hard theme for sure! And I had just on week to create something(even if the compo lasts one whole month)!
So I’ve decided to follow my heart and create something cute and challenging at the same time, with a taste of retro gaming: Glitchicken!



Play GLITCHICKEN right now!


Play GLITCHICKEN on js13kgames website


Check the source code fully commented on GitHub


GLITCHICKEN is a black and white pixel retro adventure puzzle game, featuring dogs and chicks.
Moving a cute chick around, you will have to escape from all the puzzle rooms, guarded by Mark and his watchdogs!
The only way to escape every room is to exploit the game mechanincs themselves and find gameplay’s glitches!

I’m very happy with my entry this year, because I was totally inspired!
Also, since I had more “tools”, knowledge and experience that the last year I’ve created a game which made me fully express myself in an artistic way.
I’m quite satysfied with the result! 😀

I’m so happy also because my game reached the heart of the js13kGames community, too!
In fact, Glitchicken placed 13th (of 127) in the ranking based on the votes from every participant, also winning a prize! Awesome!
Thank you guys for voting my game!

From the feedbacks, it seems that players like the use I made of this year’s theme, the GameBoy like graphics and musics and the cute character design 🙂
I’ve also received some good feedbacks about the ending level and ending scene, but I don’t want to spoiler anything about them!
Thank you for your feedback guys, I’ll keep in mind your ideas and suggestion to improve!

But, the great part that made me really happy is that Glitchicken reached the TOP10 on the Mobile category, placing 10th (of 33) also winning awesome prizes!
About the Desktop category Glitchicken placed 24th (of 127) which is also a very big result!

Other js13kGames entries of this year were quite something (I love -and still play- a lot of them) so I’m quite proud of my game’s placement in every category! :DDD




This year I focused on creating a well polished game with enjoyable gameplay, sounds and graphics, while keeping everything as challenging, tricky and unique as possible.

This was possible only because, thanks to last year’s js13kGames experience and my improvement in javascript during the last year I had a strong base of resources and tools on my side, that gave me the possibility to focus on the game itself.



Which are these tools?

Ga is an open source tiny game framework which saved me a lot of time handling/creating a whole engine myself. For sure I had to study Ga in all its parts because I had to adapt, mod and shrink it for my needs but it is so well made and simple to understand that it has been a pleasure to do it!
Also, I’ve added my contribution to this framework myself, adding a plugin and the support for base64 encoded images. Check it on github!
So a special thanks goes to the Ga team! Thank you guys for this framework!

It’s an incredibly small and simple synth for javascript, that I took “as is”.
TinyMusic lib made possible for me to add a nice retro style background music!
Please support it on github! Many thanks to the author!

Pixel Font
With this ultra-lightweithg lib it’s possible to write some pixel style font, actually made of squares put side by side, where each letter is loaded from an array. Smart, simple and very useful for js13kGames purposes!  I’ve had to adapt both Ga and PixelFont a little bit to make them work together, but the result is that I’ve been able to add a pixel style font to the game in less than 2KB (unzipped)!
Many thanks to PixelFont’s author!

Grunt as a boiler-plate is a really nice and simple way to simplify a build process. It’s totally worth to spend some time to adjust and set a similar boiler-plate to save a looooot of work later.
Here you can check in detail how I did it for Glitchicken. It may be not perfectly optimized, but it works like a charm. As you can see, I’ve added some tricks like “processhtml” (which was new to me),”sizecheck” (this one directly from the js13kGames resource page), a lot of options to “uglify” and a level 9 on “compress” to optimize both the build process and the final zip size.

js13kGames resources page
A solid list of tools and libs useful as a starting point for participating in js13kGames, always updated!

I had a very strict working schedule this summer, but I really wanted to participate in the js13kGames, because, for me, creating a game for this competition means to improve, have fun and overcome challenges.
And it is also an excuse to create a game just for art, learning, entertaining and expressing myself. 😀
Let me say it once more: this year I had fun, I’m satysfied and I’m very happy about my entry!

Well, at this point I want to give a special thanks to all the js13kGames community for sharing their suggestions, feedbacks and ideas, for learning and improving together!
And congratulations to everyone who managed to create their own game in 13k or just tried to do it!
This includes special thanks to the competition judges which took a lot of time playing all games and giving feedbacks!
And also a big thanks to end3r for keeping this competition up!

Thanks for reading all (or part, or just the links or the images) of this!
Consider this as a PostMortem if you want, but I just meant to write this to share my ideas, experiences and feelings about this year’s js13kGames!
I hope this can be helpful to someone, somehow, sooner or later! 🙂

Cheers! 😀

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: