8 Bits to Infinity is a community of game developers
built on four pillars: Respect, Inclusion, Self-Improvement, and
Our mission is to improve the craft and artistry of game
develpment by hosting game jams focused on honest feedback and
We see aanyone who contributes to our game jams (producing a
game, giving feedback, or sharing games from the event) as a
member of our community, and strive to uphold each member to the
standards in this mission statement.
Treat every other member as you wish to be treated. We have zero
tolerance for disrespect or discouragement. Respect is simple:
Be humble, considerate, helpful, and welcoming. Remember,
everyone advances at their own pace with their own unique
strengths and difficulties.
Anyone interested in game development is welcome in our
community. Our jams are open to all, from a first-timer learning
the ropes to a seasooned veteran with years in the industry.
Our jams benefit all skill levels and, in turn, benefit from
a variety of insights, perspectives, and backgrounds. Our focus
is to help each other learn and grow by examining the
work and not the developer.
The most important progress is personal progress. Game
development is complex, and while many areas benefit from
objective feedback on basic skills, creative aspects (including
the end product) are subjective. Developers should only compare
their work to their own past work. Each step forward is an
accomplishment, regardless of how others advance.
Experimenting with new tools, technologies, designs, skills, and methods
in game development is key to advancing skills and finding new ideas.
Game development is a cross-discipline effort requiring many unrelated
skills, so every experiment is an opportunity to learn. Fail
faster, so you may learn faster.
Entries which break these rules or have no clear relation to the
Limitation will be removed without notification.
Solo or Team: Up to four members, one
submission per team. If you're working solo, you count
as a team. You may be on multiple teams (although we
don't recommend it). All team members and entrants must
be 13+ years old.
Submission: Answer all required
questions completely and honestly.
Game Jam: Any new game-specific
content must be created during the jam. See more
The game must be playable in Windows 10. (Web builds
are allowed, and even encouraged, as they support more
Any game-critical text must be in English.
The game cannot require non-standard peripherals for
normal play. (The game must be playable with a keyboard
and mouse setup.)
Credit all assets in your game
including CC0 ("public domain") assets and your own
work. You may use a handle or team name in place of
your real name.
Credits must be accessible from starting the game.
Display them on the title or include a button/key/menu
item to access a credits screen from the start
of the game.
General-purpose (game agnostic) code created before the
jam, such as character controllers, project templates,
menu functionality, AI library, etc.
Freely available (including paid) assets like art,
music, sound, and general-purpose source code - but
remember to credit even if the license says you don't
NSFW content including but not limited to sexual content
(including language), nudity, and excessive realistic
Hateful content including any violence, threat of
violence, or discrimination against other people on the
basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, caste, sexual
orientation, gender, gender identity, religious
affiliation, age, disability, or serious disease.
Work done before the jam other than freely available
assets or general-purpose code as described above.
How do I submit my game?
What tools/engines can/should I use?
Use anything you like! We recommend a proper game engine to save
time - something like Unity, Godot, Defold, Unreal, etc.
Not sure what to use? Ask on Discord or post in this community. We have many
experienced members familiar with various tools.
Can I use a framework or library or just code in raw
Simple answer: yes. However, benefits to using
a premade engine include: 1) it’s easier to port to multiple
platforms (including web), 2) it’s less work on you, and 3)
you’re less likely to trigger false positives from antivirus
software, so more people will play your game.
I’m awful at music/art. How could I ever make a game?
Use premade assets! We allow this in jams as long as you credit everything you
use (even if the license doesn't require it). Here are some free resources.
Do you know other free assets we could list here? Contact Retro Indie Josh to
let him know!
I don’t know how to program. Can I still make games?
Absolutely! Many systems require minimal programming. The best
way to learn is to get your feet wet, and a game jam is a
wonderful no-risk way to try out new tech. You can ask for
suggestions in this community or on the 8 Bits to Infinity
Is the theme required?
Not technically, but it is a voting category, so you
will score higher overall with a strong use of the theme.
Should I build for Windows/Mac/Linux/web/[insert system here]?
Yes! Build for as many systems as you can so more people can
play your game. We recommend finding someone with the target
system to test your build long before the jam ends so you can be
sure it works.
I didn’t finish. Should I submit?
Yes! Game jams are about creating prototypes. A finished game
takes years. You can still win with a cool idea, even if the
experience is brief.
How can I get more people to play my entry?
Play games from the jam and on itch.io, leaving quality
feedback. Ask the dev politely to play your game, so they know
you’re looking for feedback. There’s also a new feature on
itch.io that shows your entry when you comment on the game’s jam
page so be sure to do so there.
You can also share your game on the #share-your-work channel of
Can I make a multiplayer game?
Yes, but we don’t recommended it due to the extra difficulty
both in development and receiving quality feedback in the jam
Can I make a 2D/2.5D/3D game?
Unless the jam limitation strictly limits this, yes.
Can I enter other jams with the same game?
Absolutely, as long as you follow all rules and time limitations
for each jam. Note we lock submissions, so you won’t be able to
upload new builds while this jam is being rated.
Where can I ask more questions?
Ask in the current jam's community or on the 8 Bits to Infinity
Diversifiers are additional challenges you choose to inspire
your team with further limitations on the jam. You are not
required to use any diversifiers, but you may use any number
that you like.
8 Bits - Use limitations from a specific 8-bit console, such as the NES, Sega Master System, or Game Boy
Anti Chromatic - Use shades of a single hue for all artwork
Bichromatic - Use only two colors
By the Hand - Use only hand-drawn art
Color Blind Friendly - Use options, modes, or a
general design that accommodates color blindness
Cooperative Competition - Opposing sides work
together toward a shared goal
Defiance - Go out of your way to avoid using
the theme, or do something opposite from it
Do Your Part - Contribute at least one asset
from the game to Open Game Art
Educational - Players learn a real-world skill or concept
Everything is Tiny - Limit sprites and tiles to 8x8 pixels
Hearing is Believing - Make the game playable without visuals
Hidden Secrets - Include secret items, rooms, or features (include a spoiler document for people who can’t find them)
In a Song - The game is as long as a single backing music track
Infinity - The game never ends
Mobile - Build a version for mobile (you still need a Windows/web version)
Music Generation - There’s no preconstructed music track; instead, sound effects from gameplay become music
My Own Noise - Record all sound effects yourself
Old Music - Use your own take on public domain music from 30+ years ago
One Button - When two buttons are too many.
Quick Run - A casual run of the game takes no more than 5 minutes
Retro Palette - Limit palette to limitations of a retro console (like “8 Bits” but the only limitation is palette)
Shapely - All visuals are basic shapes in solid colors
Symmetry - All visuals are symmetric
Theme Party - Use a theme from a past 8 Bits to Infinity jams in addition to the main theme
Toolmaker - Build and release an editor or other game-related tool along with the game
Transcend Language - The game has no text (other than title and credits)
Two Button - Use only two buttons for input
Who Needs Pixels - Use a ridiculously low resolution for the game (16x16 or below)
Everyone who contributes to one of our game jams is able to
judge games on the following six criteria, rating from one to
five stars. You are welcome to judge these criteria as you wish,
but the following extensive guide allows for more consistent
Remember that a three-star rating is average. Prefer rating 2,
3, or 4 stars unless the game is notably awful (1 star) or
excellent (5 stars) in the category.
If a category does not apply to the game, use the closest analogue in
the game's environment. For instance, Graphics/Animation in a
text-only game could be interpreted as imagery, style, tone,
etc. If you are still unsure, rate a 3 (average) in the category.
Each category below includes a list describing what each number
of stars should represent. The following applies to all
Minimal or zero effort.
Less than average effort, lacking skill or knowledge
About average for a game jam game; nothing special
Clear extra effort; higher quality than normal
Essentially flawless with significant effort shown
Fun / Design
Enjoyment of the game. Are the mechanics interesting? Do you want to play more?
Clear rehash of a known idea, or difficult to stomach one playthrough
One time was enough, or a well-known mechanic with few changes
Nothing special, a standard twist on an existing mechanic or multiple combined mechanics
More fun than average, with some effort shown to create a new idea, even if derivative
So fun you had to force yourself to stop, with a super-clever twist or unusual design
Polish and complexity. Does the game push technical boundaries
or have special tech to stand out? Are there few, if any, bugs
Several problematic bugs and technical issues
A few bugs, but few of them cause major problems
Average technical implementation. Nothing special, but most things work
Some stand-out technical pieces such as database access or an unusual input
Impressive technical implementation such as networking or Twitch integration
Music / Sound
Audio presentation. How well does the music/sound fit the game?
If the game is primarily narrative text with no audio, replace
this with tone and language. Does the text flow smoothly? Is
dialogue so realistic you can hear it?
No audio, or very poor implementation
Music or sounds missing, or they're inappropriate or jarring
Enough music and sounds to get by, but average quality
Either music or sounds are stand-out quality and fit the game well
Dynamic, appropriate, high-quality audio with music and all necessary sounds
Graphics / Animation
Visual presentation. How clean/consistent does it look? Are animations fluid? Is there clear understanding of color, contrast, and other visual skills? Do the graphics contribute to the game's playability?
If the game is primarily narrative text with no graphics, replace this with imagery. Are the characters, situations, and setting vivid?
Poor composition and minimal or no animation
Missing animations but visually okay, or animated but visually subpar
Graphics fit the game with some animations at average quality
Several animations or demonstration of higher art skills
Brilliant use of color, shape, and animation, well-fit to the game
Theme / Limitation
Implementation of jam theme and limitation. Is the theme
prevalent? How unusual is the interpretation? How strictly does
the game follow the requirement? Out-of-the-box thinking on the
theme (not taking it literally) should score more points.
Remember that the limitation is required to qualify for
the jam, so if you believe a game does nothing to meet the
limitation, please report it instead of rating.
Limitation is there, but theme isn't
Theme and limitation are there, but you have to stretch your imagination to see one or the other (or both)
Theme and limitation integrated with the game story or mechanics
Theme and limitation integrated with game story and mechanics, or used in a clever way
Theme and limitation integrated with both game story and mechanics, and used in a clever way
The X Factor is an extra 1-5 star rating to shift your average
rating up or down. This is essentially how you feel overall
about the game. Sometimes, you'll play a game and all the
elements work individually, but not together. In this case, you
give a lower X Factor score. On the flip side, you may play a
game with subpar elements that somehow work together, so give it
a high X Factor to reflect that.
Want to spread the word about 8 Bits to Infinity? Use the
colors and logos specified below, and remember to link directly here:
8 Bits Blue (lemniscate primary style="color and “8 BITS”):
8 Bits Gray (“TO”):
8 Bits Green (lemniscate secondary style="color and “INFINITY”):