The 8 Bits to Infinity mission is to promote game development and game literacy as
tools for personal improvement and modern education.
To meet this mission, we host regular game jams and challenges, in addition to Retro Indie
Josh producing relevant content on Twitch and
We can study games as a medium like film or literature to examine themes, craft, and
commentary on human nature.
Interactivity in games adds complexity and intellectual interest, both in the application of
psychology and the possibility for differences in playthroughs.
Game development requires knowledge of psychology, logic, software, hardware, aesthetic,
storytelling, and many other transferable skills, which can be learned through game
literacy and strengthened through game development.
Games are often developed on teams, requiring additional transferable skills like
collaboration, organization, and time management.
Games synergize several forms of art including visual art, animation, music, sound,
storytelling, and more, which can be studied individually or as a whole.
Our community stands on four pillars:
Anyone who contributes to our game jams (producing a game, giving feedback, or sharing games
from the event) or interacts with our content is accepted as a member of our community. We
require community members to uphold our four pillars.
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
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
Focus 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 details below.
The game must be playable in Windows 10. (Web builds are allowed, and even encouraged,
as they support more platforms.)
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
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 need to!
NSFW content including but not limited to sexual content (including language), nudity,
and excessive realistic gore/violence.
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
Work done before the jam other than freely available assets or general-purpose code as
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 ratings.
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 categories:
- 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 / Focus
Usage mplementation of jam theme and focus. 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 focus is required to qualify for the jam, so if you believe a
game does nothing to meet the focus, please report it instead of rating.
- Focus is there, but theme isn't
- Theme and focus are there, but you have to stretch your imagination to see one or the other (or both)
- Theme and focus integrated with the game story or mechanics
- Theme and focus integrated with game story and mechanics, or used in a clever way
- Theme and focus 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”):