Music Challenge

Tile Art Challenge

Mission Statement

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 YouTube.

  1. We can study games as a medium like film or literature to examine themes, craft, and commentary on human nature.
  2. Interactivity in games adds complexity and intellectual interest, both in the application of psychology and the possibility for differences in playthroughs.
  3. 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.
  4. Games are often developed on teams, requiring additional transferable skills like collaboration, organization, and time management.
  5. 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 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.


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 C/C++/JavaScript/etc. instead of using an engine?

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 Discord.

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, 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 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 our Discord.

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 time limit.

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 Discord.

Rating Guide

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:

  1. Minimal or zero effort.
  2. Less than average effort, lacking skill or knowledge
  3. About average for a game jam game; nothing special
  4. Clear extra effort; higher quality than normal
  5. Essentially flawless with significant effort shown

Fun / Design

Enjoyment of the game. Are the mechanics interesting? Do you want to play more?

  1. Clear rehash of a known idea, or difficult to stomach one playthrough
  2. One time was enough, or a well-known mechanic with few changes
  3. Nothing special, a standard twist on an existing mechanic or multiple combined mechanics
  4. More fun than average, with some effort shown to create a new idea, even if derivative
  5. 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 and typos?

  1. Several problematic bugs and technical issues
  2. A few bugs, but few of them cause major problems
  3. Average technical implementation. Nothing special, but most things work
  4. Some stand-out technical pieces such as database access or an unusual input
  5. 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?

  1. No audio, or very poor implementation
  2. Music or sounds missing, or they're inappropriate or jarring
  3. Enough music and sounds to get by, but average quality
  4. Either music or sounds are stand-out quality and fit the game well
  5. 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?

  1. Poor composition and minimal or no animation
  2. Missing animations but visually okay, or animated but visually subpar
  3. Graphics fit the game with some animations at average quality
  4. Several animations or demonstration of higher art skills
  5. 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.

  1. Focus is there, but theme isn't
  2. Theme and focus are there, but you have to stretch your imagination to see one or the other (or both)
  3. Theme and focus integrated with the game story or mechanics
  4. Theme and focus integrated with game story and mechanics, or used in a clever way
  5. Theme and focus integrated with both game story and mechanics, and used in a clever way

X Factor

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:

Color Codes

8 Bits Blue (lemniscate primary style="color and “8 BITS”): #0482ad

8 Bits Gray (“TO”): #b3b3b3

8 Bits Green (lemniscate secondary style="color and “INFINITY”): #7ac943

Backdrop Light: #574b89

Backdrop Dark: #332c50

Link/Button: #ce5801

Text: #e2f3e4


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