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js13kGames 2016 has started!

It’s the fifth edition of the yearly, month-long online competition for HTML5 game developers, and I hope it will keep the tradition of being bigger and better than the previous ones.


New platform for the Server category

We had to find a new home for the Server entries - we’re trying a new approach with single Heroku instances managed by participants, and shared with our competition account. See the js13kserver repository on GitHub and read the rules if you’d like to participate in that category this year. Huge thanks goes to Aurélio A. Heckert and Csaba Csecskedi for managing all that.

New website

There’s a long and unsuccessful story of me trying to have a new website with all the features we all wanted like user accounts, subcategories (design, theme, fun), comments, judge feedback etc. It’s not there yet, but Wil Alvarez and John Kilmister are working hard on doing so, and more importantly - it’s being developed in the open, so (after I add the missing features as issues) anyone can help! Not sure if we’ll be able to launch it this year, because the competition started already, but I really hope to have it online as soon as possible - see the repository on GitHub for details.

Judges, prizes and sponsors

As usual, there’s a panel of expert judges: Christer Kaitila, Jupiter Hadley, Pablo Navarro, Robert Podgórski, Jason Weathersby, Elle Chen, Pedro Fortuna and Frederic Rezeau.

You can win a whole lot of prizes too, including ebooks, licenses, accounts, courses, credits, subscriptions, games, editors, and more - see the full list for details.

Last but not least - the sponsors: Mozilla, Heroic Labs, Hired, Gameasy, SkillHunt and Jscrambler. They will cover the costs of running the competition, so it wouldn’t be possible without them!


Participants created and used a lot of tools helpful for such a challenge over the years - see the Resources page for details. It’s alive and kicking with new libs being added to the list, like today’s additions from Maxime Euziere including a really cool concept of the universal js13k level editor that can be used outside the package, or be included and allow other people to create their new levels using your game.

There’s also the Mozilla Hacks blog post about last year’s winners sharing their tips and tricks, so you can see how the champions are doing it and learn from them.


There will be a free custom t-shirt for every participant (or, to be exact - every entry), with free shipping, just like in the previous years. I have an idea for a gadget this year (last times it was floppy disk and pendrive), there will of course be stickers, and another surprise. You have to participate to get all that!


Finally, the theme a lot was waiting for: glitch. I know it’s not very original, but so were the previous ones. I really like it and think it will fit the mood of the compo nicely though.

Your turn

It’s awesome to see passionate community waiting for the start of the compo, discussing ideas, sharing tools, and enjoying game development within given time frame. Remember: you can learn a lot while having fun!

Be sure to follow the competition on Twitter (hashtags #js13k and #js13kgames) and Facebook, join the conversation on Slack, see our brand new Instagram account or support the competition with a donation through PayPal.

Now, think about the theme for a bit and start coding already!