Tales of the Rampant Coyote

Adventures in Indie Gaming!

48 Hour Game Jam? How About a Zero-Hour Game Jam?

Posted by Rampant Coyote on October 28, 2011

This is a cool idea: Make a game in that hour between daylight savings time, between 2 AM and 2 AM. A game in zero hours!

Ludum Dare – 0h Game Jam! Make a Game in Zero Hours!

It’s a tough one, no doubt.  And as an international competition, with different countries (notably the United States) practicing DST on different weeks, it’s going to be weirder still.  I don’t know if some people will try and do it next weekend instead of this weekend, but I still thought that the idea was cool.

If nothing else, as a thought exercise it’s great! If you only have one hour to make a video game, how would you do it? What tools would you use, what language / API / engine, and what would your game be? That’s not a lot of time to develop a game, let alone debug, so a dirt-simple game with very familiar, easy-to-use tools would be the rule of the day.

What will I do? I would like to participate. A couple of ideas:

#1 – A text-based game. The kind I used to type in from BASIC Computer Games and More BASIC Computer Games as a kid.  (It’s how I learned programming!) But I’d not write them in BASIC. 🙂

#2 – I’ve been playing with Unity lately, so maybe a really simple Unity-based game. Simple as in, “Would have made a low-budget Atari 2600 cart.”

What’s the point? It’s an exercise. It’s about putting your skills to the test, and completing (as much as is possible) one more project. Not a particularly exciting project, but one that was fun and quick.

And I’ll once again note that some fairly significant, successful indie games have begun life as little prototypes created in a game jam.

Filed Under: Game Development - Comments: 4 Comments to Read

  • Bad Sector said,

    Well, you can always use QBasic in DOSBox and then compile it to Windows (and Linux and Mac OS X) native executable with QB64 😛

  • delve said,

    Post your entry 🙂
    Though, does one have to stay up until 2AM to participate, or can you pick any arbitrary hour to do the work? I personally couldn’t code my way out of a function signature by 2AM.

  • LateWhiteRabbit said,


    That’s cheating – the sleep deprivation is totally part of the challenge! Besides, if you do it any other time, it will be a 1 hour game jam instead of a 0 hour game jam . . . .

  • delve said,

    Aww, not for me then. I get enough sleep deprivation from my kids. 🙂