How Small Can a Game Get?

How Small Can a Game Get? - 2015-07-13 15:07:56

What’s the smallest video game you’ve ever played? Not shortest, but smallest.

Well, Tiny Twitch is so small, the source code fits into a Tweet. The game consists of nothing more than clicking an “X” as it jumps around the screen to collect points before time runs out.

Created by Alex Yonder, the game was made in response to a Tweet by Moonman developer Ben Porter. Porter challenged Twitter users to make a game that fits the 140 character limit in a Twitter post.

I’ve managed 13 clicks myself, but some people are claiming to have reached between 18 and 25.

These aren’t the first short games to be created. Python One Liners has several small games to play consisting of very tiny codes. Some include a maze, a slot machine, and a number guessing game.

Rock Collector
Rock Collector

In March, there was a contest called Twiny Jam held by Porpentine where people on the internet would make text games with 300 words or less. As a result, there are over 200 games available to play on the website and can be played on Windows, OSX, Linux, or Android. Some noteworthy games include Velociraptors in the Library, Tiny Tarot, Rock Collector, and Stars.

Velociraptors in the Library is a choose your own adventure text game that consists of a simple black background with white narrative text and blue links for choices.

Have you tried Tarot Cards before? This version of the card game has the player click the link to randomly choose pixelated tarot cards and gives a small few words of input on the selection and a suggestion for the result.

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Rock Collector has the player clicking characters on the screen (usually zeros, periods, or “o”s” which can result in finding rocks or bugs.

Stars is a little more relaxing with the player clicking boxes, or, “stars” while reading the narrative. The story is along the lines of someone contemplating stars and their life.

Anyone who plays any sort of video game knows that developing one isn’t exactly a walk in the park. For big games like GTA V or The Witcher III, there are huge teams of coders, writers, artists, and the list goes on. For smaller indie games there is still a lot of time and effort that are put into the game, but there’s still such a broad amount of space that can be used to develop these games.

The Witcher III
The Witcher III

To fit a game into less than 300 words or 140 characters, it takes just as much creativity as a game for a console or mobile device. That’s less coding than Pac-Man or Pong. It goes to show just how clever people can be.

More games are available on Porter’s Twitter page. Just copy the codes into a .txt file, save as .HTML and drop it in a browser.

What do you think of the Twitter challenge? Comment below to share your thoughts.