DEV Community


Posted on

MiniScript and Micro Jam Join Forces for Mega Fun

Game jams are a fun way to exercise your coding skills and have some fun with like-minded developers all over the world. The short deadline helps you focus, limit scope, and actually finish a project, which is generally much harder than starting one! And when there are themes and restrictions, these limits help foster creativity as you are forced out of your usual well-worn paths.

I am delighted to announce that MiniScript is partnering with Micro Jam, a fun, well-organized biweekly game jam hosted at The new partnership gives the MiniScript community a common place to participate in jams, and the Mini Jam community a common tool to try — and thanks to the partnership, there is now the opportunity for cash prizes to reward your hard work!

Micro Jam logo

About Micro Jam

Micro Jam runs every two weeks. The theme is announced well in advance, so you can start thinking of ideas; but there’s also a prerequisite that’s not announced until the jam begins, which may prompt you to go in a different direction. Once it begins, the jam lasts just 48 hours — long enough to make a simple (but hopefully fun!) little game, but not so long as to take over your life. The organizers write:

We created this Jam so that developers of all skill levels can make a game joyfully, while learning a lot about coding, game development, etc. The two-day time frame makes it so that no one can make a super complicated game, and all games are kept simple.

About MiniScript and Mini Micro

“Coding joyfully” couldn’t be a better description of the goals of MiniScript and Mini Micro as well. MiniScript is a relatively new language, created in 2017 to provide a clean, simple, powerful, and fun language for computer programming. It’s small enough that the language core can be described in a single page. But with functions as first-class objects, support for object-oriented programming, and sophisticated handling of lists and maps, it’s powerful enough for real work.

Built on top of MiniScript, Mini Micro is a neo-retro virtual computer. It's the 80s-style dream machine that never actually existed: high-res graphics, synthesized and digitized sound, support for game input devices as well as mouse and keyboard, high-performance sprites, tiles, and pixel graphics, and more. All with an elegant, fun language used both on the command line and for writing programs.

Mini Micro animated screenshot

Mini Micro users span the full range from people who have never coded before in their lives, to professional software engineers who want a smaller, more enjoyable way to code in their off hours.

A Match Made for Fun

Both Micro Jam and MiniScript have growing communities that are among the most positive and supportive places you'll find on the internet. Introducing these two groups of people to each other is likely to lead to a lot of new friendships, and hopefully some cool new projects!

Game jams are a recreational activity, and participating is its own reward... but a little extra doesn't hurt! So starting with Micro Jam 012, we have established new cash prizes for the 1st and 2nd place winners of every jam! To encourage use of MiniScript, these are slightly larger if your winning project uses Mini Micro (or uses MiniScript in any other way) than if it does not.

  1. First place: US$65 with MiniScript, or US$50 without
  2. Second place: US$40 with MiniScript, or US$30 without

And these are in addition to the usual Micro Jam prizes for 1st-3rd place, which include a certificate, a special role on the Micro Jam Discord server, and immortalization on the hall of fame.

So to the Micro Jam crowd, I say welcome! Here are some free dev tools you probably didn't know about. You don't have to use them; you can continue to write your jam entries in Unity or Godot or whatever else you like. But, I hope you'll give Mini Micro a try! Like the jam itself, you may find that Mini Micro hits just the right combination of "simple" and "capable" to be a blast.

And to the MiniScript community, I say: check out Micro Jam! I've run a few game jams before and they're always fun, but you all know that my hands are always full with other MiniScript-related projects. Now we have a well-run jam that happens every two weeks, and lasts just a couple of days, with a friendly community of regulars eager to welcome you. Of course you can (and should!) participate in other game jams too — but as a community, this will be our go-to, the one we especially keep and eye on. Why not clear a weekend and give it a try?

Top comments (0)