Your challenge: during the month of October, build a game for CHIP-8 or one of its extensions- SCHIP and XO-CHIP.

You have a hex keypad for input, 64×32 pixels (or 128×64 with SCHIP), 3.5kb of RAM and code space (64kb with XO-CHIP), and two colors (or up to 4 with XO-CHIP). Embrace these creative constraints, and make the most of them!

The Octo IDE allows you to write CHIP-8 games in a beginner-friendly low-level language, and even export standalone HTML builds of your game to share here on Itch. If you’ve used Octo before, you might be interested in a summary of the latest improvements.

Octo Source Code Output
: main
  i := ball
    sprite v0 v1 7
    v0 += 3
    v1 += 5

: ball
  0x38 0x74 0xFA 0xFE 0xFE 0x7C 0x38

Using other tools or homespun CHIP-8 emulators is also fair game. If you’re interested in making games that will run on historical hardware, like the COSMAC VIP or the HP-48 calculator, reach out on this jam’s forum for tips!

Having trouble figuring out where to start? This year, we’re offering two XO-CHIP game templates you can tear apart, extend, remix, and reassemble to your heart’s content:

Into The GarlicScape Super NeatBoy

A roguelike game engine.

– Static or randomly-generated levels

– Turn-based movement and idle animations

– 7×7 tiles and sprites

– Item pickups

– Hostile mobs

– Huggable Llamas

A metroidvania-style platformer engine.

– Jumping! Falling!

– Large maps composed of 16×16-tile rooms

– 8×8 sprites, 8×4 tiles

– Hazardous tiles and respawning

– Speedrunning-friendly timer

– Leaf collecting

Get it Here Get it Here

You can also find inspiration- or code to borrow- over at the CHIP-8 Archive. Like the examples above, everything in the archive is provided under the Creative Commons Zero “No Rights Reserved” license.

Playthroughs and commentary from all six previous Octojams are available on youtube!

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