Gamma 256

By: Derek Yu

On: September 5th, 2007

gamma 256

Kokoromi is a Québécois (“Quebec sauce?”) game developer collective, and they’re working with the Montreal International Game Summit and the Society for Arts and Technology to set up a “game jam” called gamma 256.

The theme is “low resolutions,” and the rules are as follows:

1. Your game’s resolution absolutely may not exceed 256×256 pixels maximum.

2. Your game must run on Windows XP and use an XBox 360 controller.

The submission period ends on November 1st. TIGForums is hosting the discussion for the competition, because we think it’s neat, okay? Head on over and make with the talkies.

  • Rz.

    low-rez is so beautiful

  • PHeMoX

    If done properly it beats 3D next-gen graphics everyday … and hard!

    As for the compo, is there a theme of some sort that we should keep in mind other than the xbox360 thing? Perhaps, I’ll give this a try..

  • PHeMoX

    Lol, stupid me … the theme is the ‘resolution’ thing, hah! ^^”

  • fish

    also, not a competition.

    you’re encouraged to go crazy with the resolution. you can use any aspect ratio you want, or go as low res as you want. or both. whatevs.

  • renkin

    What is the reason for the 360 controller rule?

  • fish

    we needed somekind of standard as we’re gonna have to set up everything at the venue in advance. its just simplifies the whole thing greatly. also, i dig the 360 controller. its a great controller.

  • PHeMoX

    Aah, I see, no competition, just a show. Doesn’t matter, I’m already thinking about what to make. :)

  • raigan

    256×256 is no different from NES/SNES/GBA, so it should really just be called “8bit/pixel art contest”.. not that that’s a bad thing of course!

    i nominate spout:

    i think it comes with source.. someone just hack in controller support!

    p.s – isn’t fez lo-rez? i smell a conspiracy!!

  • raigan

    whoops, my bad — here’s a proper url:

    also, sorry for all the exclamation marks. our PAX booth was next to “haze”‘s, and they were giving out these guarana mints.. danger!

  • fish

    256 is the MAXIMUM allowed.
    its not much of a restriction if you compare it to NES et al. but we couldnt have forced people to make a “7×92” game. we’re just hoping they will.

    and no, fez wont be in there.
    it dosent fot the requirements.
    im just in a very pixely mood these days.

  • renkin

    fish: Sounds reasonable. General gamepad support would be enough, though, wouldn’t it? As long as the 360 controller works as a normal direct input controller under XP.

    On a side note, I prefer Sony’s Dual Shock. ;)

    Anyway, if I come up with a fun and reasonably small idea, I’ll probably give this a go.

  • Dan MacDonald

    “Québécois” is what people from the province of Quebec call themselves, it’s part of their personal nationalism (provincialism?) every now and then they try to secede from Canada and form an independent nation,and when they do you always hear them talking about “Québécois” a lot.

  • BenH

    An original Xbox controller does pretty much the same thing, right? Thats the only kind I have!

  • fish

    renkin: yeah, but dualshock dosent just plug in a PC out of the box.

    Dan: i prefer montrealer ;)

  • Shawn

    Raigan: remember those psuedo-screenshots I showed you? of the rock and plants? (may still be on your computer?) anyway, those were Fish’s too =) GOOD STUFFS

  • Dan MacDonald

    Yeah, I guess I should specify “Québécois” is mostly reserved for the french speaking majority culture in Quebec, not necessarily those who live in Quebec and are bilingual and don’t really care one way or the other.

  • Isador21

    Dan MacDonald said about 6 hours later:

    ” Yeah, I guess I should specify “Québécois” is mostly reserved for the french speaking majority culture in Quebec, not necessarily those who live in Quebec and are bilingual and don’t really care one way or the other. ”

    (I’m french canadian, just not proud of it)

  • Cas

    Damn! I could almost have gotten away with entering my minigames – they run at 320×320 :(

  • fish

    re: quebecois.

    its really isnt a very fitting decription of the collective as im the only one actually born in the province of the 4 members. also the only french-speaking one. 2 are americans (one is in texas right now), the other is english canadian.

  • Hunty

    so, wait, audio is not just not required, it’s actually forbidden? I’m in!!

  • fish

    you can have audio, but your gameplay cant depend on it. ie, dont use any audio cues or anything like that.
    you can have all the music and sound effects you want, it just wont be heard at the event. at all. loud music will be heard instead.

  • PHeMoX

    Let’s assume for a second I would go for a 256×256 resolution, would this be preferred in windowed mode or fullscreen?

  • fish


  • Blueberry_pie

    Sounds like fun. Maybe I’ll give it a shot!

  • PHeMoX

    Fullscreen, mmmm … my current hardware doesn’t allow me to run my projects in 256×256 fullscreen, only windowed mode. *shrugs* well, I’m going to make it anyways, perhaps it will run on the PC used for the demonstration (thus I can only test windowed mode here).

  • Madgarden


  • Chris

    Fish: Are you sure that *your* hardware is capable of running anything fullscreen at 256×256? That screen resolution isn’t standard for any monitor or project that I know of.

    PHeMoX: If you can, you might consider using a scaling algorithm (ie. 2xSAI) to scale the image to any resolution, and then run it in windowed mode at higher resolutions.

  • hessel

    i assume you’d create a game that only uses a 256x256x[your pixelsize] portion of a fullscreen image?

  • PHeMoX

    @Chris: Thanks, yeah, a scaling algorithm could be a good solution, I’ll look into this.
    I am pretty sure though fullscreen 256×256 without any tricks won’t be a real option and using only 256×256 pixels of a higher res isn’t an option either, since this will only make for a very small windowed game on a black background. :) I guess Madgarden is right, we’d need to stretch, but that can’t be done in a arbitrary 256×256 fullscreen since hardware doesn’t support this afaik…

  • Alec

    Scale Up 1:1 + “Add” Black Bars?

    it’ll be important to preserve the aspect ratio

  • PHeMoX

    Thanks, I’ve succeeded in simply stretching the windowed view into a (1280×1024) higher resolution … lol, it should adjust automatically, but just in case, what will be the most likely desktop resolution used at the demo?

  • okcomputer

    is it legal to “fake” a 256×256 display? Same movement and display restrictions of course. After all, the low-rez display is just an allusion anyway.

  • Chris

    Nice work PHeMoX – post your demo/game somewhere if you can.

  • PHeMoX

    I’ve registered on the TIGsource forums, so you’ll be able to find it and any progress there lateron ..