Quake. In 13k of Javascript.

I repeat: QUAKE. In Javascript. IN ONLY 13 KB!

There is a yearly contest, called JS13KGames.

The goal of the contest is simple: Create a game, in Javascript, that uses no more than 13 kilobites (compressed) of storage.

I love such competitions. Ones with seemingly arbitrary restrictions, which force developers to get truly creative. When these restrictions force developers to limit themselves in terms of size or lines of code… it’s just… so much fun.

The JS13KGames competition, while I’ve heard of it before, I had always ignored.

Because… Javascript. I just don’t like Javascript. I blame Javascript (in large part) for bloating and ruining the World Wide Web.

Then, today, I saw something — an entry in the JS13KGames competition — that made me reconsider that, long held, negative stance towards Javascript…

A basic implementation of Quake… in 13 k of Javascript. Seriously.

Dubbed “Q1K3”… it… absolutely works! Complete with two levels! Full 3D engine, jumping, shooting… the basics of Quake are there!

I mean, sure, there’s plenty missing. And the textures are pretty low-res. But, still! 13k! Look at that! Holy cow!

This implementation of Quake loads almost instantly. Significantly faster than most news websites! Way faster than any Social Media website! For QUAKE! (Well. For a a recreation of the core gameplay at any rate.)

The astoundingly talented developer, Dominic Szablewski, put up a blog post detailing why (and how) he built this Javascript 13k implementation of Quake.

I highly recommend reading it. It feels like a love letter to both Quake… and the goal of getting code (and game assets) as mind-bogglingly tiny as possible. Huge high five, Dominic!

Total aside: Could you imagine how fast the Web would be… if every website (most of which are really just Javascript applications nowadays) put in this sort of effort — and, dare I say, engineering wizardry — to make their websites as small and lightweight as possible?

Imagine it. Imagine the speed. Imagine the fun.

The stuff dreams are made of.


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