How to Write a Game in Under 13 Kb While Taking Care of a Baby

🔥 Jaime González 🔥 on December 02, 2018

This article was originally posted in 😊 Wow! It's been a while! The past year has been wonderful and tough in equal meas... [Read Full]
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I have no interest in coding games in JS, but I read the article for the short parenting-and-coding paragraph! I have a 3 months old daughter and time for coding got really rare in the last months. I need more coding/parenting advices! :D

Did not read the rest of the article but flew over it: Amazing work and a very nice article! Thanks for sharing :)


haha I think I have some more advice on that front although it will probably feel self-evident as you read it. The first 6 months felt like I was in a haze, everything was a blur, a fog of exhaustion. I remember sitting one day drinking one of those horrible, horrible powder coffees (no energy to make real coffee) while Teo was asleep and telling my wife: "This is the first time I feel awake, like me, for the past 6 months. What the heck..."

Having a baby is tough as hell, words aren't enough to describe it as you very well know, so:

  • Don't have any expectations that you'll have time to do any coding at all. Expectations are evil. No expectations, no chance for broken expectations, no chance for additional stress, anger or irritation. See every bit of "free" time as a blessing from the heavens. Embrace it and thoroughly savour it and enjoy it.
  • When you have that "free" time don't waste it browsing twitter, or instagram, or facebook, or any social network (Unless you really, really enjoy that). It's good to have a pre-made plan of what you want to do with it so you can just do it when the time suddenly pops up. Be like a seal team. Be ready to do it and leave it at a moment's notice. Also maximize for happiness. What makes you happy?
  • (Redundant but) You're not going to have time to do more than one or two things on your "free" time, so focus on the 1-2 things that make you happy, if that's coding then do that. Don't set too hefty goals or expectations. I was going to say only 1 but I said 2 because coded and worked out (occasionally). Also within the realm of coding pick 1 thing to focus on if you want to feel any rewarding sense of progress at all (which I think is good).
  • If you're feeling like shit, sleep > coding. Sleep is magic. It makes your life worth living. :D
  • Plan for some free alone time (but don't be too hard on yourself or your partner if you can't seem to find time. I mean, you would think that you could be able to find 1h of free time a week, but sometimes you can't)
  • In general don't be too hard on yourself
  • For a while Teo would only sleep in the stroller so I'd listen to lots of coding podcasts and audiobooks. It's not the same as coding but it is a nice proxy. :D

That, from the top of my head. :D Perhaps we have some other parents with great advice? :D


I have a 4 months old baby and the last part of the title really caught my attention. Good tips BTW. What coding podcast you listen to?

Same here, I’d like to know what you listen to as well for these coding walks

Jaime has a page on his website where he mentions them:
Here is also a nice selection you can pick from:

Thank you!

As Serghei shared (thank you! :D) those are the ones I usually listen to.

Do you have any of your favorites that you'd like to recommend? :D

Apart from the ones listed on your website, I also enjoy listening to JS Party, Command Line Heroes, and Reply All. 👍

Thank you!! I've subscribed to all 😁 JS Party has some awesome panelists 😀


Such a great post!

I also made my entry of js13k while taking care of my baby (4 months old) and this added a bit more of challenge, but it was really fun. For my, this time, it was more thinking and doodling on paper that actually coding.


Thank you!!

Awesome! Did you share something online or just for yourself? If you did please share a link.

Yeah, anything+baby === superchallenge :D


yes! I am very happy to have submitted the game I had in mind when the theme came out (yet with many things to improve).

It's this


This was so satisfying to read. I'm looking to enhance my game dev passion too. This article is a motivation. I'm glad to be at least more free as I'm not watching over a precious baby!

Great Work overall.


Awesome! Glad that you enjoyed it so much! Go build some games! :D


Off topic. What's it like working as a minority at Google? I can't help but notice that the company, and those who represent the company at their public events all fall in the general demographic of Asian/Caucasian. You never really see anyone outside of that.

Programs like Microsoft Leap are aimed at diversifying the work force but lately with the #womencode movement their program basically translated from "diversity" to Asian/Caucasian females exclusively.

I bring this up because, as a self taught engineer I was lucky to have found some stability in the market. I didn't have the opportunity of education beyond high school or exposure to computers until very late in my life, but I'm a capable developer. I actually wasn't able to find work at a reasonable rate until a position opened that required bilingual capacity. My self taught colleagues seem to transition from job to job with relative ease.

So I wonder how much of my experiences getting hired are influence by sticking out like a sore thumb in a team of individuals or potential candidates. The numbers really don't lie. What's it like looking from the top?


Hi Sebastian! I'm back! :D

Off topic. What's it like working as a minority at Google?

I'm a Spanish immigrant in Sweden. I've been living here for ~11 years. Even so, I was born and raised in a tiny village in the mountains of northern Spain for the first ~25 years of my life so I can't really say I understand how it feels to be part of a minority group in the sense that you are asking. Most of the people I grew up with were Spanish (Asturias geographically isolated as it is isn't a great example of diversity). I can say though that I've never worked at a company that puts so much energy in promoting inclusion and diversity inside (working environment) and outside (in the products that we develop).

I can't help but notice that the company, and those who represent the company at their public events all fall in the general demographic of Asian/Caucasian. You never really see anyone outside of that.

If that's your perception then we need to do better. I believe having role models of all backgrounds is paramount to create a more inclusive, encouraging and diverse culture.

In regards to your experience, I can only relate insofar I'm an immigrant and a minority in Sweden. When I came to Sweden with a MsC and ~1 year experience as a software developer I couldn't find a job. Over the space of ~7 months I sent about 200 cvs and cover letters and I finally got a job as a junior consultant. At the time I didn't know it, but my entry salary was about 15% less than the normal entry salary. It didn't matter to me though, the salary was about 3 times what I was making in Spain before moving and that job and the confidence of that employer really opened the doors of the Swedish market for me, at least it felt that way. Anyhow, after that I just kept pushing and improving until today. I never had Google as a goal in my head (it was a dream that I never, ever thought would come to pass), I just really enjoyed programming and it was natural to get better at it and find better companies as I got more experienced. I was very fortunate that my parents and family (mostly :D) always supported me, my girlfriend (now wife) has always had my back and paid for all our bills when my savings ran out while I was unemployed (she was a student back then, go Sweden student loans), and I've met a lot of wonderful colleagues over the years which have connected me to the right people and helped me many times.

Being called Jaime Gonzalez Garcia and not Peter Olofsson may have put off some employers consciously or unconsciously (who knows). But there's nothing I can do about that, better to focus my energy on the things that I can change, keep improving and kick some ass. :D


Hola Sebastian! :D I don't have enough time to answer tonight and I'm going to go on a short trip with the family tomorrow. Be back on Monday and I hope I'll have time then :D Take care!


Thank you!

It's a very minimalistic gaming framework with a very small API. Great to get started with game development although it may require you to write a lot of code that comes normally baked in inside other bigger/more-established frameworks like phaser.js. Incidentally I gathered some (very concise) notes on how to work with phaser for a new game I'm planning that may help you decide.


Brilliant! Writing games was my gateway drug to coding back in the late 70s / early 80s, albeit with Basic, not JS :)

There is nothing quite as satisfying as creating something others can enjoy!


I've always wanted to play with these kinds of games. Big thanks for providing such great starting points!


Thank you! There's a lot more resources that can be super helpful for game dev newbies on the js13kgames competition website. There are even post-mortems of lots of game devs explaining how they built their games. Some are really, really awesome like:

To point just a couple.

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