Gamma 4: One-Button Game Competition

Image of four people in block colours with the text Kokoromi underneath in black.Potentially very exciting news for game programmers and one-switch gamers alike. “Gamma 4” has just begun, a one-button game programming competition with games being unveiled at the prestigious Game Developer Conference in March 2010. My hope is that programmers will consider accessibility, by including difficulty level options in their games, and ideally take a peek at these One-Switch Game Design Tips and Gamma IV forum posts here. Thanks to RetroRemakes on Twitter for the tip-off.


Gestural controls, multi-touch surfaces, musical instruments, voice recognition—even brain control. Games are moving beyond the iconic hand-held controller, and into the future. But is the secret to good games found in high-tech interfaces? Kokoromi proposes that game developers can still find beauty in absolute simplicity. On March 10th, Gamma 4 will unveil brand-new games that use JUST ONE BUTTON.

Gamma 4 invites software developers to push the limits of gameplay with a single input. Game developers, media, and industry luminaries from around the world, will join the general public to view and play the Gamma 4 games at at a party that bridges the end of the Independent Games Summit and the start of the main GDC. Following the event, all the games will be playable in a dedicated booth on the GDC Expo floor. Game creators whose games are selected for presentation at Gamma 4 will also be awarded free GDC All-Access passes.


•Use a single button as your player input, in a unique or experimental way. Be creative.
•The game must be “pick up and play.”
•The official controller is the Xbox360 controller. Player input must be assigned to the A button, which can be PRESSED or RELEASED. The Xbox360 controller is the only one used for judging, and the only one provided at Gamma.
•Your game can support any number of players up to 4. Each player may have their own controller.
•The game may be a Windows .exe or Mac .app, and must use an installer if ANY additional files are required to play.
•The game cannot rely on an internet or LAN connection (there will not be connectivity provided during the event).
•The gameplay cannot rely on audio information, since there will not be audio output provided during the event. Non-essential audio is permitted.
•The total gameplay session must be no longer than 5 minutes, including any intros, instructions, or credits. At the end of each session, the game must return to a “start” state for the next player/s.
•The maximum game resolution is 1024×768.
•The submission deadline is Jan 31, 11:59pm Pacific time. Submission instructions to follow in mid-January.
•Pre-existing games will not be accepted.

1 comment on “Gamma 4: One-Button Game Competition

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