Submissions open from 2021-10-31 23:00:00 to 2021-11-30 22:59:59
Submissions due in
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You can still join during the month!

Welcome to the Crunchless Challenge!

An open event where you are invited to join the challenge to make a proper game sustainably, without crunching.

Hi, I'm Tim Krief, earlier this year, fed up with the crunch culture, I've decided to make a game in a 35 hours work week during what I called the "One Week Crunchless Challenge" and it was so interesting and instructive that I decided to hold a new one! This time around, the Crunchless Challenge is open to all and we'll be able to take as much time as we want during a full month, but there's a catch, we have to decide how much time beforehand and stick to it!

If you ever took part of a game jam before, this is totally different:

  • No competition
  • No rating
  • No ranking
  • No required theme announced at the start
  • Not required to create everything from scratch during the challenge duration
  • No feeling bad because you decided to go outside, eat and sleep!
  • You choose your own sustainable time schedule:
    • You should not overwork yourself:
      • Spread your work into reasonable sessions.
      • Do not schedule too much per week. 35 hours a week seems like a good upper limit.
      • It's okay to go as low as 1 hour a day if you already have a busy schedule.
    • You could start at any time in November if you prefer dedicating less time to the challenge.
    • Try to set the last day of November as the last day of your schedule, so that we all finish at the same time.
    • Do not choose a schedule that doesn't fit the scope of your idea, or an idea with a scope that doesn't fit your schedule.
    • Stick to your schedule. You can decrease the allocated time if needed during the challenge, but you shouldn't spend more time than what you planned, it would be crunching.
  • Making a good game-play loop is only one side of the challenge, you must also plan:
    • Polish, Reliability and Accessibility
    • Branding / Visual Identity
    • Communication / Marketing
    • Time management / Scope
  • You are expected to actually put up your game for sale at a sustainable price at the end of the challenge.
  • You can work alone or as a team (You can use the community tab to look for a team).

At the end of the challenge, if you end up making something you are proud to call "the game I/we made" and proud to put it up for sale, by managing your time in a way that respects what you planned at the beginning, without having to crunch, then you succeed. 


You are highly encouraged to:

  • Use Free/Libre and Open Source tools to make your game. By using, contributing and supporting FLOS tools, more and more of the tooling we need to actually start making games are being shared and worked on by everyone instead of being something all teams have to either make themselves or become dependent on other companies to get.
  • Do not sell your game for less that you think it should be. By trying to get a slice of the pie at all costs, some game industry practices made the users massively undervalue what games should be worth. If we don't want to be forced to get money by crunching to make more half-baked games, or by psychologically manipulating users into spending money for in-game currencies, or by selling their attention span through ads, we have to act now and we have to act as a group, by all selling our games at proper prices.
  • Document your process. Make regular posts, stream your work sessions or shoot videos, following your journey, showing you planning and sticking to your plans, or having to change the plans and why.
  • Make a Postmortem post and declare if you succeeded the challenge or not and why.
  • Reuse, recycle! Take that old project or idea that you've been putting off and work on that.
  • Have Fun!


On top of the challenge's Community Tab you can use to exchange with other participants, there's a discord channel available for real time communication! You're also invited to use the hashtag #CrunchlessChallenge when sharing about the event and your progress on twitter, on the fediverse or other platforms! That way we can all go and check what other people are working on and spread the world about the challenge!

This might be obvious but:

  • This event is supposed to be friendly, welcoming and inclusive, any behavior that goes against will not be accepted. Be nice.
  • You are taking part to this challenge on your own as a way to challenge yourself and could stop at any moment.
  • The game you're making is yours and you're responsible for it.
  • You must follow the terms of itch.io when posting your game or using the platform.
  • And of course, respect the law. Don't use tools or assets you don't have the rights to use. Credit the assets and tools you used when it's mandatory (and it's cool to credit even when it' not mandatory). Etc. If there's a doubt on the legality of your project it could be removed from the challenge's submissions.


The Crunchless Challenge is hosted by me, TimKrief. This is the first open to all occurrence of this challenge so I hope I was able to explain it all correctly, if you have any doubt or if it's unclear, let me know. If you want to contact me, please, join our server on discord or feel free to DM me on mastodon or on twitter.