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Hand-crafted JavaScript game framework for game jamming, prototyping, creative coding, learning programming, and beyond


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Welcome to Collider.JAM! | start | design | reason | man | blog | discord

Crafting with joy.

Collider.JAM is a hand-crafted JavaScript framework for game jamming, creative coding, rapid game prototyping, and beyond. It was crafted from the experience of multiple game jams we've participated in.

Game prototyping is an art that mixes design, technology, creativity, and hyper-focused productivity. And we believe it deserves a dedicated tool, capable to address the specific needs of a rapidly evolving prototype.

Visit and check out online docs.

Look at the sources in examples and jam games.

Follow the jamming way and pixelate reality!

Table of Contents


Unlock your creativity.

To start jamming, we need to install the collider.jam npm package. It provides a shell capable of bootstrapping and running game projects.

Make sure you have a relatively modern Node.js installed by running in the console:

node --version
> v12.16.1

You are OK if it is something like 12+.

If not, visit Node.js for the package and installation instructions.

Now, to install collider.jam, run:

npm install -g collider.jam

Or you can get the latest development version directly from GitHub:

npm install -g

When installed, check out the version and help:

jam version
jam help

Draw Shape

The Fun of the Game Jamming.

Create a folder named 'cirlce.mod' in any convenient place

mkdir circle.mod

The .mod extension is crucial, since that is how Collider.JAM determines the root of the project. Collider.JAM has particular conventions on how you name and organize files and directories.

It could be unusual at first, but makes a lot of sense once you get into the jamming mode.

Create a file circle.mod/lab.js and fill in the following lines:

// circle.mod/lab.js

function draw() {
    lineWidth(2)         // set the line width
    stroke(.12, .4, .5)  // color in float HSL
    circle(200, 200, 50) // draw the circle

Now, run 'jam play' command while inside the circle.mod folder:

jam play

Collider.JAM will start a server and open the default browser pointing at [http://localhost:9999]. You should see the circle.

Move Shape

Let's make some movement by introducing variables for the circle position and direction. We also need the evo(dt) function to move it:

// circle.mod/lab.js

// position at the center of the screen
let x = rx(.5)
let y = ry(.5)
let r = 50

// the speed along x and y axises
let dx = 100
let dy = 100

function evo(dt) {
    // dt(delta time) holds the time in seconds passed since the last update
    // make the movement factored by the delta time
    x += dx * dt
    y += dy * dt

function draw() {
    stroke(.12, .4, .5)   // color in float HSL
    circle(x, y, r)

The problem is that the circle disappears once it crossed the edge of the screen.

We can introduce some boundaries on x and y, so our evo(dt) would look like this:

function evo(dt) {
    // make the movement factored by the delta time
    x += dx * dt
    y += dy * dt

    // bounce off the screen edges
    if (x > rx(1)-r && dx > 0) dx *= -1
    else if (x < r && dx < 0) dx *= -1
    if (y > ry(1)-r && dy > 0) dy *= -1
    else if (y < r && dy < 0) dy *= -1

Find the working example on GitHub.

Prototype in Development Mode

The most basic Collider.JAM command is jam:


It just runs the jam server without opening a web browser, as jam play does.

But when it comes to development, it's much better to run in the debug mode:

jam -d

That enables hot reload of changes and help metadata among other things.

Run Collider.JAM with -d option, then open the browser at http://localhost:9999 and try to change circle color or radius.

The changes will be visible in the browser soon after you saved lib.js.

Also, you can hit F1 and get online help on everything in the mix, including Collider.JAM utilities and your code!

Drop Resource

Let's improve our bouncing circle.

Find a suitable image of a planet with a transparent background, just like this one from OpenGameArt. Or pick any planet from this procedurally generated collection.

Download and drop it into the circle.mod/res/ folder.

Now add init() and change the draw() function to the following:

function init() {
    this.background = '#000000' // black color in hex RGB

function draw() {
    stroke(.58, .5, .7)
    circle(x, y, r)
    image(res.mars_type_planet, x-r, y-r, 2*r, 2*r)

We've changed the background to totally black - to match the darkness of space.

Then, we've called the image() function to draw the planet's texture. Notice, that the image resource name must match the file name without the extension. It is the way resources are mapped and loaded.

We've preserved the circle and tuned its width and color to resemble the planet's atmosphere.

Check out the final version on GitHub.

Handle Mouse

Suppose our planet is slowing down.

Add the following function to reduce the speed:

function slowDown(dt) {
    dx *= 1 - 0.05*dt
    dy *= 1 - 0.05*dt

And call it from evo(dt) like that:

function evo(dt) {

Now, the planet will lose 5% of its speed every second.

But we want it to accelerate on click, so we will include boost() function:

function boost(mouseX, mouseY) {
    if (!this.booster && dist(x, y, mouseX, mouseY) <= r) {
        dx *= 1.2
        dy *= 1.2
        this.booster = true

We are checking if the mouse coordinates are within the planet radius and make a 20% speed increase if so. The booster flag is needed for visual feedback. We want to show the player a hint that the boost has actually happened.

For example, we can change the atmosphere color in draw():

function draw() {
    if (this.booster) stroke(.05, .4, .6)
    else stroke(.58, .5, .7)
    circle(x, y, r)
    image(res.mars_type_planet, x-r, y-r, 2*r, 2*r)

It is time for mouse handling. Create a folder named trap and place two .js files there - mouseDown.js and mouseUp.js.

Put in mouseDown.js:

// circle.mod/trap/mouseDown.js

function mouseDown(e) {
    lab.boost(e.clientX, e.clientY)

And mouseUp.js is going to be:

// circle.mod/trap/mouseUp.js

function mouseUp() {
    lab.booster = false

Try it out - the planet is going to accelerate on mouse click.

The jamming way is as simple as that!

Just place the files in proper folders, follow naming conventions and Collider.JAM will assemble and run the game for you.

Use jam new

The new command creates various jam objects. Use it to bootstrap a new mod or create a trap or a new prototype in /dna.

Run new ls to list the possibilities:

jam new ls

To create a sample mod, just type:

jam new mod test

That generates the test.mod folder with a bunch of test objects - a sample /dna prototype, some entities in /lab, a /lib function, a sample resource, and a couple of traps. These represent entities you can find in most Collider.JAM games.

The new command shows affected files and generated content.

To create a sample class prototype:

jam new class TestEntity

Or you can generate mouse-tracking eyes as simple as:

jam new eyes

Use generated objects as blueprints for your own. They illustrate Collider.JAM conventions and a canonical way to implement basic things.


Check our the following links:


There are a number of useful examples available on github:

Jam Games with Sources

Follow the jamming way

Explore the following games. All created during various game jams and powered by Collider.Jam.

Note, that older games could use old-style or deprecated features. But mostly they are OK and show many different ways you can organize a project in Collider.JAM.

Jam Mixes

There are a number of sub-projects Collider.JAM depends on. These contain the actual framework core, utility functions and development features:

  • collider.mix - the most essential mix that includes collider.jam system core (collider.js) and various library functions and data.
  • collider-dev.mix - development tools
  • collider-boot.mix - contains basic samples and patches to mix from.

How to Develop

The best approach I've found is to clone all Collider.JAM projects into a single folder and then use npm link feature to link them together.

Create a global link for each Collider.JAM project by running in the project root:

npm link

Then install all dependencies between them by specifying package names, e.g. for collider.jam:

npm link collider.mix collider-dev.mix collider-boot.mix

Note, that all 3 links have to be installed at onces and will be replaced with the next npm update.

How to Contribute

Star this repo and join our Discord server discussions.

Create something and share it with #collider.jam tag.

Find more details in How to Contribute.


Hand-crafted JavaScript game framework for game jamming, prototyping, creative coding, learning programming, and beyond