I Made a Zero Player Game - thinkfaststudio.com

I Made a Zero Player Game

Sam Hogan
Views: 6007592
Like: 192098
Is a game with no players possible? Well… I made one (sorta)

→ Play Cell Machine:
→ Twitter:
→ Discord:

Checkout Game Maker’s Toolkit (if you somehow haven’t yet):

The GMTK Game Jam gives you 48 hours to develop a game from scratch. The theme was “out of control”. The idea I settled on was a puzzle game involving cellular automata, inspired by Conway’s Game of Life. Players will set some initial conditions of various cells on a grid, and then the simulation will play out.

I pulled out the good ol’ Unity game engine to build this game. After some serious struggle, I eventually developed a possible game idea and figured out how to program it (didn’t actually end up using cellular automata, but it kind of mimics it).

There are different types of cells with specific functions. A mover cell moves in one direction and pushes any cells in its way. A rotate cell will spin cells that touch it. A generator cell with duplicate another cell.
game development. The idea is that combining these will lead to emergent gameplay (with the goal being to destroy enemy cells).

During this game development marathon, I added animations, made some levels, attempted pixel art, made some more levels, programmed dragging and controls, and added even more levels. I finished the game about 4 hours before the deadline, which gave me plenty of time to make builds and submit. After that I actually fixed a bug and added level saving, and updated everything an hour before the deadline.

So I think I started to scratch the surface of emergent gameplay, something I’ve always wanted to do. The game is called Cell Machine, it’s available on web/PC for now, but I might port it to mobile, but only if I can come up with a good title for that video lol.

—- You May Also Like —-
My other videos like this:
I Made the Hardest Game Ever:
I Made Minecraft in 24 Hours:
I Made a Game with Intentional Bugs:
I Made a Game with Infinite Levels:

Check out Dani:
Dani – Programming a Boss Battle For my Game:
Dani – He said I Couldn’t Make a 3D Game… So I Made One!
Dani – I Turned Youtube into a Giant Battle Royale Game:

→ “Hero Dance Party”, “Mystical Pixels”, & “Bubbles and Submarines” by TeknoAXE
→ “Crazy” by Antti Luode
→ “Vicious” by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)

Some SFX from Tonedock.com


  1. idea:
    Bomb Block
    Explodes other blocks near it.

  2. So this is basically convey's game of life

  3. “I don’t just have no friends”
    “I have no me”

  4. What is your game called? And is it on App Store?

  5. It blows my mind, people making games and stuff like that

  6. That guy who has yet to make a video. says:

    I would happily pay for this game. A couple other indie developers and I ( we dont post any content) have thought up a game something like this and abandoned the project. We would be happy to see how yours turned out!

  7. I beat this game in less than an hour on my first try and I am finally happy

  8. I think you made a wallpaper for steam engine

  9. FUnny thing is, he probably spends more time making these videos than he does making the game, amiright

  10. In my opion, being a man of music, I think this game could use a banging sound track. Then, the cells could step along to the BPM.

  11. This guy haven't published a video for almost 2 years

  12. Your pixel art was better then mine (I’ve been doing it for months

  13. this is his last video and that was in 2020 he made more vids in 2020 all in the same year and hasn't posted since please come back to us

  14. This is neat! If I may offer a tidbit, the puzzle games that make the top of my list, such as Baba Is You and Stephen's Sausage Roll, don't have tutorial levels. Instead, they have levels where the puzzle is to figure out how the new mechanic works. I like this approach, as every level feels like part of the game and not just something you have to get through to get to the game.

  15. "I made a zero player game"

    That just sounds like a video/movie with extra steps

  16. Bro I have to tell you something your cal machine is working on Android just go to Chrome and select the desktop screen box in android

  17. I bet sam didn't think when he made this that it would get so big that entire competitions for this game to see who's vault is the safest (???) would be created. Crazy.

  18. Doesn’t seem like a zero player game.

    Wouldn’t a zero player game created it’s own levels

  19. Is this the Game of Life that The Powder Toy Has?

  20. I would NEVER think about that complexity in this game. Nothing of building things. I would just mess around and be bored

  21. Sam Hogan: I made zero player game!
    Almost every mobile or web MMORPG: Look what he needs to mimic a fraction of our power

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