I Made a Zero Player Game - thinkfaststudio.com

I Made a Zero Player Game

Sam Hogan
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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.

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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. For all the nerds out there,
    here’s a fun fact:
    I believe this automaton is Turing complete (anything a computer can compute, it can as well).

  2. You should add settings where is the no texture button, so each cell has 2 Colors Like at the beggining. And also add freeplay so u can Choose Any size of the map and no matter What or how much cells u can put.

  3. it more like 0.5 / 0.6666666666666666666666666…..7 / 0.75 player

  4. I just instlalled conway's game of life on my phone, and not gonna lie, but it IS a little hard to draw things, and when there is just those annoying cubes or pluses, but when you finally get it working it is mesmerizing~

  5. Him: A cell can be dead, or live
    Me: Or AFK (Play the game to know what I mean)

  6. Add a turner cell which can rotate other cells and 2 of them will make it mirrored

  7. Bad game dev competed in this game jam

    He didn’t submit his game lol

  8. Make a creative version were the player is free to make levels for people like geometry dash

  9. why it looks like a game that dani was working on? 🤔

  10. So you made your own version of ChuChu Rocket?
    Looks dope 😁

  11. A Different Youtuber Made A Game For This Game Jam Called 48 Steps And If You Run Out Of Steps You Are "Out Of Control" The Youtuber Is Named BadGameDev

  12. Oh and also make sand box mode where players can place all the cells and just see what happens next.

  13. your pixel art is very good i wish i was as good as you

  14. Please make a version for Android love this game but can't afford a computer 🖥️ so please 🥺

  15. The game seems cool, but I wouldn't call it zero player.

  16. Me: "Guys look! I'm playi- uhh interacting with Zero Player Game by Sam Hogan!"

  17. I call this more an animation than a game

  18. the pixel art looks pretty good actually except for the enemies. the enemies look really bad.

  19. Why you don't make a speedy cell like the move cell but faster

  20. Hhhhhuuuummmmmmmm
    Know what I can see and how are things to go to this point and then again I am so glad you had to be able and not just for me lol

  21. you essentially made a visual programming language

  22. A game that playes itself is callded an animation

  23. I know this but never knew it was Sam Hogan that made it it was a friend that told me about this zero player gamge

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