PICO-8, fantasy console

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yesyesyall
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Re: PICO-8, fantasy console

Post by yesyesyall » Sat Jul 08, 2017 5:30 pm

As far as the constraints implemented in PICO-8 go, I think they were put there to make working in PICO-8 a design problem more than a platform for viable games as we might think of them. There are some pretty good little "carts" (this is what the PICO-8 calls its distributables), but they all feel like demos.

This PICO-8 lighting demo is a great example of excellent overall design, but there isn't memory left over to create a "proper game" with.

GradualGames wrote:I wound up getting a little bit obsessed with Pico 8. Here's a WIP of a demake of an old Atari 400 game I'm building for my sister. Playing that game with her is probably my earliest memory of a video game. You can't do much yet, just open chests and collect inventory. Press x or z to advance past title screen.

http://www.lexaloffle.com/bbs/?tid=29280
Hey, nice work!

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GradualGames
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Re: PICO-8, fantasy console

Post by GradualGames » Sun Jul 09, 2017 7:39 am

yesyesyall wrote: This PICO-8 lighting demo is a great example of excellent overall design, but there isn't memory left over to create a "proper game" with.
I've been following that developer on twitter---he's working on a full version of the game, and it's still in Pico-8 as far as I know.

They did introduce "multicarts," so it is possible to expand beyond the normal 32k scope.

I'm finding it fairly challenging and interesting to make a well polished arcade style game in Pico-8...not really finding it constricting or boring at all...it's one of the most fun things I've encountered recently. It's a really nice foil to making "proper games" on NES. Where it takes me 4 years to make a full sized NES game, it only takes me a couple of months to make a nice "mini game" in Pico-8. I've been kind of starving for being able to tinker with game coding at a faster clip---but without all the annoying complexity of actually writing for modern platforms, so this little piece of software has been a godsend for me!

tepples
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Re: PICO-8, fantasy console

Post by tepples » Sun Jul 09, 2017 8:27 am

Does PICO-8 have any advantage over, say, writing an engine in Pygame that you can use to prototype your NES games?

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GradualGames
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Re: PICO-8, fantasy console

Post by GradualGames » Sun Jul 09, 2017 11:33 am

I'm not sure if there are any really clear advantages, but, the reasons I like it:

-It's got a code editor, sprite editor, map editor, sfx editor and music editor all built in. It feels "cozy." Kinda like how QBasic felt when I was a kid--you rarely needed to leave the IDE (depending on how complex you were getting with your projects)

-The palette is fixed to 16 colors. I'm not much of an artist, but with this few colors I have been able to pull off acceptable graphics without a whole lot of effort, which certainly helps with prototyping. I'm not that good at selecting colors for "shadow pairing" and so on often used in cell shading, but that has already been done for me with this palette.

-It has a feature called "splore," where you can browse hundreds of carts uploaded by other users, and check out the code immediately. This also feels like QBasic, not because it was built in, but because I recall downloading many qbasic programs offered for free on qbasic websites and reading the code---and having zero effort required to build and run the code.

-It "feels" like an old computer due to the constraints and that much of the data is a custom bit-packed format. It even exposes ram that you can call PEEK and POKE on, which further feels like an old computer.

-It has an api for drawing sprites, tiles, and a variety of primitives.

-Lua provides coroutines...which I've come to really like using for entity state machines (I'm effectively using coroutines in my current NES game, by saving the PC and entity's state when an entity is finished updating the current frame).

I guess the clearest advantage for me is, if I used a framework, I'd have to decide how to create a full screen, low-res graphics viewport...when I had to do this with LibGDX for ggvm, it wasn't that easy to figure out. Pico-8 just has that all done for you, which is nice for nincompoops like me! :)

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Re: PICO-8, fantasy console

Post by GradualGames » Sun Jul 23, 2017 7:34 pm

yesyesyall wrote: This PICO-8 lighting demo is a great example of excellent overall design, but there isn't memory left over to create a "proper game" with.
That's been developed into a 2hr long game.

Dank Tombs, by Jakub Wasilewski, will be released this coming Tuesday. It's got rather impressive pixel-by-pixel lighting effects, and he says the game will be ~2hrs of gameplay. And that's in a 32kb size Pico 8 cart.

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Re: PICO-8, fantasy console

Post by GradualGames » Fri Jul 28, 2017 10:02 am

Here's another Pico-8 game I just completed!
Dan O' Beekeep
Last edited by GradualGames on Fri Jul 28, 2017 10:27 am, edited 1 time in total.

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rainwarrior
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Re: PICO-8, fantasy console

Post by rainwarrior » Fri Jul 28, 2017 10:18 am

Any relation to Dan O'Bannon?

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GradualGames
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Re: PICO-8, fantasy console

Post by GradualGames » Fri Jul 28, 2017 10:26 am

rainwarrior wrote:Any relation to Dan O'Bannon?
Fraid not. I wanted it to sound homophonically like "Dino Riki" as much as possible whilst incorporating my friend Dan, and bees. So I inserted the 'o. Dino Riki. Dano Beekeep. Haha

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thefox
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Re: PICO-8, fantasy console

Post by thefox » Fri Jul 28, 2017 11:00 am

GradualGames wrote:Here's another Pico-8 game I just completed!
Dan O' Beekeep
Some critique if I may:

Seems like it would be a good idea to limit the amount of projectiles in air. Right now it's a bit too easy to just mash Z while staying at the center of the screen, until things get so chaotic I don't think moving would help much.

On-screen score counter would also be nice.

EDIT: Only on my second try (when I started to move ;) ) noticed that you can actually get new weapons in the game...
Download STREEMERZ for NES from fauxgame.com! — Some other stuff I've done: fo.aspekt.fi

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GradualGames
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Re: PICO-8, fantasy console

Post by GradualGames » Fri Jul 28, 2017 11:12 am

thefox wrote:
GradualGames wrote:Here's another Pico-8 game I just completed!
Dan O' Beekeep
Some critique if I may:

Seems like it would be a good idea to limit the amount of projectiles in air. Right now it's a bit too easy to just mash Z while staying at the center of the screen, until things get so chaotic I don't think moving would help much.

On-screen score counter would also be nice.

EDIT: Only on my second try (when I started to move ;) ) noticed that you can actually get new weapons in the game...
Interestingly I actually added in the mashing capability, so a player could get out of a tough spot when things get super hard later on (the difficulty gradually increases) I figured nobody would be able to mash forever, so the other items (which you only keep til you get hurt) are the reward for not getting hurt.

I'm thinking of adding a score counter in-game. (I assume you saw the tally at the end when you die) Though I'm prob not going to be spending a ton more time on this one, it was for a lark/joke to give to a friend, and for fun.

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Re: PICO-8, fantasy console

Post by GradualGames » Sat Jul 29, 2017 6:53 am

thefox wrote:
GradualGames wrote:Here's another Pico-8 game I just completed!
Dan O' Beekeep
Some critique if I may:

Seems like it would be a good idea to limit the amount of projectiles in air. Right now it's a bit too easy to just mash Z while staying at the center of the screen, until things get so chaotic I don't think moving would help much.

On-screen score counter would also be nice.

EDIT: Only on my second try (when I started to move ;) ) noticed that you can actually get new weapons in the game...
Added your bee counter in-game!

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