Experimenting In Smaller Bytes

Picking up pico-8 to experiment with incremental development

Unfortunately no good story begins with the word "unfortunately" but here we are.

I kicked off the journey to game development and it started off really well. The sudoku game in particular I thought turned out really well. I have been working on and off on solitaire over the last month or so and was be continually hit with hills and valleys of success. Sometimes things go really well and I would great forward momentum, only to be met with a massive amount of opposition in progress shortly thereafter.

The canvas object in particular is very powerful. I have a lot of different ways to approach things and can really show off a lot of potential. I don't want to give away too much but I did have a completely working game and a very basic UI.

Stackable Containers

Progress on the UX took a really long time. Getting all the events to fire right, the touch events, the click events and then animations were crawling forward. This is where my dilemma begins in having a great and powerful tool at my disposal, only to be frustrated with the flexibility and lack of guardrails in game design. I needed something simpler with some fixed guidelines to help steer me towards my goal in growing in game design and development.

This is where I re-stumbled on something I had not seen in a while.

Not working? Open this in a new window here.

Yes! The above is totally playable and I encourage you to do so!

PICO-8 offers real opportunities to focus my efforts on tiles, sprites, sound and programming. The software is not officially released, but has a large community and supports the distribution model I currently am exploring. I plan to use this framework as a simplified approach to learn more about game design and game mechanics.

Because this is a totally different track, I want to release these as a separate "road" if you will. These will be tracked on this site as well, just in a different manner. As part of this, I am adding a few new features to the site in the coming weeks to show these efforts.

  • Post Tagging - Need to show a separation from the Road to Game Development and pico-8 development.

  • Embedded Carts - That way you can see and play my games within posts. I actually officially released this as part of publishing this post so we can go ahead and check that off!

  • Dedicated Cart Pages - I may want to go beyond writing a post about a game, but writing a dedicated page that discusses the game, controls, story and all that jazz. This one is more of an idea at this point but want to go ahead and put that out there.

I appreciate anyone and everyone who support me in this endeavor. Its a fun hobby on the side at this point and the game projects were already growing in size, scale and complexity. This will hopefully be a breath of fresh air and opportunity and as always I look forward to the journey ahead!

Tags: PICO-8
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