what we see PICO-8 doing right as a fantasy console 

1. It is designed, first and foremost, to be a tool that facilitates creativity through intentional constraints.

2. It is mostly well documented (SFX and music docs are lacking).

3. It is polished, with few bugs and good configuration features.

4. It is easy to share creations from, including via export to HTML5, and lightweight enough to run on low-end hardware.

5. It is easy to install and does not require separate libraries.

- 🐲 πŸ’­

Decided to fiddle today with a "gleam of light reflecting off text" effect in - am considering using it in a project.

- 🐍 ✨

(redrafted for an image description, sorry)

Was thinking about how a X-COM-like game could be made and realized screen palettes could do lighting effects for day vs. dusk vs. night. Put together a couple out of the extended 32-color PICO-8 palette.

Tried to preserve differences in relative luminance, although obviously the darkest colors end up crushed down to black in the darker palettes and the lightest up to white in the searing-brightness one.

- 🐍 🎨

(Image is commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Fil from Wikipedia's list of color palettes.)

Updated our old palette colors-sorted-by-brightness infographic by making a default-palette-only version. First image is the default palette one; second is the default-plus-extended palettes one.

The post we made about the cart we wrote to generate this data - lexaloffle.com/bbs/?tid=35881 - includes a text file lexaloffle.com/bbs/files/40166 for people who want the data in a more convenient form.

🐦 forgot to post about this earlier when they did it, but we've been thinking about how to draw ellipses efficiently in and they decided to try making a general parametric curve subroutine to do it with: lexaloffle.com/bbs/?tid=36973

Doubtful that it's the most CPU-efficient way of drawing ellipses, but it's cheap on tokens and I expect we could do a lot of hacking on it to make other effects.

- 🦊

Oh awesome - we've been thinking for ages that it would be really really helpful to have, like, a cart which lets you move music patterns and sound effects around, and apparently this now exists!


Checking the author's Twitter - @originalrune@twitter.com - they also made a tool a while ago for rearranging sprites: lexaloffle.com/bbs/?tid=35255

- 🦊 ✨

picked up again to try and make more music in it

there's some experimental sfx instrument stuff involved but it's pretty subtle and kind of ended up pretty background as well

but I'm satisfied with the final loop

- 🐲

Wanted to distract myself from some stresses by making another track - for this one, I slowed the tempo down to 136 PICO-8 ticks per beat (about 53 BPM) and played with long held notes fading in and out.

- 🐲 🎢

took a little time to extend this loop out with a short B-section and a few more textures

and then recorded the screen with OBS and cut it to (hopefully) loop cleanly with ShotCut, because audio files don't loop on Mastodon but video files (hopefully) do

- 🐲 🎢

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Took our chroma key (green screen) code and made a quick demo cart of it - will probably share on the Lexaloffle forums later. Could probably be optimized a fair bit, or actually quite a lot depending on what assumptions hold for the use case.

(the parrot photo used: commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Fil )

- 🐍

Casually wondering how to make more real-instrument analogues in

we managed to use the undocumented reverb features to make credible marimbas and chimes, but we still don't know how to make a recognizable violin or strummed guitar...

- 🐍 πŸ’­

in question: are there standard ways for HTML5 games to communicate text information to the browser for screen readers?

(It occurred to us that we could pretty straightforwardly give text descriptions of on-screen content for our Secret Game Project if supported it, but we don't want to propose anything to Lexaloffle without at least giving them a lead on how to do it.)

(Also, if PICO-8 already supports it, please tell us so we can implement it in our game.)

I think what I like about , , and other restrictive game-making tools is that the tools themselves give me leads on games I could make with them.

I wouldn't have made "A memory of a library" - packbat.itch.io/a-memory-of-a- - if I were making a Unity game or a LΓ–VE game or a Twine game or a boardgame or a tabletop roleplaying game. The game exists and is the way it is because I hummed notes into Bitsy's shell until I found a melody that resonated.

Added some rain sound effects to the Rain Gif cart. They can be toggled in the pause menu ([Enter] on the keyboard by default) and that setting is saved in cart data between sessions.

They do default to on, sorry.

They switch between three modes depending on how heavy the rain is, but they shouldn't be loud in any of them.

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Was catching up on new posts on the Lexaloffle forums and stumbled over a link someone posted to a talk by Zep (Joseph White) about what PICO-8 is, how it came to be, why it is the way it is, and so on youtube.com/watch?v=87jfTIWosB

I kind of knew the story from PICO-8 Zine #1 - sectordub.itch.io/pico-8-fanzi - but I'm liking hearing the story retold in a different medium with different details.

me doing a yesterday: so what are these "metatable" things, anyway?

me doing a this morning: MAGIC.

I think I did not take full advantage of the magic, but even so, that was a big pile of vector and matrix mathematics made much less messy and complicated.

Also, whoever all made a Wikipedia page for rotation matrices: I knew y'all'd do it and I am quite grateful y'all did. πŸ˜„

Next: /drawing/ some of these lovely sprites I made reference pictures for... πŸ˜…

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Found out about an undocumented feature of from lexaloffle.com/bbs/?tid=36379 on the forums:

Unlike the rest of the instruments, volume does not equal /volume/ for instrument 6, the noise generator; volume equals "dirtiness". To adjust volume, the sfx has to be put in a custom sfx instrument slot (one of sfx 0-7) and that custom sfx instrument has to be played at a desired volume.

Hopefully explanation of that will get added to the manual at some point.

Did a big update on my Rain Gif cart: lexaloffle.com/bbs/?tid=36080

- Controls added: press β­• / ❌ buttons to reroll drop pattern, press ⬅️ / ➑️ buttons to change color palette.

- Number of drops varies between patterns. When a new drop pattern is rolled, the average number per screen is shown briefly.

- When palette is changed, the palette number is shown briefly.

- Drop rendering tweaked a little to be less wiggly.

Unrelatedly, a weird trick I stumbled over while working on my secret game project: by putting a bunch of sprites in a row on the sprite sheet, I can do animations by just incrementing or decrementing the sprite number to move across the sheet from the start sprite towards the end sprite.

I bet I could do rotations of a car for a driving game this way, too. Use the modulo (%) operator to cycle from the end to the beginning of the loop.

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