The Pico-8 is a wonderful virtual machine and game engine created by Lexaloffle Games. It is designed to mimic a "fantasy video game console," by emulating the harsh hardware limitations of the video game consoles around the 1980s. You can make, share and play tiny games and other computer programs.
It feels like a regular console. When you turn it on, the machine greets you with a startup beep and a command line console.
How to create games in Pico-8
On Pico-8, the coding is done in Lua language, the code editor being part of Pico-8 engine.
In this Pico-8 built-in engine, users can also directly create music, sound effects, sprites, maps.
Users are able to export their games as an HTML5 web browser game.
Pico-8 games can also be exported to executables or “binaries”, which will run on Windows, macOS, or Linux.
Creativity through limitation
The goal of this is to focus your creativity and ingenuity in producing games, and prevent you from being sidetracked or overwhelmed with the many possibilities of modern tools and machines.
- Display: 128x128 16 colours
- Sprites: 256 8x8 sprites
- Map: 128x32 cells
- Code: 8k of commands (or "tokens")
- Sound: 4 channel chip blerps
- Total cartridge size: 32k
It can be difficult to deal with the harsh limitations of Pico-8. That is why I created an image tool to assist you in adding large images in your Pico-8 cartridge.