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Dank Tomb and the PICO-8 Fantasy Console

August 02, 2017 1 min read

A few months ago, a surprise landed in my mail called the PocketCHIP. It was a surprise because I had forgotten I had pre-ordered it, and it ended up getting lost in translation for the better part of four months. A handheld micro-computer using a board similar to that of the Raspberry Pi, it was more built for enthusiasts developing projects, but the real appeal behind it for me was integration with the PICO-8 Fantasy Console by Lexaloffle Games, an engine meant to hearken back to the days of the BASIC programming language on older computers, specifically made to program and modify games.

PICO-8 is mainly interesting because of the intense restrictions it places on programmers. You are limited to a space of 128 X 128 pixels, 32k of virtual “cartridge space,” and 4-channel sound. The benefit is that the PICO-8 system provides all the base tools necessary to program a game from scratch including a sprite and sound editor, though it will test your coding chops -- using the Lua scripting language means that you will be primarily messing around with code. This is not an engine like RPG Maker that handles most of the hard work for you and requires some programming knowledge.

Dank Tomb and the PICO-8 Fantasy Console screenshot

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