Hyperspace Intro Animation on Pico-8

Pico-8 HyperspaceAn in development game that is heavy on perspective and animation, needed a little something extra for it’s intro and cut scenes. The solution was to create a hyperspace star field effect with individual, animated pixels.

My first attempt at the effect was to start each pixel at the screens center and randomly animate the stars outward, the result was less than satisfactory, either the range of the animation was too narrow or it was erratic.

The solution was to at initialization, create two tables, one for Y and one for y with randomly generated  locations on the screen. Interestingly, to limit the resolution of the values in Pico8, we set the upper limit as a parameter of rnd(x) and subtract an amount to set the negative limit of the range, for example :

for i=1,stars do -- Generate the two co-ordinate tables used to store each stars x and y
	add(starx,((rnd(256)-128))) -- 256 - 128 gives us a resolution between positive 128 and negative 128 i.e. the size of our screen

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Pico-8 Particle Animation With Sprite Font

Pico-8 Old school demoLast months Revision demo party inspired me to take a few evenings to write an “old skool” demo for the Pico-8. It’s a fairly simple demo that is reminiscent of the Amiga and C64 demo scene, it illustrates a randomly generated star field that is animated within the bounds of the Pico’s screen. To add that retro flare, a text marque scrolls across the footer displaying a message. The built in font set didn’t have that sizzle I was looking for, so I opted for a custom sprite based font.

You can watch the full demo over at Pico-8 BBS.

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Pico-8 Sprite Animation Basics

Creating sprite animation based on user input in Lua is made remarkably handy by a set of functions made available by the Pico-8 environment. I’m going to be extending these core functions with a set of reusable worker functions to establish the foundations of a game engine.

What’s covered in this article:

  1. Pico-8 programming environment structure
  2. Creating a manageable instruction set
  3. Receiving user input and manipulating game assets

This tutorial’s goal is help those of us who are new to Lua/Pico-8 to get a working prototype up and running. I’m basing this modal on my experiences developing a simple adventure game.

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