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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