Reusable Animated Clouds For the Pico-8


In the process of creating scenery elements, in this case clouds, for a WIP Pico-8 game. I wanted to build a process that could be called at any point in the game and place a unique element within the scene. It quickly became evident that the concept of a reusable function could back fire on my idea of a programable design. This led me to the question: at what point does the processing of parameters and customization of new objects created in a prototype, out weigh a simple tween?

The original concept of unique clouds was scaled back, the weight and token usage didn’t warrant the features that were available for the potential number of times the function would be called.

In this code walkthrough, I’m illustrating how to implement clouds through a window in a section of the screen. With a few minor adjustments, the script could be modified to work full width or the speed adjusted.

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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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