PICO-8 Progress

Categories Technology

It’s been a few days since I  started messing with creating content in PICO-8, so I thought I’d document my journey so far through the magic of bullet points.

  • There’s a programming cheat sheet.  This helps.
  • There’s also a more detailed manual online,  if you want to know everything.  (This might not be the best starting point, though.)
  • YouTube Video tutorials abound, though the language in some is not safe for school. I will likely make my own tutorials once I feel I have enough skill to do so.
  • Pressing F9 to save 8 seconds of an animated GIF to your desktop is a really neat feature that I will probably be using more than I should. (The images aren’t large by default. The GIF in the corner here is shown full size.
  • This is definitely something my students are not going to understand fully on the first day.
  • This is something several of my students are going to love.
  • I got caught up in the sprite editor at first. I shouldn’t have. You can do all kinds of cool things without sprites at all. Start there.  The sprites are nothing without the code. The code can do plenty without the sprites.
  • I have 10% of an idea of what I’m doing, and I love it. This is my kind of learning – I am outside my comfort zone, but not by such a large margin that I’m afraid to see what changing a parameter does.
  • The “Undo” shortcut of Ctrl-Z works, and it is a lifesaver. Also:  Copy & Paste work as intended.
  • Programming is an algebra teacher’s answer to the age-old question of “When are we going to need to know this?” Only in this case, you’re telling PICO-8 to plot X and Y and oh, wait, now change those numbers to this and keep changing them and use  those numbers as the modifiers for changing themselves and no, you’re not plotting a line graph, I want a new image each time.
  • This is fun.

More updates as I do more.

Aaron Smith is a Media Arts & Technology Teacher who spends most of his time on computers. In his free time he plays video games, edits videos, and misses his wife dearly.