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Cart #48605 | 2018-01-27 | Code ▽ | Embed ▽ | No License

Hello there! This is an example project which is intended to help people learn about making platformers in Pico-8.

The game is free to play, but the source code for this version has been obfuscated, so it's not really practical to look through it. To read the normal-and-legible version of the source code (with or without comments), you can buy it for at-least-$1 on itch.io. As long as you make your own map, you can even sell games that use this code! If you didn't already know, itch.io has very nice support for Pico-8 games.

Anyway, it's a cute little platformer with a grappling hook (you get the hook about halfway through) and a big finale! The main goal was to make a piece of illustrative/educational content which was centered around a real and complete game. See, "Madness Interactive" taught me that reading source code for a game that's fun to play can be much more exciting than reading a code snippet in the middle of some online tutorial. Not sure if I succeeded, but I tried real hard!

Huge thanks to David Carney for helping me with the music, and also to everyone who volunteered to test the game! Y'all made the game better.

A first run seems to take 20-45 minutes or so, but it depends on the player, and a fast runthrough is around three and a half minutes. If you record a video of a run that's faster than that, I'd love to see it!

P#48607 2018-01-27 18:52 ( Edited 2018-01-27 23:52)

I got a time of 19:43.7

P#48614 2018-01-28 01:52 ( Edited 2018-01-28 06:52)

5 minutes and 45 seconds on my 3rd run.

P#48617 2018-01-28 05:15 ( Edited 2018-01-28 10:15)

That's a fast time - nice!

P#48639 2018-01-28 11:32 ( Edited 2018-01-28 16:32)

How do you defeat the boss? I assume it has something to do with the buttons inside and the missiles flying around, but I'm clueless.

P#48905 2018-02-02 20:05 ( Edited 2018-02-03 01:05)


P#49146 2018-02-10 19:39 ( Edited 2018-02-11 00:39)

@2darray Thanks for putting in extra work to help people to learn to code on Pico-8 and make a fun game to learn it with! I think I agree with what you said about having a fun game to learn from, so thanks for going further and giving people a bit of a push.

P#75175 2020-04-22 22:12

I got 3:57.1 on my fourth run!

P#75362 2020-04-25 17:11

I was wondering if I could get some help, I’m stuck on this place where the red platform goes up and down and idk what to do

P#81802 2020-09-14 14:26

"you can play video games for charity! but remember, avoid video games because they encourage violence"

P#110970 2022-04-27 22:47

and i'm not really sure how this is supposed to help you learn to code a platformer in pico-8 when the source code is obfuscated

P#110971 2022-04-27 22:49

I got up to the part about changing the length of the rope and just quit.

Normally, when judging pico-8 games I hold back because it's likely the creator is a hobbyist that is having fun with the creation process, but given that you've put a price tag on the code for this, I'm going to be completely honest. Your game design isn't good.

To start with, an action-oriented game shouldn't require the player to press for quite so many frames to turn around. It makes the controls feel unresponsive. This is reflected on the other end in that the acceleration at peak speed should always feel as if it's harder to go faster, with speed gained smoothly. If there's any point during normal acceleration where the character seems to be suddenly going really fast, there's a problem. Continuing from there, the order in which you tutorialize mechanics is important. Having the first hill the player comes across require ledge grabbing makes the game more confusing for players who haven't played platformers as much. The game also having wall jumps then makes it that much more confusing.

On that note, having both wall jumps and ledge grabbing is not a problem, but it does require careful consideration on how to not make them interfere with each other. Particularly, they need to feel like the part of a unified control system. Having grabs focus on which direction the player is jumping off to but having wall jumps be just a set path makes them not feel like they belong in the same game.

That becomes a big issue at the part that's just a straight climb upward with a slippery wall on one side. I've now tried analyzing the climb up multiple times and I genuinely can't tell what the optimal method of getting up is. Just pressing the button repeatedly results in quickly getting halfway up and then having to patiently wait for the character to crawl the rest of the way. It feels like there's something I've missed, but your game doesn't indicate that there's any other mechanics involved in wall jumping. And yet, every couple attempts while analyzing I was somehow able to get the character up quickly and easily with no problem.

Now, the arrows I see no particular problem with, other than they're vague on how solid they are (I would've used smaller arrows to show a field of them). The rope, however, is another mechanics with controls that don't quite belong with the other controls. It took a bunch of experimenting with it for me to figure out that it only checks the direction the player is facing.

Finally, the reason I stopped bothering is because I got to the text saying how to change the length of the rope. It is incredible rude to players to make them read text in a hurry while swinging. Further, the instant return to checkpoint on hitting the fire makes it likely that unless the player figures out to catch the arbitrary higher ledge, the text will disappear while the player is trying to read.

To be clear, I don't think you did a bad job. If you were just learning, then this is impressive. But this doesn't look at all like it'd be worth paying for the source code, especially given there are youtube tutorials for pico-8 platformers already.

P#110995 2022-04-28 10:50

2018 is fucking crazy

P#133335 2023-08-21 03:28

Great moveset! I might even use this to make a demake of Edmund Mcmillin's "The End Is Nigh"!

P#137430 2023-11-14 16:13

Actually the best game on the PS5. How long did this take to make?

P#138969 2023-12-21 08:39

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