I put a completely unscientific research poll up on Twitter asking folks where they usually play PICO-8 games and the majority said they primarily play using the desktop client.
- Desktop App: 56.7%
- Desktop web browser: 23.3%
- Phone web browser: 16.7%
- Handheld App (non-phone): 3.3%
I put up the poll because PICO-8 is in a unique spot where it can be played various ways on various platforms, and yet we're not able to design games to account for one or the other. This has always been a point of ponder for me and having this data helps me think about it better.
However, the audience that saw my tweet is probably regular PICO-8 players and devs anyway, so it's not the casual gaming public that most certainly plays through the web on Itch.io and whatnot. But, still interesting to see the results.
What does this tell us? I mean, not much, I guess, but to me it says the laptop/desktop is the device (and environment) where we're mostly playing. It's not on your phone or on a handheld like the RG351. It also means Splore is likely a primary source of access/finding of games. We might also be able to infer that the game is being seen on a rather larger display, not phone or handheld sized...so worry about sprites being "too small" could be less so.
Again, not a deep dive or anything like that but some interesting data all the same. Use it for good, not evil.
For another data point for you, I use the web browser to find new carts and read the discussions and often play via the browser just for convenience.
However once I am used to a particular cart, I tend to play via the desktop app (e.g. BuzzKill) and expecially those that I have modded to make them easier (BuzzKill again ! :) ).
Fair points, especially using Itch to browse and then loading in Splore. I do the same thing.
I mostly play games on my RG351 handheld so seeing games listed elsewhere is easiest. Splore is handy but outside of "lucky draw" is hit or miss for discovery and search.
I use the desktop web browser just because I tend to use Pico-8 on my schools computer, and I don't really feel like constantly moving around the Desktop App from computer to computer
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