So with the launch of OpenFPGA on the Analogue Pocket, along with the development Analogue Pockets making the rounds. I'm curious to know what the chances of Pico-8 appearing on the Analogue Pocket?
I haven't got the foggiest about programming cores for FPGA, but from what I'm aware is that Pico-8 is mainly a piece of software that sits on top of an existing system, this makes me wonder what kind of core would need to be made to make Pico-8 work on an FPGA chip, be it either the Analogue Pocket or even the MiSTer. I would love to have all my GameBoy games and Pico-8 games on my Analogue pocket when I receive mine later this year.
This has been suggested before, but it's orders of magnitude more complex to do than most people initially think. @dddaaannn actually had a good comment about this recently in another other thread.
In this case, I'd be less concerned about the potential processing power of the FPGA than the FPGA-implemented architecture it would take for PICO-8 to run. PICO-8 isn't a real CPU architecture, it's a runtime environment on a host OS. The fastest way to get it running on a MiSTer or Pocket would be to install a conventional x64 or ARM architecture core, run Linux on top of that, and run PICO-8 on top of that. That might get it on the device (and if that's the goal then there you go, at least in theory :) ) but it doesn't exactly take advantage of the FPGA-ness of it.
I would doubt that a custom architecture specifically for a custom PICO-8 runtime would be all that compelling. The PICO-8 runtime includes a full Lua interpreter, which compiles internally to Lua bytecode that probably can't be meaningfully built into a custom CPU, which means there's a bytecode interpreter on what's probably a conventional CPU. I won't stop anyone who wants to take a crack at a custom but conventional CPU, a C compiler, a Lua interpreter, and a PICO-8 runtime on top of it. But PICO-8 would probably still live entirely in software. There might be some fun in recreating the I/O peripherals (sound?) as if they were hardware chips. Give PICO-8 a couple of SIDs! ;)
Hmmm... So Pico-8 would need an operating system too. I was hoping that maybe it could just be an ARM-based piece of software that could be loaded like a GBA game. Clearly, it isn't as simple as that, but as mentioned before, if there was a means to get Pico-8 running on a GBA, that would simplify the chances of getting Pico-8 on the Pocket.
If we're talking platforms, @SepticLemon, APK EXPORT would be perfect. That's 11,000 hardware right there including all cellphones and tablets.
Failing that, yeah, those early portable gaming systems don't offer too much RAM. When I was programming GBA I was limited to 64k of RAM space myself.
I worked with it, but it was rough.
[Please log in to post a comment]