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TL;DR - consider making pico-8 free for very inexpensive hardware, as a means to spur community growth and get it into the hands of the next generation.

So - this is easy for me to suggest, it costs me nothing.

I loves me some pico-8. Part of why I am so fond of it is it puts me back in my early teens, on my Atari 400, writing random silly games for the sheer joy of it. (I was fortunate enough to have parents able, and willing, to gamble nearly a grand on what amounted to a toy computer for their kid) But it has other great features - it is small enough to be learnable, it actively encourages sharing of code, and dammit - it's fun. It would be awesome if all kids had that same opportunity. Hold that thought for a moment.

One bit that I would love to see is an actual hardware realization. Yeah, I can play my stuff on OS X, but I crave a handheld, maybe something GBA or Nintendo DS flavored in terms of size. I don't want to carry around a laptop to play pico-8 games, and kids don't really have that option, until you maybe have an iOS/Android version.

I have a half-baked idea that it would be cool to take a Pi zero and do the fiddly work to make that happen; It is not impossible that the costs for such a project might get into the $30 total range, and for a kid to be able to have a handheld game console that they can make their own games on self-hosted, and trade the results - I can't help but think that would be phenomenal.

So - mixing that all together in a bucket:

What I was going to suggest is this; to encourage this sort of thing, offer a reduced (ideally free) license for pico-8, but only for hardware costing less than $N - where N is somewhere around 20 USD, give or take. You would end up included, by default, on EVERY danged distro ever for those bits, and usage would spread like wildfire, especially to schools and to kids who have savvy parents that are simply too poor to run bigger hardware. Also, it would spur development of inexpensive low-end linux-capable hardware to host it - "open source" handhelds, with proper controls and screens pixel-for-pixel suited to run pico-8.

I am not an business guy - but I would think what you lose on direct sales would be made up for by skyrocketing use, and more direct sales from old guys like myself who see that console, and want to develop for it, but would rather do so on our actual desktops.

Just thinking out loud.

P#18581 2016-02-01 16:01 ( Edited 2016-02-02 14:42)

hi there, i agree with your idea. i got some post here about porting or reverse engeneering the pico to a pi2 (cant get my hands on a pi zero atm there still out of stock)

things that it needs is:

this dint even mention assambly, enclousure and testing
iv been trying to build a similar thing like this and got around €47.05 as a rough estimate (i counted on 50 units but the more you can sell the cheaper it gets for example at 500 units i get around €33,74) and this is witout any profit is you where wondering.

P#18599 2016-02-02 09:36 ( Edited 2016-02-02 14:36)

on the software end it sude be easyer, all you need is sdl and jitlua on your pi and get some decent results, there is spi library for the display

P#18600 2016-02-02 09:42 ( Edited 2016-02-02 14:42)

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