NEW!!! BRAND NEW GAME FROM MYTHRIL STUDIOS!
Hi. My name is Rudlin. I'm the CEO/Lead Executive/Head Writer/Head Designer... of Mythril Studios. You get the point. I'm working alone.
About a week and a half ago, I released a prototype for a new game I was working on, set aboard a spaceship. It was to be a survival game, with waves of enemies coming at you from all directions. And the prototype, to me at least, was quite fun, and showed a lot of potential.
However, as I was browsing the Pico-8 BBS, I began to notice a trend. All the programs currently being released for this system are either short, "arcadey" games, or they are little experimental demoscene-type stuff. And while that's all well and good, the truth of the matter is I want a game that really shows off the Pico-8. Something that really pushes the system above and beyond what anyone thinks is possible. And, since at the time I didn't see anyone else doing anything like that, I decided I would be the one to do it.
Now, I am by no means a very skilled, or very experienced game developer. Sure, I've made a few short games, and most of them on other platforms, but I do have one thing going for me: history.
I am huge on studying video game history.
I have played the games of the past, I have studied everything about them, their sound, their graphics, their gameplay. I understand what makes these games tick, and can apply that to this project.
And what is the project, you may ask?
An RPG that will set the gold standard for all future Pico-8 games.
You are Jamie Witherspoon, son of David Witherspoon, a 3rd-generation shoe-salesman. You spend your days helping your father out at his shop, The Royal Court Shoestrings. However, you are not interested in shoes, but in computers. You and your friends are a group of hackers who call themselves Hackers Elite. You can get into any database, swipe any information available on-line, and fight the vile monsters of this digital realm known as "viruses", all while on your high-tech IBN PCs. One day, while browsing your favorite hacker BBSes, you come across a group of hackers who call themselves "H.A.C.K.S.", or the Hyper-Advanced Couriers of Killer Software. Soon after, you learn that this group is really a government organization, set up to stop hacker groups like Hackers Elite. Will you and your pals be able to stop them, or will hacker-culture forever be wiped off the face of forums worldwide?
-Open World Exploration
-A nonlinear story with multiple(!) endings
-Dynamic progress saving (Save whenever you like, come back whenever you want!)
-Multi-Cart Threading (TM)
-A wide variety of enemies to fight
-A price tag of exactly $0.00
-And much, much more
COMING: By the end of summer.
So, sound interesting? Well then, why don't you go ahead and try out the prototype below?
See you in cyberspace.
The memory and full-cart loading functions allow for arbitrarily large games along a certain axis without any special trickery. The biggest disadvantage of multi-cart games is that they're not playable via the BBS or Splore: someone would have to download all of the carts to local storage before playing. Ease of distribution and community participation are important enough that nobody has really bothered with trading them away for more space, especially given the investment required for a game of that size.
It's easy to imagine making the first chapter of a story game available via BBS/Splore, ending with download instructions. I welcome the attempt. I'm not sure I'd call it pushing the envelope, but it's true that it hasn't been done in a serious way yet. Would be a fun summer project.
@dddaaannn: But that's exactly what I am doing ;). And believe me, there is A LOT of special trickery necessary, to stretch a game accross multiple cartridges, if you don't use them as sprite and map extensions! An art of its own and it is a great fun!
And even if you use other cartridges for sprites only - to me it is a bit sad, that the Pico-8 platform is techincally so limited, that pixel artist can't get into work really. One could create so cool games with pixelated screens, but you only have the space for one single screen. Even on the C64, you almost always had a great pixel art title screen. Here, the only game I know which does it is Tassilos Star Wars game.
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