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Cart #39499 | 2017-04-10 | Code ▽ | Embed ▽ | License: CC4-BY-NC-SA

I am finally releasing my (yet unfinished) first game to the wild. It is a breakout clone with a bit of 80s computer UI aesthetic. You can find out more about it, and my learning-to-code journey at my blog: level0gamedev

The game is currently playable only as an endless score attack.

It seems that I have run into (among other things) a serious case of feature creep and it has really stopped me from finishing it. I am releasing this WIP, because I would love for someone to play this thing. Just knowing that someone played it would give me a much needed morale boost. Feeback is very welcome and encouraged! Feel free to ask any questions, highlight any faults or even check the code (it is a huge mess, but this is really my first coding outside of some QBASIC 15 years ago).

Thanks :)


  • 0.85 - each virus gets its own "skill" + sound tweaks
  • 0.8 - added sound+music by adrian09_01
  • 0.7 - first public release

Cart #39425 | 2017-04-08 | Code ▽ | Embed ▽ | License: CC4-BY-NC-SA

Cart #39125 | 2017-04-06 | Code ▽ | Embed ▽ | License: CC4-BY-NC-SA

P#39130 2017-04-06 00:06 ( Edited 2018-01-30 02:14)

Really digging the AESTHETICs.

I experienced a bug once where the ball passed through the paddle without bouncing off.

P#39132 2017-04-06 10:47 ( Edited 2017-04-06 14:47)

Thanks @gyfe, I am glad you like it :)

About the bug, do you remember under what circumstances it happened? Were you moving the paddle at the time or the ball came in at a really strange angle?

P#39134 2017-04-06 12:09 ( Edited 2017-04-06 16:09)

The Paddle was all the way to the right and I think I had one of those size Power-UPs.
The angle was pretty steep, if I recall correctly.

P#39136 2017-04-06 14:28 ( Edited 2017-04-06 18:28)

@gyfe I can't seem to reproduce the bug... did it go through the paddle in the middle somewhere or on the edge?

Did you get the powerup at the time the ball bounced? Maybe the paddle changed size for powerup (as it does for a frame when you get the big or small paddle bonus) and that messed it up?

Nevertheless, thank you for playing :)

P#39140 2017-04-06 23:17 ( Edited 2017-04-07 03:17)

well I can do some music

P#39150 2017-04-07 12:54 ( Edited 2017-04-07 16:54)

Are you still looking for a music collaborator? If so I would love to add some tunes :)

P#39151 2017-04-07 13:59 ( Edited 2017-04-07 17:59)

Your blog is great btw, really inspiring

P#39152 2017-04-07 14:18 ( Edited 2017-04-07 18:18)

Hey @adrian09_01 and @gigs, yeah I am still looking for a music collaborator. I am looking for someone who can make a dark, industrial, cyberpunkish piece.

Do you guys have some place where I can check out your music?

EDIT: Thanks @gigs! I am glad you enjoy it :)

P#39153 2017-04-07 14:37 ( Edited 2017-04-07 18:38)
P#39154 2017-04-07 14:39 ( Edited 2017-04-07 18:39)

I also tried to reproduce the bug, but was not able to do it. I'm very certain that I saw it happening, though.
By now so much time has passed, I can't recall the exact circumstances anymore.

By the way, "slow ball" does not fell like much of a positive upgrade (in the traditional sense) when the gameplay mode encourages quickly finishing the level and even penalizes the player taking too long. ;)

P#39158 2017-04-07 16:12 ( Edited 2017-04-07 20:12)

@gigs I really enjoy your music, but adrian already jumped on the task. I don't think we have enough sounds to accommodate two music artists :(

@gyfe Yeah, the slow ball is only a good powerup in the later levels when the ball starts going really fast. I might actually change so this power-up it only shows up later.

Also, if you find any other bugs, let me know!

P#39167 2017-04-07 18:36 ( Edited 2017-04-07 22:36)

I played it. Mostly I just want to look at it. I had seen the blog you kept in the past for this game and always was very interested in its aesthetics. I love the glitchy effects, and all the rest.

At the very least I wanted to let you know I appreciated your work and efforts in creating this.

P#39283 2017-04-08 15:24 ( Edited 2017-04-08 19:24)

Thanks @Rahrahrah! This means a lot!

Yeah, I am not a great programmer, but I am at least competent with visual design :)

After I finish this game, I want to make another one following very similar aesthetic, but very different gameplay. I actually have an idea for a series of games sharing both the art style and an overarching narrative. Hopefully I will find enough time and motivation to actually deliver the other games :)

P#39427 2017-04-08 17:05 ( Edited 2017-04-08 21:05)

Hey there, I just came across this on the forums and read your blog with interest. I just got into PICO-8 as I think it’s a great learning tool to explore programming and game dev as a hobby.

As a former professional games dev I just wanted to drop you some kudos on the progress you’ve made and give you some encouragement to keep going, your blog is inspirational to a lot of beginners and I think you’ve found the magic ingredient to coding / game dev and that’s to actually sit down, put your fingers to work on the keyboard and just start to do something, anything and keep plugging away until you get something to work (and don’t be afraid to ask for help). As I’m sure you’ve found it’s easier to change direction once moving as your ideas and skill evolves, in fact it’s a lot easier than starting to move in the first place, so congrats on getting this far.

I’m also sure you’ve found out that there’s actually a lot of commonality between games, especially behind the scenes and there’s a lot of different games to explore even within the breakout genre, the plus point is that your second and subsequent games get easier and easier to create- especially with the motivation you get from finishing!

I’d urge you to get thus one all wrapped up and submitted on somewhere like itch.io so that as many people as possible can find it (and your blog)!

P#47840 2018-01-03 14:51 ( Edited 2018-01-03 19:51)

Thank your for the encouragement, it means more than you think :)

I should really finish this game, I was just so busy with all others kids of stuff and my pico-8 project has fallen down the sidelines. I haven't stopped learning how to program, learned a fair share of python, took part in two game jams (as an artist, but still) and now I am working on a bigger project with a team. Once I can carve some more time I will finish this little game.

And you are completely right, the best way to learn is to sit down and make something. Anything. Even if it seems impossible, trying it for yourself and "failing forward" is the best method I found.

Once again, thanks for the kind words, and for giving me a spike of motivation to finish this little thing.

P#48703 2018-01-29 20:40 ( Edited 2018-01-30 01:40)

Please do finish it. I quite enjoy it even as it is. :)

P#48704 2018-01-29 21:14 ( Edited 2018-01-30 02:14)

Been following the blog as i learn to program my own pico games. I love all the little graphical details you do!

P#65180 2019-06-13 16:38

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