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Cart #51642 | 2018-04-15 | Code ▽ | Embed ▽ | No License

Ahoy! Here's a little fishing game for you.

The main goal of this project was to experiment with a bunch of fun rendering effects that aren't super common in Pico-8...

...so hopefully the gameplay is worthwhile enough to justify its own inclusion.

Some features:

  • 3D character animation (with knees and elbows!)
  • Spriteless animated fish rendering
  • Water which visualizes a flow-velocity field
  • Fullscreen "day to night" transition filter
  • Realtime shadows, including soft shadows from the player
  • "Windy grass" rendering
  • Procedurally generated maps
  • A shop with four gadgets
  • Something unexpected, which I don't want to spoil for you

The version of the code that's included here is obfuscated to be illegible, but you can buy the real source code (formatted properly, with optional comments) on itch.io - the price is "$1 or more."

Thanks for reading - I hope you enjoy the game!

First update - fixed a bug in the minified version which broke all the item unlocks. Sorry about that!

Second update - didn't change the game, but the itch.io page is live, so I added a link above.

P#51637 2018-04-15 15:19 ( Edited 2018-05-04 21:13)

The gameplay is amazing and the graphics are amazing.
One of my new favorites.

P#51638 2018-04-15 16:12 ( Edited 2018-04-15 20:12)

I love this

P#51647 2018-04-15 18:30 ( Edited 2018-04-15 22:30)

Beautiful graphics

P#51650 2018-04-15 18:44 ( Edited 2018-04-15 22:44)

Wow an instant add to my Pico8 collection. But man that night-time monster is terrifying! D:

I absolutely LOVE the night-time pallet swap though, everything looks so good at night. It would be nice to have a freeplay mode where we could fish at day or night with no threat of monster. Because I don't get to enjoy the beautiful night-time graphics for very long before I'm chased off!

P#51652 2018-04-15 20:35 ( Edited 2018-04-16 00:35)

Thanks for the comments, y'all!

@Cabledragon: If you download the cart, you can make it night time all the time by going to line 434 and making a little edit. It says:

local fa=max(....)

You can change that to this:

local fa=0

...to make it permanently night time.

If you also want to make the day last longer, look at line 200 - "cx=60" says that each day is 60 seconds long.

(Sorry about the weird variable names; this is the obfuscated version!)

P#51657 2018-04-15 21:12 ( Edited 2018-04-16 01:12)

oh boy it's neat to finally get to play this after seeing the GIFs on twitter

this is so cool! all the little animation and graphical effects combine to make a really beautiful environment. and the fishing mechanic with the flow velocities is satisfying to interact with :)

I do agree with Cabledragon though in that some kind of a no-monster mode would be a nice option, since the atmosphere is otherwise so relaxing :)

P#51693 2018-04-16 15:42 ( Edited 2018-04-16 19:42)

Thank you very much!

I ran out of tokens for adding extra features like an optional no-nighttime mode, but you could add your own special rules like that by editing the code - the very end of the above post tells how to extend the daytime in the obfuscated BBS version

P#51699 2018-04-16 16:54 ( Edited 2018-04-16 20:54)

Hey 2D,
Well done for creating a lovely and relaxing (for the most-part!) little fishing game.
The graphics are amazing for PICO-8, you really know how to push this console.
Loved the background music too - perfect for this game.

One Q: What are you supposed to do at night to avoid the monster, go back to your hut? If so, I kept forgetting where it was! :D


P#51706 2018-04-17 01:20 ( Edited 2018-04-17 05:20)

Thank you very much!

The game mechanics here are...uh, far from perfect, but here's a rundown of the intentions, at least.

All you can do about the monster (...initially, at least) is escape to the hut. Getting lost is a part of the fishing routine - you have to pay enough attention to the map to find good spots, but if you get too distracted by doing that, you lose track of how to get back. The Clock makes it easier to plan ahead, but then the Sensor makes it a bit tougher, because it makes the fish-search more distracting. Then the Compass makes it easier again by pointing you in the shortest direction home.

Ultimately, I think these mechanics are a little too indirect, and I think it makes them a bit hard to read.

With the first three pieces of equipment, you can fish safely and efficiently - the harpoon is mostly just included for the sake of having an ending

P#51727 2018-04-17 12:26 ( Edited 2018-04-17 16:26)

Ah, I feel dumb that I didn't realise these points.
Thank you for explaining it - will come in handy! :D

P#51733 2018-04-17 14:44 ( Edited 2018-04-17 18:44)

IMHO, I feel the impressive character animation would be more appropriate in a melee fighting game!

I must not be a "fishing game" type of guy :]

P#51735 2018-04-17 14:59 ( Edited 2018-04-17 18:59)

I agree with freds72, I think the stick-figure animation system would work really well in a fighter. I don't know if it's your cup of tea to write one, but it'd be a very worthy idea, I think.

Reminds me of those stick-fighter-beat-em-up gifs from the 00's. Also the stick-figure Counter-Strike animations that used to make me giggle.

P#51756 2018-04-18 10:43 ( Edited 2018-04-18 14:43)

By the way, nice work on the camera and on the directional movement. Very fluid, and that's hard to do well with a dpad.

P#51757 2018-04-18 10:48 ( Edited 2018-04-18 14:48)


Yep, the original plan was to do a brawler or a zelda-like (the original filename was "zeldo.p8"), but once I got some character animation working and started thinking about water, it got pretty clear that I'd run out of tokens very fast.

I could imagine a more elaborate action game using these concepts in Unity (with "pico style" rendering), though...

P#51760 2018-04-18 12:36 ( Edited 2018-04-18 16:36)

Wow this game is fantastic!
I love it.
Wasn't easy to get to the harpoon, but I wished I could keep playing forever, alas, I vanquished the source of my anxiety ;)

P#51761 2018-04-18 14:09 ( Edited 2018-04-18 18:09)

If you're interested in reclaiming a few tokens, changing things like

local a=b
local c=d


local a,c=b,d

might be an easy win (depending on how your minimizer works).

edit: it does incur a slight overhead if you use the same thing on a line that isn't a local declaration.

P#51772 2018-04-18 21:08 ( Edited 2018-04-19 02:18)

This is a really cool game, despite its 'tech demo' origin. Super simple but very clever. As a player I tend to get used to things and assume others, so I was playing just for the upgrades and to get more fish. Once I got the last upgrade the game suddenly became meaningless, until I got bored and tried the harpoon on the monster. It's weird. I got used to the monster there as an unquestionable part of the whole thing. DEEP STUFF MAAAN

And the tech part is awesome too, of course.

P#51812 2018-04-20 11:47 ( Edited 2018-04-20 15:47)

I've been seeing your tweets forever while you were working on this ^_^. Looking forward to finally trying it out.

P#52057 2018-04-26 22:27 ( Edited 2018-04-27 02:27)

Superb! you have inspired me! :-)

P#52378 2018-05-04 17:13 ( Edited 2018-05-04 21:13)

Wow, a very cool game! So relaxing... and SUDDENLY TERRIFYING!

I have lots of Pico-8 tricks to learn, apparently. :)

P#59841 2018-12-09 00:24

Thanks Tom! Pretty exciting to see Legit Industry Vets poking around in here!

P#59858 2018-12-09 15:12

This is my favorite Game :3

P#66924 2019-08-24 22:05

its beautiful, i played til the end

P#69751 2019-11-09 13:16

First time I'm playing this. You might increase the time till nightfall, have animation for the player sitting when he is fishing, and to give a bit of a struggle to catch that fish.

Here is a fishing game where you can see the struggle.


I don't recommend you show underwater as that would be a lot more work, but maybe show the resistance in the line with the fish and the player and the player must press and hold (O) key just at the right times or the fish gets away.

I like how this builds up to getting better items. Gold star.

P#69772 2019-11-10 00:34 ( Edited 2022-03-25 23:27)

I think there is a glitch, its been a while but when I bought the harpoon, I decided to face my fear and use it on that "thing". The game told me about how I had overame anxiety and my inner demons. I dunno. When I tried it again, it wouldn't work.

P#90105 2021-04-07 05:34 ( Edited 2021-04-07 05:34)


P#90458 2021-04-13 08:56

I killed a beast. And apparently quieted my anxiety.

P#98388 2021-10-08 16:21 ( Edited 2021-10-08 16:21)

Finally won this game, @2darray.

P#109157 2022-03-25 19:58

i wish there was more of this game, i could play it for hours.

P#118098 2022-09-28 02:50

wow this game is addictive

P#133407 2023-08-22 18:41

wow the ending just wow

P#142287 2024-03-01 22:37

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