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PICO-8 is an enjoyable little gem of a development platform, with its limitations pushing you to be more creative. Having everything "all in one" really makes for a neat experience.

With that said, I believe there is room for an adult version of PICO-8. That is, a more advanced version, Which I will refer to as:

PICO-16

Effectively. PICO-8 but with similar power to a 16-bit console (such as a SNES / Megadrive).

My general wish-list for the PICO-16 would be:

GFX: 512,512
SFX: 8 channels, with more control over the sound wave generation
MEM: 512K

Additional graphical features like mode 7 too, and sprite rotation as standard.

The IDE editing area would be expanded too, particularly for the code editing, which is one of the unfortunate limitations of PICO-8.
Naturally a larger level editor area would ease mapping.

What do you guys think?

P#89679 2021-03-27 17:13

Hi all,
I like the idea and I will support it if it's created, although part of the charm that PICO-8 has is precisely in its limitations.

Regards

P#89681 2021-03-27 17:53
4

Have you checked out the other fantasy consoles out there? Like TIC-80, Pixel Vision 8, or quadplay? They might scratch that itch for you. :)

I think it's about halfway through zep's talk PICO-8 and the Design of Cozy Spaces, but I think he mentions that he actually made a PICO-16 and why that's not a thing. (If you haven't watched that talk, you definitely should. It's really fantastic and gives a lot of his thought processes behind how and why he made PICO-8.)

P#89684 2021-03-27 18:25
1

@braindead, indeed. I believe there is a place for both. One with the restricted limitations and the other for those of us who would like to venture further.

@MBoffin, thanks for the video and other links.
I have TIC-80 installed here too. I like its more flexible audio options. Pixel Vision looked interesting but it does not have that 'fixed hardware' nature of PICO-8 which I think is an important factor to have.

From that video it seems there is no chance of a more powerful dev environment, which is a shame as things could be done to free up creativity and make developing a little easier too (such as adding debugging).

P#89694 2021-03-28 06:05
2

I don't think a PICO-16 will ever become a thing - one big thing I took from zep's talk was that the goal of the PICO-8 was never to be a retro game dev machine, it was to be a simple, accessible, and inspiring game dev machine, and it is that. Frankly, my first comparison point with PICO-8 is not TIC-80 and the like; it's Bitsy.

I do think, though, that there's space for other fantasy consoles with as clear design intentions as PICO-8 has that seek out other aesthetic goals. It would be fantastic to see something aimed at a low-poly N64/Playstation-gen aesthetic, for example - or, if you want to get strange, 1980s-computer-magazine-tech-demo raytracing a la the SuperRT SNES hack. Or ancient vector graphics. Or whatever else.

I'm not sure there's any other fantasy console that has the degree of intentional design that PICO-8 has, and there really should be many, because zep's is a mindset that produced something really wonderful ... but there's more than one wonderful thing possible.

That's where my head goes re: the hypothetical, anyway.

P#89696 2021-03-28 11:52 ( Edited 2021-03-28 11:54)
2

Y'all might enjoy the Fantasy Consoles Discord, where there's on-going conversation about both creating and developing for a wide variety of fantasy consoles. PICO-8 is the OG, but new ones come and go pretty regularly.

https://discord.gg/BYbjDEP

Not to be confused with the PICO-8 Discord, which is also worth joining:

https://discord.gg/MhQAzTw

P#89710 2021-03-29 01:01

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