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Cart #tohodawari-13 | 2021-11-05 | Code ▽ | Embed ▽ | No License

Feedback is a blessing from heaven.

Ship Controls:

  • Left/Right to turn the ship
  • X to shoot
  • O to launch a shuttle (z/c on pc)

Menu Controls:

  • Arrow keys to choose
  • X/O to select

Changelog/Prior Versions:


  • added 10 additional stages to smoothen out the difficulty curve
  • added invincibility to the player ship after colliding with another ship
  • added invincibility to the player ship after commandeering another ship
  • updated the black hole to reset the player's health, ammo, and overheat bar in-between stages
  • updated waves to have their own limits to the number of ships on screen
  • updated waves to have their own ship spawning speeds
  • fixed a bug that caused players to die exiting a black hole after entering one in a shuttle
  • fixed a bug that caused ships to spawn immediately at the start of a wave
  • fixed a logic error that caused the "lost cause" challenge to work incorrectly


  • updated ship spawns to not happen near the player's position
  • updated the kamikaze ship type to not shoot bullets
  • updated the kamikaze ship type to move and turn slower


  • updated the menu start button to say "start" rather than "normal"


  • updated the glider ship type to be less aggressive
  • updated the roman ship type to move less sporadically


  • added more ships to the first wave that had been removed during development and that I forgot to re-add for the previous update (wops!)
  • updated the commandeering mechanic to give more ammo to the player
  • updated enemy ships to do less damage to the player upon collision
  • updated the empty ship type to give back one hp to the player if the player is on zero hp


  • added an additional enemy ship spawn condition for after a player death
  • updated enemy ship ai to fear the edge of the screen a more reasonable amount
  • updated enemy ship ai to not be able to go out of a turn as fast
  • updated enemy ship ai to passively target the middle of the screen
  • updated enemy ship spawns to not occur during the black hole animation
  • updated the black hole to also suck in and release scrap metal along with ships in-between stages
  • updated variables for multiple enemy ship types
  • updated the score counter to account for challenge options
  • fixed a bug that caused the player ship to not reset their movement and turning speed after entering a black hole in a shuttle


  • updated the ai to fear the edge of the screen a reasonable amount


  • fixed a bug that caused new ships to not enter the play area


  • added a wave system
  • added a "black hole" animation (with sfx) that begins and ends stages and tells the player which wave they are on
  • added challenge modes
  • updated ship spawning to be more fair
  • updated score calculations to be more generous
  • fixed a bug that caused AI to choose roundabout routes
  • fixed a bug that caused shielded ships to immediately explode during a collision with the player ship
  • and: other minor changes to gameplay


  • added a shielded ship type that cannot be shot down
  • added a kamikaze ship type that causes an immediate game over upon a collision
  • added a scoring screen that shows up after a game over
  • added the ability to navigate back to the menu in-game
  • removed the old score counter
  • updated ships to flash during invincibility frames
  • updated scrap to flash before disappearing
  • updated scrap to get sucked into the player ship as it is being collected
  • updated scrap to not be collectable when the player is in the shuttle
  • updated the player ship to create explosions and a burst of scrap after a game over (like all other ships)


  • added a menu (with a sweet logo!)
  • added scrap metal
  • added a warning for when the player is about to go out of bounds
  • added a warning for when the player's shuttle is about to explode
  • added screen shake (hallelujah!)
  • removed - fully - the previous fuel system (good riddance)
  • updated bullet collisions to be more accurate
  • updated bullets to not damage other enemies if they were shot by enemies
  • updated AI slightly
  • updated sfx
  • updated sprites and visual effects (including explosions)
  • updated particles to not update themselves on every frame (so they look better; not for cpu at this time)
  • fixed a bug that caused you to jump out of a ship you had previously commandeered


  • added the score counter (it's back!)
  • added limited ammo
  • added visual and sound effects for when a ship is low on hp
  • added explosions
  • removed the fuel system (partially)
  • updated AI to move more sporadically
  • updated the starting position of the player's ship to the bottom right corner
  • updated the movement and turning speed of the shuttle
  • updated general ship speed
  • fixed a bug that caused the hp sprite to show incorrectly

(changelog for prior versions not recorded.)



P#97490 2021-09-18 18:02 ( Edited 2021-11-05 00:35)


This reminds me a great deal of Space Wars. One of the first videogames ever made. Note how when you hit your opponent they do not necessarily blow up but lose a piece of their ship affecting movement and sometimes firepower.


Also see here it's possible for the player to even run into their own shots.

Options on the original were vast. Speed of ships. Sudden stop (Yes/No). Float, gravity from sun, reverse gravity, meteors, etc.

Look to the area below to show GAMES and OPTIONS.

P#97494 2021-09-18 18:38

Hi @JackJack31363 (don't know why you removed your post; it was great advice), thank you for commenting! I totally agree with your points (from what I can remember reading). The controls are a bit too hard, and the game needs more of a goal than just "shoot them." For the goal, I was planning on this eventually being a roguelike with a boss at the end, and I will get their eventually. Alas, I am only on the second version, so this will take a while. By the fourth update I have planned, the game will have a lot more structure regarding this, but you might have to wait until then. Right now, I am working on fixing the controls to make them decently hard to master (I want my players to have to be skillful), but fair and responsive. Right now, they are plenty hard (I'll want to make them a bit easier, probably by slowing down all of the ships), but the "fair and responsive" part is a bit lacking, as you probably noticed, especially when you try to commandeer other ships.

One thing hard to tackle about balancing the controls is that I have absolutely no idea how a new player will respond to them without actually seeing them play the game in person. After all, I have been playing the game all throughout development (as well as having written all of the code), and what might seem easy for me to control might be hard for someone else, so feedback like yours will definitely help me through development.

Anyway, if you'll bear with me through development, I hope you will enjoy what I've got planned for the game, if not, that's fine to. But in any case, thanks for the feedback! And I'll try to keep it in mind as I plan and implement the future updates.

P#97732 2021-09-24 00:02

this game has a potential to be a great timepilot-like game.

you can get some inspirations from that game, the game loop of timepilot is killing specific amount of enemies and saving parachuters for scoring, and defeating a boss at the end. it's a simple game loop that works well.

instead of having static screen and forcing the player to die when going out of the screen, keeping the player at the screen and let endlessly scrolling would be much better.(and enemies who are too far from you should be removed and respawn)

if possible also try 8 way direction input of time pilot instead of clockwise/counter clockwise rotation.

P#97737 2021-09-24 01:49

Nice, @hijongpark! I had never seen that game before, but I can definitely see what you are talking about with that! I don't know how well an "8 way direction input" would work in pico-8 with the limited buttons, but I have thought of trying a scrolling system, like you described. One important thing is that I do want to focus a lot on the "commandeering" mechanic (where you can steal the enemies' ships), which was supposed to be the main mechanic, but it wouldn't be all that hard to try, in any case. Thanks for the feedback!

P#97756 2021-09-24 17:56 ( Edited 2021-09-25 14:14)

After a lot of hard work, 0.4 is here! This update mostly deals with a couple baseline features for the next update I'm planning, as well as a few quality of life and game-feel oriented stuff. I was planning a lot more for this update, but I spent more time than I thought I would implementing these features, so I will add them in 0.5. By then, it will finally start feeling "like a game!"

P#98729 2021-10-16 00:56 ( Edited 2021-10-17 01:25)

Oh, and this is my high score!

(for version 0.4)

P#98765 2021-10-17 01:31 ( Edited 2021-10-20 23:11)

you inspires me to make a dogfighting game for pico8. keep the good work.

P#98769 2021-10-17 04:02


P#98872 2021-10-19 19:39

0.4.10 is here! Like the previous update, I ended up putting less in than I was originally planning. I promise the rest will come for the next update, 0.5!

I did it for the last update, so I might as well do it for this update (0.4.10, for you future people). To whom it may concern, here is my highscore:

Those kamikazes can be hard to deal with!

P#98930 2021-10-20 23:11 ( Edited 2021-10-20 23:15)

Thank you for your comments, @hijongpark! I really appreciate it!

P#98931 2021-10-20 23:13

At long last, 0.5 is complete! Cart revisions 4-8 provide a slew of new features, improving gameplay drastically and making the game generally more polished. There were many revisions to the way ship ai work, as well as two new enemy ship types, a score system, challenge modes, and much more! This release marks a major milestone in the development of this game, as I can now focus on a lot more of the elements that actually matter, like new ship types, new waves, new challenge mode options, music, persistent cart data (just to tease a few), and finding the perfect combinations for those oh so important variables!

For those who are interested (I've done it twice, and I'll do it again); here is my highscore for the new update:

P#99541 2021-11-03 05:28

I like this however one of my biggest complaints is you can fly off-screen and lose yourself, @THATUSERUSER. If you don't rotate just perfectly in the opposite direction from there, you'll never find the screen again.

Suggest option of wrap-around screen, like Space War. Maybe even add option of bounded, so when you hit the edge of the screen it's like a wall and neither wrap-around nor fly off the screen.

P#99572 2021-11-03 19:52 ( Edited 2021-11-03 19:53)

Phew, after a lot of playtesting, I was finally able to beat wave 5! Here is my new score:

I need to work on those kamikaze units now...

P#99575 2021-11-03 20:41

It seems the game is now in playable state so I gave it a shot.

The dogfighting is so satisfying, probably the best dogfigher available for pico8 so far.

But I'm sure about the concept of docking.


that gimmick reminds me of this game, but in this one the camera was always centered to the player and the playfield was endless.

But in This game going out of screen means death, and what makes the thing worse is that I can't see where the ship is moving at, so Sometimes when I just ejected in hectic situation and leaved the screen, I have to pray the ship to return while pressing left or right hopelessly.

I was never a fan of "return immediately or die" concept in any games, I much prefer wrapping around (Asteroids), bouncing off (Rip off), or infinite playfield.(Time pilot)

P#99585 2021-11-04 03:08

Thanks for the feedback, @hijongpark and @dw817! The border problem is an interesting one, and I think I'll have to be very careful about what I implement, if I do anything. As it is right now, going off the screen requires a lot of game-sense to be able to get back on the screen, which can cause the problems you have indicated. The addition of the arrows which point to where you are off screen were supposed to help this issue - which I think they did - but they don't give you any information about your rotation, which is problematic. Again, this is a variation on the classic pico-8 problem of screen-space. Here are a few solutions I could try:

The first solution is screen-wrapping, as you have described. This could end up working, and would avoid many issues the border causes by design. However, this would cause problems with ship spawning as well a issues such as the screen getting filled with empty ships after repetitive commandeering. Additionally, in the current game, the border is sort of used as a positioning tool for the AI, which means that I would probably have to overhaul the AI code for this to work properly. Honestly, that doesn't sound all that fun now, since I just finished an overhaul for 0.5. And, to be honest, I have never really enjoyed screen-wrapping except for in a few cases; it's just really hard for me to wrap my head around it oftentimes (get it?).

Another idea @dw817 presented was to simply make the edge of the screen the border for the play area rather than have the border go off the screen. This would avoid many issues - and I could get a demo up and running for that fairly easily - but I'd like to see how this effects general gameplay as a third of the play area would disappear before I would implement a change like this.

@hijongpark seems pretty interested in the idea of an infinite playfield, which could be interesting, but this would drastically change the pacing of the combat, as much of the combat - especially later in the game - is based around cramped, close quarter fighting, and I don't know how well I could implement that in an infinite play area.

Another idea that I had was that I could keep the play area the same size, but shift the camera over when the player goes off screen so that they can see themselves. From this point, the gameplay would be mostly the same, all I would have to do is give visual cues for where the insta-kill border is and such.

I also try and find any more systems I could use on the internet or such on my own time, just on the off-chance that I stumble across a fix that avoids all of these issues.

But, hey, it won't hurt to try any of these ideas, so I might get a playable demo with each of these systems up and running soon that you can try to give feedback on. In any case, thank you two so much for your feedback throughout development, I'm excited to keep working on this project!

P#99588 2021-11-04 04:25 ( Edited 2021-11-04 04:31)

Then I suggest : Make the player temporally lose the control and automically turn around to the center of the screen(63,63) when it's offscreen, rather than killing it.

P#99590 2021-11-04 05:51 ( Edited 2021-11-04 05:53)

Yo E, I've definitely noticed that the ai is going off screen significantly less, and on top of that despite the rocky start the gliders no longer fly in a large circle around the screen and instead opt to take more random paths which is very good, there is still the issue of the gliders crashing into the player way more than before, but if I'm not mistaken thats already being fixed

P#99603 2021-11-04 15:26
P#99610 2021-11-04 23:39

Ooh, interesting idea @hijongpark, I had never thought of that before. I wonder how that would affect gameplay, too. It might be a bit jarring to lose control, but all I would have to do is temporarily give a normal AI control of the player's ship, which would be a rather easy thing to do in comparison to creating a whole new system like I had said earlier.

P#99611 2021-11-04 23:42

I'd say losing control temporally is much better than trying to control an invisible player with clockwise rotation.

P#99621 2021-11-05 07:22 ( Edited 2021-11-05 07:23)

There is a glitch where if you die right before the next wave, then at the beginning of the next wave the player will be alive.

P#100291 2021-11-17 20:30

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