This is my first Pico-8 cartridge, hope you enjoy it! Took me approximately 24 hours effective time to make.
Title screen artwork was created by @jellocube (Matthew Shelley), much appreciated!
Picopolis is a SimCity demake / idle game in which you place roads, residental/industrial/commercial zoning, schools, police departments, hospitals, and various other things. The city will grow depending on housing, jobs, pollution, and crime ratings, and the bigger it gets the more money you make.
Changes in 1.1:
- Fixed placing large buildings outside of the map
- Added "Established" date to the victory statue, kind of like a highscore
- Made large commercial zones develop just a tiny bit faster
- Added "jeb_" intro ;)
Very cool and double cool that Jeb made it. From Minecraft to Pico-8...most of us go the other way, ha! Can't wait to look into the source a bit and see what I can learn.
I do wish there was a way to speed up time or at least get a better sense of time passing but hey, at least I got some hi income residents.
Thanks for all the comments!
@sloum Yeah, C2s are very sensitive to land value and pollution so they're very hard to get started. Should probably tweak that.
@morningtoast Mm, it was tricky trying to find a sweet spot for the game. It's very slow in the beginning (too slow?), then it's "nice" for a while, and then you hit the windfall and nothing matters any more. I wanted it to be somewhat of an idle game, but the investments don't scale with the income.
@mhughson True, though I intentionally didn't want the game to have a loss state. The only difference is how quickly you hit that 10M.
@jeb This was awesome. I'm most impressed by how smooth the menus feel. Also, that scrolling marquee at the bottom, I might need to snoop that, I was working on a Bolo clone and that'd be really handy.
Any feedback on Pico-8 itself? Any problems encountered that seemed more like a bug than an intentional effect of the retro-limitations?
Clearly in the hands of pros, this system does amazing things. I'm still glad that hobbyists like myself can make it do some cool things as well.
Hmm... I don't think I noticed any bugs, really.
To be honest I'm not really motivated by trying to push the boundaries of the platform, but they put a nice constraint on what you can expect from a pico game. There's no point trying to make a "real" game, since you will hit either of the limitations eventually, so it takes some stress out of the game making process and you can focus on just enjoying game development.
If there was one thing I would want to change, though, it would be the 16 bit fixed point number format. It's very annoying and hard to explain when trying to teach my nephews about programming. Then again, I did have some fun making the "big integer" methods to get around that problem in Picopolis :)
Oh, one thing while I'm at it: I think the rnd() method is strangely defined. rnd() should return a decimal value from 0 to 0.999999... and rnd(value) should return an integer 0 to (value-1). In my opinion ;)
Yeah the C2s probably needs tweaking... play testing became very time consuming towards the end.
Essentially the trick is that C2s are very land value sensitive, so you need to put them far away from polution and next to high-value constructions such as the mayor house, museums, stadiums, and tivolis. It still takes a very long time for them to develop, but once they do they are also high-value constructions so you get a domino effect.
Parks are also high-value and they are currently the only thing in the game that reduces polution. And the "secret" is that polution always drifts towards the east, so putting parks to the west of C2s have a greater effect on the land value. Still very slow though!
I didn't want to explain all of this in the original post because I think the game is more interesting if you leave some exploration to the players :)
Just a guess but maybe HeavyPodda was trying to destroy a big building that was on the border of the map? (which is very much possible to do and kinda feels like a bug itself)
Anyway, super cool game Jeb, I had a really nice time with it!
This is one of my favourite carts I've found so far. It would be great to have a little bit of explanation for a few things in the description though. In particular, the meaning of the colours, and a bit of general advice on how things interact (what does pollution actually do?).
Particularly like the menus, they look and feel great to navigate.
Really good game. At first, I wasn't looking forward to playing a city manager with only a d-pad and two action buttons instead of keyboard and mouse but the interface and menu system works really well. I love all the different styles of buildings you managed to fit in, it's great seeing your small 4-pixel houses get upgraded into swanky 8-pixel houses with 4 pixel swimming pools! Moving the game into a more casual/idle direction with buildings giving you a drip feed of income rather than getting a windfall of tax income each month works really well. I like how the random terrain prevents you from just building a boring grid layout too. Really great game.
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