Hey, zep. I really love pico-8. It is an amazing console. It costs its money. But I'm really disappointed, that we can't help you with making it better. I'm not talking about making it open source (tho it would be amazing), but maybe, just maybe, you could peek a few guys, who could help you in the future development. I would be really happy to help you my self. Again, that doesn't mean going open source for everyone.
It's all up to you, but it will make the pico-8 much much better, and it will be updated more often.
Please, tell me what you think about that.
Developer teams, whether a close-knit small team of paid devs or a large community of open source contributors, have management overhead. It takes resources to align devs to the product vision, train them on tech, review contributions, etc. I sometimes wish I could contribute to Pico-8's core or BBS code, but even though I have good intentions and relevant talent and experience, it doesn't follow that merely giving me access to the codebase would be a net gain for the project. It's a little too easy for both project owners and contributors to think that opening the code is sufficient to benefit from someone's partial attention, without considering the costs of doing that effectively.
More obtusely, it's not obvious that it'd be better for Pico-8 if the dev rate were increased, or that eng resource limits are the dominant inhibitor of dev rate. Maybe I think P8 should have a certain feature or bug fix and it would be "so easy" to implement if I just had the code, but I could be wrong on both counts. Talking me out of these assumptions would be a big part of the management cost of welcoming my contributions. :)
An uplifting non-answer: there are many ways to contribute to Pico-8 beyond the core code! Bug reports, tools, documentation, community support, evangelism, even just making games contributes to Pico-8 overall. I wrote picotool partly so that I'd have an engine-like codebase that augments the Pico-8 dev experience to play with, and so others could do the same. Others are exploring the idea space within P8's constraints and sharing their results. And devs like yourself are exploring extensions of the idea space by making new fantasy consoles in different shapes and sizes. Pico-8 is more than its core code, and these all count as contributions in my book.
Contributing bug reports is a hard sell. I kinda feel like the majority of bug reports I see here on the forum, my own included, go unremarked and too-often unfixed. I mean, zep will respond with a quick "fixed for 188.8.131.52.1.1" if he's already done it, and that's great to see and know, but otherwise it's radio silence, which is not really encouraging when it comes to spending our own time figuring out the problems and writing up the reports for him.
I'm kind of annoyed lately with the sparse-to-zero feedback and the complete lack of app updates since last year. He's been teasing a new version coming soon practically since New Year's (even said two weeks at one point ages ago), but there's no sign of anything actually happening other than the occasional vague teaser tweet about something else he's apparently adding to this version that always seems to be just over the horizon. I fear that feature creep is going to keep it there.
I enjoy writing code on PICO-8, and I can get by on what I have, but this is still a beta product as far as I'm concerned. The concept is great but some of the execution is still rough and I think that holds back the platform a lot. It deserves better than what zep's been giving it this past year. Of course, I'm sure the actual audience for PICO-8 is too small to be a meaningful financial impetus to do more, but it still deserves more.
Sorry, zep, I like you and I like the platform, but that doesn't exempt you from criticism.
I imagine he will only be looking for investment, rather than help, if he sees a wider audience and sales in education I assume. I am only a month into discovering all of this (so apologies if this has all been covered), but how does it compare to other Lua platforms (I've just come across Defold) not including all the open source attempts to copy PICO-8 (and on that point why don't the individuals all get together on a single project ?).
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