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Say hi to the newest member of the PICO-8 family! A free, web-based, account-less version of the console making it a more accessible way to learn how to program, push pixels and write chip tunes. It comes with a fully functional set of cartridge editing tools, and can load and save .p8 and .p8.png files to and from your local drive (as well as storing them to a temporary filesystem in the browser's cache).


Just run it from any browser that has a keyboard + mouse attached:

www.pico-8-edu.com


If you are new to PICO-8 you can find a manual and tutorials on the main site, or click on the blue bunny for some tips. Here's a 2-minute GIF showing the creaton of a simple PICO-8 cartridge from scatch:

In addition to the standard 32k .p8.png cartridges, PICO-8 Education Edition also comes with a new cartridge format: the URL CARTRIDGE. GFX and CODE can be encoded as a URL string, as long as it fits within 2040 characters. Here's one I prepared earlier:

URL CART DEMO

// EDIT: changed to a bit.ly url so that the BBS doesn't munge it!

To generate a url cartridge, use SAVE @URL and you should see the address bar change. I'm hoping this will make it easier to pass snippets around, and will add a new dimension to code size golfing and tweetcart'ing. And of course, it is still possible to capture screenshots (ctrl-6) and gifs (ctrl-8, ctrl-9).

Although exporters and SPLORE (the built-in cartridge browser) are not included, larger cartridges can also be shared either as .p8.png files or by first uploading to the BBS as usual (publicly listed or semi-private) and then giving students the cartridge id to load directly from their machine:

LOAD #MY_TUTORIAL_ID

I hope you enjoy it, and I'll be back soon with some 0.2.4c binaries to match the web version!

-- zep

P#109795 2022-04-06 20:21 ( Edited 2022-04-08 18:40)

Awesome new educational tool! I imagine it would make for a great, fun lesson in a classroom setting.

P#109799 2022-04-06 21:01
:: dw817

OMY ! Well done, @zep ! Very well done !

And of course the first thing I typed in there was SPLORE to see it was disabled. :)

That's fine. A few suggestions. Allow CTRL + LEFT/RIGHT arrow keys to change tabs as ALT + LEFT/RIGHT keys do in the original Pico-8 EXE.

Likely I'll have more suggests but for now. Well you own this kingdom, I know a gold star and my earlier purchase of Pico-8 is all I can offer, I hope you will accept it.

It does bring up a concern, if people can code and work online in Pico-8 for free now, what is the point for others to purchase it outside of disabled SPLORE ?

P#109800 2022-04-06 21:04 ( Edited 2022-04-06 21:08)
1

Awesome! FYI, the URL CART DEMO doesn't appear to work. When clicked, I just get a fresh PICO-8 session with no pre-existing data.

P#109801 2022-04-06 21:07
:: ViNull

As someone who has been using Pico 8 in teaching for a while, this is amazing. The url support, the loading by IDs, how every desktop cart I have with me at the moment just worked - simply amazing.

Thank you!

P#109802 2022-04-06 21:10

This is amazing! I teach a game development club on my campus and have been wanting to show everyone Pico-8 for ages. This tool will make that a reality!

P#109805 2022-04-06 21:39
:: zep

Thanks @dw817!
I couldn't get a few things like that working for now, but will gradually improve it over time. Things like alt+cursors / ctrl+tab are tricky because of the way they interact with standard browser controls & the clipboard logic. ESC is similar -- I skipped a fullscreen button for that reason as ESC would automatically disable it on most browsers, and instead went for a mostly empty page that can be F11'ed.

There are certainly users who will be content to just use the web version over buying the binary downloads, and I'm happy for that category to exist. There are still good reasons to opt for the downloadable version though; offline operation, stand-alone cart exporters, nicer fullscreen & performance, proper filesystem, splore, and later features that require logging in.

@trevorade The BBS formatting was clobbering that long url! I shortened it with bit.ly instead (which I think is normally how it will be used -- e.g. automatically getting shorted on twitter).

@ViNull Thanks, I'm really happy to hear it!

P#109806 2022-04-06 21:41
:: Kuldr
1

This is awesome, I am a computer science teacher and was considering how to add this into lessons or a club. This will lower the barrier to entry and really help :) I will be giving this a go asap

P#109807 2022-04-06 21:47
:: nikgid
1

Yay! This is sooo cool!

Btw. to be able to use a soft-keyboard on an Android smartphone I found this solution to work for me:

  • I use "Hackers Keyboard" ... but probably many others should work too. [edit: Seems not to work with Swiftkey, though, for example.]
  • In the settings of Hackers Keyboard enable "Permanent Notification".
  • Start pico-8-edu.com in the browser on the phone (Brave Browser in my case).
  • Tap the notification of Hackers Keyboard to bring up the soft-keyboard ... voila!

The keyboards goes away everytime I tap on the screen above the keyboard and has to brought up again like described above ... but at least it's a start to finally being able to code pico-8 on my phone too.

Thanks zep!

P#109808 2022-04-06 22:44 ( Edited 2022-04-06 22:59)

This is fantastic! I always tell people to check out PICO-8 but the $15 barrier means they need to commit before they can start to see the magic. Hopefully this will be a great introduction and get even more people to join the PICO-8 community! :D

P#109809 2022-04-06 23:07

This is awesome, Zep!

Being able to tamper with PICO-8's audio editors for free was a years-ago dream of mine due to being obsessed with chiptune music, but that could've never been made a reality unless you had released this much earlier on in the console's alpha/beta phase.

(For everyone seeing this reply, bear in mind that I already have standalone PICO-8 and had it for almost 4 years now.)

P#109811 2022-04-06 23:36

lol this is blocked on my school computer

P#109838 2022-04-07 12:24 ( Edited 2022-04-07 12:25)

This is brilliant! The data being stored in the URL is really quite neat. A similar idea is used with itty.bitty sites, which compresses HTML and other data into a URL. Apparently different sites and browsers support different URL sizes. According to itty.bitty, Twitter can support up to 4,088 bytes, Discord & iMessage up to 4,000 bytes, and bit.ly at a measly 2,048 :/

P#109887 2022-04-07 23:39
:: dw817
2

OK a bit of information for those of you wanting to load and save directly to your hard-drive.


To save your work to the temporary online drive in addition to your own personal hard-drive, type out in immediate mode:

save {filename} followed by ENTER. Where {filename} of course is the name of the file you wish to save.

A save will occur on the temporary online drive and a filebox will appear where you can save proper to your hard-drive.


To LOAD a file from the hard-drive, type out:

load followed by ENTER with NO filename.

A filebox will appear where you can load in the P8 file that you want.


If you just want to load from the temporary online hard-drive type load {filename} followed by ENTER. {filename} also being the name of the file to load. use "dir" and ENTER by itself to view contents of your online directory. Refer to main HELP here:

https://www.lexaloffle.com/dl/docs/pico-8_manual.html


To paste your cart in a lexaloffle message, first off make sure you have a logo screen which is strongly suggested.

The easiest way to do this is to run your cart and while it is running press CTRL+7 (not F7 as the purchased version requires).

Press the ESC key to exit, Then once there in immediate mode type out:

save @clip followed by the ENTER key. Press CTRL+C after this.

Then in any Lexaloffle message, press CTRL+V.

From there you can either PREVIEW (and PREVIEW again when it reappears) or SUBMIT to complete your message.


If you have any further questions regarding this particular Online version of Pico-8, feel free to ask.

Hope This Helps !

P#109921 2022-04-08 17:47 ( Edited 2022-04-09 06:14)

Great addition to the Pico-8 family.
BTW @zep, I did notice a problem.
I was not able to enter the @-character the normal way to test the @URL feature. I'm using a Swedish keyboard, where the @-character is at Alt-Gr-2 (which works perfectly in the desktop version).
But I work around by cut & paste from other place

P#109937 2022-04-08 23:15 ( Edited 2022-04-09 17:48)

This is very cool, way to lower the barrier of entry! Also thinking about what kind of stuff I could fit into a ~2KB URL.

One issue, though. I tried saving a small cart, and while a .p8 icon showed up on my desktop, when I open it, it says "could not load"... and the cart is blank. Not sure what I'm missing here. I'm running 0.2.4b on Windows 10 Pro, if that's any help.

P#109949 2022-04-09 06:08 ( Edited 2022-04-09 06:13)

am I the only one who still doesn't understand how __meta__ works

P#110104 2022-04-12 08:00 ( Edited 2022-04-12 08:01)
:: merwok

maybe, maybe not, but surely wrong thread!

(meta is optional sections that any tool may define and use, leaving the sections created by other tools as-is)

P#110119 2022-04-12 14:28
:: eriban

Wow, this is great and also excellent timing! Next month I will give a workshop on Game Development, which will (obviously) feature PICO-8. This really helps. It means I do not have to bring my own laptop, but more importantly, everyone can now give it a try themselves after I hopefully wet their appetite by showing off what you can (quickly) hack together.

P#110148 2022-04-12 19:03

This opens up so many possibilities, thank you for such a great feature!

P#110336 2022-04-16 21:03
:: Tux1

So wait, does that mean Pico-8 is free now? Or is this version missing some features in a way?

P#110341 2022-04-16 23:52
:: merwok

Missing exports, splore, working offline, installing on rapsberry pi...

P#110398 2022-04-18 12:21

i love this! its a great way to get new people into pico 8! like some people already noticed it is more limiting like not being able to go in splore and stuff, but its still awesome concidering its almost free pico8!

P#110403 2022-04-18 13:48

This is a great tool. Perfect for use in schools.
But I noticed a problem. I am using the German keyboard layout. The curly braces are on the alt+gr 7 and alt+gr+0 key, but since there are other pico8 custom functions there, you can't access the braces. Is there a way to work around this without using copy-paste?

P#111493 2022-05-08 06:32

That's such a cool thing! My son is trying to learn to program, and I hope it will help him. Education is a big part of everyone's life. We cannot imagine such things ten years ago. But now, there are many resources such as
https://phdessay.com/to-kill-a-mockingbird-dill-harris-character-sketch/ for making this field of your life easy. Great!

P#111802 2022-05-13 19:42 ( Edited 2022-05-16 12:58)

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