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I'm starting a tutorial on how to make your a BETTER Shmup in Pico-8! It's for complete beginners. It is a series specifically designed for more experienced developers looking to enhance their skills. It is a follow up to the Basic Shmup Tutorial we did earlier last year.

We will take everything we've learned in the basic tutorial and turn it up to 11. We will cover things like project planning, token optimization and tool development. The goal will be to make a PROPER Shmup with a rich scrolling background, dynamically spawning enemies and complex bullet patterns.

New episodes on Wednesdays and Saturdays. I will use this thread to keep a list of the episodes and post significant progress. Let's gooooo!

Episode 2 - Performance
Episode 3 - Scrolling
Episode 4 - Modular Scrolling
Episode 5 - Movement
Episode 6 - Smooth Movement
Episode 7 - Banking
Episode 8 - Shooting
Episode 9 - Better Shooting

Episode 10 - Explosions
Episode 11 - Dithering
Episode 12 - Blob Grapes
Episode 13 - Blob Animation
Episode 14 - Blob Color
Episode 15 - Sparks
Episode 16 - Side-Scrolling
Episode 17 - Tilemap Design

Episode 18 - First Prototype
Episode 19 - State Machine
Episode 20 - Sprite System
Episode 21 - Symmetry
Episode 22 - Split 2D
Episode 23 - Enemies
Episode 24 - Bullets
Episode 25 - Collisions
Episode 26 - Splash

P#126607 2023-03-05 09:23 ( Edited 2023-06-03 15:03)


I just caught up with this episode (and am starting episode 2), and I immediately have an important question:

How is this game not called "Cattle Battle"?!

P#126811 2023-03-08 23:37

@2bitchuck That is not a bad pun. I am impressed!

P#126841 2023-03-09 12:07

Will there be another showcase for this tutorial?

P#126923 2023-03-10 18:39

Looking forward to more of these!

Also, here are some of my own cow-themed pun contributions:

BULLet Hell
Grazing Lasers
Steer Wars

P#126954 2023-03-11 08:18 ( Edited 2023-03-24 01:39)

@JadeLombax Ooooh, Grazing Lasers is really good!

P#126971 2023-03-11 11:56

Checkpoint at Episode 9. We are making a bunch of prototypes to develop the tech and test the limits. We made a performance prototype. We developed tech for modular scrolling to allow for a long level. We also fine-tuned basic movement and a simple basic shot with animated bullets and muzzle flashes.

P#127960 2023-04-01 13:29

Here's a bug report I made on the map data copying difficulties you ran into in episode #17.

P#129150 2023-04-29 19:42

@Kaius Sweet, thanks!

P#129299 2023-05-02 10:42

Checkpoint at Episode 17. We spent most of the month working out a system to generate procedural explosions. Then we moved on to drawing the Tilemap and planning out the level.

P#129300 2023-05-02 10:43

In response to episode #22 asking if the split2d function could be made more token-efficient, I instead made the function more versatile at the cost of more tokens. :P

P#129886 2023-05-18 20:13

Could you make a tutorial on how to add controller support to the html version of your game?That would be really cool

P#130431 2023-06-01 21:19

@Flowpix html export from Pico-8 supports controllers by default

P#130445 2023-06-02 08:56

Thanks for the explanation

P#130467 2023-06-02 20:10

Checkpoint at Episode 26. We combined all of our prototypes into a singe, main game. We then addressed an important concern when developing Pico-8 games: the limited sprite space. For this reason we create a sprite system that can efficiently deal with sprites of any size, apply effects like symmetry and even combine multiple sprites into one. Finally, we added first preliminary enemies, bullets and collisions to get a feel for the overall game and plan the next steps.

P#130479 2023-06-03 14:58

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