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Hi, we're Gradual Games. We make PICO-8 games. In the past, we made three full size NES games and released them on cartridge!

Cart #starraiders-1 | 2022-05-13 | Code ▽ | Embed ▽ | No License
12

This is a demake of the classic Atari 400/800 game Star Raiders. It is intended to be as faithful as possible while making some improvements.

You are the pilot of Star Cruiser 7, protector of the galaxy. A fleet of enemy Zylon fighters has intruded the galaxy, bent on destroying all of the peaceful space stations you are entrusted to protect. Your goal is to hunt down squadrons of enemy fighters and destroy them.

Both the keyboard and the gamepad are used to control Star Cruiser 7.

O (z): Select difficulty mode on the title screen. Default is "novice," followed by "pilot," "warrior," and "commander."

X: Start game, and fire photon torpedos.

Arrows/dpad: Steer the ship through space.

0-9: Set sub-warp impulse engine velocity.

S: Activate shields.

A: Aft view.

F: Fore view.

G: Galactic chart for selecting hyperwarp destination.

H: Engage hyperwarp engines.

K: Activate attack computer.

T: Activate targeting computer.

M: Manual target select.

L: Long range sector scan.

Gameplay:

When the game starts, you will be by yourself in an empty sector of the galaxy. Watch out for asteroids! They are everywhere. You can shoot them before they strike your ship. It is a good idea to turn on your shields! However, be aware this will use up your energy a little faster.

The first thing you should do is view the galactic chart. Hit 'G' to view it:

The glowing dot is your location in the galaxy. Use the dpad to move around the hyperwarp target destination dot. Once you have selected a destination, hit 'F' for fore view and then hit 'H' to engage hyperwarp. If you are in the 'novice' difficulty mode, you will simply warp to your target destination. At higher difficulty modes, you must keep the ship steady in hyperspace by continuously centering the reticle with the arrows/dpad:

If you successfully pilot Star Cruiser 7 through hyperspace to your target destination, you will get a flashing "Red Alert" warning if you have entered enemy territory.

Enemy squadrons on the galactic chart look like this:
[8x8]

[8x8]

[8x8]

Space stations on the galactic chart look like this:
[8x8]

Enemies will eventually confront you. But when you need help finding enemies, or a space station, you can use the long-range scan. Activate long-range scan with 'L':

The long range scan is a zoomed out view of the surrounding space, from high above the ship, so you can see far-away objects. You can steer the ship while in this view and examine the relative position of stars, asteroids, enemy ships and space stations relative to the ship.

Space Battle:

When you encounter Zylon fighters, you will see ships of three types:

Fighter:
[8x8]

Cruiser:
[8x8]

BaseStar:
[8x8]

Fire photon torpedos at them with 'X'. To help aim, you activate the attack computer with 'K'. You will see a small monitor in the bottom right hand of the screen. Enemy fighters and space stations will appear in this monitor in bright green. If the vertical and horizontal locking guides are illuminated as they are here, your photon torpedos will fire a double blast and will home in on the locked enemy.

If desired, you can also engage the tracking computer, which will show a reticle on screen showing which enemy is targeted. The view will automatically shift between 'aft' and 'fore' when this is engaged, like this:

Make sure to not delay hunting down enemy squadrons efficiently. The star date (visible on the galactic chart) advances as you play and periodically, enemy squadrons will advance towards a space station and surround it, which looks like this (SPED UP TO ILLUSTRATE):

When this occurs, the sub-space radio will report to you that a starbase has been surrounded. You should immediately warp to one of the surrounding enemy squadrons and eliminate them! Otherwise, after more time elapses, they will destroy the starbase!

Refuel/repair at a starbase:

If your energy is low, or if you have suffered damage (higher difficulty levels, see below for description), you can refuel and repair at a space station. Find a space station on the galactic chart, warp there, then find the space station with long range scan. Advance towards the space station and stop with velocity '0' in front of the space station. If you center it, you will orbit the space station and a refuel/repair shuttle will fly out to serve you, like this:

Console:

Here's a brief description of each value shown on the ship's console:

The most important value to keep an eye on on this console is your ship's energy. Different things use energy at different rates. If you are stationary and no ship features are activated, you will still slowly use energy for the life support system.

Ship Damage:

At difficulty levels higher than novice, sometimes suffering enemy torpedo or asteroid impacts with shields on will result in ship damage. On the galactic chart, there is a Damage Control or "DC" readout showing the letters: "PESCLR". These stand for:
P - Photon torpedos
E - Engines
S - Shields
C - Computer
L - Long range scan
R - Sub-space radio

Each of these components can be in one of three states: operational (green), damaged (yellow), or destroyed (pink).

Photon torpedos: When damaged, you can only fire one photon torpedo. When destroyed, you can no longer fire torpedos.
Engines: When damaged, you move much more slowly at sub-warp speeds. When destroyed, there's a backup engine that enables you to move through space, but at an extremely slow pace.
Shields: When damaged, further impacts take more energy to keep you from dying. When destroyed, you're on your own---the next impact might be fatal, so make sure to shoot down enemy torpedos and asteroids before they reach you!
Computer: When damaged, the target offset readout no longer functions. When destroyed, targeting and attack computer can no longer be used.
Long-range scan: When damaged, the display becomes hard to read. When destroyed, the display becomes almost impossible to read.
Sub-space radio: When damaged, the galactic chart can no longer tell you what resides in a given sector, only that something is there. When destroyed, you no longer will receive messages about space stations getting surrounded by enemy squadrons.

Game end/Rank calculation:

There are three ways the game can end. Either you run out of energy, are destroyed by an asteroid or Zylon fighter torpedos, or you have destroyed all enemy squadrons in the galaxy. After the game ends, you will be given a rank and class according to your performance.

P#109205 2022-03-26 17:47 ( Edited 2022-05-13 23:08)

I do not hear smooth interpolation between notes for this noise+NOIZ sfx:

but if I change the waveform to triangle, it is 100% smooth:

Is there a way to get noise+NOIZ 100% smooth, or is this a limitation?

P#105818 2022-01-28 12:27

I'm unable to paste gfx into the bbs anymore. The ones I have in one of my cartridges are broken as well.

[8x8]

P#103439 2021-12-23 23:24

The latest version of PICO-8 didn't seem to pick up on a cart update. I had my own cart, hobobot, favorited locally, but it was the old version hobobot-0. The thread had been updated to hobobot-1 a while ago. Usually PICO-8 picks up on there being a newer version and prompts the user but it didn't seem to do this on either the PC or raspberry pi version this morning. I had to unfavorite and re-search for the cartridge to get the newest version. Curious if this was removed or if this is a bug.

P#92139 2021-05-18 14:23

I noticed on both my raspberry pi 3 and my raspberry pi zero w this evening that after exiting PICO-8 having run certain games (in particular, my cart Mad Wizard) the terminal is filled with the text:

targetcount=0

I also noticed this same game stuttering a little bit where I don't remember it stuttering before, and I'm guessing it is due to this console output. Unremoved debug print perhaps?

P#90916 2021-04-22 02:17 ( Edited 2021-04-22 02:18)

v0.2.2
Every so often I click to select one character. I ran into this situation where a closing parenthesis and the following space acted as a unit when selected; I could not select either one independently. But in an expression in the line directly above, I was able to. See the following gif.

P#88080 2021-02-24 00:00 ( Edited 2021-02-24 00:02)

It has become very awkward to select text in the PICO-8 editor. Unless you nudge it really carefully it starts rocketing in the direction you're scrolling too fast for it to feel natural, I now have to use the keyboard exclusively for selecting text. Not sure if the speed change was intentional or accidental, but it would be great if it were at least configurable.

P#87952 2021-02-20 23:27 ( Edited 2021-02-20 23:27)

I've got an interesting bug. It only happens in PICO-8 itself. The bug can be reproduced with the following small program and reproduction steps:

function _init()
 menuitem(
  1,
  "switch weapon",
  function()
   --if (getthunder()==1) hwep=(hwep+1)%2
  end)
end

function _update()

end

function _draw()

end

Steps to reproduce:

  1. Run the program.
  2. Quit to console with ESC.
  3. Type:
    x=10

    Any variable will cause the bug.

  4. Type:
    resume
  5. Press enter to bring up in game menu. Choose "switch weapon"

  6. Observe crash. See image.
P#84237 2020-11-14 16:47 ( Edited 2020-11-15 13:50)

Cart #madwizard-6 | 2021-05-31 | Code ▽ | Embed ▽ | No License
13

This is a port of The Mad Wizard, an NES game by indie game developer Rob Bryant, originally released in 2014. The original NES ROM is available free from the developer on his website https://slydogstudios.org/ under "The Candelabra Epic." It is a metroidvania style adventure and if you know where everything is, has a substantial 1.5 hrs of gameplay in it. (longer if you don't know where things are!)

The evil summoner Amondus from The Order of the Talon has taken over Prim, Hekl's once happy homeland. And nothing drives a wizard more crazy than having their territory trampled on! Can you help Hekl defeat the enemies that Amondus has populated throughout the landscape? To do so, you will need to master the art of levitation, find magic spells that will assist you in reaching new areas, and upgrade your weapons. All of these will be necessary in order to give Hekl the power he needs to restore peace to Prim. Do you have what it takes? If you dare, venture into this, the first installment of the Candelabra series!

THE FIRST CHRONICLE

In the vast province of Prim lies a great forest known as The Primwoods. It is here that the powerful wizard alliance "The Order of the Talon" has made their expedition. Among them was Hekl, also known as "The Mad Crow" who was dismissed from the group due to his experiments with arcane scrolls and alchemy. It seems he has lost his mind attempting to master the art of flight and was expelled for his most ambitious nature.

THE SILENT OWL INCURSION

However, there may be more to the reason...
It seems Hekl knew something of the Order of the Talon that the archleader Amondus "the Silent Owl" did not approve of.
Amondus swiftly invaded Hekl's homeland, constructed a great floating palace in the sky, and used his powers of summoning to control a legion of evil.

RETRIBUTION OF A MADMAN

Amondus' intentions are unclear, but he has ordered his many goblin minions to steal Hekl's precious magic items and hide them throughout the land to deter Hekl's effort.

Hekl's only hope is to build up his magical powers, rid the area of all evil foes, and locate the legendary trident that is known as the TRI-CASTER to give him the means of reaching the Floating Palace to defeat Amondus and restore peace at once.

GET STARTED ON YOUR QUEST!

THE MAD WIZARD is a screen-by-screen, side-view, platform adventure game in which you guide the wizard "Hekl" throughout an open-ended fantasy world. The focus is on exploration, magic use, puzzle solving, and reaching areas through levitation. Along the way, Hekl will find hidden items to grant new abilities which will allow him to access more parts of the world.
You will be granted infinite continues to complete your quest. The game ends when Amondus is finally defeated.

BASIC CONTROLS

Moving around and about.

Left/Right: Use left/right to make Hekl walk in the desired direction.

Up/Down: Use to climb or descend ladders or choose on the continue screen.

LEVITATION CONTROLS

X(X): Press to levitate. Press again or hold to go higher after upgrade.

Left/Right: Use left/right to move in the direction while floating in the air.

Down: Press to cancel levitate to quickly fall back to the ground.

MAGIC ATTACK CONTROLS

Hekl can attack his foes using his strong magic. The range and power of attacking is upgraded by finding the mystical hidden diamonds.

O(Z): Press to fire the MAGIC MISSILE. This is the default attack.

Enter: Press to bring up the in-game menu. Select "SWITCH WEAPON" to switch between default missile and vertical lightning attack.

ADVANCED MAGIC CONTROLS

Special adventure abilities!

Up + X(X): Press to place the PRISM CUBE directly in front of Hekl.

Down + X(X): Press to summon the SPECTRAL BRIDGE when standing at a ledge.

Up + O(Z): Press to use Hekl's TELEPORTATION ability to zoom forward.

ABILITY ICONS DESCRIPTION

Identifying all icons in status bar at the bottom of the play screen.

The LIFE SPHERES. Number of hits Hekl can take.

Icon for the MAGIC MISSILE. Basic attack.

Number of LIVES that Hekl has. Gets 2 per continue.

Current level for ability. Full bar = max level.

Icon for XECROM'S THUNDER. Vertical attack.

Indicates having the spell of PRISM CUBE.

Indicates SPECTRAL BRIDGE magical ability.

Indicates TELEPORTATION warping skill.

Horizontal levitation upgraded by finding X scrolls.

Vertical levitation upgraded by finding Y scrolls.

Levitation speed. Can be doubled by finding S potion.

COLLECTIBLES AND UPGRADES

DIAMOND - Increases the attack power or distance of the magic missile.

XECROM'S THUNDER - Hekl casts a lightning bolt down from the heavens.

LIFE SPHERE - Increases the total amount of hit points permanently.

SCROLL - Levitate further. X scroll for horizontal. Y scroll for vertical.

S POTION - Will double Hekl's levitation speed.

SPECIAL MAGIC ABILITIES

The spells Hekl can learn! NOTE - Can only cast 1 spell at a time initially.

PRISM CUBE - Create a block to use as a shield or platform to stand on.

SPECTRAL BRIDGE - Casts a bridge of energy near a ledge for safe crossing.

TELEPORTATION - Projects Hekl's image forward to warp across the screen.

TRI-CASTER - All 3 spells can be cast at once!

EARLY AREAS OF EXPLORATION

HEKL'S HOME - A cabin in the central woods. The well in the backyard runs deeper than one might imagine.

THE PRIMWOODS - Dense forest of hundreds foot high trees, wooden bridges, a graveyard, and a river.

KAPLAN CAVERNS - Damp underground cave that's mined for its previous minerals.

THE ELDERWOOD - Largest and oldest tree in the world. The hollowed insides serve as the goblins' fortress.

INTERMEDIATE DANGER ZONES

RUINS OF KYR TEMPLE - A once proud sanctuary of stone pillars now collapsed and haunted by untrusted ones.

THE UNDER RIVER - Limestone tunnel of raging water rapids beneath the earth. Home to a race of lizardmen.

BRIMSTONE GROTTO - A blazing core deep beyond the roots. Here lies a legendary weapon and many fiery inhabitants.

FLOATING PALACE - The place of Amondus' great power. Soars high in the sky.

CREATURES OF THE PRIMWOODS

SNAKER - Venemous prowler. Can get up trees.

BONES - Undead warriors raised by Amondus.

GOBLIN - Annoying beings that run and climb.

BAT - Dangerous dweller of caves and the woods.

TRENT - Demon bush immune to some magic spells.

RAVEN - Fierce predator of the treetops.

GHOST - Guardian soul near sacred areas.

GARGOYLE - Awakened statues that drop skulls.

FIRE GOBLIN - Head resistant menace.

GOLEM - Stone foe capable of causing rockfalls.

LIZARDMAN - Uses spear and shield near water areas.

SALAMANDER - Fireproof. Tougher than the lizardman.

CHARWIT - A phoenix. Ultimate Gain of Strength!

BEANCY - Accursed zombie pirate captain.

FLERG - The ghost falcon. Pet of Beancy.

RANT - The golden gargoyle. Underworld general.

AMONDUS - The master summoner and ambitious leader of the Order of the Talon. Lives in a sky palace.

ADVICE FOR THE ADVENTURER

  • When Hekl flashes after taking damage, he will be momentarily invulnerable.

  • Always look for ladders or branches that lead off-screen. They could be a path to a new area.

  • If you find it difficult to avoid certain enemy attacks, you might not yet have enough speed.

  • Falling in water will reset the screen but no life points will be lost.

  • Tri-caster can combine blocks and bridges. Use it to go almost anywhere!

THE MAD WIZARD - CREATED BY

The Mad Wizard was created for the Nintendo Entertainment System by Sly Dog Studios (Rob Bryant) in 2014. It is well loved in the NES homebrew community as one of the most enjoyable homebrew titles ever released.

Porting it to the PICO-8 system has been one of the most enjoyable game development projects I've ever undertaken, and I am immensely grateful to the creator for giving me permission to do so, both for my own enjoyment and so that the game might be enjoyed by another enthusiastic audience.

Special thanks to Daniel Hwozdek for a thorough play test! Helped iron out quite a few differences and bugs!

P#83980 2020-11-08 15:00 ( Edited 2022-03-27 20:31)

The web player is fuzzy/anti-aliased in a recent release. Probably aware, but I didn't see an open bug about it.

P#81669 2020-09-10 19:56

Recently an option was added to change the width of tabs in PICO-8. I would like to have a config option to change all leading tabs to spaces (and the tab width would determine how many spaces) like many code editors do. There are trade offs between tabs and spaces and I tend to like to have absolute control over the vertical positioning of code. This is especially useful in PICO-8 so that the code ends up looking pretty when viewed including in the web code viewer. When I use tabs, if I have several clauses of an if lined up right underneath each other for example, they might not be underneath each other if a different tab width is selected from what I had used when I wrote the code. I'd like it to look the same as when I wrote it, in any editor.

I'm able to create pre-commit hooks and scripts to accomplish this for myself, but it'd be nice if it was built in as many code editors have the option.

P#77869 2020-06-10 01:39

Cart #dinkyking-9 | 2021-01-12 | Code ▽ | Embed ▽ | License: CC4-BY-NC-SA
24

CONTROLS:
X - start the game, or jump
Z - swing the scepter if you have it
Arrows - walk left and right, or climb up and down ladders

This is Dinky King, my homage to the original Donkey Kong arcade. You are the Dinky King! You must save the Queen from the Jealous Jester. Walk and climb with the arrow keys, and jump with X (x)! If you find the King's magic scepter, press O (z) to whack the Jester's balls right back at him! Or, just jump over the balls. The Queen dropped her stuff! Make sure to grab it for her on the way. Arrest that Jester! And if you can...topple him to his doom in the last level. Difficulty increases slightly each time you complete all four levels.

Nothin' fancy, just a cute little homage.

Oh, and watch out for SOCK PUPPETS.

The music is a transcription of a riff from Yancey Stomp, by Jimmy Yancey. It's a great song, check it out here:
https://youtu.be/c4eQbeuX2Y0

Changelog:
6-9-20 (4th update today!): A couple more small tweaks, stop slinkies when winning level 2

6-9-20 (3rd update today!): Make sure flr is used for all calculations based on dif so timers don't skip the 0 condition. Make the highest difficulty level slightly easier so it is actually doable. (takes 8 times through all four levels...can you make it there???)

6-9-20 (2nd update today!): Make slinkies far less aggressive when first playing level 2, but make them respond to the difficulty setting so over time if you keep completing all 4 levels they will pick up speed.

6-9-20: Increase delay before sock puppets enter. Decrease volume of ladder and slinky sfx. Add press X message to title screen.

P#77779 2020-06-08 00:55 ( Edited 2021-01-12 23:18)

This bug may have been in place for the last several versions, not sure why I haven't reported it yet.

In older versions, hitting ctrl-z would show you your undone text change and then hitting ctrl-z again
would actually move the cursor to its previous position.

These actions appear to be combined in recent versions as the cursor will frequently jump away from the text
that I had changed.

A minor annoyance, but I think some other folks have noticed it talking in the discord.

P#75662 2020-04-30 21:50

I think line and rectangle drawing in the map editor are not working at the moment in 0.2.0. Circle is working however. Confirmed with some peeps in the discord. Sprite editor works for all shapes though.

P#74798 2020-04-15 23:38 ( Edited 2020-04-15 23:38)

The default for O and X is to be mapped to Z(O) X(X) C(O) V(X).

In keyconfig, if we change the mapping of O and X, it appears that you can only map one key code to O and X. Is there any way to produce an alternative multimapping in the config file? for example, maybe I want O to map to U and K and X to map to I and J. Is there any way to do this?

As far as I can tell, only the default state allows for a multimapping on O and X. Apologies if this is covered in the manual or elsewhere, I did search for this information but did not find anything.

P#66393 2019-08-05 18:41

Cart #gammaslice-3 | 2021-05-22 | Code ▽ | Embed ▽ | License: CC4-BY-NC-SA
5

Gamma Slice is a puzzle game based on cutting the corners of squares containing triangles. The triangles are of four different colors. When they match, they disappear. How many can you clear from the well after 20 cuts?

Controls:
Arrow keys - Position the scissors
O (Z) - Flip the scissors
X (X) - Cut

The scissors will cut along the diagonal of any given square and flip the triangles inside!

Code & Sound: Derek Andrews

Graphics: Jeff Barr

This game was a submission to Nerdery Game Jam 2019.

Updated 5-21-21 to fix a small compatibility issue with updates to PICO-8 particularly where the title screen used btnp then did a while loop on btn waiting for it to stop being nonzero.

P#65112 2019-06-09 23:34 ( Edited 2021-05-22 01:04)

When PICO-8 launches now on my Mac, it no longer sizes itself appropriately so that it fills a window. It used to fill roughly 1/5th or so of the screen at a nice size that was not too small or too large and the 128x128 display would fit a square window. Now it is a smaller sized display with a lot of black letterboxing around it.

The latest build continues to work properly on windows, I'm only seeing this on Mac.

I did already try to delete the plist file associated with PICO-8, in case it was a local caching issue due to me derping with window resizing, but it continues to launch like this.

P#64680 2019-05-22 21:02 ( Edited 2019-05-22 21:03)

The following program, despite never adding a function to this table, sometimes has a function in the table. This was happening in a game of mine and I finally decided to try reproducing it with a tiny program and I have been able to.

cls()
nds={flr(rnd(4))}
for i=1,1000 do
 for k=1,flr(rnd(10)) do
  add(nds,flr(rnd(5)))
 end
 for j=1,1000 do
     nds={flr(rnd(4))}
     for d in all(nds) do
      if type(d)=='function' then
       print("function")
      end
     end
 end
end

I would never expect this program to ever print "function" yet, it does, and intermittently.

P#64550 2019-05-18 14:21 ( Edited 2019-05-18 14:22)

I started tinkering with an _update60 cart the other day and I was getting stuttery behavior.

Dug deep into possible performance bugs in my game. Then realized I had stuttery graphics (< 60 fps) in simpler cartridges.

Dug deep into updating drivers and BIOS on my Dell laptop. Still nothing. This laptop is from 2012, but is more powerful than my rpi3 which has no problem with _update60.


Then, I took a look at PICO-8's own config.txt file and found fullscreen_method. Tried method 2, which is actual fullscreen rather than stretching a window.

Totally resolved the issue.

How come 2 is not the default? Or maybe it is in fact the default and I'm forgetting having toyed with this months ago.

P#62752 2019-03-12 00:22 ( Edited 2019-03-12 00:24)

Cart #knoll-0 | 2019-03-02 | Code ▽ | Embed ▽ | License: CC4-BY-NC-SA
4

1 Knoll.

P#62396 2019-03-02 03:32

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