What is a Fantasy Console?It's like a real-world console, but without the inconvenience of actual hardware. PICO-8 has everything else that makes a console a console: machine specs and display format, development tools, design culture, distribution platform, community and playership. Instead of physical cartridges, programs made for PICO-8 are distributed on .png images that look like cartridges, complete with labels and a fixed data capacity.
Will there be a real PICO-8 one day?
Maybe! While dedicated hardware isn't necessary for PICO-8's existence, it sure would be nice. With upcoming support for Raspberry Pi and Pocket C.H.I.P., it is also possible to piggyback off existing hardware projects and kits or to build your own custom PICO-8.
Why does the code editor hurt my eyes?Editing text is the aspect of PICO-8 that suffers the most from squeezing the entire interface into a 128x128 display. It is possible to use an external editor if you prefer -- the .p8 format is just text, and using CTRL-R to run a cartridge will automatically reload the file (provided that no other changes were made in the built-in editors).
How should the name be written and pronounced?
The preferred style is all caps with a dash: PICO-8. If you feel like you're shouting in the middle of a sentence, Pico-8 or pico-8 is also fine. Twitter doesn't allow dashes to be part of hash tags, so people tend to use #pico8.
The word PICO comes from the Japanese phrase "Pico Pico", which means pixelated or low-fi. The "Pi" rhymes with "Knee", and the "CO" is as in "Continue".
When will PICO-8 be finished? What will it look like?PICO-8 1.0 will be out sometime in 2016. It will look similar to the alpha versions with the addition of online score submissions and binary exporters.
Which platforms will PICO-8 be available on?PICO-8 currently has builds for Mac OSX, Windows and Linux, Raspberry Pi. Ports for iOS and android and possibly other platforms are planned after 1.0.
What is the relationship between PICO-8 and Voxatron?You can read about the intertwined history of the two projects in Issue #1 of the PICO-8 zine. They are now two separate projects but both follow the same fantasy console format, and also share some components. The PICO-8 display (128x128) is one slice of Voxatron's display, and they both include the same audio mixer and tools. Voxatron 0.4 will be able to load and play PICO-8 cartridges.
Is it possible to make stand-alone versions of cartridges?Yes, version 0.1.3 and later have an HTML5 exporter. Binary (Windows, OSX, Linux) exporters are also planned for 1.0 or soon after.
Is it possible to sell my PICO-8 cartridges?There isn't an official PICO-8 marketplace, but you are free to do what you like with cartridge you have exported, including selling them in other markplaces like itch.io or uploading them to advertising-driven sites like Newgrounds and Kongregate. Just make sure you have permission from any other contributing authors first!
Can I use the PICO-8 name and/or logo in my own project?If you are making a custom PICO-8 for personal use, or complementary material for a PICO-8 cart such as box art, please feel free to use the PICO-8 logo as long as it is unlikely to be confused for an official Lexaloffle product. If you are making a separate software product, a run of multiple hardware units, PICO-8 related merchandise, or anything else -- please write to me first.
Can I use the PICO-8 palette for something?Yes, please do. The palette is available under a CC-0 license.