Just Another Indie Studio

Why do I love Pico-8?


Writing games is a double edged sword. On one hand gamers consume games and pay money for them, making game development something that can make you wealthy if done correctly. Nowadays there are huge efforts from triple A game studios to make games well, and profitably. It’s getting more and more difficult for an independent developer to make any money from games.

On the other side of the coin there are games as a form of art, made for fun, as a form of expression. For me, Pico-8 fits that part of my needs perfectly. The limitations of available memory and retro colours are ensuring that like a haiku poem, we stick to the plot and don’t go overboard adding features to our games we don’t absolutely need to make it fun.

You get 128×128 pixels with only 16 colours with a total of 32k to write your code and fit all your graphics. You won’t be making money, but perhaps if you try hard and learn the dinky little programming language provided then you’ll make something you’re proud of and you want to show people and see them enjoy playing it.

At least, thats why I make games with Pico-8.

Later on, if you make something fabulous with this, and people love it, then you might consider something a bit more serious and go for a game to make money, but for now, you’ll not make GTA, Minecraft or Skyrim in this, but you will make one helluva Space invaders or pac-man clone.


About the author

Gabriel Crowe

During the day I'm a mild mannered web developer and online marketing wizard but at night I become an indie game warrior and all round badass.

I develop mobile and desktop games with Game Maker in my spare time and I am utterly addicted to Pico8.

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Just Another Indie Studio