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Pico-8 Weekly January report

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Hello everyone, this blog post is an attempt of a motnhly report of my Pico-8 weeklies. A bit late, though, I planned it to be posted around early February.

If you've been following me on social networks, you could have seen me posting every Friday a new Pico-8 sketch since the first week of January. But first, I'll write down a few words about that project.

I love Pico-8. It took me some time to get down to make projects on it. It appeared to me more like a curiosity, a fun programming target, but it really shined on me after some time, as I learnt to love Lua through Love2D. I had a weird relationship with Lua beforehand, it felt like hard to get something done and I had a difficult itme to enjoy what I was doing. That's just part of the past, now. I think I wouldn't try to make a scene per week if I didn't enjoy the process, right?

This has been a calm month for me. The work daily routine is going along and I had many ideas and projects that came and went, with or without fruition. Regarding the stuff I do on Pico-8, I mostly tried to clean up my 3D routines and make something out of them. I didn't have any game projects in mind until late January when I got to play a bit too much Wipeout. I don't where it'll go, but at least I'm getting interested in the tech and stuff around it…

Sketch breakdown.

Sketch #1 : Cloudy Sea

Cloudy sea sketch
Cloudy Sea

This sketch was an attempt of redoing Moonlight. I really liked it (and people too) and I wanted to see if I could convert it to something viable in 3D. Here goes clouds. It has a different feeling than the original, I think. The former had a more minimal feeling whereas the latter feels more alive, living.

Sketch #2 : Towers

Cloudy sea sketch
Towers

Oh, this one started as a small sketch I did in a handbook that I was going to use to store weekly ideas. The handbook got unused since but the sketch's idea was kept. This one got people woozy because I somehow screwed up the perspective. People thought the ship was flying through a tube of some sort. So I did an alternative version with the fixed perspective.

Sketch #3 : Island

Island sketch
Island

I should have done a windmill and put in the scene. This could have been a good tribute to Gorillaz, haha. I like floating islands, so I was obvious I would end up doing one. I had a hard time figuring out what I would do for the leaves, I was getting close to the CPU limits, so I ended up creating unused vertices in the tree's mesh and using them as a base to place the leaves blobs.

Sketch #4 : Aurora

Aurora sketch
Aurora

Iterating on this one was pretty tough. At first there would only be the white character on the "plate" (?). I got at a moment an idea of putting an eye monster in front of him, but I ended up just putting a gray character. The aurora came last. It was a pain to make it look correct, there is no way to overcome the 16 colors limit, thus making transparency or smooth gradients are a no-no.

I'll be leaving the carts here. They're licenced under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. Have fun reading the code. I'll let you a warning though : parts of the math routines behind the 3D toolkit are wrong, I'm still iterating over it to determine and fix them. Have a nice day and see you soon!


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