PlayPico

Curated Pico-8 games site

About PlayPico & FAQ

What is this I don't even...

PICO-8 is an 8-bit fantasy console designed for creating, playing, and sharing small video games and other programs. It uses a subset of Lua as the programming language, and has built in tools for coding, designing graphics, and creating sound effects and music. Developers can then export their creations as "cartridges", which are tiny PNG images that contain all of the program code and assets using a technique called steganography. These cartridges can then be loaded into the PICO-8 desktop application, or the free web player (used on this site), which allows the programs to be run in your browser with the magic of HTML5.

What is PlayPico?

PlayPico is an unofficial PICO-8 fansite dedicated to finding the cream of the crop games that are posted by users on the official BBS. The goal was, and remains, to create a place where people can find a curated list of the best games created for PICO-8. This is by no means an exhaustive list; it is developed and maintained by just one person, Chris Clower (known as "Scathe" on the official BBS), and is limited to only the games that I have personally found and played, and also limited to my personal opinions and rule set on what makes a game qualify to be included in this list.

What are the hallmarks of a game that qualifies to be included here?

The things I look for include, but are not limited to:

A TL;DR of this would be: Make sure it's actually a game, it can't be beaten in 2 minutes on the first playthrough, it lacks bugs and has a respectable level of polish (including nice graphics and sounds), it's not too similar to stuff that's already here, and it's fun.

This is all based on my sole discretion, and may even depend on the mood I happen to be in when I play a game for the first time. I may not always adhere 100% to these rules, they are just a set of guidelines.

What made you decide to do this?

At first, I made this just for myself, and only ran it on my own hard drive (not as a live website), just as a way to organize the collection I had amassed over time of games that I liked. It stayed that way for quite some time, until I thought "Why not share it? Other people might enjoy this list, too." At the time of publishing the page online, which was October 8th, 2016, the list had just 113 games. In less than a year, it grew to several hundred. The site has been well received by the PICO-8 community, so I have been working on expanding the features, polishing up the user experience, and implementing feature requests and constructive criticism that the community has given over time.

Do you make any money doing this?

At the time of this writing, which is almost 1 year from the original launch date, I have not made a single penny. The site is developed and maintained as a labor of love and as my way of giving back to a community that has given me countless hours of entertainment with their amazing games. I have no plans to monetize this website at this time.

Things I will never do with this site:

What technologies were used to build the site?

Front-end:

Back-end:

Server:

Source control: