A scrolling shooter. As the Dart-07 you fight on Emerald Islands, Outpost in Space, and in the interstellar Phoslar Mine
This is a PICO-8 game, which I made during Basic Shmup Showcase event organised by Lazy Devs Academy.
You can play it here and on https://www.lexaloffle.com/bbs/?tid=49480
⚠️ Please be aware this game is under development. Mission 1 is complete and ready to play, but
you enter missions 2 and 3 on your own risk 😄
If you want to take a look at the codebase, please visit https://github.com/beetrootpaul/dart-07 (the code inside PICO-8 carts of this game is minified, therefore not suitable for reading).
- press & hold
cto trigger a shockwave (if available)
pto open the pause menu
Virtual controller (in browser, on a mobile device):
- press & hold
🅾️to trigger a shockwave (if available)
➖to open the pause menu
Physical game controllers are supposed to work as well, even in a browser. Button mapping varies between models.
Your task is to pilot Dart-07 unit in a set of secret missions of increasing difficulty:
- first, you mess with the enemy on Emerald Islands
- then you continue to the Outpost in Space (⚠️ under development ⚠️)
- in order to reach the interstellar Phoslar Mine (⚠️ under development ⚠️) and prevent the enemy from utilizing that precious resource
Destroy enemies along the way to increase your score, grab power-ups left by them and survive a boss fight in order to complete a mission.
There are 5 types of power-ups you can grab, each of them either makes your life easier or, if cannot improve further, increases your score:
- +1 heart – you can have max 10 hearts; you lose one whenever you take damage
- fast movement – increases player's movement speed; does not accumulate; lost on a damage
- fast shoot – increases shooting speed; does not accumulate, but can be combined with the triple shoot; lost on a damage
- triple shoot – you shoot 3 bullets instead of 1, but on a little but slower rate; does not accumulate, but can be combined with the fast shoot; lost on a damage
- shockwave charge – allows you to trigger a destructive shockwave around you (with use of "c" / "🅾️" button); you can have max 4 shockwave charges
In your HUD you see:
- left-top: mission progression (the higher the ship's icon is placed, the close to the boss you are)
- right-top: your score, which you gain by destroying enemies and grabbing power-ups in case they cannot bring any improvement
- right-middle: power-ups you gathered (excluding hearts and shockwave charges)
- left-bottom: hearts left; you die when all hearts are gone
- right-bottom: shockwave charges left; you can trigger a shockwave if you have at least 1 charge left
- top-middle, during boss fight: boss' health (yes, you are supposed to bring it down to zero 😉)
Technical Challenges Tackled In This Game
In this game I focused on learning various bits of PICO-8 API.
Some of the topics I tackled in this game are:
- multi-cart setup: this game consists of many carts – 1 main cart for the title screen etc., and
1 cart for each mission. Each mission has its own sprites and music, as well as a code responsible for available
enemy types, including their attack and movement patterns. Common SFXs and sprites are copied from the main cart
to missions carts with use of MEMCPY and a user data memory area (
0x4300-0x55ff), preserved across loaded carts). Moreover, I implemented this in a way which allows me to use same codebase to load both locally developed carts as well as those published to Lexaloffle BBS.
- missions defined as a map – level shape and enemy pattern are defined as sprites in a PICO-8
map, but in a
simplified form (in order to fit all needed data there). Dedicated piece of code is responsible for translating sprites from map into a mission gameplay, including proper placement of edge land/structure tiles.
- circular clipping: during shockwave a ring of inverted colors propagates from the player. To achieve that I had to learn how to implement circular clipping masks in a CPU-performant way.
- dithered fade-in/out transition: basically a set of rectangles filled with FILLP patterns, moving over screen.
- high score: usage of PICO-8's API to read and store data persisted on a host machine
- code minification: with my code style (full of spaces and long names), I found it easy to hit PICO-8's characters' count limit. Therefore I forked and modified luamin tool and incorporated it into this game's build flow, resulting with characters' count reduced by around 50%.
I implemented this game on my own, as well as drew all sprites and composed all SFXs and music. But there are some resources I found super useful and used some of them I used in the codebase as well. With huge thanks, here are those:
#easingcheatsheetcart by ValerADHD with copy-paste ready easing functions. See: https://www.lexaloffle.com/bbs/?tid=40577
- Circular Clipping Masks tutorial by Krystman
- Lua minification tool luamin by Mathias Bynens
- Pico-8 Music Tutorials by Gruber
- new powerup type: fast movement
- fixed diagonal speed of a player's ship by dividing it by
- fast movement, fast shoot, and triple shoot have their status visible in a HUD
- more health for mission 1 boss and mission 1 big enemy
- shake camera on a shockwave trigger
- lower volume of player shooting
- show a win screen after first mission (the completed one)
- print version number on a title screen
- complete game mechanics
- complete mission 1
- complete screens outside missions (but without music for a win screen after mission 3)
- implemented persisted high score
|Platforms||Windows, macOS, Linux, HTML5|
|Made with||Aseprite, PICO-8|
|Tags||2D, PICO-8, scrolling-shooter, Shoot 'Em Up|
|Code license||MIT License|
|Average session||A few minutes|
|Inputs||Keyboard, Gamepad (any), Smartphone|
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really nice work, loved the music too=)
Wow I love it! Great work so far! It brings back some good childhood memories to Tyrian or Raptor :D That's the type of game I really want to make. Thanks for sharing your code. I hope to learn from it. :)
I’m glad you liked it! 🙂
Lovely sprite work. Nice music.