Lepicons – Pico-8 Game

As a kid one of the first games I was able to play on my dad’s Pentium 100 was Lemmings. I believe it might’ve been a demo on a floppy disk but I was fascinated by the idea and on how hard it was, at least for a 9 year old. To be honest, I haven’t played it since so I tried to make a game of how I remember the classic Lemmings was, I don’t want to go check how the original game actually worked or looked, I wanted to do it using only my sweet (and maybe distorted) memories as a guide. So please forgive me if it doesn’t actually feel like Lemmings.

The game can be played at one of these links
https://www.lexaloffle.com/bbs/?tid=28728 (includes source code)

One of the bits that I learned (and had fun) the most was the level generator. I wouldn’t have enough space in the spritesheet to make all levels by hand. So I made a simple version with the main shapes plus the placement for the portals (entry and exit of the level) and then made made them more organic, by filling the screen with noise (the filling rate can be controlled by code) and clearing the loose parts before colouring them according to that pixel’s surroundings.

Now I can easily create new levels by making simple blocks and adding conditions by a few lines of code (like the number of lepicons, time and number of “actions”).

In my coding adventures I fell in love with PICO-8 for some quick and simple games and prototypes. It’s easy to make and publish games.
PICO-8 is a fantasy console for making, sharing and playing tiny games and other computer programs. This gif explains a lot on how it works, you use the same software to code (in Lua), make the art, sound effects, music and play the game.

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