Week 101: Tokens, Bombs And Sugar

Another ok week.

This week I spent quite a bit of time freeing up Pico-8 code tokens on Bombs On Venus, I set parameters for the level generation and I started designing the boss encounter at the “end” of the game. I also wrote a few more Bach write-ups and I worked on Sugar!


Two weeks ago I reworked the level generation in Bombs On Skeleton, so that I could set parameters for each level up to the boss. (and beyond??) But I stopped there, because it turned out filling in those parameters was very boring and a lot of guess work.

So this week I decided to make a small tool, in Pico-8, to help me fill out those level generation parameters! This tool features generation previewing but also a very rough estimation of the difficulty for the current parameters and of course I can export the parameters, as a formatted string, to the clipboard at any time!

This made it much easier to do a boring task and even though I’m not sure I actually ‘saved’ time, I definitely had more fun this way.


I also reworked the run animation for the player character and a few other sprites too!

And so now that those parameters are set, the biggest element still missing from the game is the boss!

This particular element is pretty scary to me, mostly because the token limit is pressing on me and I will still have the title screen, the game over and all the audio triggers to code in afterwards.

So instead of implementing the boss right away, I took some time to free up some tokens. The most difficult part of this has been to rewrite my data string parsing function. Because simply defining table structures in Pico-8 costs a lot of tokens, it’s almost essential in an ambitious Pico-8 project to have a function that can parse a formatted string into such table structures, since every string takes just one token.

I’ve been using such a function for over a year now, with the first instance in Gar’s Den, and this function which I wrote myself at the time, was far from perfect. So I took it upon myself to completely rewrite it, in a way that is compatible with the old version. After an afternoon of coding, testing and insulting both myself and my code, I finally got to a MUCH cleaner version that I was happy with and which took less than half the tokens of the old version, saving about 140 tokens!

Right now, there’s exactly 442 free tokens on the Pico-8 cart. I’m pretty sure I can save up a few more and I do think that this will be sufficient to finish the game. Hopefully. Please let it be enough.


I’m back on SUGAR! I was going to work a little bit on the gfx API and then get onto the input system but in the end I found too much stuff to do on the gfx API!

As you can see, I implemented both line and triangle rendering. But I also made my earlier code safer (as in preventing it from writing on unallocated memory), I made small changes to the palette system and small additions to the math API. I also got to think about a bunch of problems I hadn’t considered before, which made me go “oh no” but also I’m glad I did think of them now rather than even later. Most of these problems are in relation with what the user can do and/or should be able to do and/or should do.

So I have a bunch of stuff to think about now, great I definitely was sleeping too well lately!


On another note, please remember that the updated version of One Roomd Dungeon is coming to Armor Games on Wednesday! It will available at this link (currently showing a 404 error) and it would mean the world to me if you went and played it and gave it a positive rating then!

Oh also, the Chess jam is happening this month and I’m hoping to make something for it with SUGAR! I just think a jam about Chess is a really fun idea and I want to be part of it. Ludum Dare is happening this month too but if I’m doing anything for it it will probably be with Pico-8!


This next week I’m finally finishing Bombs On Venus maybe and I’m finishing the Bach write-ups and I’m working on SUGAR!

Have a great week!

Take care!


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