Building Quick Joke Games with PICO-8
Last week, I made Brough-Like Turbrough as an homage to the awesome works of Michael Brough. It was my first completed game in PICO-8, and I really liked the process of working with a fantasy console. I was able to quickly get out an idea without spending too much time worrying about the infrastructure. It was easy to make, easy to create art assets for, and easy to distribute. The only thing I needed to think about was how it would work.
It got me thinking about all of the dumb ideas I've had for games over the years. Usually I don't make them because I lose interest in the idea over the months it takes to create the game. Between creating assets, levels, building game engines, I would get lost in a series of rabbit holes that would distract me from the core idea of the game. With PICO-8, I had everything I needed to try something and make it good enough.
So would the same be true for a dumb joke game? I hope so. I made Final Fantasy Freeman in three hours over two days. It was fun, and maybe will bring a smile to some people. In the past, I probably would spend hours building a parody RPS website just for the dumb joke, spend four hours debugging some CSS, and by the time I got the site done, the joke would be dated. Having the ability to create something interactive and funny in a couple of days is really exciting (FF Freeman isn't particularly interactive or funny, but it's a proof of concept. I have some ideas about quick games with more interactivity.)