Birdwatching

I and my daughter made some bird sprites in PICO-8 quite some time ago, and only now have I got around to posting them to the PICO-8 BBS. Here is the link to the post with the details, along with the cartridge for you to download and use in your own PICO-8 creations:

https://www.lexaloffle.com/bbs/?tid=34245


What is PICO-8?

From the website:

PICO-8 is a fantasy console for making, sharing and playing tiny games and other computer programs. When you turn it on, the machine greets you with a commandline and simple built-in tools for creating your own cartridges and exploring the PICO-8 cartverse.


Specifications
Display

128×128 16 colours
Cartridge Size

32k
Sound

4 channel chip blerps
Code

Lua
Sprites

256 8×8 sprites
Map

128×32 cels


The harsh limitations of PICO-8 are carefully chosen to be fun to work with, to encourage small but expressive designs, and to give cartridges made with PICO-8 their own particular look and feel.

Creative Tools
PICO-8 has tools for editing codemusicsoundspritesmaps built right into the console. Create a whole game or program in one sitting without needing to leave the cosy development environment!

Shareable Cartridges
PICO-8 cartridges can be saved in a special .png format and sent directly to other users, shared with anyone via a web cart player, or exported to stand-alone HTML5, Windows, Mac and Linux apps.
Any cartridge can be opened again in PICO-8, letting you peek inside to modify or study the code, graphics and sound.

Explore the Cartverse
PICO-8 comes with a built-in cartridge browser called SPLORE, for searching and favouriting carts from the online collection.

Spring Cleaning

Spring has sprung and I’ve got round to updating my site (it’s actually early summer, but I’ve been busy). I’ve put more of a focus on my work portfolio, as my kids and dog eat a great deal of food. I’ve added to my About page, made a new contact form and have added a mailing list for those who would like to be kept informed of my new work (drawings, comics, prints, animation etc). I hope you like it. Take a look around.

Messing with Clip Studio

I’ll always prefer “real” analogue pens, pencils and paper, but I gave Clip Studio another go at the weekend along with my Huion GT-220 v2 tablet monitor and I ended up enjoying myself. This is a very early work-in-progress from something I’ve been thinking about while I work on freelance gigs.

Clip Studio’s drawing tools are second to none I’d say, and I particularly like the vector ink pen(s). The pencil tools have a very authentic feel and behaviour. As for the Huion, I bought it for a job and when that was done I stored it away for a while, but I’m glad to re-visit. If you’re looking at a good, value-for-money alternative to a Wacom Cintiq then I’d recommend it. The pen stylus isn’t the greatest quality, but the display itself is very good inded. Considering the GT-220 cost less than half of the equivalent Wacom, I’d recommend it for anyone who doesn’t want to spend too much on a first drawing monitor. Obviously, you could argue that an iPad Pro would be a better choice (and Clip Studio has a reportedly great version available for iOS), but personally I like having my work tools on a “proper”operating system such as Windows or MacOS (as far as I’m aware there is no Linux support from Clip Studio or Huion)

31 Days on Acorn Island

Acorn Island was a simple, hand-drawn game I ran on Twitter in October 2017 (also as part of #inktober2017). The idea was to draw something in pen and ink and then post it to Twitter where players could choose what to do / where to go next. I’m sure it’s been done before, but I wanted to make a game out of relatively simple tools such as a pen, paper and a smartphone. Maybe it’s more an ‘interactive story’ than a game. I don’t know. You decide.

It was good to be forced to invent something new everyday while attempting to carry along a story. I didn’t impose any rules on myself, beyond not being allowed to think or plan things too much. The game contains all the usual silly animals in hats, trees and pirates.  I’m amazed at how much my drawing style changed over the month. I definitely wanted a looser feel by the end. Anyway, below are the 31 different images that came out of the game. Below the images is a link to the Twitter thread (where most of the posts are, but not all. It took me time to figure out that I could just keep replying to myself).

https://twitter.com/SirTimofFrost/status/915863341087813632