Have you ever heard of PICO-8?
Well, it’s a console that has the distinction of not really being a console. Let me explain. The PICO-8 looks like an ordinary console, but without the hardware drawback.
Indeed, the PICO-8 has everything that makes a console a console such as dev tools, a distribution platform, a display format, very precise machine specs and of course a community of gamers except that the console is totally virtual. It’s if you will, a retro gaming emulator for a machine that never physically existed.
It therefore has its own identity and its own specificities and instead of the traditional physical cartridges, the programs designed for PICO-8 are distributed on PNG images which have cartridge heads, with labels and a storage capacity of 32k.
By following the specs, everyone can develop their own games. And there are some very cool things on the PICO-8 like a Ghostbusters game called Bustin’, a street fight called Fighter Street II or even a pacman called Picoman. In short, you will have understood it, it is for fun, the challenge but also for the pleasure of the players.
If you want to test the console on macOS, Windows or Linux, you can download it for around fifteen dollars or simply go here to play an online version.
A great project that I invite you to take a look at and why not start to develop games.