I'm Andrew. I write about the past and future of tech, music, media, culture, art, and activism. This is my blog.

Tempest: a survival roguelike in Pico-8

Posted: May 6, 2017

Tempest is a survival game built in pico-8. It’s challenging, but it’s also a lot of fun.


Pico 8 is a “Fantasy console.” Basically, it’s an emulator for an 8-bit home computer that never actually existed. The games are built in Lua, and distributed as “cartridges” which are png files. It’s super neat! And you can use it to make things like Tempest.

Try it, don’t get discouraged if you suck. This game is pretty hard.

From the about page:

How to survive your first day:

When you wash up you’re nearly dead, hungry, tired, and exhausted. Your health will drop if any statuses (hungry,tired,exhausted,cold) are in the red. Resting while your statuses are ok will restore health Quickly drink some water from your flask. (x -> items -> flask -> drink) Find some fruit/berries and pick them then eat them. Salvage wood from your boat, and chop down another tree and get the logs Build a shelter, eat, drink and rest, stay warm After this, focus on finding freshwater (it has white sparkles) so you can drink and fill your flask Then try and find some stone and build a cabin which will replenish your stamina fully Build bridges to new areas


Day night cycle Weather Temperature (it’s colder at night and when it’s raining, stay warm in your shelter/cottage) Simple menu system Procedurally generated world Bridge building Building wells that fill with water when it rains Plants grows overnight while you’re resting In progress Farms and farming


Fishing minigame Wild animals and fences to keep safe Disallow some stuff at night to incentivise you to work during the day

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