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Cart #54370 | 2018-07-23 | Code ▽ | Embed ▽ | License: CC4-BY-NC-SA
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Hello all -

Here is my first completed Pico8 cart - also my first programming project, as I am attempting to learn all this from scratch (programming in general, and Lua and Pico8 in particular). I've been trying to slowly let things sink in without much of a rush in order to not get too frustrated too quickly :D

Nothing to write home about about this cart - this is a simple countdown timer, showing progress over 5 sub-tasks for a desired total length. Eventually I'd like to make it a little prettier, like this :

... but that would require me to get down the rabbit hole of a custom triangle fill function, so I'll leave that for another day :)

Also uploading this here in order to have access to on-screen controls on mobile. I actually first imagined this as a standalone app for desktop ... but with Pico8 running slower when not in focus that made it unusable :D So, mobile it is then.

Thank you for your time !

P#54271 2018-07-18 19:42 ( Edited 2018-07-23 20:25)

Hello all -

I've been following Pico8 for a little while and finally have enough time on my hands to get into it. My background is in art but I do have some math knowledge from a past life. I have close to zero practical experience in proper programming, although I did use php/mysql a while back (I was using it to upload and organize pictures to my portfolio around the time blogs started to get popular). All that to say that I am very excited to dive into Pico8 because even though this is all new stuff for me, it is not as intimidating as it could be since I understand simple pseudo-code and basic programming concepts.

The example carts are fantastic, and the Pico8 Zine as well as the various other ressources I've found so far are all very well made. Great stuff !

However something bothers me. As far as I can tell there is no way to access the list of commands/API reference directly from the code editor. The boot screen mentions Pico8.txt, but I'd like to find a way to access the list of commands and their descriptions without having to leave the Pico8 environment, or at the very least, without having to reach for my mouse or a browser. Of course I can easily find answers to all my questions on http://pico-8.wikia.com/wiki/APIReference but there's something off about having to actively reach out to an external resource - it somehow breaks the flow of learning.

As a counter-example : I recently had to learn/use Construct2 in order to mockup the behaviour of a game UI to pass to a developer for proper implementation. Construct was fantastic in the sense that it was possible to figure out everything beyond the core initial concepts without having to leave the environment. So in short I am looking for a way to work similarly in Pico8 by always being able to reach the API documentation without having to reach for my mouse and/or use a browser.

Another counter-example is the way some console environments and CAD programs allow the user to merely start typing the name of a command, returning the properly type command name with a brief description of parameters.

TLDR :

I love the minimalist philosophy of Pico8, but as a beginner I am a bit hindered by the lack of discoverability of the commands. Even simply being able to launch a wiki search directly from Pico8 would be great. But I might be missing something - maybe there is a already a way to do that ? Or a way to directly access the help doc in cart form ? In which case I'd love to learn about it.

The best I've found so far is to use UltraEdit and launch google searches from it, which fires up a browser with Google search results for whatever is highlighted in UE - to which I just need to add "Pico8". But I'd love to find a more streamlined way to learn as it kind of defeats the purpose of working directly in the simple Pico8 environment.

I suppose that another path could rely on Autohotkey : highlight a command in Pico8 > copy > start a Autohotkey script performing a Google search on the term with "pico 8" appended. That's probably what I am going to attempt, but maybe there is a better way.

I hope this makes sense ! All suggestions are welcome.

P#44259 2017-09-17 02:46 ( Edited 2017-09-27 19:22)

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