While the 8-bit era may be long gone, it is still remembered fondly by a lot of people. That and… well, there are also those who dream of making a game straight out of those days, which is where the likes of Pixel Vision 8: Game Creator come into play. Combining a complete suite of development tools, from project management to coding – and debugging said code – with overall ease-of-use, I’d say this is probably the best way to get started for an aspiring retro developer. Quite groovy.
That said, familiarity with LUA is going to come in handy, as Pixel Vision 8: Game Creator games are created using this particular scripting language. Fortunately, based on personal experience, it is also one of the easiest to learn, eliminating one potential development hassle. I mean, dealing with learning a complex language on top of figuring out how everything works in the engine of choice? No thanks!
Pixel Vision 8’s core philosophy is to teach retro game development with streamlined workflows. It enables designing games around limited resolutions, colors, sprites, sound and memory. It is ideal for game jams, prototyping ideas or having fun.
Now, while Pixel Vision 8: Game Creator is marketed as a ‘Fantasy Game Console’, games (.pv8 files) created with it are actually, well, much more desktop-y, running on either Windows, OS X or Linux. A bit confusing, sure, but… ah well! Oh, and on the topic of 8-bit games – ya know how everyone with a copy of RPG Maker is making a 16-bit tile-based RPG? Yeah… why not do them one better and show everyone how awesome 8-bit tile-based RPGs can be, with Pixel Vision 8: Game Creator? Or even better: mix and match to create something truly original, properly pushing the limitations of whichever system you decide to work with!
Sky’s the 8-bit limit (get it?), even if Pixel Vision 8: Game Creator is currently in early access (no, not on Steam), latest release at the time of writing being… v0.6.3 Alpha. Still packs plenty of features after all, with more on the way, including a tile map editor and music generator. Yay, chip tunes (I think)!