Put Your Hand On The Computer

(Friendly Neighborhood Karin here. You may have noticed I’ve been posting a lot of pixel art. I’ve been sick a lot recently & while it is not technically impossible to watercolor in bed, digital art is much harder to spill. I’ll be starting a new series soon!)

Where Am I Coming From?

I am fairly new to pixel art- just started last month. I love it! As a child raised by Nintendo, it hits me right in the nostalgia. I work in Krita, a free open source painting program. Krita is a great program with a supportive community. I absolutely recommend this to anyone looking to get into digital art- pixel or otherwise.

What is a PICO-8?

PICO-8 is a fantasy video game console. What this means is that it does not exist physically; It can be accessed on the PICO-8 website or downloaded to your computer. PICO-8 lets me take my drawings & play games with them, both literally & figuratively. You can play games with PICO-8, but what’s more: you can make animated art & games for it.

When I say “you can make animated art & games for it”, I mean you. You, reading this right now, can make games for PICO-8. I know because I can do it, and when it comes to programming I am the low bar. Before I found PICO-8 I never tried to program anything, never wanted to program anything, never thought of programming anything. I don’t even like math – but look at what I learned to do Saturday afternoon:

I drew that! Then I animated it in PICO-8! Look on my works, ye mighty, & despair!

Coding in Pico-8 is easy & surprisingly straightforward. To make things even better, there are a plethora of tutorials out there for you to follow. I have been watching a lot of tutorials from Krystian at LazyDevsAcademy. Even though I haven’t gotten far enough in anything to implement 99.99% of what he’s talked about, I'm learning how to get in the right headspace for programming. Honorable mention: I have heard good things about NerdyTeachers from people I trust, but I have not had a chance to check them out personally.

Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Bat Game!

I have dreams & schemes, & they include making my own little PICO-8 game! I want to make a SHMUP to develop both my pixel art & my programming skills. To that end, I drew & animated this adorable little squeak. What do you think their name should be?

Pixel art bat animated with wings flapping I Am The Night!

I just started this weekend & haven't had time to draw much yet, but I have managed to make my bat fly using keyboard arrows! Even better, you can try it out with your phone or computer!

I want to make this into a game, not just a super cool bat flying around a black void. I will be following more tutorials & updating you all on the process as I go. Let me know what you think!

What? We’re done?! What am I going to talk about next time? Tune in & find out. Or head over to my socials (below) & tell me what you want to read about! See you on Tuesday!

You can support my work, help me buy art supplies, or suggest something for me to talk about on Ko-Fi

Find me on mastodon.Art & Reddit

On Instagram for MerMay

Would You Like To Know More?