I don't even know the difference between the two programs, but someone interested in TIC might also be interested in PICO.
I'm actually in the process of making SlipWays, a fast-paced 4X game for PC that started as a PICO-8 prototype (https://krajzeg.itch.io/slipways). A major reason for the tight game design of the game were the tight confines on the console.
TIC-80 uses SDL, which doesn't have a working port (for the Switch) so far as I know.
Apparently it's based on this framework:
What ram chip are you using? I've been looking at 23K640 but it's proving a nightmare to get running on a breadboard.
it can export a stand alone game for windows, macos, linux, and html5
TIC-80 is a bit more 'powerful' in that it's a bit higher resolution with double the sprite count.
The most substantial differences:
>PICO-8 has its own BASIC-like language
>TIC-80 is programmed in Lua or JS
>PICO-8 is commercial software, costs $15
>TIC-80 is open source
> The harsh limitations of PICO-8 are carefully chosen to be fun to work with, encourage small but expressive designs and hopefully to give PICO-8 cartridges their own particular look and feel.
It can be a little frustrating at first, but if you focus on the other important elements of a good game it can be really satisfying.
In addition, there are some people doing some very cool stuff really pushing that limit as far as possible.
Just to cherry pick a few. Personally, I like the restraints.
To add to the others, Pico-8 definitely uses a modified version of Lua 5.1/5.2.
The author, "zep" (of lexaloffle games), is also a wonderful human being that goes out of their way to support people who buy it / play PICO-8 games and deserves every penny for it.
While I hope they some day consider open sourcing PICO-8 so it may live on, for now, it provides them with meaningful income and lets them actively develop it, which I wholeheartedly support.
It's also worth noting that TIC-80 has a $5 "PRO" version; the free (as in no cost) and open source version is basically shareware.
> For users who can't spend the money, we made it easy to build the pro version from the source code.
So the pro version is still FOSS, their builds are just not gratis.
I love the way he thinks and distills a design to give it so much character. He does lots of retro hardware re-designs too, which are singularly cool. I bet he'd have a blast playing with TIC-80.
Edit: it actually looks like a 5x7, in which case the best font would probably be something like the 5x7 a lot of character LCDs use: https://www.pjrc.com/mp3/lcdfont2a.jpg
I'm trying to remember how much we squeezed out of a Dragon32 'high resolution' mode, 256x192 pixels, I think it was 64 characters by 27 lines or so at 4x7 (that's really not the nicest font). Hard to read but the increased linecount made it worth it and eventually you got used to it.
Before that it felt like looking at your code through a keyhole.
My first 'decent' screen was an Atari ST at 640x400. That was such a huge step up. And after that ever improving Tseng cards in a 286 based PC, that's when 132 colums became workable.
Funniest thing though, for a long time I thought there never would be enough characters on a screen and now my eyes have gone so far backwards that I have to use a 32" screen with huge fonts to get anything done at all. I'll probably end at a 4x7 font again but with pixels the size of lego bricks.
And .. as its open source (unlike TIC-80 or PICO-8), its quite possible to add features and extend the console in interesting ways ..
Update: seems that "pro" version is built from the same MIT licensed source, only prebuilt binaries on releases page is "non-pro". So it's completely open source.
"For users who can't spend the money, we made it easy to build the pro version from the source code."