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MakeCode Arcade: Retro Gaming, Modern Programming (makecode.com)
110 points by fred256 6 months ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 22 comments

> "You can also save screenshots of your games while playing. We call these cartridges, since they contain the sources of the game, hidden steganographically in magical pixels. Once saved, anyone can drag these cartridges to the editor to load them. You can use it for emailing of projects, or sharing them on forums."

You had me at hello.

Interesting -- I wonder how this would work for sharing on social networks, given that they often recompress images. You could also hide the data in a proprietary PNG metadata chunk, but this also might not survive recompression.

PICO-8 does this too!

It's an interesting direction to go in. I like the proliferation of toy machines that the Pico-8 has spawned.

I'm making one going in almost the polar opposite direction to this. I 8-bit avr based with asm (and C,pascal and anything else the avr ecosystem supports)

It's slow going (current work in progress in-broswer emulator+assembler at http://fingswotidun.com/avr/AvrAsm/Testbed/ ) Still have to make a website for sharing cartridge images.

Also this caught my eye in the linked article.

"TypeScript is compiled directly to machine code - there is no interpreter or JIT-compiler involved." There's a Typescript to native compiler about? Where?

Yes, there is one, it is part of the MakeCode project.


"Microsoft MakeCode: from C++ to TypeScript and Blockly (and Back)"


PXT's underlying programming language is a subset of TypeScript (leaving out JavaScript dynamic features).

The main features of PXT are: [...] an ARM Thumb machine code emitter

In fact there is more dynamic features in now, including accessing arbitrary fields through 'any' type and typeof expression. What's missing is mostly eval and prototype inheritance (instead we use classes). There's also a precise GC now.

paper name is MakeCode and CODAL: Intuitive and Efficient Embedded Systems Programming for Education



I wonder if this could be retargeted to retro CPUs like the 6502 and Z80? Seems the assumption of 32-bit integers might make things less efficient though. (EDIT: never mind, it does support smaller int types!)

Interesting. I wonder if i can make it work on my arm32 console. It's fast but I generate video on the fly so there is few cycles left.

I've been using Pico-8 for about a year now, and I really enjoy what these "fantasy consoles" have to offer. For making a quick game or visual effect, it does an amazing job.

There are now a number of projects of a similar vein to Pico-8 out there, including this one, but I think this can fill its own niche. To my recollection, this is the first one that I've seen using blocks.

This looks really cool. It reminds me of writing gamemaker games back in the day, which is how I first learned how to program. I'll have to give it a try

Is it me, or does their blog not support RSS/Atom? Trying to add it to feedly and it's not recognizing any feeds.

You can deploy games created to actual handheld game console.


You can deploy games created to a handheld console, awesome!


Those microcontroller mini consoles are so cool! Having an in editor sprite animation creator that instantly inlines to js array is nice. Quality tooling even for the more advanced student ;)

Why the downgraded graphics obsession?

As an artist, I want my games to be 1080p with unlimited colors and animation. These old systems don’t work.

Pixel art looks like stitching. When will everyone grow up?

>As an artist, I want my games to be 1080p with unlimited colors and animation.

For an artist you don't seem to understand artistic intent, statement, the power of limitations, and stylization.

>Pixel art looks like stitching. When will everyone grow up?

Again, this is not an "artistic" judgement, and it would be laughed off in any actual artistic school. Artists choose their tools and impose all kinds of stylizations and restrictions on themselves.

There's nowhere in aesthetics that says "more X = better art".

That would be like talking down on people playing americana music because we now have Techno and EDM and modern tools...

Well, it actually runs on low end hardware with that resolution. It's also meant as educational tool, and for kids creating small pixel sprites is certainly easier than high res high quality graphics.

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