Last updated on 6th April 2024

In mid 2023, I started building a JavaScript game engine, called Floaty. I volunteered to teach non-programmers how to program in JavaScript. The most entertaining way I could think of to do this would be to help them build a game.

I searched for engines with an easy learning curve, and discovered a virtual console called Pico-8. It is a wonderful bit of software that ships with art, sound effects, and music editors. You only need to know a tiny bit of Lisp syntax to make games. Unfortunately, it's not JavaScript; and I couldn't find an active port of it into JavaScript. So, I built one.

I found a Pico-8 game tutorial series on YouTube, and built the game engine piece by piece. Then, I ported other games I had made to start to fill out the showcase.

I also built art, sound effect, and music editing software, using the TALL stack. The engine ships as a single no-built JS dependency, so games can be embedded anywhere with minimal effort.

It's still a work in progress, but I am super proud of the work that has gone into it so far.

See the Pen floaty shmup by Christopher Pitt (@assertchris) on CodePen.