Show HN: Status Line – Zork (and more) on the Pico-8

Show HN: Status Line – Zork (and more) on the Pico-8

A z-machine interpreter

for the Pico-8

>play Zork on the Pico-8

You cannot kind that.

>snarl the magic notice xyzzy

OK, now you’re going to be in a pickle to play Zork on the Pico-8.

>play Zork

West of Dwelling

You presumably can additionally be standing in an commence discipline west of a white rental, with a boarded entrance door.

There is a little mailbox here.

Welcome to Blueprint Line

Blueprint Line is a z-machine interpreter for the Pico-8. This permits the Pico-8 to mosey z-machine game recordsdata (previous, display veil, and future), a game layout most efficient known from the classic Infocom text adventures of days long previous by. Mighty classics admire Zork, Planetfall, Enchanter, and extra could well per chance well additionally additionally be enjoyed within the “cozy role” of the Pico-8.


  • Game graphics drawn “from the limitless imagery of your imagination” (in line with an extinct Infocom commercial)
  • Can play nearly every game within the “z3” layout

    (famous exception: Seastalker; back is beneath investigation)
  • Set up/restore games in development (peep considerable components beneath)
  • A couple of colour themes to recreate that “classic basically feel”
  • Player-selectable text scroll urge
  • Earn 24 or 12-hour clock for time-essentially based games

Where Develop I Derive z3 Games to Play?

How Develop I Exercise Blueprint Line?

Whenever you delivery Blueprint Line, on-veil directions will inform it to you. But the straightforward solution is, “Fling a z3 file into Blueprint Line to delivery taking half in.” The game will load and initialize itself, then you definately’ll peep the introductory text appear. The Pico-8 has a basically little veil, so generally “MORE” will appear as long text paginates. Hit any key to luxuriate in the next page of text scroll onto veil.

I’ve Never Performed a Textual exclaim material Dawdle… Support!

Here is a handy recordsdata for working out the quirks and nuances that can veritably frustrate contemporary avid gamers. Here is one other substantial page with recordsdata for inexperienced persons.

I’m Inspired to Write My Occupy Textual exclaim material Dawdle!

Gargantuan! To write a z3 game that’s like minded with Blueprint Line, I recommend you peep into PunyInform

I Become once Hoping for Frigid CRT Effects 🙁

Whenever you happen to’re on a Windows system strive ShaderGlass. It’s far the instrument I aged to abolish the CRT outcomes for the banner graphic on this page. You presumably can additionally mosey it on top of *ANYprogram, even the Windows desktop. Or no longer it is stress-free and passes all mouse/keyboard/controller input through to the underlying applications. Here is Blueprint Line with and with out the invent.

Surroundings Preferences

At the title veil, hit the “Enter” key to commence customary Pico-8 preferences. Player-selectable colour themes, scroll speeds, and in-game clock choices are found there. Your picks will persist because the defaults with every delivery of Blueprint Line.

Saved Games

Whenever you `build` your game, that you would maybe per chance well presumably additionally simply expend no subject filename you wish. Blueprint Line will adjust the filename with a diversified identifier for the sport you take half in.

Example: you build your game of Enchanter with the title `mattress room`. Later, need to you “Restore” your saved game, that you would maybe per chance obtain the file has been named `bedroom_32a7_save.p8l`. Blueprint Line has appended your build game title with a diversified identifier that pals it with the sport in development, and makes expend of Pico-8’s default file extension “.p8l”

Because all saved games portion the identical folder, this ensures that saved games from diversified games don’t overwrite every diversified. Holding your saved games within the default build folder will enable the `Restore` repeat to characteristic smoothly.

When `restoring` a saved game, Blueprint Line will ask you to “Fling in a _save.p8l file” and can simply tranquil commence the default build folder for you. Fling-and-drop a build game with an identical identifier into Blueprint Line to load and continue taking half in.

The Future of Blueprint Line?

I spin to kind my most efficient to lift prolonged back with later updates. Nonetheless, the tight limits of the Pico-8 could well per chance well additionally simply invent some issues very no longer going. Entire back will doubtless must wait till the debut of the Picotron.

Fresh needs are:

  • Toughen Seastalker (google “seastalker sonar” to hold the problem)
  • Get “sound outcomes” in for The Lurking Awe
  • The text layout engine isn’t any longer as trim as I could well per chance presumably admire
  • Sturdy cursor control (associated to above level)

  • Some opcodes that are refined to address gracefully on the Pico-8 are unimplemented
  • Seriously change the memory subsystem to address games over 128K
  • General performance improvements
  • Add back for z4 and z5 game recordsdata (e.g. A Mind Eternally Voyaging and a mountainous library of submit-Infocom Expose games)
  • A weblog submit with notes of my discovering out process could well per chance well be precious (especially to future me)

Identified Complications

None at this time.

Notes on Downloads

  • On first delivery, the sport could well per chance well additionally simply default to fullscreen. Open preferences (“enter” or “esc” key) and spin to Alternatives > Fullscreen to flip it off. This could well per chance presumably additionally simply will enable you to expend the file system hotfoot-and-drop characteristic and is a one-time atmosphere.
  • Windows and Mac customers will doubtless bag a security warning on first delivery. I’m having a peep into ways to repair this, but comely now it looks admire it costs loads of cash to bag the developer accounts wished to “signal” the app correctly. If it is far a deal-breaker for you, I completely understand.
  • In the provision code I attempted to absorb comments to inform some decisions I made, and likewise you’re going to be in a pickle to flip on logging for the varied functions to take a look on the machine yelp (output to a text file).

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Ava Chan

Ava Chan

I'm a researcher at Utokyo :) and a big fan of Ava Max