14th December 2022 at 19:35

I recently came across TIC-80, a sort of fake retro computer aimed at making it fun and easy to build 80s style demos and games. Whilst I don’t have time to join the Tiny Code Christmas to learn TIC-80, I did indulge in a brief bit of nostalgia after dinner to make a quick little classic star-field demo. This took me half an hour on a system I’d never programmed before, but because the visuals are so simple, you get this immediate feedback loop of tweaking the code, hit ctrl-r to run, see what you’ve done hit escape, repeat.

In fact, it’s so infections that even making this post I quickly added trails to the stars as it’s that easy and/or addictive :)

If this thing is interesting to you, then I can recommend the FieldFX Monday night Twitch Stream, which is where I came across TIC-80 first. It was a chill stream with 4 people just coding demos live, and it was lovely just to watch how these people build fun visual demos as they went. Often they’d “talk” to the audience via comments in the code, and the very interactive development cycle of TIC-80 makes it easy to see how the small code changes add up as they go. It feels like a powerful learning tool or way to build interactive systems.