bitsy


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    Bitsy is cool! I haven't made anything with it myself, and I don't follow @bitsypcs or anything, but lots of interesting stuff made with it crosses my radar anyway.

    I like that its design approach seems to have been "make the simplest, most limited thing possible, then slowly fix what seems most broken." Like I'm playing newer Bitsy games and I'm like "Oh, I can pick stuff up now? People can say different things if I talk to them twice?" There is a LOT more going on under the hood in Bitsy now than when I first saw it, but, like, the experience for someone just getting started is almost entirely the same? It's remained extremely simple & approachable even as it gains more features and power.



  • It reminds me a bit of http://auntiepixelante.com/emotica/ too ... (piggy backing on this because I haven't used emotica enough to have a whole lot of opinions about it, though I love its retro look)



  • @kirkjerk Yeah, it feels similar scale wise (also what's the game Emotica is kinda inspired by...?). But without the kinda neat layer of emoji repurposing / association play.

    I think I only tried Bitsy last year maybe? It feels like ages ago, and looks like there's lots more now.

    Also I saw you released a tool for it today @candle ?



  • i think you're thinking of zzt?

    yeah just a small tool for easily shifting the tiles in a map along if you built it too close to the edge or something

    i feel like the dialogue is a little too complex but i'm seeing what i can do with it anyway. i'm finding the ui is becoming a big pain though - so many windows to manage! i really think it'd benefit from collapsing all the non-map stuff into rpgmaker style event squares (but not rpgmaker style scripting lol)



  • Definitely not ZZT! I'm sure I saved a screenshot of it somewhere...



  • Though-- er-- that actually would fit the 'kinda inspired by' criteria better than the game I'm trying to remember, I guess. This one just looks really similar.



  • Been playing around a bit with the editor after work, and trying games as I find them. I like where this tool is and where it seems to be headed. It's like someone was really into the parts of adventure games and RPGs where you are just hanging out with the NPCs, and decided to make a distilled, minimalist tool for creating that. It's enjoyable in that way, and also outside-the-box experiments with the format are pretty cool as well.

    Some editing aspects don't really scale well if your project goes over a certain scope, though this seems to be intentional.

    Figuring out sprites that are legible within the 8x8 1-bit 2-frame format is pretty fun.



  • I've taken a couple stabs at messing around with Bitsy, and even tried to make something for the October BitsyJam. Everything I've wanted to do has been way too visually complicated and challenging for me to want to work out drawing each tile pixel-by-pixel (and I ran into some weird placement bugs). It reminds me of ZZT in that way (and in a very basic functional way, too) in that it can take a lot of work to make something that reads very simple. I actually think next time I try to make something, it's going to be with a really stripped down visual sense, maybe even back to the simple dithering shades of the ANSI character set.

    I've really admired some of the short games I've played with it. The parameters of the system allow for a really great space to use color and negative space for expression.

    I don't want Bitsy to get too complicated, but I do find myself wishing there was just a little more complexity. A few more options and features. But I really dig what it's going for, and what it is as it is.

    At this point, I'm waiting to find the right flash of inspiration for a project.



  • btw i've been cataloguing all the bitsy games i can find here, there will be around 500 by 2018!
    https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1eBUgCYOnMJ9REHuZdTodc6Ft2Vs6JXbH4K-bIgL9TPc/edit?usp=sharing

    it's interesting that the changing features create a kind of strata in the style, complexity, structure of the games. single rooms tend towards frozen moments in time. exits give the ability to have distinct scenes, show the passage or time, add branching. the introduction items brings one-time dialogue, narration for entering new areas, footprints. the dialogue scripting opens up more options for backtracking, and hiding the solutions to mazes behind collectables and quests. personally i feel like the limitations are giving way too fast, there's so much still to explore...



  • Great work tracking all of those games!

    It's interesting how the absence of combat or puzzle components (sokoban type stuff, locked doors) and lack of moving NPCs steers development. Even small additions like making it so that sprites could be conditionally destroyed at runtime would make for pretty different games. Interesting to observe changes to the engine and how it affects things that are made in it.


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