Music is awesome, and game music is awesome - it does so much to set a tone and energy level, it really enhances things. However, not every PICO-8 game dev has the time and the energy to become a music composer on top of everything else.
But we can help with that.
For the month of February, we're getting together to write new tracks in PICO-8 for game devs to use for free in their games. Here's how this is going to work.
.p8 file or files containing your piece or pieces. We also encourage embedding the PICO-8 player and possibly including an audio download, like an mp3. To assist with this, we've created an optional album cart with customizable visualizers to showcase your music.
Also, teams are allowed! Absolutely no requirement, solo contributors are great, but if you wanna collab, knock yourselves out. The way you make sure everyone gets credit is this:
For this first year, we don't have any kind of theme or prompt planned beyond this; our hope is just to get people writing more music, and supply game devs with more options when scoring their carts. Feel free to discuss matters in the itch.io community tab, and have fun!
(And many thanks to the folks in the #music-sfx channel of the official unofficial PICO-8 Discord who came together to hatch this idea and hammer out the details, and to Wasted Time Studios for the awesome cover art!)
Click here for instructions on customizing the album cart.
Instructions for exporting to itch.io from the section in the PICO-8 manual:
From PICO-8 console: EXPORT FILENAME.HTML To create FILENAME.HTML and FILENAME.JS Rename FILENAME.HTML to INDEX.HTML Create a zip file containing the HTML and JS files. In itch.io upload, choose HTML instead of Executable and upload the zip. Choose 750x680 display size
Second, this code snippet should let you record your piece as a WAV file with a built-in fadeout - currently set to play through twice with a 5-second fadeout, but hopefully you can see how to change that:
--export with fadeout and repeats
n=0--set to beginning of song
repeats=2--number of loops before fadeout
fadeout=5000--in milliseconds, max 32767
for i_r=1,repeats do
until stat(55)>stat(54)-n--loop detection
--stat(55)=number of patterns played
--stat(54)=current pattern number
--if number of patterns played exceeds number of patterns advanced,
--song has looped
n=stat(54)-stat(55)-1--reset to detect next repeat
until not stat(57)--when playing, stat(57)==true
Thirdly, for game devs, how to add a track to a cart:
(If multiple tracks use the same SFX number for custom SFX instruments: in the music cart, use the Ctrl+X/Cmd+X shortcut to move custom SFX instruments to unused spots in the 00 to 07 range. This will update all the SFX that use this custom SFX instrument to read from the new slot, and now you can resume copying as before.)
(Obviously if the custom SFX slot you want to use is full on the music cart, you have to move that SFX with Ctrl+X/Cmd+X as well.)
Fourthly, here are a number of links which may help you:
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