PICO-8 Workshop for UL Gamedev Soc

The Game Development Society of the University of Limerick asked me to deliver a workshop on Pico-8 in advance of their third ever gamejam. Heres the story!

Image of an example game made from Darrens Pico-8 Workshop for University of Limerick Game Development Society

Last week I was asked to run a PICO-8 workshop in Limerick.

This week I ran it. I continued to work on the tiny prototype-game from the workshop. It’s not much even for a crappy Pacman clone, but it was made in about half a day.

You can:

Anyway, the workshop was a nice surprise! I really enjoyed working on it. Delivering it was fun, though I fear I was a touch too self-deprecating and tired from being cursed.

Yes. Cursed.

I’ll spare you the details but getting there was kind of like some test of how many little mistakes and setbacks can I manufacture for myself before I completely lose it. But I didn’t lose it. I WON! HAHAHAAH! Ahem.

The Workshop

The Game Development Society of the University of Limerick all have their society stickers on their laptops. If the workshop is anything to go on, they are also a dedicated bunch.

The Pico-8 was scheduled ahead of their third ever gamejam. I feel delighted to have been asked to deliver it.

There were about 20 students who turned up on the night. A lot more than I had expected!

The students followed along live-coding, asking questions, laughing to themselves about their creations.

The workshop was less than 2 hours long. After the workshop I spent a few hours working on the game, instead of sleeping, and uploaded it here. Hopefully it will show the students just how quickly they can make things and share them.

Hopefully some of them will consider using Pico-8 at the next UL Gamejam! Time will tell.

Overall the workshop was a lot of fun and I’d love to do it again (and better!).

If you have any questions about it let me know in the comments!

Mistakes and dealing with them

Ahem. Now to go into the details of insignificant minor hickups that is really just complaining. To sum up, my trip to the University of Limerick ended up in a little adventure to the opposite side of Limerick city, caught in the jam of rush hour traffic and confused by bus routes. The workshop had minor projector issues. I missed the bus home by a matter of seconds. But it was grand.

I was feeling under pressure at the time. I could do nothing about it but take what ever action was available to me. I found comfort in that at least.

Positive action. I guess that sums this whole section up. Except I did notice something else.

All of my mis-steps, all of the technical issues and minor setbacks show how awesome people are.

Several times I simply had to ask for help. And people helped! It was lovely.

And, it’s a decent way to figure out if someone is a decent person or not, everyone recognises when something goes wrong and everyone suffers – you can empathize with it. I’m not saying this because of missing busses, though, there are things you chat with people about that are a lot more serious in nature and bridging a gap with a stranger to talk about some kind of suffering can be very positive. You are not alone.

I have to thank Eric and Ross for their very direct assistance in seeing me home safe and sound. I also have to thank everyone for making it to the workshop and for making it possible. And the people who helped them make it possible…

The workshop worked out quite well. I was delighted that the workshop received some good luck in spite of all of my efforts to sabotage it!

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