PICO-8 Game Jam CoveyCS

CoveyCS PICO-8 Game Jam Challenge

Our development team took a little break from creating the best software in the world to compete in a little intraoffice gaming hackathon. They stepped into a sector in their field they may not have been used to and created games using the PICO-8 platform. Three games were created based on the predetermined “underwater” theme. Several members of our office enjoyed a great team building event with food and fun at our office over the weekend.

About PICO-8

The weekend game jam featured the use of the PICO-8 platform for game development. They prepared for a couple of weeks prior to Game Jam to familiarize themselves with PICO-8.

PICO-8 is a fantasy console, small virtual machine for use for fun, where you can create small games, called cartridges or carts. The limits of PICO-8 are balanced by enabling artistic expression. PICO-8 allows for editing code, music, sounds, sprites, and maps. While simple, the carts can be fun and expressive. Cartridges can also be shared using a special .png extension so others can enjoy your creation.

Time For the Games

Three underwater themed games were created at Game Jam. Garett, Sara, and Mikhael participated in Game Jam development. Sara worked with her sister Rachel for her game and Garett worked with his wife Jaclyn.

Check out all the games below!


Garett: !underwater

Garett PICO-8 Game Jam !underwater

“Instructions: Arrow keys to move, ‘x’ key to jump”

I’ve had the idea floating around in my head to make a procedurally generated platformer for a while, and I finally got the chance to have a crack at it with the Pico-8. The theme for our game jam was Underwater, which I didn’t like, so I tried to be edgy and make a game called “!Underwater” (“Not Underwater”, for you non-programmers), where the object was to avoid sinking beneath the waves at the bottom of the screen. I mainly worked on the code, while my wife, Jaclyn, worked on the artwork. Pico-8 was very easy to use, and most everything was easy to implement. If any problems arose, everyone was willing to help each other out.”


Sara: Crabitalism

Sara PICO-8 Game Jam Crabitalism

“For our first time using PICO-8, we wanted to stick with a cute and simple idea that was inspired by the “Underwater” theme. The end result ended up being pretty close to what we envisioned, we’re really pleased with how it came out! We participated because we love the short compact nature of game jams and the spirit of collaboration among the developers. It always ends up being a good environment to make something small and finished, and then put it out into the world for others to see. It’s about crabs, because crabs are good and pure, and I love them.” – Sara & Rachel


Mikhael: Golden Glubloons

Mikhael PICO-8 Game Jam Golden Glubloons

“Instructions: x to jump, arrow keys to move

This is Golden Glubloons! Since it was my first time ever really approaching game development with pico-8 and Lua I decided to make a simple platformer using this (https://www.lexaloffle.com/bbs/?tid=28793) pico 8 platformer starter kit. The game takes place in an underwater temple where you collect coins in 30 seconds to win. Due to me getting very sleepy, I ended up finishing the jam with more of a demo. In spite of all the snoozing I did, I’m very happy with how the visuals and music came out! Enjoy! :^)”