Playdate Pulp’s free game design tool has been detailed

More details have been revealed about Pulp, the free in-browser game development tool for the upcoming hand-cranked handheld console, the Playdate.

Designer at Panic, the company behind the Playdate, Neven Mrgan wrote an article for Game developer and stated that Pulp is “a creator of games where you don’t have to write any code at all; unless you want to, in which case there is also a scripting language called PulpScript.

“Pulp lives right in your browser,” Mrgan added. “So you can use it on a MacBook, desktop, Chromebook, or tablet.” The main goal of Pulp is to streamline and simplify the way games are created, making them more accessible.

Playdate stereo docking station. Credit: Panic

Pulp games can even be downloaded and played on Playdate, although Pulp’s browser functionality means that the handheld is not required to try to develop a game. The game can be saved and transferred to the Playdate via a USB stick or the users’ Playdate account.

A game is created in Pulp with little to no coding, as users can simply connect blocks (or pieces), click pixels, and enter dialogue into objects. PulpScript allows for some coding, but the goal is to make it as easy to use as the user wants it to be.

Mrgan says that “this simple toolkit gives you just enough flexibility to extend the functionality of the game beyond what seems possible at first.”

Reading date: March after midnight
Reading date: March after midnight. Credit: Panic, Lucas Pope

“With a little lateral thinking, you can generate random mazes, write long dialogue trees, and create games that resemble graphic adventures or dungeon crawlers,” they added.

Music and sound effects can also be created in Pulp through an interface that uses five robotic channels of chiptune-like sounds that anyone can use to create basic loops or effects. Music can also be linked to specific areas of the game.

The Playdate is available for pre-order now on the console’s website, with launch slated for late 2021.

In other news, Underworld won nine awards at the inaugural Global Industry Game Awards, with 39 awards in total.

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