Pulp, Playdate’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 Playdate, Neven Mrgan wrote an article for game developer and said that Pulp is “a game creator where you don’t have to write any code at all; unless you want it, 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.” Pulp’s main goal 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 Playdate via a USB flash drive or the user’s Playdate account.

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

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

Playdate: 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 feel like graphic adventures or dungeon crawlers,” they added.

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

The Playdate is available for pre-order now on console websitewith a launch planned for the end of 2021.

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