Bitsy Game Engine

02/27/20

Last modified on 02/27/20

Categories: Development Tags: Game Development Bitsy

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I learned of Bitsy when I discovered Neocitizen candle, who is a very prolific Bitsy developer and has made some interesting mixed media projects including a jewlery box stuffed with Bitsy games.

Bitsy is “a little editor for little games or worlds” by ledoux. This is an excellent dev tool that allows one to create minimal pixel-art stories with basic interaction and serve them as a webpage. The player’s avatar moves about the room and can either pass through or be obstructed by background tiles. They can interact with sprites by touching them, which reveals dialogue, and items, which can have a textbox and are picked up and added to inventory or are used as variables. There are also door tiles that connect maps.

It took a little looking to figure out the more advanced features. I could not find formal documentation, it appears all the tutorials and wiki are community-created. There are text effects (rainbow, wavy, etc) and you can set up cycling dialogue. The game is exported as an .html file or you can have a .txt game data file. Even more can be done with hacks.

Playing around a bit, I’m quite taken with it. The limited pallette and sprite size narrows the decision space quite a lot, but it can still be challenging to make sprites that look good. Some of the games people have made look amazing.

I was curious how these run on Android. There is a virtual touchpad at the bottom of the screen for movement. Easily playable through itch.io and when hosted direct. I made my own Itsy Bitsy Test Game to try out some of the features.

I decided to experiment with Borksy as well. My favorite effect was the updated anti-aliasing, which crisped up the game nicely, but there were a lot of other things to try, including game saves and text-to-speech. There are hacks all over the place.

Bitsy Editor
Bitsy Workshop
Bitsy Wiki
Bitsy FAQ

Tools

Add Bitsy Audio
Bitsy Hack Repo
Bitsy HD Hack
Borksy Game Hacker
Fontsy - Bitsy font editor
Good Good Bitsy Tools
Image to Bitsy
Overworld Witchery - A tool for connecting Bitsy rooms.
World of Bitsy - Procedurally generated map of Bitsy tiles for inspiration

Tutorials

https://ayolland.itch.io/trevor/devlog/29520/bitsy-variables-a-tutorial
https://www.shimmerwitch.space/bitsyTutorial.html
https://paolojcruz.itch.io/anon/devlog/22949/anon-post-mortem-notes-on-using-variables-in-bitsy
https://seansleblanc.itch.io/torch/devlog/44317/ok-wait-but-howd-you-do-that-in-bitsy

Minimalist Asset Inspiration

https://opengameart.org/content/tileset-1bit-color
https://opengameart.org/content/tileset-1bit-color-extention
https://opengameart.org/content/1bit-8x8-tileset
https://imgur.com/a/uHx4k
https://twitter.com/kirai_s/status/812824701533728770