Emulators and Fantasy Consoles

Ever longed to go back to the “good old days” of 8 bit machines when they had limitations on the screen resolutions, memory, hardware and the sounds to make a game? Do you suffer from retromania like me? Then essentially there are 2 ways.

If you want to experience one of the real machines of 80s and 90s like the Apple ][, Atari, Sinclair, Beeb or C64, with their limitations about hardware and languages, and play some games which you may have lying around, then go for emulators. There are plenty of them and one search with give you multiple options.

However if you’re not set on a particular machine but just enjoy the 8-bit limitations and the look and feel, and want to program using modern languages like Python, Javascript, Lua, etc then Fanstasy consoles is the way to go. Fantasy consoles are modern programming environments with constraints putĀ  on them just like the old 8 bit machines – resolutions as low as 128×128, 4 colours, 48KB RAM etc. They can be programmed in newer languages like Lua (one of the popular languages for these), Python, Javascript or even modern implementations of BASIC. These make for somewhat easier and more enjoyable learning of scripting languages, and also some wallowing in nostalgia of the bygone 8-bit era. I myself an tilting towards fantasy consoles. After considering programming with simulators for a long time, I however got put off with the BASIC dialects which somehow look inefficient now, and wanted to use a more efficient language that encouraged better programming habits.

Currently I have started to learn Lua with Love2D framework and will be jumping on the PICO-8 or TIC-80 fantasy console at an opportune time

I am just exploring the tip of the iceberg and will continue posting more detailed information here so stay tuned!