I made my first game...and then I made it the Insert Credit of video games

I've been telling myself I was going to learn pico-8 ever since I joined insert credit lo all those years ago. About a month ago now, on a whim, I finally did it. I watched a bunch of youtube tutorials and fumbled my way through my first foray into programming much of anything, and within a week or so I had a prototype of my first game. Within a few weeks after that, though the generous assistance of my personal Yuzo Koshiro, DJ Tent Mode (aka @“antillese”#59 ) Butter Dorks felt ready for prime time.

I was all ready to share it with IC, but around midnight last nite I had a revelation...how could I settle for "Butter Dorks" when "Rain Jerks" is *right there*?? So, in a fugue state I Christmas Nights'd it up and totally reskinned my popcorn buttering simulator as a gauntlet in which our four intrepid hosts must finally come face to face with the oft-referenced foes. I present...***Rain Jerks***


In retrospect, I wish I had the forethought to keep some kind of running dev blog as a thread on here, but so it goes. Instead, I'll probably share some post-mortem thoughts on the experience (and whatever I work on next!).

Enjoy! Post your high scores! ( @"Gaagaagiins"#429 and @"dadradish"#1612 set a pretty high bar in early access workin on that Jaffe meta)

[size=1] (Also, all names, characters, and incidents portrayed in this production are fictitious. No identification with actual persons is intended or should be inferred.) [/size]

I'm thrilled (and honestly at least a little intimidated lol) to see some of the high scores people have been posting on here! I'll do my best to keep a running tally of the hi-scores posted on here. Feel free to post Butter Dorks scores, too, as the games play identically (or do they?? (they do!)). I don't even think there is a "kill screen" per se, so the theoretical level max would be the max integer supported by pico-8 (32767). Whoever makes it to level 32767 wins, I suppose. I'll do my best to keep it updated, but feel free to @ me if you want to make sure I count it:

[color=blueviolet][size=25] ***CURRENT #1 SLAYER OF JERKS/DORKS:***[/color]
@"Mnemogenic"#750 [color=dodgerblue]27084[/color]
[color=blueviolet][size=20] the rest of the dirtiest bags:[/color]

  • 2. @“captain”#258 [color=yellow] 2325 [/color]
  • 3. @"sosadillatron"#24 [color=dodgerblue]1159
  • 4. @"Gaagaagiins"#429 [color=dodgerblue]509
  • 5. @"JJSignal"#69 [color=dodgerblue]135



    I did better this time !! (keyboard inputs weren't working on browser version, but downloaded and it works great)

    game is fun! those straight down, direct hits feel good to do


    edit: ok I got 29 but died trying to get a screenshot of a hot combo

    Here‘s a couple pro strats. Some of these are intentional, but most are programming bugs/oversights that I decided were too incidentally fun to take out. I’ll hide them in case anyone would prefer to uncover them organically:

    **Want more Combo Jerks??**


    The spawn rate of glowing Jerks is actually dependent on your player‘s heat level, ranging from ~ 1/10 at 0 heat to something like 1/2 when you’re really about to pop that thermometer. This is meant to both help you get out of tight situations and also to encourage riskier play if you want to get that combo meter way up. If you find yourself with a distinct lack of mutant pulsating jerks, try standing around with your hot knife out! Bottom line: More heat = More Combo Jerks!

    **Apply some english during combos**


    This one was squarely in the “programming accident” category. Originally, the droplets would spawn and fall in exactly the same way no matter how you hit the jerks/dorks. This made it basically impossible to “steer” the droplets and, therefore, quite difficult to scatter them on the endcap planters/popcorn on either end of the screen. Based on some excellent feedback during testing (thank you Jim Stormdancer and the Topic Lords discord!) I applied some “english” value to the falling droplets based on the direction you hit the jerk and how fast you're running, allowing for some degree of steering. When I later implemented the combo system I realized that every subsequent droplet formation in a combo would continue to reference your current facing direction in order to apply that extra bit of english to the droplet direction, allowing you to effectively “steer” your combo shower by waggling the stick/dpad while the combo is underway. Bottom line: waggle that stick during a combo!!!

    **Optimize those droplets**


    This one is also a side effect of inexperienced programming. Instead of looking up how to do proper hit detection, I decided to wing it and just figure it out myself. I ended up programing these nested for loops that essentially check all points of overlap between your knife and the jerk and spawn droplets at that point. This had the unintended effect of spawning *way more* droplets if you approach the jerk with the knife sheathed and then pop it out to maximize knife contact. If you just run at them with your knife out and poke them you will probably only register one or a few points of overlap, leading to some anemic showers. **Bottom line: Get in there!! Get close to the jerk before shanking 'em! This ain't jousting!**

    **ABR: Always be running??**


    Probably not! One of the first things I coded was the ability to run if you hold down the “O” button. This just felt like a natural thing to do because, like, video games amirite? It was also entirely necessary at first because I originally had the player move hilariously slowly at the default speed. I found that I just always had the run button held down…so I just increased the normal movement speed to the run speed! The run button felt vestigial at that point, so I just made the run speed even faster. Logically, I then asked why I wouldn‘t still just always hold it down. Finally, I decided to have a penalty to running: you’ll notice that your heat recovery is a bit slower while the run button is held down. Keep an eye on that! (hey, maybe you even want it to recover slower (see above!!)). Bottom line: Sure! But your heat recovers more slowly, so be careful!

    Pretty fun, here was my first run, played as myself. At first I was like “why am I the bald one” and then I remembered!

    I didn't realize for about 30% of this run that I could wrap around to the other side. I could see how, if one had strong hands and not ridiculous baby wrists, one could really rack the score up in this. I had some big Ts on the screen though that's for sure.


    @“yeso”#p137645 This is the @“aerisdead”#116 Mathew Kumar meta. :sunglasses:

    Also if anyone ever calls me their personal Koshiro again, I will take the compliment but like… I’m not ever going to get mistaken for Koshiro.

    I’ll post the music cart tomorrow and everyone can listen to the OST on loop.

    Fun game! The little screen freezes during combos feel good.


    i like how frank is bubsy lol

    cool game :3

    real cool one! Looking forward to reading the postmortem kory

    this was so much fun!! thank for making it kory :slight_smile:


    hard to play on a macbook keyboard because of the teeny tiny baby up and down arrow keys lol

    @“captain”#p137746 NICE

    Here's a link to the Butter Jerks OST, where the Kernels are as hot as the tracks!


    Never have I had a good time watering plants until now. Highest I made it was Level 2 but I feel like if I wasnt playing on my phone I miiiiight get to level 3.

    good fun!! :slight_smile:

    @“captain”#p137746 shoot that's a heck of a score and also max level

    Well, I got to a pretty high level, but my score is teeny tiny compared to Captain‘s. That 900+ combo is going to be hard to beat. The ideal strat is probably to find the slowest level that you can still build big combos on and stay there as long as you can. There’s also some strategy around when to pop combos too, since only the highest one counts.

    When you play as Tim and get to level 108 something special happens ;)

    @“captain”#p137809 schoolyard rumors persist in 2023!!!