A Javascript to PICO-8 Lua transpiler
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jspicl is a Javascript to PICO-8 Lua transpiler. It creates an AST out of the JavaScript code and then transpiles it down to the LUA subset of which PICO-8 supports.


npm install jspicl --save


import jspicl from "jspicl";

const javascriptCode = `...`;
const { output, polyfills } = jspicl(javascriptCode);

In order to generate a nice lua output you need to explicitly let jspicl know by passing in an options object.

const { output, polyfills } = jspicl(javascriptCode, { prettify: true });


Property Type Description
input string JavaScript code to transpile into PICO-8 LUA
options object
– prettify boolean Format output
– customMappers HashMap<string, function> Custom handlers for transpiling expressions, declarations or statements.

Return value

Property Type Description
output string The transpiled javascript code
polyfills object Table of required polyfills with their corresponding lua code.

Customized transpilation

jspicl does not support all expressions or statements out of the box but it is extensible enough to allow for these to be added. It also allows existing ones to be replaced if the implementation is considered unsatisfactory. This is done by supplying a customMappers option.

const customMappers = {
  // Replace the default while-statement implementation
  WhileStatement: ({ body, test }, { transpile }) =>
    `while ${transpile(test)} do
      -- We have full control of the output!

  // Add support for throw statements
  ThrowStatement: ({ argument }, { transpile }) =>
    `assert(true, ${transpile(argument)})`,

  // ...

const { output } = jspicl(javascriptCode, { customMappers });

Related projects

rollup-plugin-jspicl - Rollup plugin wrapper for jspicl

games - Games created with jspicl

Known limitations

ES2015+ Not all ES2015+ features are supported. Run your code through a transpiler first such as bublé or babel.
prototype chains Not supported
Array methods Not all prototype methods have been polyfilled yet.
Math.max Only supports two arguments.
AST Not all declarations, expressions and statements have been implemented. More will be added as needed.


This project uses semantic versioning