Skip to content

A step by step introduction to TIC 80, Part 2: Workflow

borb.lua edited this page Oct 30, 2018 · 1 revision

In Part 1, we went through the default cart of TIC-80. Now it's time to go through the general workflow of making games with TIC-80.

Saving and loading

In the previous part, we created a new default cart with the command new. It might be a good idea to now save it! That's done with the command

save cartname.tic

After the first save we can just save the cart with plain save or by pressing CTRL+S. And similarly, a cart is loaded with command

load cartname.tic

(Tip: You can autocomplete commands: In the previous command, you could just write load c and press TAB and TIC will complete the command!)

TIC's file system

But where are the carts?

They are inside the TIC's data folder, the only folder visible to TIC-80. For easy access, the folder can be revealed in Explorer with command folder.

You can use file system commands akin to unix to navigate and manipulate the folders and files inside the data folder:

Commands ls or dir show the contents of your current working directory. Folders are shown in gray inside [brackets].

Move to a folder with command cd foldername. To go back to the parent directory, use command cd ...

Additionally, you can use mkdir foldername to create a new, empty folder. Similarly, del filename can be used to delete files or folders. Be careful here, though!

Adding demo carts

If there isn't any carts to see, we see the prompt

use ADD or DEMO command to add carts

add copies a cart from any folder to TIC's data folder.

demo is a more interesting command: it adds nine demo carts to the data folder.

Carts on TIC's website

A good way to see the capabilities of any tool is to see what people have made with it. So where to start?

Well, there are many carts hosted on the TIC's website!

My example cart

an example file buut.tic which contains some basic collision checking and some ideas for code structuring.

Download the file to your computer. You can't open a.tic file by just clicking it - you have to open it in TIC-80. And to get TIC-80 to see it, move the file to TIC-80's data folder, which is the only folder TIC-80 can see in your computer. It's easily accessed by executing the command


Which opens the folder in file explorer. By default, the folder only contains the folder .local and nothing else.

Move the file buut.tic to the data folder (not inside .local). You can see the contents of the data folder with commands ls or dir and open the file with command

load buut


Storing data in tables

Three different kinds of for loops

Storing functions in tables….?

Tables as entities

Tallenna giffejä F9

Muista tallentaa cart consolesta käsin savella ennen ku voit tallentaa (voi ajaa ennen ku tallentaa)

some commands you'll need

help gives a list of available commands.

new loads a new default cart. It contains a very barebones Hello World example.

save cartname.tic saves the current cart as cartname.tic.

load cartname.tic loads the cart named cartname.tic.

The cartridges are stored in TIC's own data folder, you can open it with folder command.

To see the folder's contents, use the dir or ls command.

The one you need the most:** **

To play your game, use the run command. You can exit the game back to command line by pressing ESC. To resume your game, use the resume command.

The editors

The command line isn't everything, though: you can open the five editors with buttons F1-F5 (or command edit): code editor, sprite editor, map editor, sound effect editor and music editor. We're only going to need the first three editors now. You can jump between the editors and the command line with ESC button.

The code editor

Write your game code here! You can change the editor font to a bit smaller one with the F button on the top right. The three bars button shows the outline, or the list of functions in use.

The sprite editor

Draw your characters, backgrounds and everything else here.

The map editor

To jump between close-up view and a general view of the whole map, use Tab.

To add stuff to the tile map, press and hold Shift and choose the tile you want to use.

music editor press 1 to add "stop note" command press delete to remove a note OR aforementioned stop note command.

You can’t perform that action at this time.