The Playdate’s free game design tool Pulp has been detailed

Get ready to make your own games

More details have been revealed about Pulp, the free in-browser game development tool for the upcoming crankable handheld console, the Playdate.

Designer at Panic, the company behind the Playdate, Neven Mrgan wrote an article for Game Developer and said Pulp is “a game maker where you don’t have to write any code at all; unless you’d like to, in which case there’s also a scripting language called PulpScript.”

“Pulp lives right in your browser,” Mrgan added. “So you could use it on a MacBook, a desktop PC, a Chromebook, or a tablet.” The core goal of Pulp is to streamline and simplify how games are made, making them more accessible.


Playdate Stereo Dock. Credit: Panic

Pulp games can even be downloaded and played on the Playdate as well, even though the browser functionality of Pulp means that the handheld isn’t needed to try and develop a game. The game can be saved and transferred to the Playdate either via a USB or the users’ Playdate account.

A game is made in Pulp with little to no coding, as users can just connect blocks (or rooms), click on pixels, and enter dialogue into objects. PulpScript does allow for some coding, but the aim is for it to be as easy to use as the user desires.

Mrgan says that “this simple toolbox gives you just enough flexibility to expand the game’s featureset beyond what seems possible at first.”

Playdate: Mars after Midnight
Playdate: Mars After Midnight. Credit: Panic, Lucas Pope

“With a little bit of lateral thinking, you can generate random mazes, write lengthy dialog trees, and make games that look like graphic adventures or dungeon crawlers,” they added.


Music and sound effects can also be made in Pulp via an interface that uses five robot channels of chiptune-type sounds that anyone can use to put together some basic loops or effects. The music can then be tied to specific areas of the game as well.

The Playdate is available for pre-order now on the console’s website, with the launch expected to roll out during late 2021.

In other news, Hades won nine awards at the inaugural Global Industry Game Awards, with 39 awards given out in total.

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