Go Reference

The retro game development engine for Go, inspired by Pico-8 and powered by Ebitengine.


Is this a new fantasy console?

No, it’s not. It’s rather a game development library with some additional tools (like a console) which make it simple (and fun!) to write retro games in Go.

What is a retro game?

It’s a game that resembles old 8-bit/16-bit games. This usually means:

  • (extremely) Low resolution (like 128×128 pixels)
  • Limited number of colors (like 16)
  • Very small number of assets (like 256 sprites, map having up to 8K tiles)
  • Simple rules (opposite to Paradox grand strategy games)
  • Simplified music and SFX

What similarities does Pi have with Pico-8?

  • Most API function names are similar and behave the same way.
  • Screen resolution is small, and the number of colors is limited. Although in Pi you can change the resolution and palette.
  • You have one small sprite sheet and a map.

Why would I use it?

Because it’s the easiest way to write a game in Go. IMHO ?

Is Pi ready to use?

Pi is under development. Only limited functionality is provided. API is not stable. See roadmap for details.


  • Present game on the screen
    • add the ability to change the resolution and palette
    • add sprite-sheet loader
    • add more options: full screen, specifying tps and scale
    • Time function
    • add a programmatic way to stop the game
  • Implement Graphics API
    • drawing sprites and pixels with camera and clipping support
    • add the ability to directly access pixels on the screen and sprite-sheet
    • palette transparency
    • palette swapping
    • printing text on the screen
    • drawing shapes
      • lines, rectangles, circles, ovals
      • add support for fill patterns
    • math API
      • Cos, Sin, Atan2
      • Min, Max, Mid
    • stretching sprites
  • Add keyboard support
  • Add gamepad/joystick support
  • Add mouse support
  • Development console
    • pausing, resuming the game
    • running public functions
    • sprite-sheet editor
    • map editor
    • sound editor
    • music editor
  • Documentation
    • Go docs
  • Examples
    • simple programs for beginners
    • interactive programs describing how functions work
      • Sin,Cos,Atan2 visualization


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