Most people who have tried my handheld or seen pictures of it online have complained about the screen being too small. I like the way the screen looks, but I have to agree with them. The display is a 128×128 OLED display from Waveshare. It works great, but I tried finding a larger 128×128 screen or a screen that Pico 8 would scale well to, but they were either too expensive or too large for this project. One of my goals was to make sure this project would print on my Monoprice Select Mini V2 and I’m limited to a small build area and my other goal was for this to not be too expensive to make.
I came up with a solution I felt people would be happy with, a screen magnifier. It was not only inexpensive to make, it would fit on my printer, and it made the screen appear larger. It was what 3rd party manufacturers did with the original Gameboy, they created their own screen magnifiers. It might look a bit bulky, but it gets the job done and I actually like playing Pico 8 this way.
The 2 Button Version
I’ve made a 2 button version in cad software and you can download it on my Thingiverse page, but someone in my family was interested in having their own, so I’m making them one in red and black, with a black magnifier to match.
I also came across another issue. I want to use the 2 additional buttons on my 4 button version, but I didn’t know how I was going to do this, but I found out that I could remap two of the top buttons as player two action buttons. Some single player Pico 8 games utilize extra buttons, by using the player two action buttons.
I’m also experimenting with using a potentiometer as paddle controls or to use as a crank like in the Playdate console. This would be great for playing games like Pong, brick busting games similar to Arkanoid, racing games, or fishing games. All that needs to be done is mapping a left rotation as a left key and a right rotation as a right key. Also the potentiometer I’m using also works as a push button, so the button can be mapped as an action button. I’ll work more on the paddle controls later and will update once I finish a 2 button handheld. And as always, have a wonderful day.