Pulp Support

SDK

Questions & answers about making games for Playdate

Playdate is a brand-new handheld game system, shipping soon. Our small, yellow console-with-a-crank is the perfect platform for indie games of all kinds, made by people of all kinds. Sign up to be a developer today and let us help you tell your story!

I’d love to start making a game for Playdate! How do I get a device?
We’re excited to hear that you’re interested! Playdate is now available for pre-order. Any Playdate can be used to develop games for it—there won’t be any special hardware that you’ll need for this!
Where do I begin?
One neat option is using our web-based game maker, Playdate Pulp. It’s a click-and-place studio with all the tools you need to build your first game—or your twentieth experiment in a quirky little environment. With Pulp, you’ll be able to create your game and music; use our scripting language, PulpScript; and preview your game, all in the browser.
How about the full Playdate SDK?
The Playdate SDK is an option for more experienced developers, and anyone looking to use every possible capability of the Playdate. It’s currently in development, and it’s scheduled for release in February of 2022. Join our developer mailing list below to stay updated for when the SDK is out.
Does it cost anything to get access to the Playdate SDK?
Not at all! It’ll be free to the public whenever we’re ready to release. Anyone will be able to download it and start making games.
What information can you share about the SDK and making Playdate games?
The SDK will be available on macOS, Windows, and Linux. There are two ways to write games: using Lua, for ease of development; or using C, for games that need extra performance. (You can also use both languages in the same project.) Typical SDK abilities are included: graphics, sound, inputs, text, collisions, etc. We continue to add features every day!
I’m interested in making a game for the Playdate, but first I’d like to know more about how I’d make money with my game.
An entirely reasonable question! We see a lot of interest from developers wanting to make games and sell them. From day one, you’ll be able to sideload games on to the Playdate and choose to sell your game separately any way you wish. As for a more official way to distribute them, we’re still exploring different ideas for the best experience of getting games out to Playdate owners.
Are there any more plans to help economically disadvantaged and underrepresented developers who want to make Playdate games?
We randomly selected a few individuals who filled out the Playdate Developer Survey as being economically disadvantaged or underrepresented in the game industry during the Developer Preview round. We plan to do more of that and have some other ideas in mind on how to help. Stay tuned for more updates on this!

Sign up to receive occasional Playdate developer updates.