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Pandemic Relief - Pico-8 Shoot-em-up - Harrison Bolin Portfolio


Pandemic Relief is a shoot-em-up that uses the 2020 pandemic as it's theme and features various "enemies", level progression, ammo meters, and end goal and dynamic tire tracks. Built in Pico-8, all the code, graphics and sound are original!

Tech Used

  • Pico-8
  • Lua

What I Did

  • Ideation, planning, and game design
  • Graphics and music
  • All development and code

Title screen
Gameover screen on unsuccessful attempt

Pandemic Relief is a top-down shoot-em-up that uses the Pico-8 engine. By limiting myself to the Pico-8 engine, I was able to expand my experience with building game components, graphical assets and music. In the game, you play as an emergency services worker distributing PPE (personal protection equipment) to increasing numbers of people.

The game features multiple enemy types, multiple projectile types, a limited amount of ammo along with ammo refills, a highs core mechanic, and a title screen. There is an end state that gives the player a goal to work towards as the difficulty ramps up, while the player's progress towards this goal is showcased at the bottom of the screen. One thing I am extra proud of is the dynamic tire tracks that show up when you drive off the road, which I feel like really helped build immersion and showcase attention to detail.


Draft of data architecture


The predecessor to Pandemic Relief was called Space Shooter which featured enemies that reacted to the players movement, movement animations, and several "levels" of difficulty. I ended up pulling a background star-generation function from the MBoffin Pico-8 instructional zine that we had been using to learn how to develop in Pico-8. The final result worked correctly, and more importantly, felt like a proper SHMUP!

Play Space Shooter Here!

Final Product

Title screen
Gameover screen on unsuccessful attempt

See the rest of my games

Let's Get Started!

I am always happy to chat about your game or project, and am open to providing feedback for resumes and cover letters! Please reach out on Twitter, you can find me @Mossflwer

Pixel art of Harrison


Bachelors of Creative Technology and Design
University of Colorado Boulder - May 2021
Honors: Cum laude

Associates of General Studies
Pikes Peak Community College - May 2017