2 min read

The Playdate SDK has been made public (and it's totally free)

The release means there are now even more ways to create for the resplendent yellow handheld.

The Playdate SDK has been made public by developer Panic, meaning there are now even more ways to create for the resplendent yellow handheld.

The SDK is available for Mac, PC, and Linux free-of-charge, and includes C and Lua APIs alongside a simulator for local development, profiling, and more.

The simulator is a particularly nice touch, and lets developers preview their projects -- including crank mechanics -- as they develop without needing Playdate hardware. The SDK also includes a tool for creating Playdate fonts, reams of helpful documentation, example code, and sample projects to help users create and learn in tandem.

"The full Playdate SDK is for folks already comfortable with coding — but we've worked hard to make it as easy and approachable as we can. It gives you two choices of languages: Lua, for a higher-level scripting language experience, or C, for improved performance," explained Panic in a thread on Twitter (where you'll also find more dev tips).

"It's also packed with helpful functions for things like font handling, drawing, animation, sprites, tilemaps, collision detection, A* pathfinding, audio synthesis, crank handling (of course!), and really quite a lot more."

Those of you looking to read up on the SDK before diving in should visit the Playdate developer forum, which contains a useful Getting Started FAQ crammed with pointers.

The SDK has been made public shortly after the release of Pulp, an accessible, (almost) no-code, in-browser development tool that aims to make creating Playdate projects a doddle. 

You can download the SDK here, or check out this extensive deep dive to learn how Panic created Pulp to bring development to the masses. 

The Playdate itself is still slated for an early 2022 launch, and has sold over 20,000 units to-date.

Latest Jobs


Chicago, Illinois

Build a Rocket Boy Games

Edinburgh, Scotland
Lead Animation Programmer

Windwalk Games

Austin, Texas
Game Designer

Sucker Punch Productions

Bellevue, Washington
Campaign Director
More Jobs   


Register for a
Subscribe to
Follow us

Game Developer Account

Game Developer Newsletter


Register for a

Game Developer Account

Gain full access to resources (events, white paper, webinars, reports, etc)
Single sign-on to all Informa products

Subscribe to

Game Developer Newsletter

Get daily Game Developer top stories every morning straight into your inbox

Follow us


Follow us @gamedevdotcom to stay up-to-date with the latest news & insider information about events & more