Balatro Made with Love… Love2D That is

Last year the breakout indie smash hit was Vampire Survivor, which was created using the Phaser HTML5 framework. So far in 2024 the indie smash breakout hit appears to be Balatro, a roguelike deck builder based on poker. Once again this hit game wasn’t created using one of the most popular game engines such as Unreal, Godot or the Unity game engine. Instead if was created using the Lua powered Love framework. This is a framework we have long recommend for beginners to game development, in fact our Game Development for Complete Beginners tutorial series was based around the Lua language and the Love (technically LÖVE) game framework.

There is another interesting aspect to Balatro, you can actually take a look at exactly how it was made. It is not an open source project, but the entire contents are available for you to peruse assuming you own the game. If you own the game on Steam, you can check the source code and development assets out by doing the following:

Locate the game in your steam library, right click and select Manage -> Browse local files

Locate Balatro.exe copy copy it to another location on your computer. If you have a program like 7zip integrated into your Windows shell, right click and extract the contents of the exe. If you do not, simply rename the .exe to .zip and double click it.

You will now see the entire contents of the project, you can open this extracted directory in a tool like Visual Studio Code and you can see the entire project. The beginning or entry point for the game logic is the file main.lua.

One last time though, this project IS NOT OPEN SOURCE! You cannot use this code or the art/music resources for any purpose other than education and entertainment. You can learn more about Balatro and the Lua/Love2D framework in the video below.

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