Sunday, August 29, 2010

Pyweek 11: Caught

After the success of last year's entry, we decided to do another one this year (we skipped pyweek 10, as none of us had time available then), with a slightly tweaked team.

This years entry ran rather differently. We met on Sunday to discuss things, and,. although we settled on a point and click adventure game fairly early, we spent a lot of time converging to a basic premise and initial plot, although we did manage to get this largely settled by Sunday evening.

Another serious issue was the colds several members of the team (including me) were battling with. This added a layer of fuzzy thinking in several places, and was just generally not helpful.

The development ran rather differently to the last pyweek. I think because of the previous experience, the pace of development, while equally fast, wasn't nearly as startling. We also used a different toolkit, albow, which, while not perfect, was easier to get on top of than pgu had been. The game, being point and click, is also less busy than fox assault was, so from that point of view the code base was easier to manage. As a result, the basic engine part of the game actually shaped up fairly quickly, and we were generally able to extend it as needed with little trouble.

On the other hand, as an adventure game, we needed to generate a lot of content before we could hook up parts of the game. This was the largest stumbling block for the game. By Thursday, it looked like we would have something workable, but we only got rid of the last of the text placeholders quite late on Saturday. This meant we didn't have a reasonably playable version of the game until quite late, and thus never got much feedback as a result of other people playing the game. This helped contribute to the annoying bugs in the final submission, as, by that stage, we weren't testing unexpected interactions enough.

Notes on things that happened along the way:
  • My quick 20 minute hack to help layout rectangles grew rather more features than I expected.
  • Finding sounds with decent licenses is a painful and tedious exercise.
  • The same is true for fonts
  • But writing a little sine wave tone generator using just sys, math and struct was amusing
  • Hooking up humorous descriptions and interactions is why to kill compiling time

While not as fun for me as the first pyweek, largely due to the cold, this was still enjoyable, and the game, while quite a simple little adventure game, is amusing, and has promise as a more general adventure game engine.

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