April 2007 challenge: “The only way is up”

Midnight Serpyentes - Download beer baron

Posted by r0ver on 2008/04/11 22:55

You can download beerbaron from google code

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Fluffy Menace - OLPC game jam

Posted by richard on 2007/05/09 10:15

OLPC are having a game jam! It sounds like a helluva lot of fun and I'm totally jealous of anyone who's in the US who could just fly there to attend.

The deadline for signing up is the 12th of May, so hop to it!

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|Gunboy - Gunboy: Reply to Comments

Posted by john on 2007/05/08 16:28

Sorry it's a bit late, but here I'm going to reply to everyones comments. Also, I'm glad noone had trouble getting it working, I only used pygame/python so it should have.

Anyway for the comments:

Not much control (if any) over the character.

There is control, but your right, there ain't a lot of it, move the mouse around.



Unfortunately I couldn't quite figure out what to do even after reading the instructions (which I was glad to see) twice. How does a powerup help me destroy a gun exactly? Anyway, you're new to this and your goal was to learn something. I'm certain you've succeeded at that goal, so this is good. Looking forward to next time!

Thanks, to destroy the cannon then you need to catch the red powerup, then hit all the bullets in turn, although it doesn't always work out properly. [sigh]

Not bad for the first game you've ever written.


It seemed like there was no way to destroy the cannonns I got the red thing and immediately walked over all the cannons but the never disappeared. The background was odd and it could have used some sound effects.

I was going to get some sounds, but I didn't have time, only 6 days to work on the project you see. And the cannons, a more clear explanatio please.

How do you destroy the cannons?

^Look up^

Very strange game...

Doesn't matter, I expect a lot of people to say that, it wasn't the most fun game in the world.

Not a bad first attempt. Once you get the feel for things it gets much easier and the games get better.

Yep, I suppose it was my first ever game so, ah well.

not much of a game but it ran well without problems :-)

That's good, bit about the game doesn't matter, maybe next time.

I had a hard time exiting - the quit button didn't work some of the time, and closing the window didn't work.

Oops, don't know why the bottom one doesn't always work, top one, don't know how.

Not exactly sure what to do here, the readme says to destroy the cannons with the red powerup, but I can't figure out how. :(

Read one of the above answers.

nice idea.. but the execution was bad.. the graphics could have been done better.

Graphics: I know, execution, more of an explanation?

Not quite sure what to say. I got bored after a minute of very easy bullet dodging, so tried to crash into the bullets. Then I won. How did I win? I don't know.

If you caught the powerup...

I couldn't figure this game out because the instructions were limited. The game seems complete though, however, so it's a decent effort for someone just starting.

Thanks, strange, I spent a good half hour writing the readme.

Hey! Well done on your game. I'm sure you know all of your game's faults, but I'm going to try and capitalize about the things that you did right. I really like how you kept a small scope on the project. So many times, people try to plan for more game than they can handle, and I think that by doing something as reasonably sized as you chose on this project, that really helped. Going along with the above, I'm glad that you got both win and lose conditions in the game. That's the first step in making a complete game, and that gives you something that you can build on. That's great! Also, good job keeping up on the documentation. The readme was very helpful and complete, and that is good to complete. All told, good job! I look forward to seeing how you grow and develop as a programmer -- despite what it may look like on the surface, I really think you did a *lot* of things right with this PyWeek, and you've really got a fantastic base of habits to build from in the future.

Thanks you very much.

Keep learning, I'm glad you figured out collision detection.

Thank you, and I would like to thank those who helped me with collision detection.



I'm sorry. I thought it was terrible.

Sigh, I can't please everone.

I found this game hard to play.

Catching the bullets can be hard.



Cool you did this game without all source directly in the main.py file whithout even a function! Thats the way to go in speed coding competitions :)

Thanks, but unfortunately that's only in that version, I needed a level loading system, which meant raplacing main.py. [sigh]



Better luck next time. :)


Well, it's playable and worked easily off the box, which is better than with some of the other games, but I wouldn't call it very much fun. The easiest way to win seems to be just getting the red powerup and then leaving the game running until you hit all the bullets.

Ah well. Hopefully I'll be better last time.

Yeah, no. I looked through the source code and it appears you blitted everything to the screen instead of using the sprite classes, which is why everything flickers so much. Also, I got the red powerup, but had no idea how to actually blow up the cannons.

A question I answered in another thread.

For a first game it looks good, but this game definitely needs some more developement ;)


Hey, thanks for being a part of pyweek... I tried your game out but didn't find it very much fun to play. I read through your diary entries and it looks like you've been fighting some issues with PyGame. Tough break, man. Being that I'm looking at a game that you probably didn't finish, I'll try and keep my suggestions to things that were probably done: 1. You put a one pixel thick black line around your sprites. This makes things look overly sharp. If you look at some of the nicer entries, they put thicker outlines around the graphics which gives a cleaner look, but also allows them to round the corners a bit. 2. The big man that was repeated over and over again looked like part of the foreground. Consider doing muted colors for the background, or something to give it some depth. 3. The games that are fun to play have some way of indicating what you need to do. For instance, if the character has a chopper on his head, you should probably try to get him to fly. Others have explicit instructions. 4. The games that are fun to play often indicate why you want to play. In one game it was to escape the bad guys after you rescued your kidnapped cat. In another, it was to save your friends by escaping from a volcano. A game like yours (mine had this problem too), I start it and I'm like, "why the **** do I want to dodge these things? What's the point?" Like me, the first time wasn't all you had hoped for. I know next time I'll set aside time at the beginning for a menu, a scoreboard, fonts and maybe some music. These are basic things that are in most games and being able to code these in a short period of time will be transferrable from one pyweek to the next. I hope to practice a bit and be able to do these in under an hour. Thanks for making this game and contributing it to pyweek!

Thank you.

Err... well it confused the hell out of me but definitely good for a first shot.

All right.

Pretty nice for a first-time game.

Thanks mate.

Very good for a first time. My first was terrible, glad you did better.


Flawed presentation, not very much fun, seemed incomplete.

Too right, I'm still working on it.

Umm... Not sure what happened here.


Hmmm, WT*?

More info please.

didn't find how to destroy the cannons

Written above.

Well, it is somehow innovative.


Didn't really understand how the cannons were destroyed.

How many times!?

I read the instructions, but the game just isn't fun. Also, it was a bit flickery.

Oh well.

Way too easy, until you reach a certain time, and the 1st cannon becomes impossible to avoid. This game is like Frogger only without enough obstacles(more bullets?) or control(up/down). Anyways, learning aa language is tough. I give you a 91 for effort.

Doesn't matter, and thanks for the bit about the effort.


I would just like to thank you for the comments...and say I'm just 11.


Welcome to World Corporation - A question...

Posted by Tee on 2007/04/30 17:29

I'm not sure if many people are still reading these posts, but I have a question and I figured here would be a nice place to ask.

I only create games when competitions like Pyweek and LD48 are run (though I've never finished a LD48 game), but I'd like to do it more often. The problem that I never seem to be motivated and/or find time to do them, because other life issues always have a higher precendence. It seems different when I'm on Pyweek, though, because I feel motivated to put aside other things just to make a game. Maybe because I know others will play and talk about it, I don't know. I really enjoy creating games and I wish I would be motivated more often than twice a year (although it's a great start, thanks to Pyweek :)).

A few days after Pyweek ended, I was talking to eugman about it and he thought maybe if I joined some community of game developers I would be more motivated to create games. Recently I was thinking about it. Perhaps it would help. Does anyone know a good community like this? Here's what I'm thinking about:

  • Others test your games and review them, giving you suggestions and constructive criticism. You can test their games as well.

  • Friendly. This is pretty obvious, and the most important. No people who are there just to annoy, troll, flame, or give unconstructive criticism (like just saying "This game sucks!" and nothing more). This is why I would prefer small communities rather than big; (statistically speaking) in bigger communities there are more people like this.

  • Helpful. If you have some problems with your game, people can help and contribute with ideas.

  • No commitment. Although I want to create games more often, other life issues are still more important. Maybe what I mean by this is to be able to participate in a passive way, like not having to check the site all the time and instead receive news and links to games to test on feeds or email. But, with time, if I like the community, I'd contribute more and be more active.

  • Not just a forum, but a place where you can start projects, add blog posts related to the project, and post the game there. A structure similar to Pyweek.

Fine, I'm basically thinking of Pyweek without the problem of being twice a year. :)

So, does anyone know a community of game developers that attend these characteristics?


PyCor 2.0 - Reply to feedback

Posted by dmoisset on 2007/04/30 03:43

OK, here comes my reply to the comments. It is always very nice to get user feedback (even for people who hated the game). These are my personal opinions on the feedback, we were a large team (again) and I can not answer for everyone :)

Very cool but a bit difficult to play at first stage.

Difficulty needs a little adjustment. Not too much, if you know the game it can be played from end to end without dying. But a tiny adjustment (slightly higher initial stats) could make this much easier, to avoid getting players frustrated.

There is a strategy (for fights) but not too obvious. Tutoring the player a bit about that could help too, I guess a lot of people did not notice how important it was to choose the proper skill to use in attacks for each different opponent.

Frustrating at times, but then when hasn't the corporate ladder been that...

Thanks! as I said above, a tiny adjustment helps a lot.

Pretty cool, but it's quite hard. I couldn't get past the training room. I like the humor in the game.

You were not able to get past it because of the bug, or bad difficulty? anyway we have fixed both and will make a patched post-pyweek release this weekend.

About the humor, it was very fun to do a game with this. And our writing team rocked, again (as much as with our previous entry, Saturday Night Ninja). Perhaps more, because this game required lots of writing (and will require a lot more to finish).

Muy divertido, che!


Very nice.

Thanks. It is very rewarding to have possitive feedback.

Kinda fun adventure game

Thanks... it is kinda fun, because on the first day we started to make an RPG and not so much an adventure. However because of team uncoordination or something else, we ended up with a lot of adventure component, and the result was surprisingly fine. We did not plan for an adventure, because adventures are hard and require a lot of consistence and attention to detail which is hard to achieve in a week. However it seems the writer had some preference for writing dialogues and quests rather than monsters and situations ;-) Anyway, I enjoyed the result a lot, even if it drifted quite a bit from the original plan.

Rather enjoyed this. Excellent work. Thanks!

We enjoyed a lot making it!

This is very unique game. I still have to finish it.

The storyline is not finished; we plan to go on (this weekend we will meet to work on the game), and probably setup a server.

very odd game ... kudos to you!

Odd? I don't believe it to be unusual. In fact I expected lower ratings for innovation. but thanks!

It's a funny game.. like an office dungeon-crawler...

Hehe, it has a bit of that (dungeon crawler), and as I said above it was planned to be even more dungeon crawler than it ended up to be (with more plot, although intentionally not deep, and more adventure-like mechanics).

Not my type of game...

I guess we can not please everyone. Actually I expected to get more comments like yours; webgames are not as addictive as other genres.

This game is a lot of fun, and I was quite hooked until I ran into the training room bug. Well-written and very funny adventure. The use of a web browser is clever. The production would've gotten a higher rating if there wasn't a bug in the training room. I saw a music & sound effects credit in the credits. I didn't hear any music, however. Was that music during development? :)

I am glad you enjoyed the writing. The training room bug is fixed and will be in the next upload.

We have music for the game, but did not have time to integrate it. It required figting against some ugly web technologies (Flash and a Java Applet were the choices we had around), and we did not make time to integrate that. We will try to add it in a future release; what is certain is that we will include the music files in the package for the next release, so at least you will be able to play them along.

Sound FX are a bit harder, I am not sure how to make them fit the genre (web rpg), so we'll set what happens with them.

Interesting approach with the webapp, but I got a "pink_elephant" exception... not very helpful.

Deciding for a webapp was a really interesting choice; it freed us from of lot of pygame tinkering (getting coordinates, collisions, rectangles right) but also put some restrictions on the things we were able to do. And it required a bit of tinkering of a different kind to get it working in IE and Firefox at the same time.

The pink elephant bug is because we forgot to commit a file near the release, so the description for a room went up incomplete. The fix was posted a few minutes after the challenge ended.

The game has many bugs, most of the errors I got could be fixed by refreshing my browser, the game was fun but I had a hard time getting very far with all the bugs.

What kind of bugs? a lot of people mentioned them but we didn't find many (except some that we mentioned, or some obscure things below that were not done as we preferred, but should not be very visible). What I know that seems wrong and can be seen like a bug is that the game behaves weirdly when you use the back button on your browser, because that changes the state of your browser without changing the state of the server, and that inconsistency leads to weird results. There are some hacks to avoid users from clicking back, but we preferred not to. If you find bugs, please pretty please tell us.

Hard to judge this one, not the ordinary type of game.. Anyway, it feels completed, even if I get a lot of errors when I run it, like missing link. But it often work if I refresh the page.. It also feels a bit to hard (or maybe its just me that suck).

One of our goals was to be different, and it seems we achieved it. Can you report the bugs, please? we are planning to mantain this.

It is a bit too hard (just a bit), we have tuned it a little more and will make a release soon.

wasn't the whole idea of pyweek to use pygame? also, it has many bugs (exception all the time, unformatted htmls, and so on..)

The rules say that it should be python, and allows using pygame but it is not part of the rules. The rules even mention HTML and Javascript as supporting languages, so I think a webgame is not outside the rules at all.

Please tell us about any bugs you find. thanks.

In a way, this game is just fantastic. It's probably the funniest game ever made for PyWeek, right down from the battles and puzzles to the dialogue. But the game is also very unstable even after the first patch, which is quite unforgivable for a text adventure.

I'm very happy you enjoyed it and had fun. Please tell us about unstabilities, we tested quite a bit and did not find anything serious, so probably we are testing in the wrong way.

Interesting game! I never figured out how to restore reputation points, nor was that clearly explained anywhere, which meant that I didn't play this game for long, but good effort and nice use of interesting technology.

We had an internal discussion about reputation. I was a proponent of having very simple ways to recover, and other members of the team said that was not challenging. We reached a middle ground but not very useful IMO: reputation is slowly restored with time, and a few hard-to-find items (the sleeping bag).

Probably one of the parts of the game requiring more redesign. (i.e., not tweaking, but rethinking how it should be done right).

Nice presentation -- using a web browser as the front end is an interesting idea. Started off well, seeming to promise an interesting storyline, but the fun fell off when it degenerated into a long series of battles to build up stats -- not really my thing. I do like the alternative take on character stats and hit points, though -- quite amusing!

As I said before, it was (at least on plans) more of an RPG than an adventure, and that kind of RPG where you have several battles and build up stats. So that explains a bit your feelings ;) I agree that a deeper and more involved storyline results in a much better game, but we would not have been able to reach that goal decently in a week (and probably not in a month). So we preferred to make a better monster-bashing game instead of a mediocre complex adventure.

My only complaint was you didn't finish and I had to dive into source to find out that I couldn't progress past the Holodeck. I'm looking for the completed version of this game!

Oops, sorry, forgot to blog about that.

Several levels are missing (a lot of that is written, and even some of the graphics are there), but not integrated into the game.

We will put a server online soon (so you will be able to put your character there and be able to move on to newer level as soon as we add them).

WOW! Incredible game! I'm seriously impressed with all of the ingenuity it went into creating your own web server game. Nicely done! The game was a lot of fun, and all of the little office-life humor was hilarious. Great stuff! I ran into a pink elephant error as I was in the training room, but I vaugely remember you saying something about a patch released after-the-fact. I'll have to download it later to try it out. Still, I enjoyed it all very much, and thought you did a fantastic job!

Going for web was a bold choice. It helped a lot with presentation; text handling is much easier than with pygame, which is important for a game with so much text). We enjoy putting humour in our games, and probably there is more coming for the upcoming levels

The pink elephant is a known and fixed bug. Thanks for the positive comment!

I thought long battles got really boring when neither the enemy or I was making much any damage. It's cool to see a web based game, although it seemed to have some pretty big problems where I got an error page and couldn't progress further. I didn't try the patched version though, so maybe that's already fixed.

Yes, several monsters should have a lot less rep points (and hit stronger, to make battles more intense). Also, there are strategies for fighting, but they are not too obvious, so most people probably ended up choosing the attack skill at random (bad strategy) or just the one they had higher (mediocre strategy). We should make it more obvious to increase playability (at least with a graffiti in the bathroom ;) )

Wow, a lot of effort went into this game! It seemed quite inspired by MUDs, perhaps?

Thanks for recognizing the effort. Programming was interesting at least, but the inmense marathon was writing and rewriting the scripts and dialogues, the rooms and items descriptions, the state machines for the quests (in a sublanguage that we use in the engine) and making lots of drawings for all that.

It has certainly inspiration from MUDs; perhaps the best genre description for a game like Corp is "web-based MUD". Actually we did not have time for putting a lot of work on the "M" of MUD (i.e., multiplayer). The only point were players can interact is leaving messages to each other in the bathrooms. We planned but didn't have time to add other weak multiplayer interactions, like score tables and halls of fame, meeting other people and see their items, etc. And we still are thinking about not-so-weak forms of interactions like marketplaces to trade items and stuff like that. I don't think we will get to close mlustiplayer interaction (player vs. player, or cooperating in real time in a combat), but a lot of depth an interest can be added to the game in that direction, and it is really quite easy to implement.

Very nice idea! It was fun to play, but I have the feeling that the game is not well balanced (or very very hard ;). At all it would have been enough for me if the players would have received more than 1 reputation point after they losed all points and clicked the "fixme" link... Nevertheless - Good Work!

As I said above, reputation needs a little fix, and also a bit balancing. Thanks!

Loved it. Reminds me of Kingdom of loathing. Of course I'm guessing you did that on purpose. Anyway, made me laugh, and I always love when games do that. Great game.

Absolutely :) Kingdom of Loathing, for those of you that liked Corp, is what you should be playing ;) Before we set for the name Corp, the HTML title was "Kingdom of Loathing meets Office Space". And there are some half-hidden references inside the game (grep the source for "lemon in a box").

We took a lot of ideas from there, although we made it a bit more linear (which works better for a short game), added more dialog, and tried something different for the combat system (not sure if that was for good). Of course the setting and writing is different; but doing a web MUD and not copying KoL is really hard, because they had done a really nice work, so it is hard to be different without making it worse.

I'm happy so many of you enjoyed the homour. It is sometimes quite silly, and not everyone enjoys that kind of humour, so we sometimes felt stupid writing them (the warehouse has the biggest silliest collection of bad puns I have ever seen!).

i hate to register to websites! why must i register to play a game! and if dont choose a password, the name field gets erased! argh! :) had to play with fix, dont know how i should score that.

The registration perhaps was not necessary, but was a bit of futureproofing thinking about multiplayer gaming later. And being able to have multiple persistent characters in different stages helped really a lot for testing and debugging.

A web based game. Cool. Took a while to get into the game, but after that it became a bit more fun.

It takes a bit for joystick/gamepad oriented guys (I don't know if that is your case, but we knew it would be hard to get that segemnt of the public hooked)

It might just be me but web browser style simulations aren't really my thing. It's innovative I guess but I simply didn't have much fun with it.

OK. Thanks for trying :)

I wasn't able to play through this due to some bugs on floor 2 that kept making my character inaccessible. A room reset on login would be nice, because there is no way to escape when the room I'm in is bugged. I think it was the third enemy on the training grounds. Up till then, the gameplay was really fun, and using reputation as hit points is a very original idea. The low-key graphics also fit the game very well; and the web presentation is very clean.

Floor 2 was really an extra (last minute additions went there) and quite untested and incomplete. Floor 0 and 1 were mostly finished (except for the training room bug that crept into our release). There wasn't very much more to it, so I am glad you enjoyed that first part of the game. Next releases will have more.

I love how you were able to make a browser based game in only a week! Sadly, though, the game-play left me hanging... Is seemed like a great idea, but it is not enough to keep me playing(some of it has actually driven me away, in fact)

In fact making it browser based helped a lot making it inside the week. I am curious about what was what drove you away.

From what I played it's quite a bit of fun. I dunno how much strategy there was but it's an innovative background for an rpg.

We will put more effort in making the strategy obvious.

Very interesting usage of python to create a game. Also, I'm impressed with the realism of this entry. Playing this is almost like practicing for office life.

haha. OK... some of us had practiced office life and have some first hand experiencies to help the writing. What is missing can be completed watching Office Space and reading Dilbert.


We have been working on a new release this weekend, probably to come out on tuesday. We are also looking for server hosting to put the game live.


PROBE - Mission Postmortem

Posted by gcewing on 2007/04/27 10:20

Well, it seems that I scored fairly well on production and innovation, but not so well on fun. The latter was pretty much to be expected, since I didn't get time to implement some of the things that would actually make it a playable game.

I hope to flesh it out considerably and make some updated releases before too long. In the meantime, thanks to all who tried it out, and thanks to those who gave me encouraging comments and scores!

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Fluffy Menace - ADMIN: Sorry about that outage

Posted by richard on 2007/04/26 04:12

I had to change hosts again. All better now, I hope :)

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[HUN]Mindless Game Studio - Sky Journey update and conclusions

Posted by kukkerman on 2007/04/24 20:25

Well it's over. It was fun working on this game and was good to see how much excellent games are born in a week. To tell the truth I enjoyed playing them much more than these fancy games out there nowadays. Most of them just luck the spirit I think.
Now something about Sky Journey. As you may have noticed we haven't really had time to polish the game but I think we're not the only one :) I've just uploaded an updated version which is (hopefully) free from the known bugs (thanks for the feedbacks!) and adds a new bonus: the HP balloon. As soon as we'll have some time we'll refactor the source (it's a bit messy right now) and add scores, highscores, improved gameplay, etc. So stay tuned!

Thanks for playing our game. I hope it was at least as fun as creating it.


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Balloon Escape - Balloon Escape - Feedback response

Posted by xorbit on 2007/04/24 20:01

I decided to follow HanClinto's example and post a mass feedback response. I'd like to thank everyone who tried my game and posted feedback, whether positive or negative. Unfortunately I didn't return the favor to all of you, since I didn't have enough time to try all entries before the deadline. :-( Sorry about that. Anyway, on to your comments.

Interesting gameplay, limiting the control to velocity.. Clean graphics too.
Thank you. I whipped out the graphics in a hurry and had to use the mouse (yuck!) instead of my drawing tablet (which I haven't gotten to run yet on my new PC), so I'm glad to hear the graphics were appreciated.

kind of boring game after a moment, but kudos for the effort
Any suggestion on what would make it more fun?

Fun game, but there's almost no control over the balloon. Also you had the "Segmentation Fault" again so I had to use python 2.4.
As for lack of control, that's of course the main challenge of the game. But I concede that in the current implementation, it makes things too hard sometimes. As for the segmentation fault, that is my biggest disappointment after seeing the ratings. I realy had not expected a problem like this. :-(

Cool idea, well implemented. Needs a bit more variety/levels, and a second chance if you get hit.
Thank you. I agree a second chance would make things better. I probably should add a "balloon health" bar that indicates how close you are to having a popped balloon.

Too many ways to lose; so winning depends a lot on being lucky... A lot of time I felt I had very little control about what happens (being able only to choose between different ways to lose).
This is true, unfortunately. It turns out that the randomly generated wind layers turn out unbeatable sometimes. You may end up with five wind layers in the same direction in a row sometimes, which makes it nearly impossible to not hit a wall. I ran out of time to make this more distributed evenly. I guess for now you have to keep trying until you get a fair level. ;-)

a bit difficult sometimes: there are so many ways you can lose! :) graphics are simple and nice :)
Thank you! :-)

Game caused a segmentation fault in Python2.5(winXP), but ran fine in Python2.4(winXP). Crazy-hard!
Thanks for trying it in Python2.4. I wish I'd had time to test it in 2.5.

Segfaults under Windows for using the data.py incorrectly (load instead of filepath on some occasions, like when loading images in pygame). This isn't also as easy to fix as some of the others, because on some occasions load is actually used like it's supposed to too.
:-( I still don't get what I was doing wrong by using load instead of filepath? Why would it work in 2.4 and not in 2.5???

This really needs some sounds!
Agreed. They were planned but I ran out of time...

The idea that you can only use air currents to move sideways is interesting, but that makes the game quite tough. I wasn't able to have much fun because of this lack of control.
Yes, I still think using the air currents is the right thing to do for the game, but they should be distributed more evenly. For the moment you have to retry too often because of unbeatable levels.

Even the easy level was hard
Agreed. I wish I'd had more time to balance the game.

Loads of fun! This game is really good, and very well balanced such that I was able to beat the game on even the hardest difficulty with enough tries. Some of the hard levels felt un-beatable, but you just start a new one and do your best -- it was all a lot of fun! The graphics were cute, and I loved the sprite of the deflated balloon falling towards the earth -- it felt really natural (even though I didn't enjoy losing that way). I was also *extremely* impressed with the collision poly on the balloon -- birds and rocks colliding with the basket didn't pop the balloon, and I thought that was really cool. The only slight beef I would have is that fuel canisters can't be picked up by the basket, but that's the only thing that I found off with it. It's also not entirely clear how to quit the game -- I didn't realize until much later that "Chicken" meant quit. Still, it's funny. :)
Thank you, I'm glad to hear that at least one person really enjoyed the game! :-) I have to agree with most people though that gameplay at the moment is not always balanced. I guess if I make the lower levels simpler, I'll have to keep the hardest level the same just to keep you happy. ;-) I'm totally amazed you did beat the hardest level, as I never succeeded myself... In a future version I'll have to make the collision detection for the fuel canisters different from the other objects, I agree you should be able to pick them up with the basket. Glad you enjoyed the game!

Very good interpretation of the theme. THe game was fun to play, but pretty short.
Short? Randomly generated levels provide endless gameplay!

Nice idea, could be better though, but then there is always next time!
Hey, for giving me THIS low a score, you owe me an explanation as to what "could be better"!

Nice game. It was kinda weird that a single bird would make the balloon fall, but a fuel tank would not...
Explanation: it's a game. ;-) I agree that I should add a "health bar" and not have a single crow pop the balloon though.

very cool, once I got it to run ;)
Thanks, glad you didn't give up immediately!

it is very difficult to play add some music
Don't know about music, but I plan to add sound effects.

The game has the same problem as a couple of others, it tries to load fileobject to a surface (=> python seg fault in windows). (Easy fix, change to imagefile = data.filepath(..)). The two bottom menu alternatives are not visible (but who needs them anyway?). Other than that, a nice game. I like the "slow" gameplay, you cannot just go up and trust your reflexes, but have to plan ahead. And the graphics is nice, with transparent balloons and all. Plus a very well documented source code!
Thanks a lot for providing the solution to the crashing problem! I had absolutely no clue how to fix this otherwise, since I didn't know what the problem was. Why does this happen??? According to the pygame documentation, you can pass either a file name or a file object to "load", so why does it crash in Python 2.5 while it works just fine in Python 2.4? Anybody have any idea? A python script shouldn't be able to do _anything_ that can cause python to crash with a runtime error. Looks like a bug in pygame or python.
The menu size is another annoyance. I delibirately stuck with the default font to avoid this kind of problem since I didn't have time left for compatibility testing, but it seems that didn't help...
I'm glad that you worked your way past the problems and enjoyed the game though. :-) Not all people seem to "get" the fun resulting from the "slow" gameplay, I'm glad you did.

Nice game idea.. i also wanted to do such thing but wanted something else eventually. The game itself is finished and as such it is not bad at all.
I hope the "something else" got you a better score. ;-)

Kept getting fatal errors
Yes, bummer...

Winning or losing on this game mostly depends on luck, I think there are too many random elements and not enough control.
I think having better distribution in the wind layers should help with this. I don't think the other elements are TOO random. If the wind gets fixed, the other random elements should be manageable.

Frustrating. The up and the down. The fickle blowings of the wind. A definite challenge.
It's meant to be a challenge, sorry to hear you thought it was frustrating.

Nice game. I was first thinking that the falling fuel will damage the balloon. You know, I was too lazy to read the README.
Thanks, I'm glad you liked it! Maybe the fuel canisters look a little bit like bombs. :-) Hmm, maybe there is an idea here to add to the game: some differently colored canisters are bombs and should be avoided instead?

The theme is clearly followed: the only way is up. There do seem to be many games involving a balloon, however. I like the graphics: the balloon breaking and going down is fun to watch a few times. It would've been nice if there were at least minimal sound. I found the game quite hard (even on wimpy), and since the rewards for making it higher are unclear (a high score would have been nice, for instance), it didn't really hold my attention. I noticed the controls seem a bit strange. When your fuel has gone out your burner seems to continue to burn at full speed even though I have no more fuel. Similarly, you'd expect me to be able to cut downward speed too when out of fuel, as stopping to vent air shouldn't cost anything. Did I see that wrong? For nicer game play I think this game should be easier, less crows even than on the easiest mode. Perhaps response to controls should be faster, and sideways motion faster, to speed up things. It'd be nice if there were some bonuses that would shield the balloon for a while, or do other nifty things.
Sound, hard to win, high score: agreed. I'm not sure about your troubles with the controls. It might be a bug, or you might have confused the fuel bar and the lift bar. As far as I know, the flame stops when you run out of fuel. Your balloon is still full of hot air however, so it will keep lifting for a while. And you can vent air when you're out of fuel, but you will not immediately go down, since you can't get rid of all hot air in an instant. Plus there is some inertia in the response of the balloon to the lift force. I think I want to keep the response and gameplay kind of slow, but bonuses coming down on parachute is definately a good idea.

could not see the whole menu. fonts too big? nice idea.
Menu looked fine on Linux, too big in Windows. So much for portability.

A very good first pyweek entry, though is missing sound. I missed having control over the balloon, felt like venting air really didn't do anything. Original idea though (as far as I can tell)
Thank you! Yes, sound should be added. Try venting air when you just start, and see what happens. ;-) Venting air when you have a high amount of lift may not have obvious effect, getting rid of alot of hot air takes time. The effect is more obvious when you're easy on the trottle and vent, which is how the game is intended to be played, with slow and steady control.

Kind of hard.

Nicely done. The lag between input and response is frustrating. Perhaps some realism could be sacrificed for more fun.
I tried to find a good balance between realism and fun and may not have succeeded all the way. Possibly I could start with less realism and increase with difficulty level. But it is nice if the balloon keeps responding the same in all levels so you can transfer what you've learned in the easier levels and use it in the tough levels.

Very nice graphics, and nice idea, but I just couldn't get to grips with it enough to get more than a few feet above sea level. Too easy to end up floating towards one wall or the other without any correcting wind in reach.
Yes, the wind distribution needs improvement.

Sry but could not run your game Config: WinXP Python2.5 Pygame1.7 Error Msg: C:\BalloonEscape-1.0>python run_game.py Fatal Python error: (pygame parachute) Segmentation Fault This application has requested the Runtime to terminate it in an unusual way. Please contact the application's support team for more information.
I hate this problem. Sorry it didn't work for you.

fun game, manouvering the baloon is tricky but rewarding when it works. it's missing polish (sfxand a simple highscore to see how far I came - in meter or smth - would be nice).
That's the spirit! :-) Yes, sound effects and high score would be a nice addition.

Just add some music, sound and a 'Splash!' animation when crashing down - then the game's almost finished. Yeah, some kind of score may be nice, too. The game itself is already fun! :)
Thanks! The splash animation was the next thing on my to-do list that didn't get done before the deadline.

I tried to run this game under windows and received a "runtime error" ["This application has requested the runtime to terminate in an unusal way"].
Sorry it didn't work.

funny game with almost no menu and settings possibilities and only one level. Score and bigger level can longer fun.
Not one level, infinitely generated levels! ;-)

Not bad, but a little more control would be nice, and it has some great potential for sfx that are unfulfilled.
Agreed, too bad SFX didn't make it in.

The controls were quite frustrating, although I did manage to make it out of the canyon on most settings except the "Dare me" one.
Sorry to hear you found the controls frustrating, but it seems that at least the game kept your attention long enough to make it out on most levels. ;-)

A bit hard even on the "wimpy" setting, but with some practice this turns out to be a fun game.
Thanks! I agree that because of the random level generation, even the "Wimpy" setting can be tough. I plan to improve that.

Lacks a bit of fun as you can't control your balloon that much, it's quite a bit of just watching and praying. Nice graphics :)
Thanks for the feedback. I guess I should think about less realism and more fun in the easier settings.

It certainly was an innovative idea to restrict control to the height of the flame, a lot of the time though, death feels random, when the wind blows you into the wall etc. Easier levels ramping up to the harder ones, and more obvious wind flow (instead of random, only have wind where you can see exactly what the wind is doing) would improve it a lot.
True, the wind distribution needs to be improved. Actually each of the flags is at the center of a wind layer so you can guess where the wind changes. When you cross between layers, you get wind from both layers. Hmm, I think that just made me discover a bug. The winds just get added up when crossing wind layers, instead of being averaged I think. I'll need to fix that.

Great little game. Cool concept.

A nifty idea, and smoothly implemented. With greater variety, this could be a very nice game. A comment about the controls -- if the orange bar is meant to represent the amount of hot air in the balloon, the balloon's speed should be proportional to it. Having a delay is okay, but the delay should be in the time it takes for the orange bar to rise or fall -- there shouldn't be an additional delay between that and the balloon's speed changing.
Thank you for your positive feedback. Actually, the orange bar represents lift (proportional to hot air in balloon), it turns blue and goes down if it is less than gravity. Lift is a force that causes acceleration, which in turn causes the speed to change. Lift isn't proportional with speed, because of inertia that has to be overcome. In other words, if the balloon is dropping, warming the air in it will cause a force up, that has to first slow down the balloon before it can start to go up. Of course, since this is a game and not a simulator, it may not need to be this realistic. I think this isn't the biggest problem with playability though, unfair wind conditions being the worst in my opition. I'd prefer to keep balloon behavior close to realistic while improving playability in other areas.

I think the player does not have real control over the balloon. Just a little bit left/right steering would have been great.
You're supposed to play the wind layers to steer left and right, unfortunately the way the wind layers are randomized now, they might create a no-win situation.

Segmentation fault in windows...Shame, looks nice in the pics...
Unfortunate. :-( Next version should fix this.

Good job for a first entry. =)
Thank you!

I quite enjoyed this game. The lack of direct control was almost refreshing, because there is a strategy (and a clear one at that) for getting to where you need to go. I liked the graphics, and the game had a very even flow to it. Thank you!
Thank you very much! You describe exactly what I wanted to accomplish. When I fix the wind layers to be more fairly distributed, it should improve the chances of being able to use the strategy.

Fatal Python error: (pygame parachute) Segmentation Fault This application has requested the Runtime to terminate it in an unusual way. Please contact the application's support team for more information.
Unfortunately, that didn't happen before the deadline...

Was kinda fun :) Some sounds would've been nice. And the collision detection failed sometimes.
What do you mean with failed? Detected a collision when it shouldn't have, or no collision when there should have been one?

Nice graphics, but there are some ways that I think the game could be improved. I think that one level is too little, so that either more should be added, or it should just be one long level and then you could get score for the altitude that you achieved before crashing.
I still think of it as infinite random levels. ;-) I suppose I could maybe add a little more variety to them (different sorts of rock, other obstacles).

What I take away from the feedback:

  • It is impossible to make everyone like the game. The challenge of the game is lack of control and slow response, so you have to be very controlled in your use of trottle and vent and plan ahead. Not everyone likes this. But if I would change it, the people who love how it works now would be disappointed. So I'll keep it the way it is, since that is how I intented it to be.
  • Optimizing and balancing basic gameplay is very important. I go to this too late. I only added the wind layers the last day, and they are crucial to the gameplay. They weren't optimized and it is obviously hurting gameplay.
  • Don't expect compatibility between different platforms and versions. I thought developing in Python 2.4 would imply it would work fine in 2.5. Not so. I thought using the default system font would prevent problems with the menu. Not so. Really too bad.
  • Sound matters. :-) I knew this already, and had planned to have sound, but it fell by the wayside due to lack of time. This cost me more in the ratings than I had expected.

Things I'm going to add/improve, in order of importance:

  • Fix the Windows Python 2.5 crash.
  • Get those wind layers distributed better to avoid impossible-to-win levels and make the easy levels easier.
  • Fix wind layer crossing bug so winds get averaged instead of added.
  • Fix the darn menu.
  • Add sound effects.
  • Add a nice splash animation when hitting the water.
  • Add more different trench wall blocks/rocks for variety.
  • Get window scaling working all the way. It is annoying to have all this scaling code hanging around uselessly.
  • Add life so one single crow doesn't instantly kill you.
  • Add bomb parachutes to avoid.
  • Add a variety of bonus parachutes (shield, free fire for a time, one-shot directional control, ...).
  • Add a high-score system.


Team Quicksilver - Some fun...

Posted by RB[0] on 2007/04/23 19:23

some fun facts from Pyweek, past and present that I have collected.
Pyweek1 is omitted from some things:

Pyweek 1:

Nothing here, because the script i created doesnt handle the format of the original page, sorry :(

Pyweek 2:
    Production was the most emphasized category, with 20 of the entires receiving it as there highest, or tied with the highest, rank.
    Innovation was next with 14.
    And fun was least, with only 4.
    overall averages were:
      fun was 2.6
      innovation was 2.8
      production was 2.9
      average was 2.75
      entrant voters was 29%
      DNW was 0%
      disqualifications were 0.3%

Pyweek 3:
    Production was the most emphasized category, with 15 of the entires receiving it as there highest, or tied with the highest, rank.
    Innovation was next with 11.
    And fun was least, with only 5.
    overall averages were:
      fun was 2.7
      innovation was 2.9
      production was 3.0
      average was 2.9(ruffly)
      entrant voters was 38%
      DNW was 0%
      disqualifications were 1.2%

Pyweek 4:
    Production was the most emphasized category, with 26 of the entires receiving it as there highest, or tied with the highest, rank.
    Innovation was next with 25.
    And fun was least, with only 10.
    overall averages were:
      fun was 2.8
      innovation was 3.0
      production was 3.0
      average was 2.9
      entrant voters was 35%
      DNW was 7%
      disqualifications were 0.3%

From all the competions:
Highest ever ranking was in Pyweek 2, by Rushed "Nelly's rooftop garden",
with 4.4 fun, 4.2 production, 4.6 innovation, 4.4 average, 36% voters, 0% DQ

Highest team average ranking has been the same every single competition,
with the winning team getting a 3.9 average:
philhassey-Pyweek1,Pekuja-Pyweek2,PyAr2-Pyweek3, toba4-pyweek4

eugman(Pyweek4-Awesome block game 2 -- return of the block: The story of one block against the world)
is the only entry ever to score the exact same in all categories(fun, innovation, production, average)
with a score of 2.6

I hope you enjoyed this, if you have any other interesting(or not ;)) facts from pyweek you wish to share, please post them here.
Or, if you find a flaw in any of my facts, please let me know, and post the fix here.

Thank you :)