April 2009 challenge: “Get off my lawn”

BubbMan 2 - BubbMan 2 DX

Posted by pymike on 2009/06/06 19:52

It's finally out! Download and view all the changes here:


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Eigenbom2009 - Cheers and see you next comp!

Posted by eigenbom on 2009/05/29 04:23

Hi guys,

Thanks everyone for the excellent feedback. I have taken some of your suggestions and made some improvements to my game. The major changes include the addition of music and sound effects and various modifications to make the game a little easier. It is now (theoretically) possible to finish the game without dying at least once, though dying is really the best way to explore.

You can grab the game from my website.

Hopefully I'll be back next comp -- I'm looking forward to it!


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Myna Weft Golf - Thanks, and see you at the Pyggies

Posted by gcewing on 2009/05/25 11:21

Thanks to everyone who rated Myna Weft Golf. It did better than I expected for an entry that got off to a late start.

I know the relation to the theme was a bit stretched, but Richard did say he approves of anagrams in this exchange. Also it does have some lawn and you do have to get something off it...

Anyway, I've started a Pyggy entry, so if you like the game, come and see. Also, anyone who would like to join me as a team member and contribute levels or other ideas is welcome to do so!

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LAWN: Terror From The Green - Post competition update: LAWN: Terror From The Green 1.5

Posted by cyhawk on 2009/05/23 15:45

I finally had time to create a post-competition edition of the game. Thank you for discussing the faults of the game — I think it is better for it now.

What has been changed?

  • Bugs have been fixed.
  • Control is always accepted and animations are queued. This means that pressing left twice and then up will make the current kid go two squares left and one up no matter if you wait between the keypresses or not. This indeed makes the controls feel more responsive, and all I had to do for this was delete two lines...
  • Turning is instaneous and implicit in easy mode. Press up to move up, press left to move left.
  • If an old man or dog hears something, an ear icon appears above their head. Hover over them to see what has got their attention.
  • If there is only one possible destination, passing takes just one click.
  • Or alternatively K can be pressed to kick.
  • Press SHIFT-R to restart the mission.
  • Transitions, PDF documentation and a couple more cosmetic changes.

Download Mac OS X disk image

Download Windows executable

Download source (platform-independent)

P.S. These guys really outdid us: http://www.popcap.com/games/pvz/

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Lawn of the Dead - Lawn of the Dead: 16 Days Later...

Posted by Zahmekoses on 2009/05/19 16:05

...and it's not too late for our (long-awaited?) wrap-up of this PyWeek.
Be warned, there is a lot of text ahead.

I want to start our wrap-up with the positive and suggestion stuff:

Well done. / great game! / Nice work. / Very nice game. / That was fun!

*bows* thank you very much!

(Rating: 4-4-4) the powerups come too fast, the pacing might be better if they were handed out more sparingly.

Too fast? Mh - I was quite happy with the current distribution (theoretically every 10th zombie at start, and every 5th with the correct perks). This way actually eased the survival on later stages. We might consider to set the power-up rate down, but this would require some more testing on how this effects the overall difficulty. (Maybe every 20th at start and every 10th with the correct perks?).

(from the same comment) team servalkatze sure got dark compared to past entries...

(some nitpicking first) It's team zahmeKatzen, but nevermind (after all, ServalKatze is the lead, right? ;o) ).
If it's okay for the PyWeek-Participants we would like to continue making some more darker games (as far as the voted theme and our time/ideas permit)... but as the game designer I'm a bit afraid that to dark games might not be accepted well here (I had the same problems when drawing the graphics of the last dungeon for our first Pyggy/last PyWeek entry...) - But on the other hand, if the "panty shot" of a drawn virtual fairy in a very cute game is considered tacky and misplaced... I don't know maybe blood, gore and cookies might be ok ;P (watch out - sarcasm here!).

(Rating: 4-4-3) The movement keys dont feel totally right

Sorry about that, but I would be happy if you/someone could elaborate what exactly felt wrong? (so we might do better the next time)
But we also did have one comment stating that the "controls feel natural", one more reason for me to know where we might improve here :)

(Rating: 4-4-3) I think the perks were very important to the game - I would have been bored after a while if it weren't for them and their icons and texts. :)

As I spent most of my time designing the perks (graphically, technically, and "descriptionally") I of course strongly agree ;o) - I had a lot of fun doing so and I actually can say that the perks are the main reason I'm still playing this game from time to time :) - Thank you very much for your comment and rating!

(Rating: 4-3-2) The level up system kept me replaying a few times trying to get a higher score and see the other perks. =)

I'm happy to hear that you had fun with this game and even tried it multiple times - thank you very much!

(Rating: 5-3-3) very good game,allthat upgrades make it really various even without levels

Thank you very much - as already stated somewhere above, I'm quite proud of our perk system :) Happy you liked it!

(Rating: 4-3-2) Pretty decent game, reminds me a lot of Crimsonland.

Yep, as also stated in our "final" diary post we used Crimsonland as inspiration :)

(Rating: 5-4-3) The sound really makes the game

Thank you very much! Most of the sound samples were taken from freesound.org (a very good sound resource site!) and modified to fit our game - so also thanks to them for providing this huge sound database.

Now to the a bit less positive ratings and/or comments:

(Rating: 2-2-2) Not zombies *again*...

Noaaaah... If I'm not wrong there were only two other Zombie games this PyWeek ;( - At least we had much more Tower Defense then Zombies this time.

(Rating: 2-2-2) Another generic top-down-zombies-on-my-lawn shooter. I liked the name, though.

Thank you - I like the name, too ;) (somewhere between "not very original" and "so lame that it is funny")
Of course, we are aware that this game is not very original, but we wanted to participate & finish while both of us needed to go to work/university during the PyWeek [First time that both of us were unable to participate here full-time] - so we just needed to come up with something simple ;)

(Rating: 2-4-2) I don't if it was intentional, but even when not reloading I had to wait quite a long time (well, 2 seconds maybe) between shots. Maybe this was intentional but I found it quite annoying.

Spontaneously I would say: yes, this was intentional. After all, you are using a pump-action shotgun and are not able to auto-fire with it. The initial "cool down" time should be somewhere between 1 and 2 seconds, going considerably down with the right perks. In the end (when you received the Jackhammer perk plus "Auto-Fire" and "Speed-Striped Barrel") you should have something that nearly resembles automatic fire.
Sorry to hear that you found it annoying, but I thought this would bring some more atmosphere into the game (after all the sounds were designed/used to match the shoot/cool down/reload times).

(Rating: 3-1-1) An enjoyable but blatant Crimsonland ripoff. If you already have the perk-tree, why not let the player pick the next perk? Without this possibility of choice there is very little interactivity here.

I'm quite unhappy with this comment, or more precise especially with the rating (After all, there seems to be always one comment you especially don't like, right? My experience so far from previous PyWeeks and looking through some other wrap-ups I feel I'm proven true ;) ).
I'm not going to debate on the 1 for innovation - as already said we were inspired by Crimsonland so there really is not much innovation here, but we still implemented things that are not present in Crimsonland. (e.g. As Crimsonland was our inspiration, I did not expect high Innovation scores, but I think we put enough effort into it to receive innovation ratings from 1 to 3 - but what you choose is personal preference after all :) ).

But I would like to debate on the 1 in production. What is so bad about our game that a 1 in production (meaning as much as "No production at all") is a fair rating? Are the graphics ugly? The sounds not fitting? The bug-freeness of our code or the fact that our game worked on every machine as intended without any major errors/miscalculations a flaw?
Are these single parts (graphics, sounds, music, and code) not fitting together, like using music from Hans Zimmer in combination with 5-Minute M$Paint-Art and Sounds from different genres, quality, and volume in code so broken that the game runs (so you can see this truly masterpiece) but crashes all the time at different points and causes other unwanted things?

Also, the "perk"-issue: I agree that this is a game inspired by Crimsonland (I don't like the word "rip-off" because this somehow implies that we copied this game without putting any effort into it just to become successful because the game is quite good, especially since you are using "blatant" in this context.), but this does not mean that we need to use the comfort given by the Crimsonland "Pick a Perk"-Option.
Actually, I did not want to copy this part from the beginning as this would make the game a bit more difficult (you do have to live with what you get, luckily everything is useful somehow [some things more in the beginning, some things more during the "endgame"]) and also (so I hoped) would increase the replayability (you do not know what you will get), by forcing the player into a "perk-experience" that would be pseudo-unique from game to game.
In Crimsonland you can chose from a list of 5/up to 7 random perks. But after you played Crimsonland a while you do have your pool of Perks you will always pick and given the amount of perks listed the chances are quite high that the perks you want are listed - this removes a bit of the uniqueness of every session [in my eyes].

Also, I think that the game is interactive enough, even without the ability to chose the perk you want ;P

So yeah - as you can see I'm quite unhappy with this comment/rating, but I felt I need to complain about it - At least I feel better now ^^"

Just as a further/side note, judging from the comments nobody found our sheep-level which disappoints me a bit (not "disappoint" as in "Are you blind, or what?" but more as in "Damn, I think we hid it too good").
We wanted to implement a full "sheep-mode" with "BaaAah"-descriptions and -perks, besides the already implemented "Baah"-moans and attacking zombie-sheep. But as we did not have enough time on our side it now is just a sheep-level.
So if you want that "extra"-bit of zombie-sheep experience (actually this one could also be dubbed "Hard Mode") here is one small hint to find it:
You can activate the sheep-level from the Credits-Screen. (This one is also hidden, but if you have played our other/previous games [except VoCFI] you should be able to find it [as we are always hiding our credits-screen... at the same place]).

What's left for me to say is:
Thanks to Richard for the PyWeek! - I really like this competition and we will definitely participate in the next one :D
Congratulations to Super Effective (On the way to a "Winning Spree", eh?) and Universe Factory! - Nice games you did there :)
Thanks to all participants! - (As always) There were a lot of pretty/good/excellent games this PyWeek, which I enjoyed to play :)
Thanks to all who rated our game! - Your feedback was appreciated and will be considered for this and future games ;)
Thank you very much - to all of you!

Sooo... who has seen the new Star Trek movie? ^^

1 comment

PyedPypers - take two - Reply to comments...

Posted by RB[0] on 2009/05/17 22:24

Well, was a fun pyweek, and I was really pleased that this time we really made our best entry yet.
I am a little disappointed that this game ranked at the bottom of our actually "finished" entries, though...

It seems a few people kept saying "just another TD" - as if that means it was not innovative. One of the main goals was to make an innovative RTS, TD was just added as sort of an after thought, modified from a different idea.
We wanted a game with resources, and two armies, but we had no where near the time to write the ai or map engine for a traditional RTS, so we went with the window-sized map, TD speed kind of game.
In the end, the balancing was a little off, but even so, we had resources, "workers", a nice ai, and everything else we planned, and I think it was quite an innovative approach to TD, with you attacking back, while still trying to defend, and with the specials and what not, but I guess some people just don't like TD (or RTS in general, whichever)

    I like it, even if it is another bug-swatting TD. You need to look up what a "tutorial" is!
See my above comment. If you simply play it for a sec, then yes, it can appear a simple bug-swatting TD - play it correctly to win and you end up with actually "tower offense" - using your towers offensively, and your warriors as well.

    Wow, this game is incredible. Congratulations. I had a lot of fun playing this game and the idea works well. The graphics are very nice, and I appreciate having those sounds and music on this game. I had to give up after playing for a long time because I have other games to judge and, while I could defend myself with towers, upgrading warriors to become good enough to get to the nest was hard. A game like this is hard to balance, and I think you did a very nice work on that, but it could use some more balancing for a post-Pyweek version. Anyway, you kept me entertained for quite some time. Excellent work.

and others along these lines :P

Thanks :)
Yes, we will be making a post competition release, we've already been working on it since the competition ended, in fact :)

    Controls felt a bit unnatural. I liked the retro music!
Felt unnatural how? It is simple mouse controls, pretty much like every single TD ever created...

    Best tower defence game I've seen so far, though its still tower defence. I did hit a minor snag though - I was using 20 workers when I got my towers upto the enemies nest, at which point I was hitting them so fast that not even the burrowing once could get underground. As there was no way to remove some workers I was kinda stuck, until I found the lawnmower button, though I did then have to rebuild all my towers!
Thanks :)
Yes, you can't get rid of bots, that would definitely have been a good idea :S
Though I would recommend the broom special, as it kills your bots and not your towers ;)

    Took rel3, since it is already sent past the deadline (though only a few minutes late). Yeah, balancing was a serious issue in this game. Maybe some caps or a "evolution tree" could be set so the player doesn't spend all his money in a single thing that's not going to be useful. The exponential nature of pricing in this gmae may take one off-guard.

The pyweek clock was messed up at the end, it was finished and uploaded on schedule ;)
But that is also completely besides the point, the 24 period afterwards is specifically *for* uploading, if you want the svn logs to prove it we can do ;)
As far as the gameplay part of your comment, yeah, I wanted the exponential because I figured balancing would be easier, and I didn't (go figure) want the bugs to start out-powering you easily, kinda messed that up though LOL
We'll definitely be working on the balancing seriously in the next release :)

    Whew, what a battle -- and that was only on the easy setting! I have some doubts about the balancng. The enemy's level seems to increase far faster than you can upgrade your own units -- is that intentional?

Yes, and no.
On hard it seemed about balanced as I liked it, but the problem was that it is a simple system to win, once you know it none of the levels are very hard (my bro won with two towers and 4 or 5 workers, then just warriors...)
Your towers can easily (out)match the insects growth, the warriors, not so easily, if you only build them and not towers then perhaps, but that seems like a losing strat to me :S

    Interesting game of two-way Tower Defense but it feels, irunno. I didn't really feel satisfied with the gameplay.

Hmm, well, that is understandable, if you know how to play it is a quick 5-10 minute win (unless you want to drag it out, which can be fun) - and if you don't you can't really win easily...

    Pretty fun. Framerate was a little slow on my lappy, though.

Yeah, I can't believe I missed that. Was running like steadily at 60 fps no matter what we added on all our comps, so we all forgot to add psyco support O.o
Sorry :S

On the whole, I like most of our comments, lots of good suggestions, thanks :)
Cheers all, and well done to the winners :)

EDIT: oh yeah, and I am most pleased by one thing in particular, we continued our tradition of now DNW's/DQ's! XD

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Chess vs Zombies! - Chess vs Zombies! wrap-up

Posted by Tee on 2009/05/17 16:22

Well, I scored better than I expected. At least I got a high innovation score for trying out an experimental idea - it was higher than I was expecting. I'm happy that most people who rated liked the game. I got only a few raters though. Maybe I was lucky to get only the kind judges. :)

A few replies:

Should of probably made the chess board out of grass or something though - theme was totally ignored.

Not much lawn though, so I checked "disqualify".

I don't think the theme was totally ignored. The idea did come from the theme; the chess pieces are defending their chess board, which is their territory, their "lawn". I think if I made it out of grass, the theme would feel tacked on. But, well, it isn't exactly lawn, so I understand.

(kings are supposed to be able to move in all 8 directions...)

Since when can a king not move diagonal, though?

Gaaaah! *shoots himself*

That's what happens when you rush through making the game and don't think much. :P

If there were some easier way to control the pieces, this would be kinda fun.

If you don't mind, I'd like to hear a suggestion. :)

I really appreciated reading your comments. If you commented on my game, thank you very much. They made me happy. :)

I wonder, is anyone interested on a quick Pyggy version of this game? Just fix the king, balance, add sounds, and make it into a real game. I'd also like to make the controls easier, but I'm not sure how I'd do it. I also intended to have zombies go for the pieces and attack from both sides (but I didn't have time to draw the zombies in all directions and had to make it come only from below and walk up :)), so a Pyggy version would probably have that too. Either way, I won't spend much time on it because I want to work on my main entry, but since some people seemed to like the idea, I could at least make it decent if people are interested. Does that interest you? Does anyone have any other ideas?

Anyway, thanks for all the nice comments! Thanks to Richard for hosting this Pyweek! Congratulations to the Super Effective and Cosmologicon! I was a bit frustrated this Pyweek, but the comments made me satisfied. :) See you in Pyggy or in next Pyweek! Next Pyweek, I'll try not to be too ambitious and make a 7-day game.

As for my original entry, see my Pyggy post.


Leaving Home - Thank you, answers and images

Posted by biccy on 2009/05/17 10:19

Ah another PyWeek over and done with. Each PyWeek Alex and I try and create a different type of game play! ...Or something.
Big thanks to everyone who played and liked our game. Alex and I are happy that everyone liked our Art and music. We're sorry that the game was so short, but we did mention that leaving home was designed to be made in a day.
Sorry to those who found it too hard and confusing, although I'm glad that somehow you still enjoyed the game.

To that one person and any one else who wonders how the whole "Get off my lawn" theme is part of leaving home the story we came up is that you play as a character with agoraphobia, who is unable to leave her own home grounds, including her front lawn, so the goal of the game is to solve puzzles to make it easier to get out the front door, off the lawn and onto the streets beyond the fence. (Get it now? =D)

Congrats to the winners! And everyone who entered. Now it's time to go back to our daily lives.

On a final note, like in kite story I threw in some items from our past entries.

The kite you should all know from Kite story and on the bookshelf is the heart box you needed to collect in Make Me.

Cheers and see you all in 6 (or so) months.


LAWN: Terror From The Green - Comments on comments

Posted by cyhawk on 2009/05/17 07:43

LAWN:TFTG came in second, thanks for the votes! Congratulations to Cosmologicon and the Happy Insect Garden team! I think they were the games with the most character and charm, and this made them memorable and lovable. (This means I will have to up the charm for PyWeek 9... Expect more pink ponies! :))

In the hopes that some of my judges read this post, could you elaborate a bit on what the problem with controls was? A number of comments I received mentioned control problems, like this one:

Controls infuriated me, and I couldn't enjoy the game. Great idea though.
Finding good controls really needs outside input, because the creator of a game can bear with any crazy control scheme without noticing the awkwardness of it. The friends I sent the game to only returned DNW (looks like mipmap generation is not a guaranteed feature in Pyglet), so until I trick them into playing an updated version, your input would be very educational for me!

Many comments mention that who hears what is not made clear and this detracts from the game. This is a good point, thanks! It did not occur to me, because hearing was a late addition to the game and only gained importance when I made the levels, which was the last night. And also because it was obvious to me who heard what, since I wrote the code for it :).

Thanks for the fun contest! I'll be back!

Note: I will upload an updated version that fixes the numlock and mipmap bugs soon, so if you would like to try it, please wait a bit and try the fixed version for a better experience!


kill H1N1 - Thank for your comment.

Posted by milker on 2009/05/17 07:28

Hi, everyboy:

I know that, it isn't a good game.
Thank you. I will do my best in #pyweek9 !!