PyWeek 9 Survey

Hi everyone,

PyWeek is here again it seems. Last time I put up a questionnaire about what people's system capabilities were so I thought I'd throw a new survey together. I added some different questions trying to glean insights into what people want/expect from PyWeek games. Its entirely optional of course, fill it in if you want to. You can see the results either way.

See post on PyWeek 8 Survey | Fill in PyWeek 9 Survey | See results of PyWeek 9 Survey

Edit: I realise that some limitations in the output of Google Docs forms has caused an issue with the display of the "describe the feel of games" question. So I shall post all the current responses here and up date it from time to time. Updated 26/Aug/2009.

quirky, cartoonish
engaging stories
polished, responsive, fast-paced
Challenging, smooth
surprising, surrealistic, storytelling
polshed, unique
addictive, challenging
epic, cerebral
unique, mechanically elegant
luxurious, atavistic
fun, challenging
funny, pretty, easy to get into (no steep learning curve), immersive
Allowing time to think.
novel ideas with puzzles
pretty + medium complexity
transporting the player to an inspiring universe
mysterious, stylish
inventive, original, jump right in
experimental, retro, challenging, philosophical
innovative, fun
non-violent, cute, creative, challenging
modifiable, interactive environment
polished, novel


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Hi Chard maybe you should make the pyweek 9 survey public accessable? Thanks. ~DR0ID
The links go to the survey for 9, it's just the link text that's wrong :) I don't appear to have permission to view the results though.

Google docs has some arcane but hidden permissions system related to forms. I eventually worked out what the link should be from the last time but I've no idea how I found that link in the first place.

Anyway, works now.

The feel of games question produced some interesting results :-)

It seems like we have alot of people here who like games that require thought.

I feel at something of a disadvantage, actually. I'm the one who put down "Fast-Paced" X-D

Interesting to note, and something to keep in mind.

I'ma stick to my guns, though. Action games, and challenging ones.

Erm... Maybe not quite as over-the-top hard as last time, though. ^_^;

I don't mind action games as long as they don't require me to develop superhuman reflexes before I can have any fun.

Also there needs to be at least a small element of exploration or puzzle solving in order to hold my interest for very long. Blasting away ever-increasing hoardes of identical enemies gets boring quickly.

While I'm thinking about it, I'd like to see the results of a "What's your screen resolution?" question. Next time, I hope.

I think that my screen must be shorter than most people's. My usual resolution is 1280x768, with 24-pixel taskbars on top and bottom. Include the game window's title bar, and my max height is about 700 pixels. A whole lot of games get cut off for me because they're taller than this. I'm actually running 1024x600 at the moment, putting the max height around 540. I imagine I'd have to hook up an external monitor to play half the games that aren't fullscreen.

As an ex-EEE 701 owner I know there's smaller screens out there so I'm mindful of getting my game to fit in that 800x480 resolution - though at that size I would assume it's running fullscreen...
I try to make my windows small, though usually for performance.

Still, I understand having problems playing games with windows that are too big. :-/

Cosmologicon wrote: My usual resolution is 1280x768, with 24-pixel taskbars on top and bottom. Include the game window's title bar, and my max height is about 700 pixels.

I have that problem too, when people assume they can create a non-fullscreen window the same size as my screen. On MacOSX, there is a 20 pixel high menu bar and a 20 pixel high window title bar -- and you can't drag the title bar above the menu bar. So with a 1024x768 screen, the maximum usable height of a titled window is only about 748 pixels.

Folks, please remember that when creating your titled windows!

i'm trying to focus 640x480 as most as possible - Oohara's Dangen (brilliant indie game, imho) uses this resolution, and doesn't look that bad...
It's not an issue of the graphics looking bad, but a tiny window on a huge screen can be hard to use. My last game got a comment that said, "Any special reason to start with a low resolution as 720x450? The font looks a little small there."

I also think 640x480 is a fine resolution (I know StarCon 2 ran on 320x200), but I think you should either fullscreen it (in which case you run into aspect ratio issues on a widescreen monitor), or give the option of increasing the resolution (which adds work to your graphics placement). I don't think there's any one resolution you can just set and forget.

I plan to go with fullscreen, for performance issues, and use the default resolution and hopefully get the placement to work out okay.

I wrote: the maximum usable height of a titled window is only about 748 pixels.

Aargh, I shouldn't try to do arithmetic so close to midnight. That should be 728 pixels.

Anyhow, the point is, if you're trying to fill the whole screen, then use fullscreen mode. If you're not, make the window somewhat smaller than the screen to allow for window decorations, which vary a lot from one platform to another.

The question I would like to see next time is "Do you have a mouse?"

Some of the games are developed without any concern for touchpad users, and have controls that do not adapt well. If you can, try your game with a touchpad or ask someone to test it, if you want to make sure it is not prohibitively difficult to play your game on a laptop.
cyhawk: Additionally, "Do you have a mouse?" - "Yes (one button)" / "Yes (two buttons)" / "Yes (three or more buttons or a scroll wheel, etc.". Not everyone can right click!
Along those lines, "Do you use a QWERTY keyboard?" I use Dvorak usually, and I can only switch the layouts easily once the program is up and running. If it's fullscreen or it hogs the focus, this is impossible. There may be people using AZERTY or something else too. I generally appreciate when the controls are restricted to keys that are generally in the same place: space, enter, arrow keys, modifier keys, function keys, tab, escape, backspace, and number keys. If you use W/A/S/D for movement, and the arrow keys aren't doing anything, why not allow the arrow keys too?
I'd include scroll wheel as a separate parameter.  Three buttons is not equivalent to a scroll wheel, and people sometimes (annoyingly!) write games that require a scroll wheel for some functions...
Erm - oops :S
Luckily for us new weapons are automatically selected, but yeah, no scroll wheel and you can't shift weapons :S
Right click, yeah, that sucks :S
Fortunately, pygame seems to map command-click to right-click on a Mac, so right-click is not a complete disaster. It can be inconvenient, though.