First ever submission - "Mooncheese": fun, stress and a whole lot of learning

This was the first time we've have participated in Pyweek and it was a full-on, but really fun ride.

My partner in crime bonfyre is an avid programmer. I, on the other hand, have never contributed anything to a game before.
I'm in the middle of a short course in Graphic Design, so with various scribblings visibly lying about the place bonfyre asked me if we wanted to participate in Pyweek together. I have a tendency to overload myself with things to do, so I naturally said yes.

I would have to produce some digital artwork, which is something I have never done before. And I had to do this amid full time work, university and actually learning how to do draw digitally.

We spent about half a day discussing game options. I think the Mooncheese+Space Cats+Space Mice formula was the first one that we came up with and everything we thought of after didn't sound as fun.

To produce the art work I created pencil drafts, scanned them and traced each image in Photoshop with the pen tool followed by editing.
There are probably more efficient ways, but I have no tablet and free-hand drawing with a mouse would've looked like I've drawn with my feet.

In the meantime bonfyre used basic Paint.Net graphics/letters such as "M", which would later be replaced by the Space Mice.

The biggest hurdle was to make the characters look recognisable on such a small scale when they were moving in-game. 
With advice from a game designer friend and information on the internet, I created the smaller images as vectors in Photoshop, so that they'd be clearer when scaled down. The end result of the images was much better. However, due to the learning curve and little time during the week I ended up producing the majority of the artwork on the final day.

Bonfyre discovered that accuracy is not always the best. For example, the force of gravity in the game played and felt much better when the divisor is just the distance between the two objects, instead of the distance squared. (i.e. G = m1m2/r felt better than G = m1m2/r^2). Also, it was really fun to squeeze in an online leaderboard, on a whim, in the last few hours of development. He would've really like a few more hours to add achievements to the game because that would've been quite fun. The python library Bacon was lovely to work with as it didn't get in the way at all and allowed him to focus on making the game.

Bonfyre made some of the sounds on http://www.superflashbros.net/as3sfxr/, whilst others had to be sourced from http://www.freesound.org/.

In the end we are really rather happy with the result that is Mooncheese.

Aside from a steep learning curve in digital design for me and ventures into new programming territories for bonfyre, we've learned that it's vital to communicate opinions, problems and discuss solutions that all team members can agree on.

We really hope that everyone enjoys the game.

IttyBTKitty on 2013/09/14 06:13
edited on 2013/09/14 06:18