Chicken Victory! (r312)

Fox Assault

Save the chickens!

The aim of the game is to make as much money as possible from your chicken farm. The problem is the foxes, which want to eat your chickens. Since hiring guards is both too expensive and unreliable, the obvious solution is to help the chickens defend themselves.

A team entry by members of the Cape Town Python Users Group. "The Rinkhals has eclectic tastes."


At the tip of Africa
Presented by davidfraser

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Ratings (show detail)

Overall: 3.5
Fun: 3.7
Production: 3.3
Innovation: 3.5

Respondents: 19


File Uploader Date
Fox Assault 1.0.0 (Unix Tarball)
hodgestar 2009/09/06 00:13
Fox Assault 1.0.0 (Mac OS X)
hodgestar 2009/09/06 00:12
Fox Assault 1.0.0 (Windows)
hodgestar 2009/09/06 00:08
Chicken Victory! (r312)
hodgestar 2009/09/05 22:14
Fox Assault Unlimited! (r312)
hodgestar 2009/09/05 22:13
Hendominium (r176).
hodgestar 2009/09/03 23:16
You Survived (r176).
hodgestar 2009/09/03 23:15
The Elusive Ninja Fox (r138).
hodgestar 2009/09/02 23:19
Splash Screen (r138).
hodgestar 2009/09/02 23:19
Night-Time Screenshot (r75)
hodgestar 2009/09/01 10:10
Day-Time Screenshot (r75)
hodgestar 2009/09/01 10:09

Diary Entries

Day 1

Overall, good progress for the day.

Some initial brainstorming about ideas and concepts led us to a SimCity'ish chicken farm with guns, which will hopefully be both silly and entertaining. Much of the initial grubnt work has been done as well, so we have enough of a base to build from, and several things that can now be considered independently, which reduces the communication overhead for the next few days.

So, so far, so good.

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Wiping dirt from his brow, our intrepid hero returns from day two in the code mines.

Development continues apace, with the addition of several major game elements.
  • Some interface woes have been overcome. (A patch to pgu will probably result from this, once the code has been cleaned up a bit.)
  • Basic commerce and construction has been implemented.
  • Animals behave more intelligently and no longer completely ignore terrain and buildings.
  • New artwork has been introduced, which has made the game dramatically prettier.
We have enough groundwork in place now that we can start to focus on game mechanics rather than fiddling with libraries and debugging interfaces. We have a pretty clear direction for the next few chunks of work and there's plenty to do before we start running into things that need consensus decisions again. Given the looming schedule conflicts, this helpful.

Progress is satisfyingly rapid and it looks like we'll be able to do enough tweaking and polishing to turn this into quite a good little game. I can't wait to play the finished product.

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Chapter three, in which day jobs interfere and chickens acquire rifles.

Not much done today. Between earning a living and honouring assorted prearranged evening commitments (and very delicious those commitments were), Operation Fox Assault was sorely neglected. Thanks to the wonders of modern technology, however, I managed to implement the start of weaponry and equipment from a laptop in bed.

Tomorrow will probably involve a lot of fiddly detail work to hook all the bits together into a shape that makes sense.

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Added sounds and music

I added some sounds and background music today. Most of the work involved writing a script to download source media and convert them to the desired format, and looking around the net for decent creative-commons-licensed and GPL-compatible chicken sounds. I like the effect the sounds add to the game... it almost makes it feel playable.

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Hendominium vs the Ninja Fox

It's certainly been a long day's hacking and I'm feeling rather wasted as I write this diary entry. Operation Fox Assault has made some large strides forward today and has, I think, crossed the threshold from silly toy program into playable game with lots of rough edges. Progress today included:
  • Chickens can be armed with weapons.
  • Chickens can be placed in buildings.
  • Chickens in hen houses lay eggs. Eggs eventually hatch into chickens.
  • We have a splash screen and a game over screen.
  • Artwork created for weapons and armour.
It hasn't all been plain sailing. We've been coding hard and it's taken its toll somewhat. I know that the building occupancy code took me much longer that it would have last Sunday afternoon and I suspect the other developers are feeling the same.  Some bugs have crept in, mostly as a result of the increasing complexity but also just as a result of the long hours spent at the keyboard.  I'm finding that the PGU library is starting to creek a bit now that our UI is getting more complex, but hopefully it'll seem more sane in the morning after a little sleep.

On the bright side, it seems everyone is still excited about the game we're making and a large portion of the functionality we envisaged at the outset is already in place. A large portion of the work left is tidying up the UI, adding more visual feedback to the user about what's happening behind the scenes, hunting down bugs and, of course, lots and lots of testing.

- H*

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Cursors, Equipment, UI Clean-ups

A lot of work gone done this evening:
  • Allowing armour to be damaged.
  • Initial armour implementation.
  • Improved equipment redrawing.
  • Drew selected versions of all building images.
  • Drew game-over splash images.
  • Unequip method for chickens.
  • Don't allow occupied buildings to be sold.
  • Highlight selected building.
  • Equipment selling dialog.
  • Added game-over splash images.
  • Toolbar neatening.
  • Found the invisible chicken bug.
  • UI / gui.App usage refactoring.
  • Awesome cursors!
  • Start of egg selling support.
  • Added fox memory to avoid indecisive foxes.
  • Improved fox memory to avoid them chasing their own tails.
  • Sorting out label alignment problems.
  • Support for displaying equipment images.
Congratulations to all the developers -- we got out of them bug field quicker than I feared and I think we're mostly into implementing fun stuff from here on out. :)  And a big thank you to the local users who joined our IRC channel and did lots of user testing.

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Belatedly, he wrote an entry

Seems we were all too busy last night to update the project diary. I'm going to call that a triumph of productivity over documentation while lookiong slightly embarrassed.

Operation Fox Assault is almost entirely implemented now, and most of what remains in the TODO list is polishing and neatening up. Hopefully we still retain sufficient mental faculties to finish the good stuff before obsessing over tiny details.

The plan for today is to get the whole team (or as much of it as we can manage) together in meatspace again for the first time since day one to better coordinate the tasks that are left. With a bit of luck and a lot of effort, we shall have a finished product before all eateries suitable for hosting celebratory dinners have closed.


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So it goes.

The final fourteen hours of PyWeek 9 were less frantic and stressful than we had expected. Four and a half hours before the deadline, we adjourned for a leisurely dinner and some milkshakes across the road before returning to figure out how to package everything for three different operating systems.

Lessons learned:
  • Milkshakes are an awesome way to avoid packaging PyWeek entries for Windows.
  • Constants don't actually have to be constant.
  • If in doubt, reimplement everything in the external library from scratch twice before reading the code.
  • Planning is overrated.
  • Documentation is overrated.
  • Never underestimate the motivational power of a pretty picture.
  • There's no such thing as a hack that's too horrible.
  • You really can convince your boss to delay an important deployment for pyweek.
Lessons not learned:
  • How to fit in sleep between day jobs, social obligations and pyweek.
  • Where to get food on short notice at weird hours.
All in all, this has been a fantastic experience. We had a great team, a few good ideas and ended up with a game that actually worked. There's still a long list of features we'd like to add, and we'll probably get to them over the next month or two.

We'll definitely be back for the next pyweek. :-)

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We ate'nt dead!

Our pyggy entry is up, and should be considered the new canonical source of news and information until we've managed to get our website up and running.

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Fox Assault Website

The Fox Assault website is up.

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