Navigational Implant

Suspended Sentence

A team entry by members of the Cape Town Python Users Group. Blurb subject to change without notice. Now with more title.


Highest corpse-to-starship ratio in an adventure game
Presented by gcewing

I found an Easter Egg
Presented by taejo

PyPI In-A-Folder Award
Presented by marciano

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Ratings (show detail)

Overall: 3.7
Fun: 4.1
Production: 3.9
Innovation: 3.2

Respondents: 21


File Uploader Date
Suspended Sentence Windows Zipfile
hodgestar 2010/08/29 12:00
Suspended Sentence Mac OS bundle
jerith 2010/08/29 11:11
Suspended Sentence Unix tarball
jerith 2010/08/29 10:45
Walkthough (RST Text)
stefanor 2010/08/29 00:08
Navigational Implant
hodgestar 2010/08/29 00:05
Suspended Sentence Windows Zipfile
hodgestar 2010/08/29 00:04
Suspended Sentence Mac OS bundle
jerith 2010/08/29 00:00
Suspended Sentence Unix tarball
jerith 2010/08/28 23:56
The machine room.
hodgestar 2010/08/28 00:04
Start of work on the bridge
drnlm 2010/08/26 22:35
Cryo Chamber, day 3
stefanor 2010/08/24 21:54
Cryo Chamber (with debugging enabled)
hodgestar 2010/08/23 22:51

Diary Entries

Day 1

Most of the day was taken up with brainstorming a game idea. While we basically settled on an adventure'ish type game fairly early, settling on a basic premise and rough outline of plot took a lot longer, Despite several team members having caught colds in the week before pyweek, we opted not make a disease based game. We now all do have a rough idea of the basic shape of the game, so work can proceed.

Codewise, we're some way into the basic framework support needed to manage the interface, and, so far, this seems to be shaping up nicely. We've also started work on the art, although, as the game idea is currently somewhat art heavy, we may need to plan this better.

Overall a promising start, but, this does feel like a game idea that could run away from us, so we'll need to keep focused during the week.

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Suspended Sentence

Day 2 got off to a slow start with most of the team members being at work. Notable progress during the morning included deciding on a name -- Suspended Sentence -- sorting out some Sphinx documentation (mostly the start of a walkthrough and a brief for artists). Jerith snuck in some unittests.

However, the evening saw good progress. Much of the initial scene is now in place and working:
  • Items can be picked up.
  • Items can be used on interaction areas.
  • Interaction areas can display descriptions.
  • The results of interactions can generate messages.
  • Fancy cursors were added.
  • Cryo chamber artwork coloured in.
  • First screenshot uploaded.
A lot of work is still ahead. We need to add animations and sound and there's a lot more content to generate than for Fox Assault last year. Big week ahead. :)

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A puzzle, popups, and sounds

Today things started coming together. A few interactable areas for the first room were laid out in the right places. The first item can be collected and used to solve a puzzle and escape the room, while listening to creepy background noises.

The computer's terminal in the corner is animated, and it has gained a text-to-speech voice to shout at you with. Hovering over items will yield descriptions, and pop-up detail views are available. Rooms have started to be linked together, and we have outline artwork for the 2nd room.
Much work today was spent on modal dialogs, pop-up messages, and cursor sprites logic. Tomorrow, I expect a few more rooms to come together. Work can now move to puzzles and artwork, as the plumbing is starting to stabilise.

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Lasers and sharp things

Disaster struck this morning when one of our team members was laid low with the Lurgi. Despite this, we made some solid progress during the day (mostly in compiling! time) and in the evening.

We now have inventory items that can interact with each other, build/package scripts for most platforms, an assortment of debugging tools, better sound handling and a laser welder in the machine room.

The bulk of the remaining work is in the content -- plot, art, hooking items and interactions up to each other. We're in a pretty good position, but it'll be a bit tight getting everything finished on time. We'll probably have to leave out most of the "optional extras" we've been saving for slack time.

And on that note, I'm going to get a few hours of shut-eye before trudging over to the day-job code mines tomorrow. Happy pyweeking. all. Cheerio.

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Atack of the Lurgi

The Lurgi continued to march through our ranks, laying low two further members of the team [1]. Despite this, we valiantly struggled on, and it looks like we may have a playable game by the end of the week.

The day saw comparatively little fundamental work on the game engine, which is looking surprisingly solid for only a few days work. Engine work done during the day included:
  • Improvements to the scene layout helper app
  • Adding support for multiple results from interactions
  • Transparent message dalogs
Much work was done on tightening up the plot and defining the puzzles still needed, and lots of content was added. Other than the final puzzle, all the planning work is done. A number of puzzles went from the plotted to basically implemented, and a bunch of general flavour text got added.

Some rooms acquired artwork, although we still need to colour most of it, and several of the placeholders got replaced.

On the TODO list, the remaining important items are finishing the art, writing the conclusion and recovering from the Lurgi.

[1] The lack of competition for time from work is more than offset by the lack of general productivity due to the Lurgi. Why can't we catch nice illnesses that are just enough to keep people home without interfering with their ability to work on pyweek?

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Dammit, JIM, beep boop boop beoop!

Today Team Boomslang rallied against the Lurgi, producing artwork for the machine room, engine room, crew quarters, mess and numerous other odds and ends. The space ship was briefly invaded by a flying fish (and fishbowl with castle) but rapid bug fixing saw the rebellion against gravity put down in short order.

In among the flurry of artwork the team continued to hook up plot elements and game logic, sprinkling both liberally with (hopefully) amusing dialogue and references.  The test suite gained a walkthrough test that attempts to play the game through from start to finish.

On the audible front a tool for easily manufacturing beeps was added and, lo, many beeps were created. Boop. The interaction area placement tool was fleshed out and gained better support for a host of different tasks.

Debugging rectangles can now be turned off from the command-line to help pick up aesthetic issues. Animations, descriptions and other items that can't be interacted with no longer highlight the cursor

There's a lot of work to be done tomorrow still but we think we're in reasonable shape. The team plans to meet for breakfast in the morning before commencing the final sprint.

The boomslang is a timid snake.

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All systems go!

We have a complete game, including (almost) everything we wanted to put into it.

This has been an epic adventure, full of obstacles to overcome and a hostile universe to battle against. And our pyweek experience was pretty cool too.

We have a malicious computer. We have failing life support systems. We have lots of skeletons scattered about the place. We have rooms full of vacuum. We have gigantic mutant broccoli. But none of these can stop us, because we also have a fishbowl and about a parsec of duct tape.

The final day started with a leisurely breakfast and strategy session at a local garden centre, which ended with a dash to our coding venue (thanks, boss!) and mugs of coffee all around.

The major outstanding items were artwork (colouring several backgrounds, drawing lots of small items) and hooking up the game logic. We didn't really have much engine work to do, beyond fixing bugs as we found them and adding a handful of minor improvements that came to us during testing. Much rewriting of descriptions and dialogue happened as well, and our Editor in Chief (also our Art Director) only found one glaring tyop after the final upload. (We're calling it memory corruption in the centuries-old computer system and pretending it's an easter egg.)

I think we've managed to strike a balance between interesting puzzles and a game that's easy enough to finish in the amount of time a typical pyweek judge can devote to it. We also uploaded a complete walkthrough to help people who get stuck making a helmet out of the aforementioned fishbowl and duct tape.

The speedrun record is currently held by stefanor (1:48) who cheated by being faster than the rest of us. And not forgetting about the detergent bottle in the mess hall.

Now, to sleep.


1.0.1 "service pack" release

We ran into a couple of irritating bugs post-release. Therefore, to ease judging, we're releasing a "service pack" version. Changes are as follows:
  • Fix for crash bug on the bridge when using certain objects in certain places. (Deliberately vague to avoid spoilers. The problematic interactions aren't required to complete the game, but they're annoying easy to run into.)
  • Typo fix in one of the images. (Probably shouldn't be here, but it's trivial and would require revision reordering shenanigans to exclude.)
  • Minor code style fixes with no impact on gameplay. (Rearranging whitespace and the like. Also here just because it's a pain to exclude and doesn't actually change anything.)
This represents a total of about 20 minutes of work past the deadline, but the crash is problematic enough that we've decided it's worth doing. The 1.0.0 versions are (which were finished entirely before the deadline) still there if you want to judge those instead.

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