final day screenshot

The Eight Bit Passage

A pseudo-3D rail shooter on the high seas. There are four stages. You should be able to handle the first two stages, the difficulty ramps up in stages 3 and 4.

See the readme for easy mode if it's too hard, or for low-res mode if it runs too slowly.

Less ambitious than my usual entry. Try to contain your disappointment. ;)


Most Valuable Pirate
Presented by paperstarships

The Jolly Roger Award: Best use of Pirate Ships in a Game
Presented by justinmeister

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Ratings (show detail)

Overall: 3.9
Fun: 3.8
Production: 4.3
Innovation: 3.6

Respondents: 22


File Size Uploader Date
README updates. Better filename.
4.1 MB Cosmologicon 2014/05/18 18:02
first final version
4.1 MB Cosmologicon 2014/05/17 23:13
final day screenshot
61.4 KB Cosmologicon 2014/05/17 23:10

Diary Entries

The Eight Bit Passage postmortem

Thanks for your feedback! I was happy to see a few other entries I really liked get high scores.

I was worried some of the effort I put in would be overlooked, but people seemed to appreciate it, and that's pretty gratifying. I spent quite a bit of time tweaking the controls and handling, and I think it makes a big difference in a game like this. I also made a few gameplay choices so that instructions would be minimized and you could jump right in without a menu screen.

I wasn't able to squeeze quite as much performance out of pygame as I would have liked, but I think it would be possible with more time, and I'm still pretty happy with pygame overall. I'm glad I put in a lowres option so that it was at least playable (if choppy) on slow systems.

I don't plan to keep working on this or make an executable version or anything, but maybe someday I'll port it to JavaScript. See you next time!

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The Eight Bit Passage - complete and uploaded

I'm done. Check it out here:

The Eight Bit Passage

I had much less time than usual this PyWeek - I had to fly to Switzerland and back, and work longer hours than usual, over the course of the week. Still, I wanted to make something small, so here you go.

Let me know if it doesn't work for you!

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Trashing my ridiculous idea

To avoid interpreting "8-bit" in the obvious way, I settled on the currency of the Spanish empire, pieces of eight, popular targets of pirates. But how to make a game about a historical currency? This is where I started to fall down the rabbit hole....

I came up with an elaborate backstory about how a mysterious person (strongly suggested to be a time traveller) advised the Spanish army, leading them to victory during the War of Portuguese Ascension. Thus the Portuguese Empire was fully subsumed by Spain, allowing Spain to remain the dominant empire over England, the Netherlands, and France, throughout the 18th and 19th centuries. The former Spanish colonies, still using the Spanish dollar, went on to become the 20th century superpowers. The opening cutscene would end with an astronaut planting a Mexican flag on the Moon.

Great, I wanted some dumb justification for a game about managing a global economy based on pieces of eight, and I got it. At this point I stepped back and asked "would this game actually be any fun?" and I'm pretty sure the answer is no.

So forget it. Thanks to Treasure Island people strongly associate pieces of eight with pirates, so I can just make a pirate game.