Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Global Game Jam, ready to launch!

After much prep-work, the Perth Global Game Jam event is ready to launch!

We've got 25 registrations, plenty of sponsors, lots of loot, free broadband, an excellent venue and even Free Pizza and Soda! Woohoo!

Lot of participants are very keen to try out the Unity 2.5 beta (which now runs on windows), however I'm also hoping for a good turnout of faithful Pygame/Pyglet/Python coders, who will show these 'Unity' shmumps up. :-) There is a good mix of artists, modellers and coders turning up. Personally, I doubt I'll have time for much of anything, however I do hope I get get a few tunes together for teams that require music.

Giant, Python Powered Robots.

These are the robots I've been working on for the last 12 months. They each weigh about 11 tonnes and have a 17 meter reach.

The control system is written in Python, with small sections of C which run in hard-real-time to guarantee safety. The robots work cooperatively, semi-autonomously, with drive-by-wire style assistance when under manual control.

Update: added a close-up of the business end. This claw weighs just over 1 tonne, and gets hurled around at up to 3.5 meters per second.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

New, New Gig.

Because I am clearly not busy enough...

I've started working with Subversive Games on a top secret serious game.

We're using my favorite technologies, including Python. I'll post more when I can.

Monday, January 19, 2009

New Gig

I've scored a new gig, teaching game dev with Python! It's all happening at a local tech college. I'm going to resurrect one of my 2D frameworks and see how the students cope with that. I'll update it all to Python 2.6 and integrate it with Pyglet, then probably put it up somewhere. Another Game Framework FTW! :-)

Friday, January 16, 2009

Global Game Jam in Perth

The preparations for the Global Game Jam in Perth are going smoothly.

We've almost nailed down a venue, and we now have a website for the local Perth GGJ. There are now 15 registrations, which makes for 4-5 teams at the event, which is quite encouraging. There is also building interest from various sponsors, which is great as I'll hopefully be able to supply some decent loot to participants.

There is quite a few Python coders coming along to the event, so I expect to see some neat games that actually get finished within the two days! :-)

Monday, January 05, 2009

The Embedded GUI, continued...

After 3 days of mixing it up with Pyglet, I gave up. I had resolved to do things the pygletty way, and I really wanted to use pyglet's shiny batched graphics, but in the end it defeated me. There was simply too many hoops to jump through to draw lines, and draw text and then detect picks with the mouse... etc. If I had more time, this would be the superior solution, but I simply didn't have time to invest in new development.

The next thing to try was wxPython. I went further with wx, but when I realised how little control I had over the look (or even just sizing) of buttons, I became a little discouraged. Then, when wx started hiding exceptions from me with what seemed to be a sys.exit(-1), I gave up. I doubt I'll be going back to wx, its just not... fun.

Getting somewhat desperate, I contemplated putting a BaseHTTPServer in my embedded code, and building the interface using HTML and jQuery. Half a day later, I realized this was a very bad idea. Without a nice framework like Pylons, it would be a nightmare.

Defeated and deflated, with 80% of my time budget spent... I was at a loss. So, I turned back to the old and faithful pygame. It is so much simpler to understand bytes, surfaces, sprites. And hey, If I want to draw text on a sprite, I can. Oh and it has some neat vector drawing operations. A few hours later, I had a custom GUI system, working just the way I wanted. Forms, Buttons, Text Boxes, Labels and Toggle buttons.

I also seem to prefer he way pygame deals with HID events, as compared to pyglet. Pygame gets out of the way and lets me handle things the way I like. :-)

I might actually get this done. Only 8 hrs left....

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