Over the weekend I looked at coderbyte but it would not let me sign in for whatever reason and I found found out it’s extremely expensive. I have been trying to look for other potential options but it’s hard to find any python game developers. I don’t know if I’ll have enough time to find a developer but I’ll look during class time and I’ll work on my coding during the week.
I am going to make the sprites (characters, objects, etc.) in Comms and Media class today. I’ll have to figure out how to send them to my raspberry pi in order to be downloaded and put them into my game. I sketched them out and figured out what I want the dimensions to be so it shouldn’t take too long to make them in Adobe Illustrator. I decided on a level layout so the level will be split into two sections that each have a “puzzle” you have to solve. The movement and gravity will not be very realistic because I do not have enough time or skills to make them. I will try and be more consistent with my working schedule at home so I can finish the game in time.
It’s becoming harder and harder to find stuff to do in class. I can do the blog and plan for my presentation but my coding has to be done at home as well as videoing the games. I’ve found an expert, coderbyte, so now I just need to get in touch with them but to contact them I need my personal account. I worked on my game at home a little this week and there haven’t been any major problems yet.
There were lots of problems that arose while I was coding during the winter break. The first was that I wasn’t able to put images into the game. I did some research and found that they had to be in the same directory, which is the folders in file manager before I could add them. After that an error showed they had to be .bmp files to work. That was pretty easy to find a website and convert them. The second was that it wouldn’t close if you clicked the “x” button. It had been working before but I went back through the tutorial and found there was a piece of code I must have deleted on accident while adding the other stuff. After that it just took a bit of experimenting to figure it out and make it work. There were a few tiny problems like typing the wrong letter/word but I caught them all pretty quickly. One that I think is useful to remember is when I was trying to make the character move. The “main loop” makes sure the game keeps running and most other stuff. The “draw window loop” adds all the color and characters. The spaceships weren’t moving even though I had done the movement the exact same as in the video. I figured out that they were moving but the draw window loop was only used at the very beginning so I never saw the characters move.
After those two problems within the first twenty minutes of the tutorial video, out of ninety minutes, I wasn’t sure if I would be able to complete the tutorial before the winter break was done but after one amazing day where I got through forty minutes of coding (one hour total) I was excited for the game to be finished and confident that I would be able to do it but the next day I ran into one more problem and it took me the longest to figure out yet. When I tried to add text it wouldn’t work and I wasn’t sure what the error meant. I tried changing the code in many different ways but I kept getting the same error. Finally, my dad helped me to figure out that it wasn’t a problem with the code but I had to download something in order to make it work. After that, just like everything else, it just took a bit of experimenting to figure it out.
My hopes for what the game was going to be like were very high and I have lowered them now that I have learned the basics of coding. I like to watch video’s of game developers and things called game jams, in which you have a short amount of time (eg. a week) to make the best game possible. After watching lots of those it seemed quite easy to code but they have had much more practice and are very good at coding. The other reason was that I had done lots of block-based coding in which there are premade sentences of code that you just have to arrange in certain ways. For example, in the block-based coding you just have to hit a button to turn gravity on/off but in python/pygame you have to type in a whole paragraph of code and make sections and connect it to everything else to make sure it works properly.
While doing the tutorial I was thinking about easier games to make and I probably won’t include semi-solid platforms, levers, or checkpoints but I will try to include boxes and buttons. I am also going to make it a game where you fly around as a UFO rather than running and jumping because like I said above making gravity work requires a lot of code that I am not ready to do at my level. In order to beat the levels you will have to use your tractor beam to drag boxes to buttons and unlock the doors.
I will also need some art for my game. I looked at some clipart in class but I am probably going to us Adobe Illustrator. In comms & media we learn’t how to use Adobe Illustrator so I am going to try and make some simple UFO and tractor beam images for my game.
Coding is harder than I thought it would be, I am still going to try and make a puzzle platformer game but it may not have as many things as I originally hoped it would. I was doing more research about websites to learn how to code and potentially interview and found a website that looks promising. It’s called Coderbyte and has many different coding softwares, including Python, to learn about. It also includes an easy space to be evaluated and get tips about your coding.
Over the winter break I should have lot’s of time to work on the tutorial and I will make sure I am done it. I hope I will have extra time to work on my final project as well. During the winter break I will try and keep up with my blog posts but they won’t be as detailed as they are now.
Today I researched some potential companies I can reach out to about my coding goal. One is called Westie Design Inc. and looks like an amazing option for technology support. They help small businesses and have even helped the UofA and NAIT so they have worked with schools before, but it looks like they only help with general website stuff not coding. I am still going to reach out to them and ask about if they have anybody who can help me with my project. The other option is Codecademy, a free website that teaches many people how to use various coding languages including python. They look amazing in terms of lessons on how to use coding languages but I’m not sure how well they will be in terms of in person helping or if they will even be available. Unfortunately, I had nowhere near enough time to work on my coding during the week so I probably won’t be able to make the tutorial game by the new year but I will make sure to finish it over winter break.
I completed “loops” in learnpython.org. At home I worked on the Pygame tutorial, also I didn’t add the link for the tutorial so it’s here now. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jO6qQDNa2UY
I got about 20 minutes into the video so I will work on it more during the week and next weekend. It was surprising how much code you need just to make the game work eg. making sure the window doesn’t immediately close as soon as it opens.
Unfortunately, I didn’t have much time to set it up; it takes a while to set up so I don’t want to work on it for just a few minutes. I will make sure to work on it this weekend and once I’m done that I’ll have more pictures and things to talk about for my blog. I will also try to find an easier way to set it up so I can work on it at school as well if I have any time. I hope I’ll be able to finish the pygame tutorial before December ends so I’ll have a month and a bit to work on my final game. I can’t do any coding at school (unless I find an easier way to set up) so I have to do all the coding at home and the blogs at school.
I took out my raspberry pi. My dad and I took a while to figure out how to set it up and there’s no way I can bring it to school unless I figure out an easier way to set it up (Current setup below) but it works great and I found a different tutorial on how to make your first game which I will be working on over the weekend.
At home I was able to find my raspberry pi but I didn’t have time to test it out. Over the next week I will test my raspberry pi and hopefully be able to bring it to school next wednesday. Today I kept working on learnpython.org and completed “basic string operations” and “conditions”.