Loving EuroPython Tutorials

I’ve been loving the two days of tutorials preceding the EuroPython conference. This morning I attended Richard Jones‘ splendid Introduction to Game Programming. It was an absolute pleasure to be walked through the creation of an example game like this, using Python game libraries like pyglet and Cocos, by someone who really knows what he’s doing. Also, it’s nice to have something visible to show after a morning’s work:

My asteroids. Michael your idea of making engine thrust always visible was exactly what I needed to help me capture the screenshot.

My asteroids

The code is based very heavily on samples that Richard provided and talked us through in great detail, so although I now understand it pretty thoroughly, I can’t take much credit. Excepting, that is, for a handful of minor tweaks I couldn’t resist making along the way, like the flickery animated engine thrust, that made me gurgle with delight.

For the artwork, I stole the shuttle icon (sssshhhhhh!), added the engine thrust, and created the asteroids themselves entirely from scratch in Gimp. They are just rotatable bitmaps, albeit designed in homage of vector graphics of yore, complete with simulated CRT glow. Brilliant!

4 thoughts on “Loving EuroPython Tutorials

  1. sitting behind you at the tutorial i had a good view about the progress you made from Richar’s code example to the eye candy you did (using Gimp on Windows?).
    It was really amazing watching you work. Do you plan to publish your final Asteroid games somewhere ? I could use it for my http://ThePythonGameBook.com project :-)

  2. Hey Horst,

    Thanks! Yeah, I was using Gimp on Window.s (I tend to stick with Windows during conferences, since for me it just seems to be more reliable than Linux at dealing with external projectors.)

    You’re not the first to ask if I could make the code available, but it is of course entirely Richard’s. Let me double check how he’s licensed it and whether he has any preferences about that, but if possible then I’ll make it (with my diffs) available somewhere.

    I love Gimp. That day I made extensive use of the path tool to draw the asteroids, which lets you create a vector path out of straight lines or splines, and then repeatedly draw over that path using any of the other drawing tools. So I could draw the main outline of each asteroid with a firm green pencil line, and then draw the same path again with a large, blurry paintbrush, to produce the ‘glow’.

    I’m not as happy with the shuttle. I feel like there’s something clever that could be done with the outlines or the negative spaces or the colors, to make it more harmonious with the appearance of the asteroids, but whatever it is I’m groping for, I couldn’t find it. I should have asked the class for ideas! Oh well. :-)

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