Sinister Redux

A few months ago, Glenn and Christian and Menno and myself created Sinister Ducks, a game with some quacking, for PyWeek 9, a contest to write a game in Python in a week. It plays a little like a simplified version of the arcade classic Joust – press fire to flap. When birds collide, the highest one wins, while the lowest one sheds feathers and plummets to the ground.

Since the competition, I’ve been polishing and refactoring for my own edification in odd hours here and there, and I’m pleased to declare that process finished. Behold, Sinister Ducks 1.0.2:

Sinister Ducks 1.0.2

Things I added since the competition include:

  • Fixed the game being so ridiculously easy that one could play it interminably
  • There are now lives, and an actual Game Over screen and everything
  • Completely reworked how the gameplay works in regard to attacking ducks and collecting feathers – our previous mechanic didn’t work very well. The feathers now temporarily boost a score multiplier, displayed top-left. Attacking other birds yields more points for successful chained consecutive attacks, without collecting any feathers along the way. But you can only get feathers in the first place by attacking birds. It’s your job to figure out the resulting best-scoring dynamic.
  • Understand and enjoying the scoring dynamic is aided with little floating numbers showing the value of each bird you defeat.
  • Enemy birds now come in larger waves as time goes on, and one or two of the sinister ducks are angry and fast.
  • The game speed is now scaled by the time between refreshes, so it now runs perfectly fine on slow machines or VMs that can’t make 60fps, or if your monitor has an unusual refresh rate, or even if you disabled vsync in your graphics drivers to yield hundreds of frames per second.
  • Refactoring and OpenGL performance fixes (those sprites are texture-mapped quads, under the covers.) so that it’s now massively faster than it should ever need to be. The refresh rate with vsync disabled on my own 5 year old lappy is about 400fps.

You can download a Windows binary to download, unzip and double-click. On Linux or Macs it should run from source code, if you can be bothered to install the dependencies first, as described in the README.

The game’s only website is its Google Code repository, from where you can download it.

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