Personal Reflection: pyWeek

September 06, 2008 @ 11:38

I have plans. I always have plans. I’m not good at design (as can be seen from this site, although I think I’ll try making a new theme sometime soon) but I plan.
I was recommended to apply for pyWeek. During the course of one week you are supposed to try and develop a game using python and any publicly available libraries (pygame, pyglet etc)

The challenge starts 00:00 UTC Sunday and finishes 7 days later at 00:00UTC Sunday.
Sunday being tomorrow.
Guess who doesn’t know any python.
Needless to say I don’t think I will be actually participating, which is a shame. I thought I would explain some of the reasons for me not putting enough effort in, in the hope I can fix things.

To begin with there is the themes.

1. Morning Fog and Frosts
2. Flat-packed
3. The length of a piece of string
4. Punk
5. Dust Bunnies

Now, as I’ve said, I’m not very creative. The only ideas I can come up with for any of those themes, is a tetris clone for flatpacked, which I don’t think will be motivating enough to see me through the week. That is assuming that theme gets chosen.

Secondly, I know my artwork is terrible. The last few pieces of coursework I have done have shown me just how bad it is. I got away with my first piece as I cloned Final Fantasy, so I just ripped the sprites from the original game. My latest piece of coursework had incredibly faecal looking rats as my only enemy. I’ve applied as a solo entry so the prospect of doing my own artwork is not uplifting.

Lastly there is the fact I don’t know python yet. I have tried to learn a bit, I’ve gone through about half of the tutorials on the python website and I can probably comfortably do a loop, maybe make a simple calculator. I entered about 4 days ago and I have done very little to look into pygame or any other library. The reason for this is that I know, no matter how hard I try, there will be a lot of people entering who have been breathing python for years. I don’t mind not being the best. I just hate being the worst.

So, what can I do to solve these problems? Well, I’ve looked on the forums and I’ve got glimpses as to what other people are wanting to do and I know what sort of ideas my friends were talking about doing. I think what would help is to spend time working on one idea and then try and make it fit the themes after, for example design a basic fps game and then tie in the themes after that.
To solve the artwork problem, I could always use open and free art that is already available. Or I could have not entered as a solo entry, but I don’t think I could get an artist necessarily enthusiastic about this.
Finally, As long as I try my hardest, it doesn’t really matter whether I’m worst. It’s the experience that really matters. Plus I’ll always be better than those who don’t finish, or don’t take part.

I will still not take part in pyWeek as, ontop of the already mentioned reasons, I am working for the university, giving me only a fraction of the time that week. However I will spend what time I have got learning python and hopefully making something. I feel comfortable using C/C++ but I also know it will be a hindrance if it’s the only thing I can use.