PyWeek - Hectic Game Development

Game: Which way is up?

A traditional and challenging 2D platformer with a slight rotational twist. Help a mysterious big-eared salaryman named Guy find his keys in a labyrinth of dangers and bad dialogue.

Team: All code, graphics and sounds by Hectigo aka. Olli Etuaho

Stay updated about the development of the game by visiting the game's home page: Which Way is Up. The next big release after PyWeek, 0.7.0, was published in May with one new enemy type, 7 new levels, better animations and more. And I plan to continue development beyond that.


Hectigo

Looking good. The game is actually starting to become playable, with enemies and stuff!

Awards

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Ratings (show detail)

Overall: 4.1
Fun: 4.1
Production: 4.0
Innovation: 4.2

Respondents: 54
Files: Uploader Date
whichwayisup_b055.zipfinal 457.98 Kbytes Hectigo 2007/04/07 16:00
Python source code version of my (hopefully) final submission. Which way is up? beta 0.55.
whichwayisup_b055_bin.zipfinal 3.26 Mbytes Hectigo 2007/04/07 15:59
Windows binary version of my (hopefully) final submission. Which way is up? beta 0.55.
screenshot3.jpg 112.63 Kbytes Hectigo 2007/04/04 20:04
Looking good. The game is actually starting to become playable, with enemies and stuff!
screenshot2.jpg 107.36 Kbytes Hectigo 2007/04/02 14:11
Second screenshot with upgraded graphics. Collision detection works quite nicely, and there's also a lot of stuff you can't see from this shot :)
screenshot1.jpg 53.94 Kbytes Hectigo 2007/04/01 17:29
Guy jumping over the background. The very first screenshot of the game!
guy_showcase.png 469.00 bytes Hectigo 2007/04/01 15:34
Guy, the main character.

Saturday 14 April, 2007

[ Hectigo @ 15:53 ] Post Mortem

So, PyWeek 4 is over, I've tested almost all of the other people's entries and released two updated versions of my game after the competition. It seems like we have a record number of entries, and most of you have done a very good job - or at least learned a lesson for next time. I guess it's time to look back and analyze my doings a little. Overall I like what I did over this PyWeek, and gained a lot of confidence by doing everything myself.

Stuff that I did right this time:

  • Got the core gameplay ready early. Nothing is probably more important than this. It makes one able to balance the game elements more carefully as the project progresses. Might even make the game fun to play.
  • Gave some time for polish. Menus, oh yeah. I love 'em. Game over screens, even better. Pretty important for the overall experience.
  • Did lots of testing. Watching friends play really gave me a better clue about what was right and wrong with the game, and I was able to make it play a lot more smoothly as a result.

Stuff that I didn't do right:

  • Wrote quick and dirty solutions instead of proper ones. Well, some of my quick and dirty solutions proved working OK, and I was even able to rewrite some of them before the deadline. Others just gave me loads of trouble, and I had to spend some time after the competition just cleaning up the mess I had made. In the end, I have cut the performance requirements of the game by about 50% after the competition.

And then one final note - to achieve better cross-compatibility, I used a function for fetching the user's home directory in Trip on the Funny Boat as a point of reference for writing my code. The rules state that using "existing personal codebases" is forbidden - if you think this should be counted as such, disqualify me if you will. I didn't actually write the code in question, but as I was a member in the project, I had a good idea what it did. Should've probably asked about this, but, well, I didn't.

Saturday 07 April, 2007

[ Hectigo @ 16:05 ] Final submission

I hope I haven't forgotten anything important. I still have a couple of hours just before the deadline to add final corrections, but I hope I don't have to. There should probably be more levels, and there are a few imperfections, but the game seems fun to play, and I'm pretty satisfied with the graphics and sound effects. A longer diary entry about everything that went right and wrong during the week will come some time during next week.

Thursday 05 April, 2007

[ Hectigo @ 22:43 ] When good news do bad things

Well, it seems like there won't be an umbrella in the first release version of my game yet, and thus no combat or parachuting, but I guess that won't be too much of a problem. I've got the basic game engine in a good, albeit hacky, shape, and I'm currently in the process of adding menus and more levels. I should be too, because I'll have to finish the game mostly by tomorrow evening (GMT+2). After that some friends are coming over to have a little party, and unfortunately it's not the kind of party where I would be making games. ;)

There are some other very good looking entries too. TOBA's game has great production values, and I can't wait to play the game. I hope they'll just have everything ready by the deadline. Also, the theme seems to have inspired a lot more variation than I'd thought. There aren't that many 2D platformers. There are a few aviation-centered games, but they don't look too similar to me.

Sunday 01 April, 2007

[ Hectigo @ 13:37 ] Which way is up?

Well, the theme is here and I also have a game idea now, so so far everything seems to be in perfect order. The game will involve a man, an umbrella and climbing, but I think I won't reveal the rest of the concept until later. I bet we'll see a lot of climbing-centered games in the competition this time, but I have a few tricks up my sleeve which might just make my game stand out from the crowd. I hope it turns out good, and I wish everyone will have a great time making their entries. So have fun, everybody!

Thursday 22 March, 2007

[ Hectigo @ 20:45 ] Attack of the communist balls

Pekuja's warmup compo seems to have become quite popular, and my entry is probably as finished as it's going to be before the deadline. I might add fancy stuff like menus and high scores later, but for now I'm quite happy with what I've been able to scrape together in a few days. Let's hope I'll make an even better game during the actual pyweek!

The epic struggle between communist and capitalist balls can be found at http://www.hectigo.net/puskutraktori/one.html