Some background for my coding project


I guess "everyone" who has ever programmed anything at all has entertained the idea of making their own game. A couple of decades ago I fooled around with QuickBasic that came with the 486 machine, but nothing spectacular happened. The biggest problem I encountered was that I didn't know anything and all I had was the (somewhat awful) manual and I didn't know where to look for more information.
For some odd reason, most likely my laziness,  I never started poking at game making even when I was actually studying programming and even learned something. From time to time the thought came to me. Just for the fun of it, if nothing else.

Python - Pygame

Some years ago a coworker of mine hinted of this Ruby-based Shoooes thing that I actually wanted to try out but as usual, I didn't get anything mentionable done. That attempt, like so many others that started with the usual "Hey, let's try this thing!"-enthusiasm, died  away. Maybe a year, one and a half ago I encountered Pygame in my rss feeds, a game developing library for Python. To honor the traditions I did give it a try but just left it. I blame it on the lack of good (= implementable) ideas. Drawing circles and squares doesn't entertain for a horribly long time :p

for idea in ideas:

Because coming up with 100% original ideas isn't that simple, what then? Copy others or climb on the shoulders of those giants and wave your arms.
Another of my coworkers had started working on his Roguelike, so so much for that one, even though I wasn't going to do anything under the usual fantasy theme unlike him. In my childhood I spent countless hours on desperately difficult Xenon 2 and years later I got hooked on awesome Tyrian.

Xenon II: Megablast

In that sense I was pretty interested in working on a classic horizontal/vertical scroller shoot'em up. With these my huge issue (before I even started checking anything or wrote even a single line of code) was the levels and all that, so I left those ideas in my ideas box, with the rest of the filth I've conjured up during my years.

Sandboxes, openness, freedom of choice and general randomness (= everything doesn't always go exactly the same way and in the same order) have been things I've liked in games. A total lack of options and especially (tight) time limits are something that make me furious. With this kind of a mindset I was going to have some problems, but you have to start somewhere, no?


After all this I approached the whole issue from the opposite end. From my previous top-down to bottom-up -like approach. Not really conciously but half by accident. I was just happily poking around, doing this, seeing what kind of things I could actually do with Pygame and how to do those things.
With a couple of silly coordinate points and a bit of headscratching the pygame.draw.Polygon(...) brought some fascinating things on my drawing surface. "Hey, I could actually go and move that piece based on the keyboard events! How did that work...."

What weirdness am I working on? I'll tell you more next week.
I know I'm an evil teaser and I enjoy it. Muahahhahahaa!

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