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Pygame Is Leading Me To Python

Published on April 3, 2010 at midnight by XC

I can’t help but talk about how great I think my highly modified version of Ubuntu is with my friends. I’ve got virtualization galore, a great development environment with tool chains for every architecture you would want, a nice blend of Gnome and KDE apps, good security and just the right mix of desktop effects. I like it, people who use my computer like it and I’m often asked by a friend to compile xyz for abc architecture.

Someone asked me a rather innocent question, “This looks great, what games did you write for this?” and I came up blank. None. Zero. Zilch. There I am boasting how easy it is to do practically anything with my setup and I could not produce one game, however trivial to show. I’m almost embarrassed to admit, beyond working through simple programming problems that resemble games (puzzle solvers, etc), I have never written even a simple poker game.

No problem for me, I know C! Wrong. I spent a few hours coming up with a design for a game and ended up just settling on a clone of The Bard’s Tale I (C-64 Version). I fired up my editor and started coding right away. My hands did not leave the keyboard for hours. I had the structures for the characters and inventory, various types of monsters, spells for the spell casters and then it hit me, I had to bring it to life with a fun interface. A few hours into that, I began thinking … “Isn’t this supposed to be FUN?” The thought of Windows portability crept in and I began seeing ninjas scale my building. Well, they might have been spiders, but at night they sure looked like ninjas.

I know that you can write great games in C. The problem is, I want to make a game, not make my head hurt. C might be the right tool for game development for some people, but I’m not one of those people. I’ve talked about seriously studying and learning Python before and Pygame seems to be the incentive I need. I love programming, I spend almost all of my time doing it, paid or not. Its finally sunk in, I could be enjoying that time a lot more if I broaden my skills and pick up a rapid language. I’ve also been looking for a new hobby, game development seems fun. I don’t like most of the games that my friends enjoy, they are just too real and graphic. I like getting engrossed in different worlds, there’s plenty of graphic violence in the real one.

Pygame may just be what I need to take a break from systems programming. Sure, hacking away at device drivers is fun, but not really rewarding beyond appreciating that a piece of hardware now works. Squashing Mangar in my own version of Bard’s Tale with my own magic system is decidedly more rewarding than making USB gizmos work.