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Australian Game Developers Converence Report:

AGDC Website

Pyzzle got a mention and photo in a game spy article

Some happy snaps

Team Pyzzle, Left: Andrew Jones, Center: Damon Smith, Right: Jo Fleming

Quick last minute updates. Stress too much coffee.

A game player giving bunker D a go

The report

Hello, Im back from the oz road trip from hell.

A fair bit to say so I had better start from Saturday the 7th.
Because I had left my PC at the conference I asked Da to inform the Pyzzle list. Unfort. his current email address is not signed up to the list and I have not had net access from the 6th to now hence his post never made it. Here is what he wrote:

Hi all,

I've got a fairly hefty bit of info on Team Pyzzle's excursion to the Australian Game Developers Conference today. As you may know, the AGDC are holding a competition this year for the best unsigned game, and Andy Jones entered Pyzzle into it. We got shortlisted, so we got to go in there and display the game on a tabletop at the conference itself. Unfortunately, we only had a week or so of notice, so we've been madly trying to get a demo game happening to demonstrate. We've got something to show, it's a small scenario called Bunker D, and it basically has some rooms and a single (pretty hard) puzzle. I'm sure Andy will be putting a version of it up on the pyzzle.sourceforge website as soon as we can get it's size down a bit from it's current 100 MB status (we haven't compressed anything, and it's grossly space inefficient.)

There are 6 other parties that have unsigned games on the shortlist for the competition, and we are all set up on a set of tabletops just inside the door of the conference exhibition area. All the other mobs seem like good value, and thy've done some great stuff, but their games are basically all openGL 3D projects for windows, so we're proudly flying the flag for the open source and linux communities.

A lot of the student types coming through ignored our somewhat cerebral entry into the comp, because of it's lack of flashy openGL, but we did get a fair bit of interest, and we all got to wax evangelistic about linux, python, pygame and open source to impressionable and enthusiastic teenagers (and some older types). One guy did actually solve the puzzle too (although I sorta nudged him in the right direction). We got a good interview with the GameSpy writer in The Age here in Melbourne too, so I'm hoping we rate a mention on Thursday in the green guide (I think that's where it is.. maybe it's in the IT section)

The rest of the expo is fairly interesting, the highlight for us being the PS2 mob; Sony has set up a playstation 2 stand with a few developers from the performance testing section, and they've brought the Playstation 2 developer unit, and a couple of playstation 2 linux kits. They're great and really friendly and they even let us hook up a laptop and try to get Pyzzle working on one of their playstation linux units. The PS2-linux units had SDL and Python on them already, so we thought perhaps we'd see if pygame would compile and we could run our Pyzzle scenario on the kick-arse 100 cm plasma screens on the PS2-linux units. The other teams would be green with envy. They only had Python 1.5~ though, so I'm collecting the PS2 ports of Pygame and Python so we can install it tomorrow. If it works it will rock. The other guys will be spewing.

So if any of you out there are floating around the MCC tomorrow, we'll be back in around 9 am until 2 pm, I don't think it costs anything to get into the exhibition part of it, and you can meet me, Andy Jones and Jo Fleming all hyped up on caffeine lolly water, trying to get Pyzzle and Bunker D up on a PS2-linux box. I'm going to be awfully proud if my renders come up on that plasma display. All in all Sony have put on a good show for us, with the linux boxes, the friendly guru PS2 developers from around the world, and a nice after show drinks with PS2 giveaways.


P.S. Andy had to leave his PC at the show overnight, so that's why I'm writing this little rant.

Some additions from Andy:

Due to the Melodie Mars team having a music based game and hence a pretty powerful music set up, Bunker-D's sound was pretty much drowned out. Unfort I did not have time to get the sound levels right for head phone use. Since myst/riven games and Bunker-D uses sound for mood, and other effects it was a real shame no one got to hear it.

We also had the problem of demonstration an game engine not an actual game. I knew this would be a big problem but blah, who cares. Once most people in the know were told they got it. But it did not help.

One cool thing was that Pyzzle was the only program that could be quickly hacked and updated. I did several updates over the day to improve parts of the game that people were having problems with. No other team could do that (:. Python rocks.

Straight after the conference we went to the Sony cocktail party. Da and Jo drank as much free beer as they could, I was driving ): . Sony were giving out temporary PS2 tattoos and PS2 condoms. Just what every geek wants. Thank you Sony. (:

Saturday night we were unable to download any Pygame or python PS2 builds because we just did not have any net access. Jos got ADSL but he had to spin disks at a 21st and did not have time for downloading, my pc was left at the conference and Da is internet challenged at the moment. Very frustrating. At the 21st we even thought about going over to near Swinbourne Uni. to download them. But we are not quite geeky enough to do that (believe it or not). The result no Pyzzle on PS2 ):


More demonstrating...

We crashed the Linux PS2 talk. That kit looks very cool. All I need now is a PS2 and that kit for some serious fun.

More demonstrating...

We went the start of the end key note speech and heard some very bad stories about the pro game industry. We had to leave early to get on the oz road trip from hell. I just got back.


Summing up:

Well worth going to very fun meet heaps of people and learned allot about pro. game development. Im am so proud to be under the flag of open source/linux because other then PS2-linux crew no one else was.

Pyzzle and Bunker-D was not suited to be displayed at the conference at all. But I glad we demonstrated an alternative to win32 closed source OpenGL/direct3D game development. If we had more PCs we could have demonstrated just how multi-platform Pyzzle + Pygame + Python + SDL is. That would have impressed people. The conference also made we want to stick to this open-source development for all future projects, it is by far the coolest way to develop software and games. By the vibe of the conference pro game development is the last area free software needs to make a large mark.

At the end of it all Pyzzle was not even in the finalists list. I will have to find out why. Prob. engine not game thing. Congrats to Melodie Mars their game was very good and they deserved it.

Some advice for anyone demonstrating at a similar event: Get your sound levels right for head phones and have a very flash introduction or looping demo screen to attract attention.


What next:

Putting together bunker-D uncovered a few minor bugs in Pyzzle. Ill stick the list on the site soon and get onto fixing them after bunker-D is online.

Ill clean up and package Bunker-D. It should be up in a few days.

Have fun


Nothing to do with Pyzzle. But its just too cool. Our oz road trip from hell. (Im on the right).