Eat in and take away

By | May 21, 2016

autowrapPyskool 1.2.1 has been released. As usual, copies are available from the download page and also from PyPI.

This is a maintenance release with – wait for it, wait for it! – no new features. With that déjà vu-inducing admission out of the way, let’s get on to what’s actually changed in the 16 or so months since 1.2 was released.

First, when Eric is writing on a blackboard, the text will now automatically wrap from the first line to the second. The fact that this was previously not the case was also known as bug 582343 or issue 3. However, unlike the original games, the text still does not wrap from the second line back to the first. We may have to wait another six years (perhaps more) for that to be “fixed”.

Next, two missing verbs – ATE and KIDNAPPED – have finally been added to the [AssemblyMessages] section for Back to Skool. Why they were missed out to begin with remains a mystery. My best guess is that it happened because ATE and KIDNAPPED are not contiguous with the other verbs in memory in the original game, so I overlooked them. If you have any better ideas, feel free to comment.

Finally, the worldofspectrum.org URLs in images.ini have been updated (from ftp to http). This shouldn’t have caused any problems because images.ini contains secondary URLs pointing at tzxvault.org, but still, a broken link is a broken link.

So there it is. Take Pyskool 1.2.1 for a spin today and see how many assemblies you have to sit through before Mr Wacker puts you all in detention because someone ate or kidnapped the caretaker’s budgie.

No quit

By | January 14, 2015

Hang Pyskool?Continuing the theme of new versions without new features, I hereby present Pyskool 1.2. Get your copy from the download page or from PyPI.

1.2 does contain a bug fix, though. In 1.1.1 and 1.1.2, if you press Escape while Eric is writing on a blackboard, the quit menu appears but does not respond to keypresses, leaving you unable to select ‘Yes’ and actually quit. To make things worse, in this situation even the window close button doesn’t work. So here comes 1.2 to the rescue: the quit menu now responds to keypresses when Eric is writing on a blackboard. In addition, the Insert (screenshot), F2 (save), F6 (load), F11 (toggle full-screen mode) and F12 (menu) keys also now work when Eric is writing on a blackboard. I think we can all agree that the fact that Eric has a piece of chalk in his hand should not interfere with the ability to take a screenshot or bring up the game menu.

The only other significant change that 1.2 brings is support for Python 3: Pyskool now passes the test plan when run with Python 3.4. However, I wish you luck in finding a version of Pygame compiled for Python 3. I used the python3-pygame package in the Debian experimental distribution, but at the time of writing there are no officially approved downloads on pygame.org for Python 3. Not to worry, though: Pyskool will continue to work with Python 2.7 for a good while yet.

Rock around the clock

By | June 14, 2014

To see a lamb at skoolPyskool 1.1.2 has been released. As usual, copies are available from the download page in the shape of tarballs, zip files, DEB packages and RPM packages. Alternatively, if you’d like 1.1.2 to be served up to you by means of a package repository, you can get it from PyPI.

1.1.2 is a minor update to 1.1.1: no bug fixes or new features can be found in this release. Why bother with it, then? Well, one thing that the skool game ‘remixes’ included with Pyskool – namely Skool Daze Take Too, Ezad Looks, and Back to Skool Daze – have long been missing is their own tunes. Up till now, they have unashamedly borrowed the existing tunes from the original skool games – namely Skool Daze and Back to Skool. In 1.1.2, however, the remixes have had a musical overhaul: each one has its own theme tune, its own ‘all shields’ tunes, its own ‘open safe’ tune, and its own ‘up a year’ tune. That’s 12 (twelve) new tunes in total.

Now, I do understand that a customisation like this may be a little disconcerting at first. But note that I have taken great care to produce the 12 new tunes (actually nursery rhymes and other traditional songs) in the same style as the original skool tunes, so at least we still hear the familiar rasping notes of old. (Thanks, by the way, to Alex for showing me how to read piano sheet music.) The first person to correctly identify all 12 tunes will get, er, recognition for being the first person to correctly identify all 12 tunes!

If all this musical freshness is not to your taste, don’t despair. I’ve also customised the lesson questions and answers for each teacher in Skool Daze Take Too, Ezad Looks, and Back to Skool Daze. So if you’ve grown tired of Mr Rockitt constantly banging on about chemical symbols and animal homes, fire up Pyskool 1.1.2 today for some refreshingly different science (and geography, and history, and maths) quizzes.