Given that I have spent the last nine months working on the Skool Disassemblies and SkoolKit, you could be forgiven for thinking that I’d completely forgotten about Pyskool, or at the very least pushed it aside, never to work on it again. However, I’m pleased to announce that if you were thinking any of those things, then you would be utterly wrong.
On the Pyskool downloads page today you will see that version 0.2 is now available, freshly packaged for your enjoyment. Version 0.2 marks the first release in what is sure to become known as the 0.2.x series of releases, which will focus on adding those game elements from Back to Skool which have so far eluded implementation.
Compared to its predecessor, Back to Skool is quite a complex piece of software, featuring: mice that can be caught and released (and which scare female characters); a frog that must be caught, placed in a cup, and dropped on a teacher’s head; a water pistol that can be used to fill cups with water or sherry, or make plants grow; plants that grow when sprinkled with water (but not sherry), and can be climbed upon to reach high places; doors that open and close; windows that open; stinkbombs that, when dropped, compel the headmaster to open a window (if one is nearby); desks that can be opened, and which may contain water pistols or stinkbombs; a bike that can be ridden by sitting or standing on the saddle; a caretaker who takes care of opening and closing the skool door and gate at the appropriate times; a conker than can be knocked out of a tree (by a catapult pellet fired through an open window) onto that same caretaker’s head, thus paralysing him temporarily; a girlfriend who will do some of ERIC’s lines when kissed, but will later turn to violence when she feels she’s being taken advantage of; a headmistress who guards her drinks cabinet like a lioness guarding a favourite cub, and chases ERIC out of the girls’ skool as soon as he sets foot inside. And more, no doubt.
Anyway, to get the ball rolling on these features, Pyskool 0.2 (codenamed “Plague”) adds the mice and the frog, and the ability to catch them. In fact, it adds several – some observers might say too many – mice and frogs, to demonstrate this new feature in style. Try catching them all (press ‘c’ to attempt a catch) before hitting the 10000 lines mark, perhaps, if you want to make a game out of this release. And if you find any bugs, don’t be shy about reporting them.