Hotness of the pick

By | August 12, 2011

LXF148 HotPickPyskool 0.6 has been awarded the status of ‘HotPick’ in Linux Format issue 148! For anyone who may not be aware, Linux Format is perhaps the best Linux-related dead-tree publication ever to come out of Bath, UK. Published every four weeks, it is always bursting at the seams with Linux goodness, including news, reviews, tutorials and opinion pieces, not to mention articles on carefully selected bits of top-notch software in the HotPicks section. If you use Linux and you haven’t read LXF (as the mag is referred to by those in the know) before, now is the time to give it a try. If you don’t use Linux, just give LXF a try anyway, and Linux use is bound to follow soon after.

Hovering heroine

By | June 5, 2011

Hovering heroinePyskool 0.6 has been released. The download page contains linkage to a freshly cut tarball and zip archive.

0.6 is not a huge update, but I’ve bumped the version number up from 0.5.x because saved games from that series are not compatible with 0.6.

So what’s new? First of all, Pyskool can now be installed as a Python package using the setup.py install technique. This is perhaps more interesting for Linux/*BSD users than for other users, because what it means is that the Pyskool Python modules will be deposited tidily alongside other Python modules on your system, and the game launcher scripts (skool_daze.py, back_to_skool.py and the others) will be deposited somewhere in your PATH (such as /usr/local/bin). Which means you can then launch Pyskool from anywhere, instead of just the directory in which it was unpacked. But how then will Pyskool find the data files it needs (pyskool.ini, images, sounds, and game ini files)? Well, one option is to copy them to ~/.pyskool, and another is to copy them to /usr/share/pyskool. Pyskool will look in both of those places (in that order) for the stuff it needs. See Pyskool data files for more info.

Second of all, I’ve added default key bindings to pyskool.ini. This “feature” was originally announced in 0.5, but somehow never actually materialised. (I have no clue why. Perhaps I should get checked for early-onset Alzheimer’s.) What this means is that you can redefine the game keys (if you wish) by editing the [Keys] section in pyskool.ini.

Third of all, I’ve changed the menu show/hide key from F10 to F12, after noticing that the F10 key on Windows is typically already assigned to activating the menu bar, which causes a conflict. Did no one else notice this problem?

Fourth of all, I’ve fixed a few bugs. In 0.5.x, Eric was able to kiss Hayley while she was sitting on a chair, with the result that Hayley would end up sitting either in the space between two chairs or in mid-air after the embrace. (Playtester Alex requested that I leave this misfeature in; perhaps I’ll provide a patch for him if he really can’t bear to see it go.) Also in 0.5.x, Mr Wacker would rather pointlessly give lines to Eric for lying on the ground or not being in skool while expelling him for jumping from the top-floor window. Again in 0.5.x, saving a game at one colour depth resulted in the sprite graphics losing their transparency when the game was loaded at a higher colour depth (because Pygame seems to “dither” colour keys). I’m betting that I’m the only one who spotted that bug, though.

So there we have it. My thanks go to Scott Ralph for his assistance in playtesting 0.6. If you spot any bugs that Scott or I might have missed, don’t forget to report them!

Lo-res lock-in

By | December 16, 2010

i love INK and PAPERPyskool 0.5.3 has been released. The download page has freshly prepared copies waiting for you.

0.5.3 is a bugfix release. In earlier versions there is a bug that makes Pyskool crash when trying to load a game that was saved using GraphicsMode 0 (hi-res colour); this bug is now fixed. Saved games from earlier versions in the 0.5.x series should work just fine in 0.5.3. Thanks to Alex for spotting the bug.