So now you know everything there is to know about the ini files and command lists, you’re ready to don your ‘modding’ hat and get customising. Right? Well, if not, you might want to follow the example customisations below to get a feel for what’s possible.
Maybe the simplest thing to customise is what the characters say. In this example we customise Mr Creak’s sit down message (i.e. how he tells the kids to sit down when it’s time to start a lesson).
To do this, find the [SitDownMessages] section in skool_daze/messages.ini and edit the line:
CREAK, BE QUIET AND SEATED YOU NASTY LITTLE BOYS
so that it reads:
CREAK, ARSES ON SEATS YOU SCUMMY LITTLE BUGGERS
(or whatever other polite request you’d like to see Mr Creak utter). Then run skool_daze.py and giggle like a schoolboy (or girl) as the profanities pour from the history teacher’s mouth.
An equally simple and giggle-inducing trick is to change what the characters write on the blackboards. In this example we’ll modify Mr Withit’s blackboard messages in Back to Skool.
Open up back_to_skool/messages.ini and find the [BlackboardMessages WITHIT] section. In there you will see the following messages:
ARTESIAN^WELLS THE DOLDRUMS TASTY^GEYSERS THE GREEN^REVOLUTION TREACLE^MINING FROG FARMING
For fun, you can replace these messages with something more interesting, or add more messages (having only six to choose from makes Mr Withit a dull man). Note that the ^ character will be replaced with a newline.
Then run back_to_skool.py and smile with satisfaction as Mr Withit complies with your particular blackboard message whims.
Did you ever think it was unfair that the little kids in Skool Daze (i.e. not Eric, the swot, the tearaway or the bully) never got lines? Eric would down a teacher with a catapult pellet, but any little kids in the vicinity could breeze past the teacher with complete impunity while Eric (or, if he was lucky, one of the other big kids) got slapped in the face with a bunch of lines.
Well this is Pyskool, and we can change all that. To make the little kids in Skool Daze potential lines recipients, go to the [Characters] section in skool_daze/sprites.ini and find the lines corresponding to the little boys:
BOY01, PERKINS, BOY, WALK0, -1, (43, 17), (1, 1), F BOY02, GIBSON, BOY, WALK0, 1, (44, 17), (1, 1), F BOY03, FANSHAW, BOY, WALK0, -1, (45, 17), (1, 1), F ...
The last field in each line (which contains F by default) is the character flags field. The character flag that turns a character into a potential lines recipient is R. So add that flag to each line, thus:
BOY01, PERKINS, BOY, WALK0, -1, (43, 17), (1, 1), FR BOY02, GIBSON, BOY, WALK0, 1, (44, 17), (1, 1), FR BOY03, FANSHAW, BOY, WALK0, -1, (45, 17), (1, 1), FR ...
Now run skool_daze.py, find a teacher milling about with a bunch of little kids, let rip with the catapult, and experience the satisfaction of seeing the hitherto nameless ones get their come-uppance.
The teachers in Skool Daze and Back to Skool - well, Mr Wacker and Mr Creak in particular - were always asking for a smack. Unfortunately, in the original games teachers were inexplicably impervious to Eric’s pugilistic efforts. Eric could always whip out his catapult and send a teacher to the floor with a pellet, but it’s not quite the same thing.
Anyway, with Pyskool, you get to change the rules. To make the teachers punchable with effect, open up skool_daze/sprites.ini or back_to_skool/sprites.ini and go to the [Characters] section. There you will find the lines corresponding to the teachers; in skool_daze/sprites.ini they look like this:
WACKER, MR WACKER/Sir, WACKER, WALK0, -1, (10, 17), (1, 0), ALPSTW ROCKITT, MR ROCKITT/Sir, ROCKITT, WALK0, -1, (10, 17), (1, 0), ALPSTW WITHIT, MR WITHIT/Sir, WITHIT, WALK0, -1, (10, 17), (1, 0), ALPSTW CREAK, MR CREAK/Sir, CREAK, WALK0, -1, (10, 17), (1, 0), ALPSTW
The last field in each of these lines is the flags field (see [Characters]). To make a teacher punchable, we need to add the F flag. For example:
WACKER, MR WACKER/Sir, WACKER, WALK0, -1, (10, 17), (1, 0), AFLPSTW
Make the change for each teacher you’d like to see Eric (and, as a side effect, the bully too) be able to punch, and off you go and get your long-awaited revenge.
A somewhat more involved customisation is creating a new lesson. In this example we’ll create a lesson where Mr Creak teaches Eric in the Map Room. In the original Skool Daze, Mr Creak never taught anywhere but in the Reading and White Rooms, so it’ll be good for him to stretch his ageing legs and get on over to the Map Room.
First we are going to add an entry to the [Timetable] section. So, open up skool_daze/lessons.ini, head over to the [Timetable] section, and insert a new lesson ID or replace an existing one - preferably near the top, so you don’t have to flick through too many lessons in Pyskool in order to test it. The top few lessons in the stock lessons.ini are:
[Timetable] Playtime-4 Withit-MapRoom-2 RevisionLibrary-3
You could replace Withit-MapRoom-2 with Creak-MapRoom-1:
[Timetable] Playtime-4 Creak-MapRoom-1 RevisionLibrary-3
This means that the second lesson of the day will be the one with ID Creak-MapRoom-1. But that lesson doesn’t exist yet, because we just made it up. So now it’s time to create the lesson.
Now that the [Timetable] section contains a brand new lesson ID, we have to make sure there is a corresponding [Lesson ...] section. For this we’re going to take a short cut. Since a lesson with Mr Creak in the Map Room is going to be almost the same as a lesson in the Map Room with any other teacher, we’re going to find one such lesson, copy and paste it, and make the necessary modifications.
A good candidate for this copy/paste/modify plan is the lesson Withit-MapRoom-1, so find the section named [Lesson Withit-MapRoom-1 WITHIT, MapRoom], copy and paste it somewhere else amid the [Lesson ...] sections, and rename it thus:
[Lesson Creak-MapRoom-1 CREAK, MapRoom] BOY01, ReadingRoom-Boy BOY02, WhiteRoom-Boy BOY03, ReadingRoom-Boy BOY04, WhiteRoom-Boy BOY05, ReadingRoom-Boy BOY06, WhiteRoom-Boy BOY07, ExamRoom-Boy BOY08, ReadingRoom-Boy BOY09, ExamRoom-Boy BOY10, ExamRoom-Boy BOY11, MapRoom-Boy WACKER, ExamRoom-Teacher ROCKITT, WhiteRoom-Teacher WITHIT, MapRoom-Teacher CREAK, ReadingRoom-Teacher TEARAWAY, ExamRoom-Tearaway BULLY, MapRoom-Bully SWOT, MapRoom-Swot
Now we’re almost done. All that remains is to assign the appropriate command list to Mr Creak, and an alternative appropriate command list to Mr Withit. The simplest thing to do is switch their command lists round, thus:
WITHIT, ReadingRoom-Teacher CREAK, MapRoom-Teacher
And that’s it. Now run skool_daze.py, and give Mr Creak a round of applause as he makes it to the Map Room for the first time in his long career.
Let’s try our hand at a completely new lesson in Back to Skool this time. What about one where every boy and girl piles into the Science Lab with Mr Rockitt? That should be interesting.
You’re an old hand at this now. Open up back_to_skool/lessons.ini and inspect the [Timetable] section:
[Timetable] Playtime-5 Creak-YellowRoom-2 Assembly
Let’s replace that Creak-YellowRoom-2 entry with a carefully chosen unique ID for our new lesson:
[Timetable] Playtime-5 Rockitt-ScienceLab-AllAboard Assembly
Time to create the lesson itself.
We’ll use the copy/paste/modify trick again, but this time there will be a lot more modifying to do. The lesson Rockitt-ScienceLab-1 would be a good template to use, so find the lesson section named [Lesson Rockitt-ScienceLab-1 ROCKITT, ScienceLab], copy and paste it somewhere else amid the lesson sections, and rename it thus:
[Lesson Rockitt-ScienceLab-AllAboard ROCKITT, ScienceLab]
The next step is to assign appropriate command lists to the characters. The appropriate command list for the little boys and girls is ScienceLab-Boy - don’t be fooled by the -Boy suffix. So modify those command lists thus:
GIRL01, ScienceLab-Boy GIRL02, ScienceLab-Boy ... BOY01, ScienceLab-Boy BOY02, ScienceLab-Boy ... BOY10, ScienceLab-Boy
Now for the teachers. Mr Rockitt will obviously have to be in the Science Lab and the other teachers might as well just wander around, since they’ll have nothing better to do:
WITHIT, Walkabout1-Teacher ROCKITT, ScienceLab-Teacher CREAK, Walkabout2-Teacher TAKE, GirlsSkoolWalkabout-Teacher
Mr Wacker and Albert are fine as they are. Next, the main kids. They all need to pile into the Science Lab:
TEARAWAY, ScienceLab-Tearaway BULLY, ScienceLab-Bully SWOT, ScienceLab-Swot HEROINE, ScienceLab-Boy
Now we’re ready. Run back_to_skool.py, and watch the Science Lab fill to bursting point. Fun.
So you’ve modified messages and lessons, but to be brutally honest, you haven’t proved yourself as a Pyskool modder until you’ve created your own command list. Recall that a command list is a list of commands (!) that control a character during a lesson.
In this exercise we’ll take the command list that controls the tearaway when he’s on a blackboard-defacing spree in Skool Daze:
[CommandList WriteOnBoards-Tearaway] GoTo, ExamRoomBlackboard:Middle WriteOnBoardUnless, Dirty GoTo, WhiteRoomBlackboard:Middle WriteOnBoardUnless, Dirty GoTo, ReadingRoomBlackboard:Middle WriteOnBoardUnless, Dirty SetControllingCommand, FireNowAndThen GoToRandomLocation WalkAround, 10 Restart
and turn it into a command list that leaves the tearaway frustrated by the global chalk shortage. One simple way to do this is to replace the three WriteOnBoardUnless commands with these commands:
Say, "Hey, where's the chalk?" Say, "OMG, no chalk here, either!" Say, "WTF? Has Mr Creak been eating the chalk or something?"
And for good measure we’ll insert another Say command after GoToRandomLocation:
Say, "Anybody got any chalk?"
When these modifications are complete, the command list should look like this:
[CommandList WriteOnBoards-Tearaway] GoTo, ExamRoomBlackboard:Middle Say, "Hey, where's the chalk?" GoTo, WhiteRoomBlackboard:Middle Say, "OMG, no chalk here, either!" GoTo, ReadingRoomBlackboard:Middle Say, "WTF? Has Mr Creak been eating the chalk or something?" SetControllingCommand, FireNowAndThen GoToRandomLocation Say, "Anybody got any chalk?" WalkAround, 10 Restart
Now run skool_daze.py and watch as the hapless tearaway’s blackboard-daubing career is dashed to the ground.
Some ready-made customised ini files are distributed with Pyskool to demonstrate what’s possible with the Pyskool engine. These customisations are described in the following sections.
To play ‘Skool Daze Take Too’, double-click skool_daze_take_too.py or run it from the command line thus:
and say hello to Skool Daze’s new philosophy teacher, who may look somewhat familiar.
To play ‘Ezad Looks’, double-click ezad_looks.py or run it from the command line thus:
and prepare to feel a little disoriented for a while.
To play ‘Back to Skool Daze’, double-click back_to_skool_daze.py or run it from the command line thus:
and hit some shields for old times’ sake.