Monthly Archives: March 2007



The text box rendering system in Soft Landing is fairly complex. We have some conversation bubbles that offset themselves with a bit of randomness, to get your eyes moving around the scene just a little bit, so you’re not just staring at one point on the screen all day. We also resize the bubbles to be just the right height to accommodate the amount of text they need to hold. Once such movements and resizings have happened, we need to move the pygame Rect for the bubble’s text bounds so that it matches the new Rect for the whole Guy. For a while I was doing this like so: =

Simple, and it worked fine. Then last night, I made a small change to a seemingly unrelated part of the code for such Interface Guys, and the textRect simply stopped responding to such assignments. I could move the textRect around by giving it absolute positions, but it simply wouldn’t move for the main Rect. It took a long while to troubleshoot, and I ended up with this ugliness:

self.textRect = self.textRect.move(self.rect.centerx - self.textRect.centerx, self.rect.centery - self.textRect.centery)

Not pretty, but it works fine. I have run into a few weird situations like this with pygame, and I suppose I should report them, but I’m not sure how much help it would be without providing the whole project to the developer. But it’s fun to track down such problems and keep trying various approaches until the code works. Coding is fun because there’s always some other way to come at the problem, some way to *make* it work.

Anyway, getting these refinements into the novel system means there are pretty much no significant system changes to make for the demo. We just have to get the content into the game. Ah, wait, we still need to figure out how bosses should fall apart when you shoot them…


For those of you who still read this blog, a little treat. After I finished this enemy (codename Tri-mans), I was quite amused by how he actually managed to become an in-game asset. The original concept was laughably simple but it ended up being really useful. See? Programmers can be artists too!

Tri-Mans concept

Naturally, we’ll keep you posted. Expect big things, and soon!


Julian and I have both been spending a lot of time visiting our international fiancées and trying to organize ways to reunite with them permanently. But we’ve also been working on the game here and there. Lately we’ve been sitting down and putting a lot of thought and effort into getting the demo out… Yeah, the demo we promised about 10 months ago. :D

My most recent work has been on the ship’s communication system. We want to have little conversations that happen in-flight, so that the story can happen even in the shooting parts. here’s what it looks like so far: