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Paper Chase

A very simple game written for Pyweek 25 by Nicholas H.Tollervey (instructions for installing and running the game are at the end of this document). Read my developer diary for the event online. All game assets were created by the author except for those listed and acknowledged in the various sources.txt files in the asset directories. The game itself is covered by the MIT license (see the LICENSE file in the root of the source repository) and all the non-original game media / assets are covered by "open" licences (see the relevant sources.txt files mentioned above for more details).

The theme for this iteration of PyWeek was "Two Worlds". In this instance the two worlds are the intergalactic rivals from the worlds of the red biros vs the blue biros (there's a HHGG reference in there somewhere). ;-)

As the blurb from the start of the game says:

"The intergalactic war between the red and blue factions of the biro universe has reached its climax. Each world has sent a stick-figure champion to race in the "Paper chase" for ultimate victory and to decide which colour biro pen teachers should use when marking work."

This is a two-player side-scrolling chase / avoidance game. You win by getting 200 steps ahead of the other player.

As the figures run across the paper they encounter various obstacles which, if hit, will slow the player down. If you snaffle a Python power-up (to import antigravity) you'll be able to gain speed by flying (here's the obvious XKCD reference).

The keys are:

Action Red Blue
Up Up W
Down Down S
Kick Right D
Jump Enter Space

As the game progresses the obstacles come more often and the pace of the game speeds up.

The wider point of the game is educational:

  • I'm using Dan Pope's amazing PyGame Zero and writing the code using the Mu editor.
  • I aim to create a game that is simple enough that it could be used as a "template" or launch pad for teachers and beginner programmers who want to write their own games.
  • The game will be a single logic file and single data file.
  • The game assets will be generated in as simple a manner as possible (i.e. something kids could easily copy).
  • Post-PyWeek I'm going to write this all up into an educational resource.

Installing / Running the Game

Paper Chase only works with Python 3!

I've tested the game works on Windows 10 (64bit), OSX (High Sierra) and Ubuntu Linux (17.10).

Installation of the dependencies is relatively simple:

$ pip3 install pgzero

Installing PyGame Zero will grab PyGame and other associated requirements.

NOTE: As of time of writing, PyGame Zero has a misconfiguration issue in OSX which means that keyboard capture doesn't work if you're running the game within a virtualenv. In this case, just use the system Python 3 and ``pip install pgzero`` globally (sorry).

Simply change directories into the root of the project (i.e. the directory in which you'll find this file) and type:

$ pgzrun

...then grab a friend for the battle of the biroid champions.

Most of all, I hope you have as much fun playing it as I did writing it!


A simple game set in both the "paper" and "real" world. Created for PyWeek 25.




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