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Pacman pie image Julia Elman



Over the past few months, my colleague Caleb and I had been developing a game using pygame. We had worked on it from time to time, figuring out the game mechanics, writing code, sketching out ideas and creating game assets.

Last week the company I work for, Caktus Consulting Group, hosted our second Ship It Day. It’s a wonderful perk of working there and a great opportunity to work on projects we’ve been thinking about doing. Caleb and I decided that the next Ship It Day would be a great stretch of time to work on the game we had been developing. We recruited a few other Caktus colleagues, David and Vinod, to help us out in creating this open source game.

Team meeting to discuss game mechanics, features and assets

On Thursday afternoon we met and built a plan of attack for the initial release. We already had the mechanics drawn up for the overall game experience, and quite a bit of code, but still needed to complete a bit more before making it live. With the help of our co-workers, we were able to make our first release!

The final result is called Razzytails. The goal of the game is to help Razzy, the mascot for Raspberry IO, collect all of the assets for her Raspberry Pi (Raspberry Pi, SD Card, power cord, monitor, mouse and keyboard). But, there is one catch… there are zombie honey badgers roaming around to test your Raspberry Pi + Python knowledge and keep you from collecting the items. Answer the question wrong and you lose all of the assets out of your inventory. If you win, you get to the win screen that points you to the Raspberry IO website to learn more about using your Raspberry Pi. Razzytails also works swimmingly on a Raspberry Pi, which comes with pygame already installed.

Razzytails on a Raspberry Pi

One of the other objectives we had for the game was to create a possible educational tool for using Raspberry Pi with pygame. Here are a few ideas we came up with in ways to use it for educational purposes:

  • editing the JSON files such as questions.json as a way to test Python/Raspberry Pi knowledge
  • engaging new coders in pygame mechanics by tweaking the code and making edits

There are definetly more ways in which we see the community utilizing this game and making it into something useful for educational purposes.

In closing, I have to say that developing my first game was something I really, really enjoyed! It was great to come up with the character designs, collaborate on the storyline with my teammates and get Razzytails working on my Raspberry Pi. I hope to have more opportunities like this and create more fun and educational games.

Julia working on Razzytails

All photos courtesy of Caktus Consulting Group