1 Overview

Your task is to use PyGame and gamebox to create in interesting game with a partner. Unlike other assignments,

  • You should work with one (1) partner for the entirety of this assignment
    • These will be handled in lab on 9 November (or in an adjacent class for 1111)
  • This assignment is worth more points (see the syllabus for details)
  • You are free to define the details of this assignment yourselves
  • We’ll check your progress (based on current archimedes submissions) every Thursday; lack of progress will result reduced final grades.

2 Partnering

The process for partnering has not yet been determined. For logistical reasons, partners will probably be assigned by TAs with little input from students.

You can view your partner at the partner summary page.

You can submit a partner evaluation using this google form.

2.1 Working together

To the degree possible, please plan to work together, rather than each working independently and combining code later. Working together can result in fewer bugs and better code.

If you have problems with your partner, first bring them up to your partner and then to your instructor. We’ll do our best to help things run smoothly.

We will also ask for each student to submit a partner evaluation near the end of your time together.

3 Designing your game

Each game is expected to be unique; we do not tell you what to implement. However, we do provide some guidelines to keep the scope appropriate:

3.1 Required Features

Your game should look like a game someone might want to play (i.e., probably not just a lot of colored boxes). You must include all of the following:

User Input
Either through the keyboard or mouse, you should have appropriate and working user controls.
You should use some appropriate images in your game.
Start Screen
Game has a start screen with game name, student names (and IDs), and basic game instructions.

3.2 Optional Features

You must include at least four of the following:

Use a sprite sheet to have an animated character.
Have characters that can hinder the player character from accomplishing the goal.

Add collectables (i.e. coins) to the level that can be picked up by the character with a counter that appears on the screen.

Scrolling level
Make the level much larger than the screen (You may need to add a background image to make this more obvious.)
Have a countdown (or count up) timer for your game.
Health meter
Have a health meter that changes as you hit enemies/obstacles.
Music/Sound effects
Have some good sound design.
Two players simultaneously
Two players who are able to interact with one another within the game.

3.3 Other Constraints

It is not sufficient to base your game on our examples. The example code is designed to teach concepts and give code snippets you can use, but your game should be significantly more than any of our examples.

4 Game Ideas

Don’t have a good game idea in mind? See Wikipedia’s list of golden-age arcade games for many ideas.


Many questions of the form “how do I do X” are answered in The Gamebox Docs or The Gamebox API. Others are added here as they come to our attention.

Why do my fast-moving objects pass through walls?

Because in a single frame they make it past the center of the wall, so move_to_stop_overlapping moves them out the wrong side.

The simplest solution is making fatter obstacles (or fatter objects; if an object cannot move more than min(obj.width, obj.height) / 2 pixels per frame, it cannot have this problem)

A fancier three-part solution is to (a) increase the ticks per frame by a factor of n, (b) reduce the speeds by a factor of n, and (c) only draw and display once every n frames. Parts (a) and (b) solve the problem, part (c) keeps the solution from over-taxing your computer.

The most robust solution is to track which side of each obstacle you were last frame and which side this frame and if that changes, do something about it; doing this correctly is not simple, but the overlap method of boxes can help if you want to try.

How do I make a grid-movement-based game?
Pick a grid size g and then only change x and y in increments of g.
I’m getting an error opening images

If the last line of the error contains the number 403, this means the website won’t let Python access the image.

If the last line of the error contains the text “SSL: CERTIFICATE_VERIFY_FAILED” and you are on OS X, this means you need to tell Python how to access encrypted webpages. Go to “Applications/Python 3.6/Install Certificates.command” on your hard-drive and double-click on it: a window should pop up and install the necessary certificates.

If you have another error, check Piazza and if it is not described there, add a question so we can update this FAQ.

6 Submission

You’ll need to submit your code and any support files to Archimedes. In addition to the final submission date of midnight, the last day of classes (not the last day of finals). We will also check your progress with two intermediate checkpoints, each due midnight the day before a lab. Making steady progress every week is a requirement for full credit on this assignment.

6.1 Checkpoint 1

Should be a python file, named game.py, containing comments describing your game idea and how you will fill the optional requirements. We also encourage starting the game code in that file as well.

6.2 Checkpoint 2

Should be a the basics of a working game, in game.py, possibly with a few “it crashes if you do X”-type bugs or missing features.

6.3 Final Submission

Should be the entire game.

6.4 Uploading files beyond game.py

We accept all kinds of files in the submission, but note:

  • The game must be run by using a file named game.py; it may use other .py files too if you want (upload them too)
  • If you make your own graphics, level files, etc., upload those; but if you access them in your game by URL yo don’t need to upload them
  • Don’t upload copyrighted material unless you have rights to give it to us

At least one partner will need to submit your files each time you submit. If more than one submit the same file name, the last submission of the group will be used.