This game. This terrible terrible game that that caused my grades to drop and my stress levels to skyrocket. But first: some backstory.

We both are in Future Business Leaders of America at our school, and the most important event of the year is the State Leadership Conference (SLC). There are many events to compete in, some are more focused on business aspects and others on technology. Since our FBLA chapter had never really had any tech-savvy members before, I was more or less thrust into basically all of the technology related events. One of which that I was initially excited for was the Game and Simulation Programming competition. "Finally", I thought, "A competition where I can do what I love to do, make games."

The task was pretty straightforward, create a game with some level of educational value and that follows the theme for the year. This year's prompt?

"You are a computer virus tracker. You live inside a computer and travel the network looking for viruses and malware. When some are detected, you have to travel to the infection site and launch anti-virus software discs at the malware minions. Escalate the adventure from basic network bugs to a Web Bot boss. Take note in design to include computer networking structure and devices."

...Alright... seems more or less straightforward. My first thought was immediately to create a shoot-em-up style game where you traversed a world of these different types of malware blasting away. However before we could work on this we were working on our game for the Tech Olympics showcase that was going to take place a month before SLC. We figured we would complete our work on the Tech Olympics game and then after the event was over we could start working on the SLC project. Unfortunately about a week before TO, our game wasn't coming together and our chapter adviser asked me if the project for SLC was almost done. I told him of course not and that we were waiting for after Tech Olympics was over so we would only have to focus on one project. He quickly responded with a crushing, "The project needs to be submitted by March 3rd, you've got 2 weeks to have it done and shipped (literally, it had to be sent in via USB in the mail (not email))."

We quickly "punted" the project for Tech Olympics and decided to frantically try to finish this game. Days go by where certain bugs make it impossible to get anything done until they are fixed, code is messy and inefficient at times. 2 days before it was due, collision with the wall was non-existent and enemy AI was still in it's basic stages. I still remember my mom driving me to the school at 3:00 where my adviser was waiting for me to hand in the project and he had to leave by 3:10. I remember frantically typing away at the keyboard the whole car ride, sprinting into the school and busting out my computer yelling "ITS BROKEN" (as the game would crash as soon as you would fire for some unbeknownst reason). 

In the end he just gave the address to mail it to and at 4:45 we mailed it (the post office closed at 5). A flash drive with just the raw python files and a copy of the python with a README that explained how to open the correct file if the judges didn't have Python and PyGame (which we figured was a pretty low chance).

The game didn't have a tutorial, menu, sound of any kind. Feedback or instructions. You could move with WASD and shoot with the mouse, there are enemies that you could shoot and they could kill you. A final boss awaited those who could manage to find it through the maze, and it is hard even for me to beat the game (which means I can't image a judge beating it).

We are making the code open so you can take a peak at it, it is tested on Windows and Linux and works on both. I think it's kind of fun, but we were so sick of it after we had shipped it that it is unlikely that we will be working on it to fix stuff for a while. Who knows, maybe it is time to go back to Villager Sim!