What I’m Playing: April – June, 2009

  • Mario Kart Wii
  • Guitar Hero World Tour (Wii)
  • My Brute (Somewhat embarassing. The tab is just left open in my browser, and I click Fight from time to time …)
  • Trails 2 – a neat little motorcross game I bought on Steam. Free Flash ‘trial version’ here.
  • Wario’s Woods (Wii Virtual Console) – one of the greatest two-player puzzle games I’ve played. It gets revisited now and again.

What I’ve Been Playing : Nov – Dec 2008

  • Cave Story (available for Linux in at archive.org) — I missed this one when it came out (~2004), but over the last few days I saw a few little indirect references to it, I had to check it out. It’s a charming little platformer, with a decent mix of action and story. I hear there is a remake coming to WiiWare … I might well buy it when it’s released.
  • Shaun White Snowboarding : Roadtrip (Wii) — fun pickup and play game. Very easy to make progress, but tricky to master.

Profiling Python functions with IPython’s timeit

If you aren’t careful (and even sometime when you are) realtime games written in Python sometimes hit speed problems and require some profiling to bring them to a playable speed. Typically, I would use the Python standard library’s “profile” module to find “hot” functions which are stealing all the CPU cycles. Today I discovered another way.

Over at scienceoss.com theres a nice post about profiling functions using “timeit” within IPython. Essentially, in IPython, you can run:

timeit my_slightly_sluggish_function(x, y)
timeit maybe_a_faster_function(x, y)

and get average execution time values over many replicates of each function call, like:

100000 loops, best of 3: 8.9 µs per loop
100000 loops, best of 3: 4.9 µs per loop

Interesting how programming for games and programming for scientific number crunching often have the same requirements and boil down to using similar techniques.

New release of Shoodar (v 0.11)

Shoodar is a little game I’ve been writing, mostly to learn Rabbyt (although these things tend to grow beyond learning exercises ….. :P). Essentially it’s just a silly vertical shooter, but there is an Ikaruga-inpired twist. It’s in early stages of development, but I’ve put a playable version up in the Games section

No nice installers and stuff yet, but the README in the archive gives some instructions for getting it running under Debain flavours of Linux.