Wednesday, February 20, 2008

GASP, Python, and the XO

GASP, the Graphics API for Students of Python, provides an easy and fun way for learning programmers to write games and other programs using colors, shapes, pictures, and movement. It's based on the PyGame library, which, though full-featured, is too complicated for beginners to easily learn.

It's also a perfect match for the XO. The latest version of Pippy, the built-in Python API on the XO, includes some simple games and examples, all written in PyGame. GASP, along with its sister package GASP-Games, will let users of the XO play games, see how they work, and write their own.

My fellow Yorktown Student David Cooper has made great improvements to GASP recently. The 0.2 version (currently in development and testing) includes new functionality that allows for easy pausing. It also speeds GASP up considerably, allowing it to run much smoother, even on platforms like the XO with limited resources. I'm documenting and improving that code, and yet another YHS student, "FFM", is the man in charge, running and packaging the project.

GASP is the future of game development on the XO. As it becomes a stable product and the Games package starts to assemble a set of examples, you'll be able to start writing games of your own.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

What a great introduction to such a valuable tool that XO users can put to work easily, and in the process, learn more about programming. In the coming weeks we'll eagerly be looking for more information about how and where to gain more insight into how GASP works and where we can learn more.